It’s all about the nipples. Or the flesh. That is the short answer.
“To bra or not to bra ?” Here we go …
Look at the following picture.
Most of us will be drawn to the nipples, or the cleavage.
The image of stiff nipples has an obvious sexual connotation, so we look (and think).
Deep cleavage yields the same thoughts. The very idea that there is no bra makes us imagine the part which we do not see. (And that is fine.)
“Flesh shapes the day.”
That is probably the reason why some people do not tolerate braless women.
(By the way, in the context of the question, I take it that we think of “braless” in the sense of “braless and obviously braless.” If we do not see it, the question is not relevant.)
Of course, the idea of wearing bras is quite absurd, since there is no good reason to wear bras. Or is there ?
Apparently, there is no scientific proof at all that one can prevent saggy breasts by wearing bras. So why do women wear them ?
“Symmetry and size” is the answer.
Some women have highly asymmetric breasts, and bras can make them look (more) symmetrical.
On the other hand, some women have small breasts, and can make them appear to be larger by using the right bra. (Still other DO have large breasts, and still use bras to do the trick.)
Others do have saggy breasts, and bras can hide that sight very well (as we all know, I guess).
Some women have breasts that are just too large, and bras can help them for support.
Many good reasons indeed.
So I asked my girlfriend Freya, who has great breasts in C-cup size, why she almost never is braless (when dressed).
“The nipples” was her first answer. Her nipples easily become stiff if it is cold, and then we have the sexual connotation thing coming up, and that would not be accepted in some circumstances.
Other reason: “feeling naked.” She is so used to wearing bras, that she simply feels quite naked if she does not wear them.
Complex matter !
I have read that some people think that being braless has something to do with feminism, and this might be true in some specified context, but taking the (good) reasons for some women to wear bras into account, I don’t think this is true in general.
I guess that if some men would wear pants which would obviously reveal the form of their penis, then in some circumstances this would also not be accepted. Sexual connotation, yet again.
I personally have no problems at all “with or without bras.” Maybe sometimes the situation “justifies” bras more than others, but I think this idea is a thing which can be applied to virtually all clothes.
Strangely enough, sometimes wearing bras is even legally part of a dress code:
In Germany employers and companies are permitted to require their female employees to wear a brassiere as part of the dress code, and may fire female employees who do not wear them.
Funny guys, those Germans.
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References: Google images.