Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, Why does it feel like a huge deal that boobs stay super private?"

Dear Carol,

Why does it feel like a huge deal that boobs stay super private? Like, I have a brother, so I don't wear a T-shirt without a bra even in my own house (I'd feel weird if my brother saw). And, at the beach, it would be super embarrassing if my bikini top shifted. But guys can go shirtless all the time...and it's normal for them. It's just so unfair there's that difference.

- Boobs And Privacy

Dear Boobs And Privacy,

I hear you. We humans are mammals, and females have boobs (in part) because that's how mothers feed their young. But society and fashion and culture play their roles, too—not just biology. You're right, it wouldn't exactly go unnoticed if someone bared their boobs at the beach (unless of course it's a nudist or topless beach, hello Europe!). And if a girl wore a thin white shirt with no bra to a job interview, it would be naive of her to not be aware of how it would be viewed. (A man who showed up shirtless for an interview would not get taken seriously either.) How we dress is how we present ourselves to the world. We become aware (as you are) that for better or worse, people notice our bodies. I could say that it's not fair that there's a double standard. But things are less binary than they used to be—and women show their bodies in public more than in the olden days. The bottom (or shall I say top?) line: It all comes down to what feels right to you. And stay sensible.

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by GL | 3/22/2023