Freedom Trash Can: The Bra

The bra represents sexy but uncomfortable clothing
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Social media influencers have been championing comfort over form for this iconic item of underwear.

One of this year's 100 Women, bra-less blogger Chidera Eggerue, says there is "more than one way to be beautiful" and "it's not about how perky your boobs are".

UK retailers have reported a rise in sales of non-wired underwear as women start to demand more comfortable options.

Select an object from the list and find out how it might be considered an object of oppression.

  • Make-up

    "Men aren't judged for leaving the house without a full face of make-up." - Anonymous

    Read more about Make-up
  • Uncomfortable fashion

    "I cannot fathom why people wear heels. They're painful, impractical and can cause permanent damage to your body." - Anonymous

    Read more about Uncomfortable fashion
  • Home cooking

    "I'm fed up of the idea of women belonging in the kitchen being normalised." - Emma

    Read more about Home cooking
  • Domestic chores

    "Equality begins in the family, so get off your backside and get cleaning, guys." - Anonymous

    Read more about Domestic chores
  • The bra

    "I shouldn't be forced to look 'pretty'. I am beautiful and intelligent without it." - Lisa

    Read more about The bra
  • Celebrity culture

    "All the models have the same body shape, and they look miserable. It's boring!" - Wendy

    Read more about Celebrity culture
  • Marriage

    "I believe engagement rings are anti-feminist - signifying that the woman with the ring belongs to another person." - Matilde

    Read more about Marriage
  • Social media

    "It's very toxic for young people's mental health, especially girls. They are constantly faced with unrealistic and dangerous ideals." - Roshan

    Read more about Social media
  • Gendered toys

    "All the gendered children's toys tell girls and boys they should only like certain things." - Anna

    Read more about Gendered toys
  • Bonus object

    What are objects of oppression? Discover the thinking behind the Freedom Trash Can and suggest your own object.

    Read more about Bonus object

But this is not even close to the first time women have campaigned against bras.

The phrase "bra-burning feminists" originated after a protest outside the Miss America beauty pageant in 1968, which inspired this Freedom Trash Can project.

A group of women threw items - including bras, which they saw as symbolically oppressing women - into a bin, although they never actually burned them.

However "bra-burning feminists" became an idea that spread, and the controversy probably inspired many women at the time to express their opinion on issues affecting them.

The bra has existed in some form for thousands of years, but it wasn't until 1907 that the term brassiere was coined - by Vogue magazine. It remained a one-size-fits all proposition until dressmaker Ida Rosenthal designed a bra with different cup sizes.

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