Beta Apka Strap Dikh Raha Hai: Hey Aunty, Please Leave My Bra Alone

“Beta apka strap dikh raha hai” says an aunty whenever a woman’s bra strap is visible in public. But did you ever ask what motivated a stranger to come to you, and tell you what to do with your clothing?

Vanshika nirAkula
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Bra Strap Showing, bra strap
Our society always keeps an eye on women's clothes, which are often held responsible for everything from sexual violence against women to the degradation of our society. A bra strap, if visible, is one such piece of clothing that corrupts the values of a woman, as per society.

In hushed tones, unknown aunties tell women to cover their bra straps if they dare to slide out in public view, as any conversation about the ‘private’ clothes of women cannot be done in public spaces, that too in a normal tone. Forget about their exhibition in the public, women are supposed to tuck their bra straps underneath before any man gets to know about its existence. This means women must pay attention to the position of their bra straps at all times of the day. Do you even realise how draining that can be?

But the question that must be asked here is, what’s so offensive about a bra strap? Why must a woman always need to hide it? Why is it culturally offensive for a bra strap to be visible? Why is a woman supposed to bear the weight that comes with the sexualisation of bra straps?

'Respected’ families make it a norm to brush issues related to sex and sexuality under the carpet. Since women's bodies are treated as an object in our society, they must be covered up at all times as well. Acche ghar ki ladkiyan dhang ke kapde pehenti hain, haven't we all been told that? This is because any show of skin is seen as an invitation for a lecherous gaze. The blame falls on women, not the male mindset. This dictate is extended to our private garments as well.

“Beta apka strap dikh raha hai” says an aunty whenever a woman’s bra strap is visible in public. But did you ever ask what motivated a stranger to come to you, and tell you what to do with your clothing? Instead of asking that to ourselves, and later to that woman, we go with our reflex and cover it up with our outer layer of clothes. Here, you are equally responsible for sexualising a disturbingly uncomfortable yet important piece of women’s clothing.

The Moral Policing Of Bra Straps

Our hypocrisy is outright and could be seen when a woman, on one hand, is constantly objectified and shown in the media wearing sexualised clothing, and on the other hand, has her attire constantly policed in society. Again, it is as if under no circumstances, she should be allowed to be the owner of her own body and make her own choices.


If you observe, you would find that patriarchy has always deemed a man’s body as normal while it has always repressed a woman’s femininity as sexual. And since bras indirectly “remind” the onlookers about the stigmatised breasts, it automatically becomes sexual in nature.

The Media Factor

The media that we consume is continuously out there: commenting, limiting and talking about the issues that matter for us, or at least for men. We are continuously being preached about maintaining the sanctity of our society and simultaneously carry on with the objectification of women in the form of sexist ads, songs and narratives in film and television.

But here is the thing: a woman's personality is not rooted in her breasts or how the bra holds them. So, visible or not, she doesn't have to feel ashamed of it. A bra is as normal a garment as the men’s vest. One does not find women drooling over the vest strap, nor is it policed and tucked away the minute one catches sight of it. So why this ridiculous fuss over our bra?

Views expressed are the author’s own.


Suggested Reading: Wearing Bra Is A Choice. But Stay Away From Wrong Bra Size. Here Is Why


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