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Why Modesty Does NOT Equate Embarrassment

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Centuries Later, We’re Still Fighting a Stigma that Began in 400 BC

The conversation around nipples has always boggled our minds – appropriate vs not appropriate, free them, don't free them, etc. In a world where celebrities are wearing 'naked' dresses on the red carpet but a teenage girl can't wear a spaghetti strap tank to class, it makes you wonder: where is the line? And why are women's bodies still such a topic of conversation - or censored in conversation?

We've had a consistent gripe with social media censoring posts just because they include the word nipple, but the root of this problem runs so much deeper, dating as far back as 400 BCE when Hippocrates named the female and male genitalia "the shame parts." Nearly 20 centuries later, this notion of shame is still associated with the female body.

Need More Context? Us Too.

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Rachel E. Gross recently published her book, Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage. In it, she writes that Hippocrates, the "most revered of Greek physicians, namesake of the Hippocratic Oath, never actually studied a human woman. Due to cultural taboos and a dearth of female corpses, he relied mainly on the words of midwives and women who performed self-examinations. 'I only know what women have taught me,' he said. That detail did not stop him from naming our sexy bits."

Interestingly, the name he chose was in reference to Aidos, the blushing goddess of shame, modesty, respect and humility. Even in 400 BCE, shame and modesty somehow ran together. 

One quick search and Wikipedia will also tell you, "Aidos, as a quality, was that feeling of reverence or shame which restrains men from wrong." Interesting implications, if you ask us.

Fast forward to 1545, a French anatomist did study a female human body and still the names chosen translated back to shame with no hint of respect, modesty or humility. So it's no surprise that in 2022, the word nipple is enough to get your Tik Tok shadow banned and listings removed.  

Does Modesty Really Equate to Shame?

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We've got a simple answer for this one: Hell no.

Is a woman who prefers to conceal her nipples automatically any less comfortable with herself than a woman who has no preference of whether her nipples can or cannot be seen through her shirt? A resounding, Hell no! Why should she be?

Modesty is not the act of covering up for the sake of someone else. It's a personal boundary that we set for ourselves based on our preferences for that day, for a specific event, overall, etc. 

Our point is that you can absolutely free the nipple one day, conceal it the next, and not give two hoots the following day.

The Elli Bralette was originally designed as a solution for women who prefer to conceal their nipples because that is their preference. We've got brighter colors for women who wear their bralettes as a fashion statement and a range of neutrals for women who prefer their undergarments not to be a focal point. 

There is no wrong answer here. Free the nipple one day, conceal it the next. The choice is yours to make and the Elli Bralette is here for it as an option no matter what. This is the bralette designed for comfort - physically and personally. It's the bra you always want to have at the top of your lingerie drawer. 

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