How Berlin Let Me Declare Independence From Female Beauty Standards

photos: Vismante Ruzgaite. 

The three of us used to be inseparable. I would always include them in my plans, practically wouldn’t leave the house without them. Up until very recently, I just felt like I’m not quite complete without my makeup and bra on. We’re still seeing each other now, but sometimes I just choose to go solo.

Since my usual look used to be some kind of a 60s groupie wannabe, I was quite surprised by this development in my personal style. Did I get tired with the time-consuming rituals? Have I inadvertently caught up with a trend? Why do I feel like I have to analyze this in terms of the mainstream beauty standards anyway?



While reasons might vary, the end result is clear: I found it pretty awesome when I let myself look more natural – and didn’t feel any uglier for it. And while this might only be my subjective opinion, Berlin seems to make it possible – with all its inclusivity and a general relaxed vibe which is almost tangible as you’re strolling along with a fresh face and your breasts untamed.

On that note: I did actually think that only cups up to a certain size were granted the social go-ahead for a braless experience. And so I wouldn’t even entertain the scenario. It took a while until I got confident enough to realize that as long as it feels good, I don’t necessarily need a second opinion.



But sometimes, I’ll still ask for it. And as it happens, my main selfies confidant is a dedicated advocate for the universal freedom of all boobs and uninhibited body expression. It’s only fair that when she moved to Berlin a few years ago, she found it deliciously unfettered and instantly claimed it as her forever home.

And I can see her point. For example, there’s something contagious about the openness of a typical Berlin FKK area, a relaxed body image attitude that somehow manifests itself even after returning to the everyday urban environment. An attitude that is all about following your own policy with regards to bras, make-up, body hair, etc — or lack thereof.



Of course, I am not here to contest anyone’s sense of what feels comfortable or pretty – it might have nothing to do with the imagery of the previous paragraphs. To be perfectly honest, I have more than my share of days when an eye-liner and even heels seem to be exactly what my heart desires.

So whether it’s flat sandals and no makeup or cat eyeliner with elaborate lingerie – or a mix of both – I’m just happy to have arrived at a state of mind where neither of these looks feel any less me. And even happier to live in a city that welcomes them all.

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<a href="" target="_self">Michalina</a>