Kim Kardashian's SKIMS Nipple Bra Is Actually a Sign of Progress — Here's Why
The silhouette was first introduced in the ’70s, but it’s clear we’ve come a long way since then.
A mere few days ago, Kim Kardashian announced the launch of SKIMS‘ new Nipple Bra, a full-cup silhouette with added nipples to ensure that “no matter how hot it is, you’ll always look cold.” As always, and especially with new Kardashian launches, the concept was met with some criticism, with followers asking why such a thing is needed, linking it to the male gaze and questioning whether or not it was simply a PR stunt.
However, on the flip side, a flurry of responses were on Kim’s side for once, stating that the idea was “actually genius” and a positive step for women who aren’t entirely satisfied with their breasts alongside cancer survivors who may have needed surgery to remove their breast tissue altogether.
Of course, visible nipples aren’t exactly a new concept and some fans were surprised to learn that it’s not even the first time that a nipple bra was released. The first iteration was actually launched back in the 1970s, with a label dubbed VIVA Lingerie cited as one of the pioneers. Back then, the earlier nipple bras were designed for “those who need the support of a bra but want the natural look of a built-in hard nip,” according to Seamwork.
— kim (@therealkimj) October 27, 2023
Fast forward a couple of decades and Victoria’s Secret dropped the Bombshell Nipple Bra, a more comfortable and rounded silhouette designed to achieve the same goals, that’s no longer sold or available to buy. Since then, women have undergone quite a journey from concealing the nipple to freeing it and subsequently accessorizing it (particularly through trends like itty bitty bras and sheer fabrics, most notably spotted on fashion week runways).
Now, the SKIMS iteration exists to create a “perky braless look,” and follows the launch of the shapewear label’s first-ever menswear range — something which likely could have informed the new product’s timely release. While the brand’s new launch received a slew of criticism, a proportion of its audience were quick to point out the positives and the benefits it would have to women with chests of different sizes, alongside new moms, cancer survivors and more.
Though some felt that the release felt like it was appealing to the male gaze, it turns out, it’s actually quite the opposite. What the Nipple Bra will actually do is provide women with more options: something we’ve simply not had enough of in the past. The release doesn’t suggest that every woman needs her nipples visible, nor does it suggest they all need to be covered, but instead adds another option to our growing list whatever your desire may be.
For some, it offers a fuller, more supportive way to achieve the “perky” look, if you so wish, and for others, it provides those who wish they could go braless with the opportunity to feel like they are — without having to actually do it. More than anything, the launch of the nipple bra injects a little playfulness into the lingerie world, and acts as an evolution of the reclaiming of femininity we’ve seen a rise in this year.
Still, the question remains: is the nipple bra just another form of publicity that won’t actually be worn, or will we all be embracing it for 2024? We’ll let you be the judge.