New research is showing that women do not need to wear bras. In fact, there is now evidence showing that not wearing a bra is better for your overall health. A 15-year study in France shows that there is no health benefits to wearing a bra and that our breasts are actually better off without them.
Going braless is not an immediate option for many women. There is the work environment, the need for social acceptance, and a fear of learning to accept our bodies as they naturally are. And let us not forget the old 1960s feminist cry to “ditch the harness.” With women announcing that they are against feminism and the rights it has brought to us, going braless is still an uphill battle in many parts of the U.S.
In spite of all the anecdotal benefits to bra wearing, more and more women are jumping on this latest breast health trend. Guides helping women of all breast sizes to go braless are popping up on the internet. There are guides to enjoying the hot, summertime weather without wearing a bra and guides to how to pull off going to work with a bra on. Women everywhere are ready to shed their bras in the name of breast health and personal comfort.
A Natural Lift
A study in France on how bra use or lack of use affects breasts found that women who wore bras were causing their breasts to sag prematurely. Bra use stops the muscle tissue from growing whereas women who did not wear bras developed strong breast tissue. This stronger tissue gave their breasts a natural lift and helped prevent early sagging. The study also showed that women who stopped wearing bras in their teens and twenties (the study did not include middle aged or older women) could develop this muscle tissue and give their breasts a natural lift. For this reason alone, many young women are choosing to go braless more than they used to and some are choosing to go braless altogether.
It’s Easier To Breathe
Bra straps and the band are very constrictive. While some women like the feeling of wearing a bra and say it feels like a hug, others feel like they can’t breathe. When buying bras, it is recommended that we buy a bra with a band that has a snug fit because, over time and use, the band will stretch out and we will have to put it on a tighter setting or buy a new one. This tightness can make you feel like you can’t breathe properly or deeply. When women stop wearing a bras, they find it easier to take deep breaths. Practicing yoga and meditation is also far easier when you can take a deep inhale without a band tightening even more around the middle.
Helps Eliminate Poor Posture
While many of us were led to believe that wearing a bra helps with our posture, the opposite may be true. A poorly fitted bra or one that is too tight around the middle can cause poor back posture. A band that is too tight around the middle can create a spot in the back where the upper half and the lower half no longer work effectively together. This can lead us to slumping our shoulders and upper back and slumping our lower back, causing mild to severe back pain. The most obvious way to work on improving our posture is to spend more time not wearing a bra and, if we must wear one, to get one that is properly fitted for our body.
More Socially Acceptable
What is really helping women give up bra wearing is that fact that so many celebrities are leaving their bras at home. These celebrities include actresses Nicole Richie, Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Singers, such as Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and Janet Jackson are also going braless in public. Turn the pages of any fashion magazine and, again, the models are braless. It’s sexy and it’s natural. As more women join in the braless revolution, the more socially acceptable it becomes.
A tight bra band can cause problems for some women. It reduces blood flow and can affect the nerves in the back and neck. Aside from the skin irritations, such as rashes, that a tight band can cause, it can also give women tension headaches. While the easiest solution is to stop or reduce bra wearing, you should also get yourself properly fitted for a sports bra which, according to some doctors, can help eliminate the health problems associated with a bra that is too tight.
Makes Breast Feeding Easier
If you have ever breastfed, you know what a pain maternity bras can be. Full breasts can be bothersome, but wearing an overly tight bra can make the discomfort even worse. An overly tight or underwire nursing bra can cause milk ducts to become plugged. This can lead to a painful infection and the need for medical care. If you are going to wear a maternity bra, only soft bras are recommended. Otherwise, when you are at home, go braless and allow your breasts to air out as much as possible to help prevent any infections.
A good quality bra is expensive and finding one that fits comfortably can take up a lot of time in the fitting room. Women who are deciding to go braless are choosing to buy only one or two high end bras to wear when the situation requires it. Otherwise, women are saving money by not buying an endless selection of expensive or inexpensive bras that will only be worn a few times. They are also saving time by not having to hand wash bras to keep them clean and in good shape.
Let Them Breathe
Summertime is often the worst time to wear a bra. As the weather heats up, we begin to sweat and that sweat stays trapped next to our skin when we wear a bra. This can cause rashes and even infections. The remedy to this is to go braless as often as possible and to wear cotton shirts. This is easiest for smaller breasted women to do, but there are new resources available online for larger breasted women who want to spend more time braless in the summer. If a bra is necessary, it should be a soft, cotton bra that is hand washed in hot water after each use.
Did you know that if your bra straps are too tight they can slow down digestion? Osteopath Richard Moore has stated that poorly fitted bras can cause digestive problems and can even lead to constipation. Because the tight straps cause us to slump over, reducing the amount of air we breathe in, constricting our diaphragm, and causing digestive problems, the cry is louder than ever to either find the right bra size or give up bras altogether. To quickly find out if your bra may be causing you stomach problems, check your shoulders after wearing your bra all day. If there are red marks, your stomach problems may be the result of an ill-fitted bra.
After a long day at work and wearing a bra, you come home and decide to slip into a pretty, slinky top to go hang out with your friends. You take off your bra, because you can’t wear it under the top, and you have unsightly red marks on your back and shoulders. Great! Now everyone can see your bra marks when you go out tonight.
Those red marks are a sure sign that your bra does not fit you properly. Straps need to be adjusted and you may need to get fitted properly for a new batch of bras. Of course, you could give up wearing a bra entirely, which is what some women have done so that they can wear their favorite slinky tops.
Thrush is a yeast infection that can easily pass from a mother’s breast to her breastfed infant. It can cause a woman’s nipples to become sore, red, and cracked. The infant can develop the thrush in her mouth which leads to white patches and sore areas inside the mouth. A natural method to prevent and treat thrush is to go braless. The yeast needs a dark and moist environment to thrive in and bras help provide that environment. By removing the bra, a mother’s breasts can air dry after each feeding. Sun exposure is also believed to be helpful for women experiencing breast thrush. If she needs to wear a bra, she should only wear a soft, cotton bra and wash it in hot water and soap after each time she wears it.
Bras Are Fashioned By Men
One of the first bra-like contraptions can be found in ancient Greece where women would sometimes use a ribbon or cloth to tie around their breasts to hold them into place. The modern bra, however, was patented in 1914, and was made of ribbon and two handkerchiefs that were meant to replace the restrictive corset women had been wearing since the 1500s. By the 1920s, a male fashion designer designed a bra that would flattened the breasts to give the flappers a more boyish figure. From this point forward, bras were used to shape women’s breasts in many ways, from the pointed torpedo look to the full-buxom, cleavage under the chin look. Bras are little more than a fashion statement and some people believe, such as the Danish fashion historian Rudolf Kristian Albert Broby-Johansen, that the bra is going to become extinct, just like the corset did. In other words, here’s your chance to get ahead of the fashion trend.
Learning To Love Our Bodies
Women all over the world are learning to love their bodies after centuries of being taught to be ashamed of their own skin. The braless revolution is about accepting our bodies and our shapes. We don’t need the approval of others. Instead, we are seeking our own approval and getting rid of the one device that literally binds us in our daily lives. It’s a new revolution and it is reminiscent of those points in recent history where women made personal, self, and sexual advancements.
It’s Better For Us
Have you ever heard a guy complain about having to wear a necktie? He probably calls it a noose because it is tight and uncomfortable. As soon as he is done for the day and in his car, the tie comes off. Bras are no different. They are a noose around our ribs. They are tight and incredibly uncomfortable. Whether you decide to try wearing a bra a little less than you already do or if you decide to get rid of your bras altogether, spending time outside of your bra is all around better for your health and your psyche.
Because It’s Sexy
Kim Kardashian rocked the braless look throughout her pregnancy. Rihanna shows up to events and restaurants without a bra. The list of actresses, models, and singers who go braless is miles long, and all of these ladies look sexy. If they can pull off the look, so can you. There are some do’s and don’ts, according to some, when sporting the braless look, such as don’t wear white. If you are afraid of your nipples poking through, wear nipple tape, and you can always go braless under shirts that have a built in front panel.
Sources: huffingtonpost.com, theguardian.com, dailymail.co.uk, livestrong.com
By Hetty Tullis
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