Most women haven’t stopped wearing a bra since their puberty years when they were told to put one on. However, bras have been marketed as a way to alleviate back pain, provide extra support, and lift up the breast, while they apparently do more harm than good if worn all the time.
A study conducted by Professor Jean-Denis Rouillan, of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Besancon in France, found that bras don’t have any medical or anatomic benefits for women, but they have an opposite effect and lead to sagging and prevent them from growing.
During the 15-year study, 330 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35 had their breasts measured, and women who went braless had a 7-millimeter lift in their nipples annually, had fewer stretch marks, and their breasts were firmer.
Additionally, the study showed that not wearing a bra improves body posture, and forces the body to develop the muscles underneath the breasts, which prevents sagging.
Rouillan explained that from a medical, physiological, and anatomical point of view, breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity. On the contrary, he claims that they get saggier with a bra.
However, note that this study involved participants that were fairly young, and the results might not be the same I older women chose to go braless. Researchers emphasize that they aren’t telling women to stop wearing bras altogether since it is a personal choice.
Yet, there are more reasons to go braless:
— Bras often cause discomfort, as the underwires are uncomfortable, and can pierce into the skin, while sports bras are often so tight and cause a feeling of being trapped
— They aren’t necessary for every activity throughout the day, and most women take them out only when going to sleep. Yet, you need to give your breasts some time to “air out”, despite the social norm that dictates you to wear it everywhere, at any time.
— Ditching your bra will prevent dirt and oil from being trapped on the skin, and this will lower the risk of rashes, breakouts, and infections due to clothing that traps sweat against the body
— Going without a bra can be of great benefit for the blood circulation since too tight elastic bands and straps can slow down circulation to the arms and torso. By going braless, you will stop compressing the major blood vessels
— It takes much time to find a suitable bra, and sizes are not universal
— Bras can be expensive, and have a relatively short shelf life, of only about six to eight months. Also, most women usually buy more than one, work bras, sports bras, leisure bras, etc.
Additionally, a study on circadian rhythms and the effects of clothes on skin and circulation, found that restrictive clothing can negatively affects your sleeping patterns. Researchers analyzed the effect of bras and girdles on sleep cycles, core temperature fluctuations, and salivary melatonin, and found that these clothing items directly affect sleep, and reduce the amount of rest one gets.
Yet, note that the study involved 10 participants only, so more research is needed. However, you need to have in mind that ditching that bra could let you sleep like a baby.
If you decide to stop wearing a bra, it might be a bit strange at first, but here are some helpful tips:
- If you have been wearing a bra all the time, you should start out small, and pick the occasions when you will go braless during the day
- Try bralettes during the transition period, which are much more comfortable and less constricting than regular bras
- Work on your body posture, and make sure you stand and sit with the shoulders back, head up, and back straight
In the end, it is completely up to you to decide whether you will continue wearing a bra, or ditch it for these reasons. You can try going braless for a few weeks and see if you like the difference, and decide if you would like to make it permanent or not.
Remember that young girls should not wear bras in order to allow their breasts to develop properly.