Going Braless: Benefits and Drawbacks

Some of us have heard that going braless is healthier than wearing a bra. Others are convinced that bras are essential – and a few even wear a bra to bed. What’s the truth?

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There are numerous myths relating to the wear or non-wear of a bra. We all know how much better we generally look wearing one, but also how good it feels to take almost any bra off at the end of a long day…

Myth: Bras Can Cause Cancer

Fact: While some of these claims may seem to have some possible merit, to date there is no scientific evidence to support that bras in any way contribute to the development of breast cancer. There is no proof that bras are in any way good for us, but there is similarly no proof that wearing a bra is bad for our health and wellbeing either.

Myth:            Bras Prevent Sagging      

Fact: Bras only prevent sagging while they are actually on. They give a much nicer and uplifted shape, and support, but as soon as the bra is off, the breast sits where it would whether the bra was ever worn or not. A French university study actually suggests that, over time, wearing a bra may actually cause breast sag. When no bra is ever worn, muscle tissue development in the chest wall may actually be enhanced – equating to natural support resulting in more natural breast life and higher positioning of the nipple. But be warned – discarding one’s bra, unless very young, will not lead to better natural support for women who have been wearing bras for decades…

Myth: One Should Sleep in a Bra

Fact: Some believe that wearing a bra to bed will keep breasts pert and perky. There is no evidence to suggest that this is the case. If anything, sleeping in a bra can be uncomfortable. It won’t hurt your health – but it won’t help, either.

Myth: Bras Make Our Breasts Look Normal.

Fact: Here’s the thing: “normal” is a misnomer. We assume “normal” is what we get when we wear a bra because we almost all wear bras. And while it is aesthetically pleasing, nobody can deny, what we consider to be “normal” is actually not. “Normal” breasts are asymmetrical. One is usually smaller than the other. One usually sits higher than the other. In some women, this is a subtle difference – in others, the difference is obvious and marked. Some women have large and prominent nipples. Up to ten percent of women have flat or even inverted nipples – and this, if lifelong, is quite normal. Some women have natural breasts; others have had enhancement or reduction surgery. Some women have had lumpectomy or mastectomy surgery. A normal breast is as individual as each of us is.