Monday, August 31, 2015 2:42 pm
Taking a look at the Daily Sun of Friday, 21 August 2015, I was attracted, naturally to an article titled “Why Women Should Stop Wearing Bras, by Medical Experts”, I am sure most women would too, and am thinking, seriously? I have seen some write-ups in the past on the negative side of wearing bras, but this time I wanted to know more.
Brassieres, popularly known as bras are, women under wears which provide covering and support for the women’s breasts. Only a woman knows what that little piece of lingerie does to her. Beyond providing a cover and support, it helps stop a bit of the movement and make a woman appear decent, especially in public; it creates a smooth silhouette under clothes and also boosts confidence with a little padding – so much for one piece of under wear, right? Let me also add that for some women, it is the safest place to keep cash and other (small sized) valuables.
The bra is more than just underwear; it is almost like an initiation into womanhood when a girl gets her first bra. As we grow older and become mothers, it becomes obvious we cannot do without them. When we shop, we look for one that will help us stay ‘lifted’ even if it is the wrong size. Whether it is at the fitting room of a lingerie boutique, or in the open market, women are not ashamed, and not in a hurry to measure … trying different brands, designs and sizes to find the perfect fit. Every woman knows that bra shopping sometimes feels a bit like a task especially when our bust line keeps changing with pregnancy and nursing a baby. When we find the right one, we are likely to wear it all day and in some instances all night. What can a woman do without her bra?
And then comes some ‘latest findings’ that bras are not necessary, and might actually be doing women’s figures more harm than good. And that women’s breast actually become less firm with the use of bra…? You’ve got to be kidding me.
A French Professor, Jean-Denis Rouilon of Besancon University, France, spent 15 years studying the anatomy of 330 women of different bust sizes, and has concluded that bras were a ‘false necessity’. He claims that women gain no benefit from underwear support and that women would in fact do better to go without them. The French study follows findings from British researchers that suggested that bras might pose cancer risks.
Also, reports show that there is a high probability that most bras might cause cancer due to some micro molecules contained in the metal frame of a typical bra which diffuses into the skin through sweating, which could penetrate the blood stream and cause harm. Scary as it may sound, it will take a lot more to get women to stop wearing bras; even the writer acknowledged that it would be a difficult task. Judging from respondents in the article, some were of the opinion that the Professor is seeking to gain popularity, others said going without bra is as good as going half naked, and only one woman said she would be willing to dispose of her bras only if there are real health reasons to do so. So, to say the task is going to be difficult is an understatement.
Professor Rouillon, in a report by Mailonline said he believed the ‘absence of a bra could keep breasts in shape’ and prevent back ache. He explained: ‘The decision not to a wear a bra appeals to women in terms of comfort and aesthetics. Contrary to popular belief, the breast does not fall, but tightens and lifts, and the quality of the skin improves.’ Professor Rouillon said 42 per cent of the women ‘felt discomfort’ for the first three months of not wearing a bra, but then it disappeared. None were in pain, however, nor were they hampered from doing daily activities – including sport.
Despite his findings, Professor Rouillon said women should not get rid of their bras. His study only involved a small number of women and the long-term effects of not wearing a bra are unknown. Previous research has shown that women who do not wear a sports bra while exercising could be damaging their breasts. The ligaments which support the breasts are not elastic, and can be irreversibly stretched when the breasts bounce during repetitive or high impact sports.
I have no doubt some women would love to be able to stop wearing a bra, however a cup size becomes difficult to fit into shirts and tops without looking indecent. I guess we should consider doing away with the metal frames, don’t you think? Having a man do this study has its limitations- if only he had to wear a bra for 24 hours… He probably has no ideas what to look for or what questions to ask or even what to expect. However, we need more studies that take women’s interests into accounts and come up with healthier alternatives. But it is still the woman’s choice anyway, to wear a bra or not.
So, what do you think?
Grace Essen speaks & writes about making business, career & motherhood work @ Mum2MumAfrica.com. You may reach her on 08023271339 or [email protected]