Uncomfortable, restrictive, and expensive– it’s not as if we needed a reason to bid brassieres adieu. But thanks to a French study, maybe the peek-a-boob bra-less taboo is finally becoming an old-fashioned idea. After all, it seems bras are bad for our health.
The Huffington Post reports that the results of a 15-year study in France show that bras provide no benefits to women and may actually be harmful to breasts over time. “Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity,” Jean-Denis Rouillon, the professor at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon who conducted the study, explained.
Over 300 young women in the eighteen to thirty-five demographic were measured and examined by Dr. Rouillon, with special attention to “how the additional support provided by bras affects the body over time.”
Though cup size is not noted, Rouillon claims his study provides evidence that women who did not use bras benefited in the long term, developing more muscle tissue to provide natural support. The professor also noted that “nipples gained a higher lift, in relation to the shoulders, on women who went bra-less.” One 28-year-old participant even suggested that she literally breathes easier without a bra. (Though it begs the question, how ill-fitting of a garment was she wearing?)
Loftier claims aside, essentially the point is that when bras are the norm, the restrictive material prevents muscle tissue from growing, “which may actually accelerate sagging”, the study concluded. It’s definitely sobering news considering how long society has supported (heh) the idea that donning a push-up daily will keep the girls perkier for longer in life.
Rouillon is careful to note, though, that his study may not be representative of the population. He also cautioned that older women of an advanced age would likely not benefit from a bra-less existence after a lifetime of superficial support, no matter how unwarranted it was initially.
Would you go bra-less based on a public health recommendation? Runways and nightclubs are one thing, but would our conservative American culture accommodate bra-less ladies in the office or classroom? — Casandra Armour