Society has taught women that they should wear a bra, so most put it on without even thinking about it. Marketing tactics imply that bras are a way to decrease back pain and support and lift the breasts. However, some people believe that the true purpose is that they are societally acceptable.
While bras might serve a purpose for working out, wearing them all the time can do much more harm than good. After giving it a shot, going braless might be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. You likely have to wear a bra if you work outside of the home, but you can decide for yourself any other time.
To back it up, scientists studied why women don’t need bras. According to this study, the undergarment doesn’t have any medical or anatomic benefits for women. The research showed that they do the exact opposite of what marketing tactics say they’ll do. Instead of offering support, they cause breasts to sag and prevent them from growing.
The Study on Whether Women Should Wear Bras
In the study, 330 volunteers between 18 and 35 had their breasts measured over 15 years. The women who didn’t wear a bra had a 7-millimeter lift in their nipples each year. This lift disproves the notion that breasts will sag without a bra.
Also, the women who didn’t wear a bra developed fewer stretch marks on their skin than those who did wear one. Their breasts were firmer than the women who wore them, too.
This study completely contradicts the advice women have heard all their lives. After disproving the reasons for wearing a bra, the study shows that not wearing a bra allows for better posture since the bra isn’t providing all the support. It also forces your body to develop the muscles underneath the breasts, potentially preventing sagging and giving support.
In other words, without a bra, the body must use the muscles intended to protect the breasts from sagging. When the bra does all the work, the muscles in a woman’s body suffer from lack of use.
One woman from the study said that after two years of not wearing a bra, she could breathe better, had better posture, and didn’t have as much back pain. Her experience shows that what we’ve heard about these undergarments isn’t true. They don’t always reduce breast and back pain, making them useless to women who use them.
Other Reasons Not to Wear Bras
Aside from the reasons in the study, there are plenty of others not to wear a bra. Women will relate to these reasons, and then you can decide if it’s worth it to give up the undergarment.
It Takes a Long Time to Find the Right One
The process of buying a bra can be excruciating. There are plenty of sizes and styles to choose from, and you might be a different size at every store you walk into. It’s hard to find the right fit, and it can take hours just for you to leave empty-handed and frustrated.
Women need to take their time finding one, too. Research shows that the wrong fit doesn’t offer support, can cause skin stretching, and displaces breast tissue.
Bras are Expensive
Bras are another piece of clothing that women must pay for, and they aren’t inexpensive. Statistics show that in 2017, most women spent up to $30 on each bra, but the prices could go even higher. The cost depends on the quality of the bra, like most things, so women have to pay more for the best material and fit.
Plus, they usually buy more than one bra at a time, potentially doubling or tripling the price. Women also need different types, so the cost adds up no matter how you look at it.
These undergarments don’t offer much comfort, especially if they have an underwire. The underwire can break, piercing your skin in the most inconvenient situations. Then, you have to either go home to change or tough it out for the rest of the day.
However, it isn’t just the underwire type that causes discomfort. While sports bras are considered necessary for many women, they are often too tight. They might make you feel suffocated and trapped, often leaving marks on your skin when you take them off.
Even casual options without cups or wires can feel uncomfortable. Plus, many women find themselves trying to discreetly readjust as bras don’t seem to stay in place.
Bras Aren’t Necessary for Every Activity
You don’t need a bra for everything, so remember that you usually have a choice whether you want to wear one. If you have to wear a bra to work or feel more comfortable wearing one when you go out, that’s fine. However, you still don’t have to wear the undergarment constantly, especially if you’re lounging at home.
Not all activities require a bra, so it’s unnecessary to wear one for everything. If you want to ease into going braless, start by not wearing one while you sleep. You’ll quickly realize that it feels better, and your breasts will benefit.
If it’s allowed and you’re comfortable with it, you don’t ultimately need a bra anywhere. It’s up to you, and it all depends on your comfort level and preferences.
The Problem with Training Bras
Society pushes breast support onto girls and women from a young age. Preteens believe that they have to wear training bras as soon as they hit puberty, sometimes even sooner. However, research shows there’s no reason for a preteen to wear a training bra.
Furthermore, not wearing a bra during the preteen years promotes breast tissue and muscle growth. Since they can hinder development and damage a woman’s health, it might be best to stop forcing them on preteen girls.
Limitations of the Bra Study
Even though the study found benefits for women who chose not to wear bras, keep in mind that the women in the study were young. They’ve only been wearing these undergarments for a few decades, whereas older women have been wearing them for much longer. If older women chose to go braless, researchers might not see the same results as in younger women.
This study is preliminary, and researchers emphasize that they aren’t telling women to stop wearing them altogether. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to decide what’s best for her because she’s the only one who knows what makes her the most comfortable.
Opposing Data Regarding the Bra Study
Other studies show that these undergarments aren’t all bad, and wearing one has some benefits. Knowing that there is scientific research backing both wearing a bra and going without helps you realize that the choice is up to you.
1. Promotes Confidence and Maintains the Shape
When you want your outfit to fit a certain way or feel more comfortable with bra support, you’ll feel more comfortable wearing one. You don’t want to go out and feel insecure the entire time, so do what you think is best.
2. Bras Can Reduce Breast Pain
A bra can help reduce breast pain if you participate in an activity that requires intense movement. Physical movement can cause breast ligaments to shift, causing pain and soreness.