Bra or no Bra that is the question!

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A brief history of bras

Before the 1900s, we have very little evidence of garments that could be considered bras. Looking into ancient history, there are mentions of a strip of cloth tied under the breasts to support and to reveal them, or strip of cloth tied around the breasts to flatten them but no mention of an actual item of clothing.

The corset however, became popular during the 1500s, and its main function was to lift and shape breasts up. The modern bra with its two separate cups was gradually developed from the corset in the early 20th century, in an attempt to manufacture a more comfortable underwear solution.

Today, the bra has "evolved" from simple and practical underwear into an actual sexual garment that emphasizes the sexual nature of the breasts. This can be readily seen, for example, by the terminology used to advertise bras: enticing, hot, ravishing, seducing, etc. It is no wonder feminists symbolically threw their bras in the bin in the 60s. Even today, going braless is sometimes connected with feminism.

So Why do women wear a bra?

"Because breasts need to be supported."
This is largely a myth: "...wearing a bra... has no medical necessity whatsoever", says Susan M. Love, M.D in her "Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book". This is similar to the myth that women supposedly need corsets to support their stomach muscles.

"Because I feel immoral or indecent without bras."
This is actually a strange contrast to the sexual nature of bras. While many women accentuate the sexuality of their breasts with bras, equally many or more feel that bras are sort of a necessary "modest covering" for breasts.

"Because everybody does so, or in other words the unspoken rules of society so dictate."
This is a common reason for wearing bras, and in many situations we women do have to comform to the modern society's dress code.

"Because I hate the thought of my breasts sagging so much."
Bras provide support for the breasts and keep breasts from sagging while you wear them. This is often considered to be the "norm" or the dress code for professionals or otherwise. Some women may also find discomfort in the sweat that collects under sagging breasts.

  • "Because I am breastfeeding and I need to wear nursing bras."
  • "Because they jump up and down while I exercise and do sports." (In contrast to this post, please read my post about sports bra advice here although its not a contradiction)
  • "Because I want to give the illusion of a larger breast size.

We could go on here, but the question is, 

Should I wear one or not?

The choice to wear or not to wear a bra is yours. Many women are very used to wearing bras, and feel uncomfortable in public without them. Social occasions may also require you to wear one.

Bra wearing is not going to kill you (or 'kill' your breasts) if you follow the simple guideline of giving your breasts free time as much as you can - at home, while sleeping. And, if you wear one, remember to always wear a good fitting bra. It should not leave marks on your shoulders or under your breasts, or feel tight. Find a professional bra fitter. (Email Nicola - our expert bra fitter)  Just don't sacrifice your breast health to fashion. My next post will be all about Breast Massage! Why Should you?

Make sure you tune in for that one!

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