Bras: do we really need them?

Bras: do we really need them?

Do you ever wonder if your bra is doing you more harm than good? Are they completely pointless boob prisons that cost the earth and, if fitted incorrectly, (a third of us apparently wear the wrong sized bra) can be uncomfortable and irritating?

Last year a revealing study was published, undertaken over a 15-year period during which the lead researcher, Prof Jean Rouillon from the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, measured and examined over 300 women’s breasts of varying shapes, between the ages of 18 and 35 and taking into account the support provided by their choice of bras over that 15 year period.

He concluded that women who did not use bras benefited in the long term by developing more muscle tissue for natural support. He also noted that nipples lifted higher (in relation to the shoulders) and when the woman wore a bra, the material prevented tissue from growing, and which may – i’d sit down ladies – accelerate the dreaded sagging.  He concluded that the bra has absolutely no benefits to womens boobs in terms of shape or sagginess, and actually may well be harmful to breasts over time. Thus, Jean Rouillon said, “Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity,”

But I wouldn’t burn those boob prisons just yet, ladies.

Rouillon also said that despite his findings it would be dangerous to advise all women to stop wearing their bras based solely on the study as it may not be representative of the entire bra-wearing population. And those who have been wearing their bras for several years, like most of us, would not benefit from losing their bras now. Oh.

The breast is made mostly of fat and glandular tissue divided into lobules Cooper’s ligaments. a fibrous supporting tissue. As a result there isn’t really much we can do to keep our breasts firm.

Another small study undertaken in 2008 by plastic surgeons from the University of Kentucky in 2008 of 93 women, suggested that smoking may make breasts saggy by reducing the amount of elastin in Cooper’s ligaments. This study also found that contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding did not make breasts sag though being born with larger breasts, having a greater number of pregnancies and of course ageing all contributed to sagging.

The conclusion? They may wobble more without a bra and nipples can be an issue to hide in thinner materials or on colder days, but if you choose to free your boobies, you’re not really doing them any harm. So the choice really is yours.

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