With National No Bra day here, the question of whether or not to go braless is controversial, but something many women are contemplating. What began as a campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer, has been widely debated due to accusations of sexual overtones for a day where women are celebrated for not wearing a bra. Women who want to participate without going sans-bra are encouraged to wear pink or purple to show their support for breast cancer awareness.
Even before this national day, some celebrities are going braless just for fun and fashion purposes, rather than trying to make a statement about health, philanthropy or politics about women’s freedoms. These days, it’s hard to find a gossip magazine that doesn’t discuss the latest starlet who decided to walk around in public without a bra. While some female celebrities have exceptionally fit bodies and are used to having their bodies photographed in many facets, other women can become inspired to free their “girls” from the constraints of their bras also.
Left: Olivia Wilde courtesy of Mirror.co.uk; Top Right: Kim Kardashian courtesy of Female Fatal; Middle Right: Rihanna courtesy of Daily Mail; Bottom Right: Lindsay Lohan courtesy of Google Images
It’s common to see celebrities wear daring outfits, with plunging necklines and sensual cutouts on red carpets, where it’s normal to consider going braless or integrating a bra in the dress. Products like Body Tape by Fashion Essentials, make going braless without revealing your boobs possible. But some celebrities being photographed during trips to the store without a bra, normalizing the phenomenon and making it seem glamourous.
One of these most controversial bra-free outings centers around Scout Willis (daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore), whose support of the Free the Nipple campaign shocked many news outlets when she was found walking topless around New York City. Scout Willis did what she did to protest Instagram’s female nudity censorship. She goes into further explanation in an essay published on xoJane, where she was hoping that, instead of sensationalizing her exposed breasts, her display would raise awareness about nudity censorship due to her celebrity status.
Apart from braless-ness being trendy, there have been some studies regarding potential health benefits to women ditching their bras. Perhaps one of the most shocking studies, conducted by French professor Jean-Denis Rouillon, claims that after a year, breasts that are confined in bras sag 7mm more than those that aren’t in bras. Rouillon has studied breasts for over 15 years, and conducted the study with focus on younger women. However, some of his measures and the women in his study sample are not representative and should be taken with a grain of salt.
Several articles supporting braless living discuss that bras actually restrict lymph flow in the breasts, which is responsible for removing any waste material or toxins from the breasts. Bras are supposedly linked to the build-up of these toxins, which is said to result in various breast health issues. Some claim that wearing bras can actually increase the risk of developing cysts, fibroids, or even breast cancer, due to their constriction. It’s not specified in these claims whether or not this refers to bras that don’t fit properly, but there is no clear evidence on either side of this argument. One thing that IS clear is that wearing a bra that is too small will certainly cut off your body’s natural circulation, which can potentially lead to other health risks. Click here to get yourself a properly fitting bra at Now That’s Lingerie!
Some pros for wearing properly fitting bras include that they can relieve back pain and discomfort that many women with substantial breasts suffer from. They can also shape the breast for a round look under clothing, which is highly desirable for some women. Bras that fit well can be incredibly comfortable and supportive. Read more about the To bra or not to bra? debate here.
It’s hard to determine which option is healthiest for a woman’s breast health, as there aren’t many conclusive studies that provide concrete evidence. It’s been a social norm for women to wear a bra to cover up the nipples, create a barrier between clothing fabrics and the skin, and keep everything in place to minimize movement. Breasts have become so sexualized that it’s deemed proper to conceal them, but some girls don’t care for these labels and just want to express the freedom to choose what to wear and what not to wear. Going braless is not only a question of health or raising awareness, but a question and debate of female liberation and the riddance of female sexual exploitation.
Where do you stand on the debate to wear a bra or go braless? Are you participating in National No Bra Day?
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