BY CAROLYN S PETERSON
Depending on your age, you either participated in or heard of the days of bra-burning, when women decided to free themselves of the confines placed on ‘the girls’ every day. We all can remember the anticipation of getting your ‘training’ bra (which has always sounded strange because, in 53 years, I don’t think I’ve trained them to do anything, but, I digress). That first shopping trip with your mom to help you enter into the early years of womanhood was a big deal. The only moment that matches that first bra-wearing moment is every one thereafter, especially when you get of a certain age, and you can’t wait to take your bra off at the end of each day. Over the years, bras lose their novelty and many women just decide to forego even wearing one, so are there reasons to wear or not to wear a bra?
Without a Bra, ‘Casual Friday’ Takes on a Whole Other Meaning
With many of us working from home these days, ‘Casual Friday’ occurs every day and many people have become more casual with the choice of bra or no bra. If you choose to go without a bra, how does that affect breast tissue? Well, like many topics, the jury is out on this one. One school of boob-boosting thought is that when you go without support for an extended period of time, the tissue pulls away from its anchor, the chest wall, and can become saggy. The other side of the argument is that sagging is more likely to occur based on the density of your breasts; if they have more fat than fibrous tissue (i.e., larger), they’re more likely to sag, and for smaller breasted women, there’s no structural benefit to wearing a bra. Like in most areas of our lives, weight, genetics, and stage of life also play a role in breast tissue.
Can You Feel Empowered by Not Wearing a Bra?
We’ve all been sitting in traffic at the end of a workday, feeling the tightness of our bra. It seems the longer we sit, the more irritated we get. So you reach and unhook that puppy, and all of a sudden, the angels sing. For most women, their bra is the first thing they remove when they get home, pulling it out of their sleeve, slinging it far and wide, hitting the dog in the head. There’s really something about that moment when you get your bra off and have nothing restraining the ‘girls.’ Call it power or freedom, it’s a great feeling, and we all look forward to it at the end of each day.
Is Wearing a Bra During Exercise Necessary?
While working from home, wearing a bra may be an option, but most researchers agree that if you have breasts of any size, a bra worn during a period of exercise is a must-have. As it turns out, a high-impact workout can do some serious damage to your breast tissue if not properly supported, and please don’t choose an old, worn-out bra with little support to get you through Zumba. The up and down bouncing that comes with many impact aerobic workouts can do damage to your breasts. It is recommended that the best bra for a workout is one with definition and separation for each breast, not the uniboob compression style. Not that anyone has ever noticed, but breast tissue moves in a ‘figure-eight pattern’ during most types of exercise, so separate cups will offer more protection. Who knew, right? I felt for sure mine were in a left to right pattern.
A Bra That Doesn’t Fit is Better Than No Bra at All….Right?
Can you believe that up to 80% of women wear the wrong size bra? This can lead to a multitude of issues. If you are experiencing headaches or back pain, it could be traced back to an ill-fitting bra. Too tight or too loose can cause strain on the back and the chest wall, leading to back pain. Neck pain has also been associated with the wrong size bra, so invest the time to get measured to ensure you’re wearing the right size and style of bra for the most comfort.
The key idea in all of this is ‘comfort.’ In this strange world that we’ve been living in where bras are actually more optional than ever, it’s important to do what works for you. If not wearing a bra for a while will bring you comfort, then so be it. Your ‘girls’ will be okay and so will you.