Can I first just say how hyped I am about this new anti-bra study? According to French doctor Jean-Denis Rouillon, who studied 330 women’s breasts for 15 years(!), the whole shebang may be a waste of money and effort for many of us.
In his research, Rouillon found women who wore a bra regularly were actually more likely to experience breast sagging than women who did not. For most of the women, wearing a bra didn’t help lessen back pain, either.
I cannot tell you whether you need a bra, but I sure as hell know that I don’t need one, at least not for anything other than strategic nipple invisibility and, occasionally, a cleavage boost (I use the term “cleavage” very loosely here). I would go without a bra a whole lot more if it weren’t for this pesky idea that people should not be able to see the outline of my nipples through the fabric of my clothes. That this is seen as tacky or slutty or improper is one of my longtime laments, because the alternative is that women who do not otherwise need a bra at most times have to be uncomfortable for no reason other than propriety.
But I digress. Rouillon told France Culture last year that his work was inspired by a lack of previous studies on the medical effects or necessity of women wearing bras. Now that the results are in, he concluded that ”bras are a false necessity”.
“Medically, physiologically, anatomically – breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity,” Rouillon said in a radio interview Wednesday. “On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.”
For women who didn’t wear bras, ”on average their nipples lifted seven millimeters in one year in relation to the shoulders,” he added.
All of the women in Rouillon’s studies were 18 to 35 years old, however, and there’s no word on average breast size among participants. He points out somewhat weirdly that “it would be of no benefit to a 45-year-old mother to stop wearing a bra.”
But .. I can, right?