• Thu, Apr 11 2013

Ban Your Bra! French Doctor Finds “Bras Are A False Necessity” For Most Women

brasCan 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?

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  • Eileen

    I’m fine with the way my breasts look without a bra, and luckily they’re not heavy enough to cause back pain. I just don’t like the way it feels when they bounce! I like to exercise regularly, and it would absolutely be uncomfortable enough to quit if I weren’t wearing a bra. So good research, sir, but you completely missed the point for me and I’m guessing for a lot of other women.

  • Natalie

    Agree with Eileen. I don’t want my boobs bouncin all around. It hurts. They are big. I HATE bras, but I wear them, because if I don’t and I walk faster than a snails pace, I’m in pain.

  • Brooke B

    I’m a small-breasted woman, and could technically go either way, bra or no bra, but choose to go with because frankly my nipples get chapped rubbing against my clothing! And like other women have said, I don’t like to bounce.

  • Hooty

    There is a world of difference between A Bra and The Bra. I used to hate the things — shifting around and pinching me and poking me in the sides with demon wires. Then I got some that fit properly. (And I do mean, properly. As in your-G-cup-counts-as-average properly).

  • Fabel

    Yeah, this would be cool, but even though my boobs are only a perky C, they do bounce when I move & it HURTS. (Also, I have glass-cutting nipples & that’s just considered obscene, right? They wouldn’t just be a shadow, it would be a protrusion)

  • Constance

    Could a doctor please speak out against leg-shaving? Please? My bra actually serves a purpose; as other ladies have stated, it’s a hassle having them bounce around. But there is absolutely NO reason for leg-shaving, unless you’re happy with corporations making you feel ashamed for what your body does naturally.

  • Constance

    Could a doctor please speak out against leg-shaving? Please? My bra actually serves a purpose; as other ladies have stated, it’s a hassle having them bounce around. But there is absolutely NO reason for leg-shaving, unless you’re happy with corporations making you feel ashamed for what your body does naturally.

  • JennyA

    Eh, I haven’t worn a bra in a couple of years. I buy these little pasty (pastie?) things to take care of the nipple issue when I’m wearing something thin — there are several different kinds and a lot of them are reusable, at least to some extent. Let it be said, though, that I’m pretty small in the breastular area anyway, and I do wear a sports bra when I run or work out to keep things locked down during high-impact activities. But otherwise, on a regular basis, I don’t think I’ll ever look back.

  • Disablibuddy

    I am a 34DD and I’ve been bra-free for 8 months now. You can DEFINITELY tell they’re perkier, and they jiggle around quite a bit less. Work up those muscles girls! :)