2009年1月11日 星期日

Bra info


007 Breasts logo Female Intelligence Agency examines:

Why do women wear bras?


Why wear a bra?

Over 90% of North American women wear a bra, many without ever asking why. This article talks about different reasons women give for wearing a bra. Some women with large breasts need it and want it — yet some women suffering from fibrocystic breast disease can get tremendous relief from breast pain by going without bras.
For most women (excluding the large-breasted ones) bra wearing is not a necessity for their breasts' sake; it is worn for cultural reasons.

A brief history of bras

Before 1900s, there is very little evidence of garments that could be considered bras. In ancient history, there are mentions of a strip of cloth tied under the breasts to support and to reveal them, or strip of cloth tied around the breasts to flatten them.
The corset became popular starting in the 1500s, and its one function was to lift and shape breasts upward. The modern bra with its two separate cups was gradually developed from the corset in the early 20th century, in an attempt to manufacture a more comfortable underwear piece.
Today, the bra has been turned into a sexual garment, in order to emphasize the sexual nature of breasts. This can be seen, for example, by the terminology used to advertise bras: enticing, hot, ravishing, seducing, etc.
It is no wonder feminists symbolically threw their bras into the trash in the 60s. Even today, going braless is sometimes connected with feminism. Still, putting feminism aside, there are some health reasons to consider not wearing bras.

Do breasts really feel more comfortable with or without bras?

The thing is, most women are so used to bras that they don't notice the slight discomfort from bras. But thinking about it, can you feel any discomfort and tightness from your bra? When you take your bra off, do you feel something similar to the feeling when you have eaten your belly full at a restaurant, and you loosen your belt a little? Can you possibly even see little red marks on your skin after taking bra off? If you answer yes to these questions, your breasts may be trying to tell you something!
"Asked if a bra is uncomfortable, most women will respond "no", even though the evidence is there. This may be the result of conditioning towards certain social "rules" actually outweighing the physical discomfort. In other words, it is more uncomfortable to be braless in today's society."
A New Look At Breast Cancer
By Brian Sanderoff and Craig N. Fryer

Bras and breast cancer risk

Bra-wearing has been linked to breast cancer in a study done by Sidney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer. They found, for example, that women who wore a bra 24 hours a day had a 113-fold increase in breast cancer incidence compared to women who wore bra less than 12 hours daily! They suggest that bras exert enough pressure to the breast and surrounding areas to inhibit the flow of lymph, which then causes toxins and other waste material to remain in the breasts instead of being flushed out.
Now, this effect may be due to the fact that most women just wear the wrong size bra that is too tight somewhere. No one has done any studies investigating how well the bra fits and a possible link to breast cancer. Either way, for your breast health it is better to avoid wearing bras whenever possible, and on those occasions when you do need one, get a real well fitting one that is NOT tight anywhere. You may have to visit a professional bra fitter to really get this done - or get custom-made bras if your breasts are of uneven sizes.

So why do you wear a bra?

  • "Because breasts need to be supported."
    This is largely a myth: "...wearing a bra... has no medical necessity whatsoever", says Susan M. Love, M.D in her "Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book". Breasts were fine before the invention of brasserie. This is similar to the myth that women supposedly need corsets to support their stomach muscles.

    Now, large-breasted women may find that going without a bra gives them pain. Jogging and other active sports may be painful even for us medium-breasted ladies. This is, however, an individual thing, so you can try it out and do what is comfortable for you.

    In one study large-breasted women removed the weight of breasts from their shoulders for two weeks, either by going braless or by wearing a strapless bra. Only one woman chose a strapless bra and all the others went braless. The researchers monitored the women for muscle pain and tenderness. Seventy-nine percent of patients decided to remove breast weight from the shoulder permanently because it rendered them symptom free!
    (Ryan, EL, Pectoral girdle myalgia in women: a 5-year study in a clinical setting. Clin J Pain. 2000 Dec;16(4):298- 303.

    If you need or want to wear a bra, find one that is not too tight, preferably without underwire or side panels, because the underwire can create extra pressure and tightness. Consider getting fitted right with a professional fitter. Also give your breasts as much "free time" as possible. Take your bra off whenever you can, and at the very least do not wear it to sleep.

    Also, bras do not ultimately prevent your breasts from sagging. They do that while you're wearing them, but gravity will eventually take its effect. An argument has even been presented that since the breast has ligaments and since other bodily ligaments can atrophy when not in use, the same might happen to the breast ligaments under the constant artificial support from the bra.

  • "Because I feel immoral or indecent going without."
    This is actually a strange contrast to the sexual nature of bras. While many women accentuate the sexuality of their breasts with bras, equally many or more feel that bras are sort of a necessary "modest covering" for breasts.

    Is morality really dependent upon the type of underwear you wear? Women who feel this way have often been made to believe that their breasts are "dirty" body parts that need "tucked away" from sight; and bras become the means of doing so.

    Considering breasts as baby feeders, and realizing that breasts do NOT have to be considered a special sexual body part can liberate these women from a mental "bondage" — and they can then liberate their breasts from the physical bondage, as well.
"In all of my questioning, I've found no one who has ever been able to tell me what it is about the human female breast that is so immoral, obscene, or indecent. Nor has anyone ever been able to produce anatomical facts supporting the general concept that women's breasts are primarily for sex. I've concluded that the female breast is the most misunderstood part of the human anatomy. The sight of one (that's not being used for sexual or commercial purposes) is only detrimental if you want it to be."
by Whitney R. McCleskey,
TERA articles page
"Just a note to those who've commented before that bras give the female body a cleaner look. After I came across this site, that too was my first thought (and I am someone who has refused to wear bras for most of my life). However, as soon as I had that thought, I caught myself. Of course I (and some of you) think that - that's what our society has taught us. It has taught us that there is something a bit disgusting or wrong about breasts that aren't bound. When this kind of thinking has been pumped into you since day 1, it's obviously very difficult to overcome. I hope that someday we as a society will realize just how silly it is to believe that breasts must be bound to be beautiful or normal. It is just as silly as the old Chinese tradition of binding Chinese women's feet in order to make them beautiful."
Renee
  • "Because everybody does so, or in other words the unspoken rules of society so dictate."
    True. In many situations we have to comform to the modern society's dress code.

  • "I need to wear bras for my job since it's the dress code."
    If you'd rather not wear a bra, try a camisole/vest or another alternative for bra. A good camisole made out of elastic material will give some support to your breasts so they don't 'bounce around', and you will probably be surprised how little people notice.

    Also, companies that require bras probably do not have a policy that defines what a bra is. Some cropped camisoles look very much like bras. Some camisoles even have adjustable straps like a bra. Basically, if it looks professional, it should be OK.

  • "Because I hate the thought of my breasts sagging so much."
    Many of us might need a reality check with the sagging issue. We get so brainwashed by the media images of young perky breasts that we no longer know what is normal. In reality it is perfectly normal for adult breasts to be slightly hanging in a lower, relaxed position. Check our gallery for pictures of normal breasts.

    Also, bras do not ultimately prevent your breasts from sagging. They do that while you're wearing them, but gravity will eventually take its effect. Two scientific studies have even shown that wearing a bra causes the breasts to sag more.

    "A mistaken popular belief maintains that wearing a bra strengthens your breasts and prevents their eventual sagging. But you sag because of the proportion of fat and tissue in your breasts, and no bra changes that."
    Susan M. Love, M.D. in her "Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book."
  • Discomform from sweat and 'slapping':
    "I, myself, experience discomfort from NOT wearing a bra, due to the way in which sweat collects under my breasts (I live in Dixie), and how my breasts slap painfully against the skin underneath when I move quickly. In fact, due to the fact that I am not a very restfull sleeper, I usually wear a comfortable sports bra to bed."
    Abi Bell

  • "Because I want to give the illusion of a larger breast size."
    This especially happens among teenagers who are very self-conscious if their breasts end up on the smaller end of the scale. Also other small-breasted and flat-chested women often pad their bras or perhaps use other means to fill up the bra cup, such as silicone breast enhancers.

    If the society wouldn't have such a craze about large breasts being better, these girls and women wouldn't need to feel so self-conscious about this issue!
  • "Because they jump up and down while I exercise and do sports." Sports bras can be extremely helpful in reducing breast bouncing while running or doing other types of active sports. Slight movement of breasts is probably just helpful, because movement of breasts aids the lymph flow. You need to judge the situation based on the type of activity.

"...when are we going to start to respect the body, nature, and women properly? In many parts of the world the breast is considered an important organ, not an icon of sexuality. That, I'm afraid, is an invention of our culture, and a sad one at that."
A New Look At Breast Cancer
By Brian Sanderoff, Craig N. Fryer

  • "Because I am breastfeeding and I need to wear nursing bras."
    Nursing moms (or pregnant women) are indeed told to buy nursing bras and wear them. There is no medical necessity to wear nursing bras either. Of course nursing bras is a handy way to hide the leaking of breast milk, and maybe you want to wear one in order to avoid society's pressure.

    However be careful because wearing a nursing bra may cause breast engorgement or sore breasts. It might be safer just place a towel under you during the night to catch the leakage, and not worry about breast milk spots on your T-shirts at home, where you can easily go brafree. We got a comment from one experienced mom whose engorgement troubles were over when she quit wearing a bra:

    "I stumbled on your site trying to find some information about the link between breast cancer and breastfeeding.
    I breastfed my four kids all for an extended time. The youngest is six so it has been a while....
    I found something that really helped me with my babies.
    You know how they tell you that you need to wear a bra when you are beginning to breastfeed? I would wake up after finally getting some sleep with a huge bra-shaped engorged breast. With my last two children I decided to go braless during those times and just let the breasts drip. It was very effective for me for treating and preventing engorgement. I think the movement of the breasts also probably helped keep them from getting hard. The bras I ended up wearing the most during those nursing years were some old thin sports bras that my sister had handed off to me. It did elicit some comments ("You need a new bra") but it was probably more natural than those other nursing bras that didn't work well for me."

    Thanks for your site.
    Peggy

So should I wear one or not?

The choice to wear or not to wear a bra is yours. Many women are very used to wearing bras, and feel uncomfortable in public without them. Social occasions may require you to wear one.
Bra wearing is not going to kill you (or 'kill' your breasts) if you follow the simple guideline of giving your breasts free time as much as you can - at home, while sleeping. And, if you wear one, remember to always wear a good fitting bra. It should not leave marks on your shoulders or under your breasts, or feel tight. Find a professional bra fitter. Or order custom-made ones. Don't sacrifice your breast health to fashion.
We also got word about bra accessories that can make bra wearing more comfortable or deal with problems with bras and clothing - things such as Shoulder Ease which reduces the pressure bra straps put on shoulders, or Strap-Mate which prevents bra straps from falling (and also often improves posture).

Some bra alternatives

There are many healthy alternatives for dressing brafree (some women prefer the positive term "brafree" rather than "braless" because they say women don't really need to wear bras).
  1. Camisoles are inexpensive, and there is a huge variety at many department stores with variety of fabrics and weights, from silk to cotton. Some have straps similar to those of a bra, with adjustable clasps, so others may assume that a bra is being worn or that there is a bra under the camisole. You can find thin and/or cropped camis for summer.
  2. Men's singlet undershirts, also called A-shirts, sleeveless undershirts, etc. They are inexpensive and comfortable.
  3. Vests, similar to those of a man's 3-piece suit, over a blouse at work to hide breast outline or movement.
  4. Shirts with pockets over both breasts; extra fabric layer conceals.
  5. New alternatives include tops with two layers in front and one in back.
  6. Loosely fitted tops.
  7. A Bra Top fro BlueCanoe.com - supportive and shaping due to a careful cut and stretch cotton/lycra.
  8. Or simply wear no undergarment depending on weather, confidence, self image, and nature of overgarment.
  9. NuBra is just two adhesive cups that you place on your breasts. They keep the nipple from showing through clothing, if that is a concern.
  10. A similar concept is the Bust Free Bra, which consists of two cups that cling to the material of the shirt or other outer garment you wear.


      Sources and information

      The 'Purpose' of the bra from Breastnotes. com
      Prevention and Treatment of Fibrocystic Breast Disease
      Case histories of women who found relief from fibrocystic disease by going bra-free.
      Breast Massage for better health
      Self Care For Your Breasts
      Instructions with pictures how to massage your breasts to help the lymphatic flow.
      Bra sizing and fitting tips - plus websites offering comfortable bras.
      Bras suck - a community for those who hate bras.

    ARE BRAS REALLY...
    bras
    a necessary garment?
    Are bra's good for us?
    Article by Mavis Davis
    The 'purpose' of the bra from Breastnotes. com

    WHY THE FUSS ABOUT BREASTS?

    breasts of pregnant woman

    THEY ARE JUST FATTY PROTRUSIONS TO NOURISH BABIES!



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