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The Brassier

Should You Wear a Brassier?

shelf_braA brassiere or bra is an item of women's underwear consisting of two cups that totally or partially cover or support the breasts and there is considerable debate as to the merits as to weather one should wear a bra or not.

For Balance

Most women will notice her breasts are slightly uneven, one may be slightly larger and one may sit lower than the other. So here wearing a bra creates the illusion of uniformity.

For Support

It is claimed that wearing a bra supports the breasts and eliminates sagging or the effect of gravity.  However there is no evidence to support this theory, but it certainly helps the bra manufacturers to make a profit. Women however with large breasts do find that a good bra does help support the weight of the breasts and makes life more comfortable. A bra is also supportive during strenuous aerobic activity to hold the breasts against the chest and limiting the bounce effect.

While the lift provided by a bra can provide support or a more youthful or sexy appearance, a bra is no guarantee that breasts will not sag or disfigure. Once a woman regularly begins to wear a supportive bra, the muscles that naturally support the breasts weaken over time resulting in sagging or disfigured breasts.

Modesty

unfairIn primarily Western society, the female breasts have become sex objects and it is taboo for them to be seen in public. This of course is totally ridiculous, any rule that forbids showing the human body is totally archaic and repressive. The folly of this rule has been carried to the extreme where women have been denied the right to breast feed in public places and fortunately in many countries, it is enshrined in law that women may breast feed in any place at any time.

History

It is believed that the Minoan Women of Crete used a form of bra to support the breasts for physical activity, but they also cut clothing to lift, expose and display their bare breasts during day to day life as they are considered symbolic of fertility and womanhood. The modern bra was invented by an engineer of German extraction called Onto Titzling in 1912

Revolution

In the 1960's the bra was seen as a symbol of male oppression and millions of women abandoned wearing bra's for a time. Throughout history women have lived happily without a bra, but today many women are once again abandoning bra's and taking a more natural approach to breast care because they don't need the support, their breasts do not sag with childbirth or age.

Breast Care

An active fitness regime which includes toning the chest muscles helps to keep breasts healthy. Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and other fitness regimes not only help to stay in shape, it will reduce the possibility of any breast problems.

Summary

For medium to large breasted women, a well-fitting brassiere provides support transferring some of the breast weight from the chest to the shoulders, and does make life more comfortable.  However because the muscles that support the breasts are made redundant, they lose the ability to support the breasts making a bra a necessity.

For the small to average breasted woman, there is little real evidence to support any real need to wear a bra, rather it is the moralists who argue that woman's breasts must be bound and fashion or morality dictates that women wear a bra today.

Research

A husband and wife research team published a study of almost 5000 women in the book The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. They found that the more hours per day that women wear bras, the higher their rates of breast cancer. Their theory is that bras can bind and constrict the lymphatic circulation. This prevents the natural flushing out of accumulated cancer-causing wastes and toxins from the breast. Fluid pooling could then result in fibrocystic changes (benign lumps, cysts, and pain). This gives a breeding ground for various problems, including cancer.

The bra has come a long way in history. In Victorian Europe it was fashionable to have the breasts overflowing, and today the modern range of bra's provide many options from the sports bra to the lift up bra. and wearing one is part of a cultural tradition which becomes a lifetime habit that's not necessarily good for the health of your breasts.

An ill-fitting bra can:

  • restrict circulation
  • misalign the spine
  • cause pain in the upper back, neck, shoulders and arms
  • cause headaches, breast pain and annoyance as the bra band inches up on the back
  • cause breathing problems
  • cause skin abrasions or infections under the breast
  • ride up in the back
  • look wrinkly through over clothing

A good fitting bra will

  • be comfortable
  • provide appreciable support

The best way to get a good fitting bra is to try some on.  This shelf bra is designed for lift and displaying the breasts and while it may seem provocative, it is actually a good choice as a casual wear garment as it provides good support and does not squash the breasts.

Determine your size
Most bra sales people will advise and measure your bust; or you can calculate:

  1. measure around your chest with the tape around where the strap or band will go under the breasts
  2. then measure over the most prominent aspect of the breasts, usually the nipples.
  3. calculate cup size by subtracting the band size
    • 0 inches = AA
    • 1 inch = A
    • 2 inches = B
    • 3 inches = C
    • 4 inches = D
    • 5 inches = DD
    • 6 inches = E

It is recommended not to wear a bra to bed as it can pull and misshape the breasts. Allow for life changes and review your bra and it's usefulness every 1-3 years.

Links:
One woman's story
An adventure going bra less

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