Is Going Braless Better for You?

Recently someone I follow on Instagram started posting all about her personal choice not to wear a bra. According to this influencer, she was tired of feeling restricted all the time and decided to ditch the undergarment altogether. Contrary to popular belief that says no bras = saggy breasts, this one person claimed that going braless has had quite the opposite effect. 

According to an infographic she shared, when you stop wearing a bra, your boobs get perkier. 

Well, that sounds pretty ideal. And when the downsides of bras were spelled out loud-and-clear like that, it had me ready to burn my (albeit small) collection. In the midst of getting sucked into the bra-hating whirlwind, however, I found myself pausing for a moment.  I’ve been quick to believe what people claim on Instagram without any reasoning before — so when I found myself internalising this admittedly drastic approach to an underwear tradition that has been around for centuries, I knew I had to do some digging myself. 

Is Wearing a Bra Bad for You?

When it comes to the bra versus no bra debate, there is actually little evidence to support one side full-heartedly. Basically, bras can be good or bad for you depending on a number of factors. While doing sports, sports bras are good because they provide support. Wear them too much, however, and they can “prevent the ribcage from functioning properly, therefore weakening back muscles and overstraining the breast ligaments,” Elle reports. 

Similarly, ill-fitting bras can lead to pressure in the wrong places making for aches, pains and poor posture. So while bras might not be in and of themselves the issue, ones that aren’t the right size might be causing more harm than good. Next time you’re bra shopping, consider getting measured in store just so you know your actual size — it’ll make for a much more comfortable bra-wearing experience. 

Most of the problems associated with bras are comfort-based, so you can stop worrying that your underwear is giving you cancer. Breastcancer.org confirms that there is no correlation between underwire bras or bra-wearing overnight and an increased risk of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society backs this notion up as well, leading me to personally believe that some of the so-called dangers of bras are — in fact — simply social media rumours. 

For those who decide to ditch the bra, regardless, do so with caution. If you’ve worn a bra all your life and suddenly stop, it’s possible you could experience some ill-effects. Making sure to keep your core tight and sit up straight will help support your body, even without the bra. If you have smaller breasts and don’t think you need a bra, don’t wear one: There is no evidence suggesting that going without is bad either. 

Does Going Braless Make Your Boobs Perkier?

While there is little evidence to suggest that one approach is better than the other in terms of health, going braless might actually make an aesthetic difference over time. In 2013, Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon conducted a study which showed that “women who did not wear bras developed more muscle tissue to provide natural support.” According to Healthline, “he added that the restrictive material of bras prevents tissue from growing and may actually encourage breasts to sag.”

Elle highlights that “there are a lot of biological and genetic factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of breast sagging.” And whether you decide to go braless or not won’t change your genetic makeup. One thing to note though: The magazine recommends “that you wear a sports bra during sports as not doing so can increase the risk of damage to the Cooper’s Ligaments in your bust.” 

So Should I wear a Bra or Not?

As far as we know right now, evidence suggests that you should just do whatever makes you most comfortable. Either way, your boobs will be equally as healthy, so it really all comes down to personal preference. If you don’t feel a need for it, go without. But if having some extra support is your preferred route of choice, go for it! 

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