April 12, 2013
Unnecessary Evil: Bras Are No Longer A Girl’s Best Friend
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Bras, brasseires, over-the-shoulder boulder holders -- whatever you call them, they have been a socially accepted clothing standard for the greater part of 100 years. Yet one man believes these garments which are seen as a necessary evil are more evil than necessary.
Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon is a sports medicine specialist from France who believes bras are doing more harm than good to women´s breasts. In fact, Rouillon believes breasts would be healthier and stronger if they never come in contact with a bra at all. Many women feel the need to wear the undergarment to fight the effects of sagging, but according to Rouillon´s extensive research, forgoing the bra will actually help breasts stand up against sagging naturally.
"Our first results confirm the hypothesis that the bra is a false need," said Rouillon in an interview with FranceInfo explaining his study. "Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity. Instead, it languishes with a bra."
The French sports medicine specialist has spent the last 15 years armed with a caliper and ruler, regularly taking measurements of 330 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35. Though it´s slow going, Rouillon observed that women who did not wear a bra saw their breasts lift by as much as 7 millimeters (0.275 inches) each year. The braless women also reported firmer breasts, disappearing stretch marks and reduced back pain. According to Rouillon, women gain no anatomical, medical, or physiological benefit from having their weight supported by a bra.
The French researcher also said wearing a bra can prohibit the growth of supportive tissues under the breast. If a woman wears a bra every day throughout her youth, these tissues could begin to degrade, thereby causing the breasts to sag. When women skip the bra, these tissues and muscles are given a chance to become stronger as evidenced in the lift observed.
Professor Rouillon isn´t suggesting a bra-fueled bonfire, however. His research has found that ditching the bra is best for younger women who haven´t spent much time in the underwear. Older women who have been wearing a bra for many years won´t see any benefit by giving up now.
“It would be dangerous to advise all women to stop wearing their soutien-gorge as the women involved were not a representative sample of the population,” said Rouille in an interview with Connexion, an English-language French newspaper.
Yet one 28-year old volunteer who has been working with Rouillon throughout this study says she´s been experiencing multiple health benefits by losing the bra.
According to the woman referred to only as “Capucine,” going braless has helped her stand more upright, relieved her back pain and has even helped her breathe more easily.