To Bra or Not to Bra, That Is the Question.
Do you wear a bra? And do you love it, hate it, or not feel very strongly one way or another? Scientific evidence from the past few years might change the way you think about where you’re getting support from in your life.
From ancient times to modern day, bras have changed greatly over the years both in style and even function. These days, many women regard them as an uncomfortable necessity depending on the time and place, and they look forward to few things more than coming home at the end of the day to take their bra off.
Whether or not you’re comfortable in your bra, studies are beginning to show more and more negative consequences that come from the undergarment, and it might just change your wardrobe for good.
Continue reading to learn more…
A History of Brassieres
Though they have changed in shape, form, and size throughout history, the existence of a bra-like garment to conceal or support the breasts has been found as far back as the 14th century BC in artifacts from the Minoan civilization. Today, it is suspected that wearing a bra became a Western norm in ancient Greece, and this practice became normalized in ancient Rome, where large breasts were considered comical and unattractive.
The modern undergarment didn’t start coming to popularity until the end of the 19th century. Some of the first examples of people using the term “brassiere,” which comes from the Norman French for a child’s undershirt, dating back to an Evening Herald article in 1893 and in Vogue in 1907. The word was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 1911, while the shortened term “bra” became popular in the 1930s.
Whether or not a woman wears a bra depends on countless factors, foremost among these being personal preference and societal influence.
The culturally preferred shape and size of a woman’s breasts changes practically from decade to decade, and the style and popularity of bras adjust accordingly. In many developing countries, a bra could cost as much as a day’s worth of wages for a woman, and there are some cultures and religions that explicitly prohibit them.
A poll commissioned by Playtex in the 2000s found that, among 1,000 women interviewed, 67% said that they prefer wearing a bra than going braless, while a 2013 online survey found that 25% of women admit to not wearing a bra every day.
Nearly a $16 billion industry, American women in 2012 owned an average of nine bras. National No-Bra Day was first held in the United States in 2011.
New scientific research is showing us why this trend might be increasing in popularity.