Physical Health Reproductive and Sexual Health Research

Boobie or Not to Be

Every girl has experienced that awkward and exciting moment when they understand it is time to go bra shopping for the first time. At the end of elementary school or the beginning of middle school, almost every little girl I knew grabbed her mom’s hand, drove to the closest department store, and joined the fascinating club of women who wear bras daily.

Thinking back to this time, I wonder why I had to wear a bra when my breasts starting coming in. This embarrassment was probably not entirely necessary, but I have come to see that the reasons are endless and range from ensuring perky breasts to limiting back pain to easing societal pressures. Whatever the reason, this experience has become a significant moment in a mother-daughter relationship. It indicates the mother guiding the daughter on her journey to becoming a woman.

However, in a recent study from the University of Besancon in France, Jean-Denis Rouillon discovered that bras are actually not beneficial, at least for girls entering puberty. His study concluded that when young women stopped wearing bras, not only is there no deterioration in their breasts, there is actually improvement in the orientation of their breasts. Additionally, many women concluded that not wearing bras actually led them to breathe easier, have less back pain, and carry themselves better.

As a woman raised with bras as a sign of womanhood, these results surprised me. In a society that is so accustomed to bra use by women, is it possible to change the status quo? With Madonna, Katy Perry, Victoria Secret Models and others promoting bras as sexy and fashionable, is it likely for society to move away from bras? My answer is, I don’t know. In a society that expects women to wear bras and sees women without bras as scandalous, this move toward braless acceptance seems to have a long journey ahead.

I believe that if this study is correct (and is confirmed by other studies), society is going to be faced with a question. Although this is a women’s right to choose, will she be taken seriously if braless? Will she be able to go into a job interview without a bra? In a society that has normalized bra use, can we ever move away from this? As a woman who has worn bras for years, I admit the thought of not wearing a bra is weird to me. I would feel somewhat violated if I walked around and was singled out for not wearing a bra. Is there anyway that this can change?

What do you think Berkeley?

Article by Jordana Cohen

Feature Article Source: Jewel 107.7FM