French Study Suggests Younger Women Should Stop Wearing Bras

French study has claimed that in fact breasts gain no benefit from underwear support, and that women would do better to go without.

Research shows lifting breasts and denying them gravity actually limits the growth of supporting breast tissues. Photo: Don Moyer/Flickr

For years, women have been taught of the virtues of a good bra in order to make the most of their assets and defy the pull of gravity.

As bras are supposed to the chest, relieve back pain and prevent sagging, however according to the recent study, are actually doing the opposite – making breasts sag even more.

Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon, a sports medicine specialist from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Besancon in Besancon, France, published a study on Wednesday that shows that wearing bras may not prevent women’s breasts from sagging, and may in fact increase it.

Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon of Besançon University spent 15 years studying the anatomy of 330 women, before coming to the radical conclusion that bras are a “false necessity”.

Professor Rouillon said: “Medically, physiologically, anatomically – breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity.”

Women who did not wear bras had a 7 millimeter lift as measured from their nipples each year. Their breasts were also firmer, and their stretch marks faded. There was also no evidence that the bras helped get rid of back pain.

According to the Prof Rouillon suggestions breasts become “dependent” on lingerie support once women start wearing it, meaning that supporting muscle is under-used, and degrades more quickly.

He said his initial results “validated the hypothesis that the bra is a false ‘necessity’” but that he would not advise women who have relied on bras for years to cast them aside.

Nevertheless, Roullion said that a 45-year-old mother who has worn a bra her whole life may not see any benefits if she decided to toss her brassiere, because the study did not involve women older than 35 years old.

“It would be dangerous to advise all women to stop wearing their soutien-gorge (bra) as the women involved were not a representative sample of the population,” he told the Connextion.

One volunteer, a 28-year-old woman named Capucine said that she hasn’t worn a bra in two years. She told France Info that not wearing the underwear has helped her breathe better, stand straighter and have less backpain.

Susie Rowlas, from lingerie store Barbara’s New Beginnings, sees the benefits of a good-fitting brassiere every day, and she doesn’t buy into the small study.

“I think it’s always beneficial to wear a good bra,” she said. “Definitely gives them more self-confidence, they walk better, they feel better about themselves. And that makes us feel good.”

Like many American women, Rowlas said her bra is a necessity not easily removed.

“I think it makes a difference. I know that women look better when they leave here and they’re in the correct-fitting bra,” she said. “So no, I would not ditch the bra.”

However, some of the women who took part in the experiment, carried out at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (University Hospital) in Besançon, said stopping wearning a bra had even helped ease back pains, says the Telegraph.

The study’s author admits the women involved in his study were not a representative sample of the population.

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