Indignant Teenage Daughter: OMG MOM! Are you braless again?
Me: No sweetie, this athletic tank has a shelf and pads built-in. I’m not braless.
Indignant Teenage Daughter: Everyone knows that a shelf is not a bra and I can still see your nipples through those pads. You’re not going out like that, are you?
Me: Why yes, yes I am. I’m going to the gym right now and then I will make my way over to the grocery store and hang out in the frozen food aisle to see if your observation holds true.
Apparently my daughters have taken a sudden interest in my choice of undergarments or lack thereof. I had no idea that my sports bra clad daughters cared so much about my foundation choices. Having been forced into a training bra at the tender age of 10, I believe that I am now old enough to tell the world to “F” off when it comes to my choice of bust support.
A recent article on CNBC states that bra sales are declining sharply because of the rising trend in “athleisure” apparel. You know athleisure, it’s the over-priced stuff your GF’s wear to their trendy yoga class (or to the mall) so they can be sporty and cute. Well guess what? I’m a new fan of the athleisure trend.
The way I see it sports bras are like yoga pants for the “girls.” Ladies admit it…we love our yoga pants. They provide us with comfort and style especially when eating pizza. I admit none of my yoga pants have ever seen the inside of a yoga studio, but I don’t care. I don’t think you will ever see women burning their yoga pants to “liberate” their thighs. Sports bras provide comfort, support and now (thanks to Victoria’s Secret) a little bit of sex appeal (nothing screams “cleavage” than a sports bra that hooks AND zips of the front).
So sometimes I skip the sports bra when I believe the garment is meant to offer support. Why would they make athletic tanks with built-in support if not to forgo the additional layer of the sport bra? My rule is as such: if it has a shelf and liner pads no sport bra is necessary. All other forms of athletic apparel require a sport bra for support and modesty (I learned this lesson the hard way on a spontaneous horseback riding trip in Mexico when I was 23…don’t ask).
So with that being said here are my top 5 reasons to ditch your traditional bra:
1) “One study, done by Singer and Grismaijer, suggested that women who wear bras 24 hours a day may have more than a 100-fold greater incidence of breast cancer, compared to those who don’t wear bras. They wrote a book called Dressed to Kill to explain their theories to the lay public.” (source: brafree.org)
2) “Healthy breasts don’t need “support.” Noses don’t, either. Or ears. Or arms. If you put your left arm in a sling for six weeks, on the first morning of the seventh week, you’d need “support” for that arm, because it would have lost all muscle tone.” (source: brafree.org)
3) Some studies show that going bra less reduces shoulder and back pain and wearing bras can actually contribute to sagging because your muscles stop providing the support for you. (source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)
4) “Fibrocystic breast disease is a sign of too much estrogenic effect and toxin buildup in the breasts.If you have lumpy, bumpy tender breasts or have had breast biopsies, go bra free or wear a less restrictive bra. Breast cysts and fibrotic changes occur because of the accumulation of estrogen and toxins in your breasts.” (source: brafree.org) Dr. Vaughn at www.brafree.org advises that “all women with fibrocystic breast disease to get out of their bras, because tight bras interfere with the breasts’ natural way of getting rid of toxins.”
5) And Susan’s favorite reason to ditch your regular bra: you don’t need to hang them to dry!! Did I mention I have three daughters?