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Winter Issue On Stands Now!

Easy, Breezy, Bra-Free

The Upside of Life Unbound

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Cleavage assist, back support, or your only ally against the sagging claws of gravity they’ve got to be doing something useful for us, right?! Women have gone back and forth for centuries over the necessity of the bra. Perhaps if they were more comfortable, the conversation wouldn’t keep coming up, but even the most “barely there” bra gets slipped off with relief at the end of our day.

Historically, the only consistent purpose behind brasiers has been tied to an era’s fashion trends. 1920s women were stitching stiff, lacy bandeaus to tamp down their bosoms. By 1950, over-wire bras were all the rage to downplay cleavage amid the popularity of strapless and plunging evening gowns. The mid-1960s brought softer, casual underwires for modest support under T-shirts and work clothes.

In today’s post-millennial society, the norm remains that wearing a bra is “just something you do.” Yet it’s clear that people are less interested in tradition for tradition’s sake — especially when it comes to their bodies. In the rising tides of mindfulness and self-love, the habitual practice of confining our breasts seems out of place. Let’s look into the potential gains of letting the girls fly free.

Circulation and Breath Flow

The modern bra is essentially an abbreviated corset, and staying clasped into one can limit circulation to the chest, back, and upper abdomen. This kind of minute stress, though tolerable, still impacts our nervous system and can inhibit breathing, digestion, and keep our fight-or-flight mode engaged.

Better Sleep

Evidence suggests that the sympathetic nervous system activation of restrictive clothing impacts circadian rhythm and makes it harder to fall asleep, stay asleep, and get the optimal rest. Your body is literally trying to figure out if it’s safe after being low-key strangled by tight garments of any kind!

Mood Boost

Similarly, the stress-response activation caused by an uncomfortable brasier translates into our mental state and emotional outlook. Braless living can help us ease back into the natural flow of things and take the day in stride.

Skin Health

Boob sweat need we say more? Perspiration, moisturizer, and other body products can mingle and fester under cups and straps, creating acne breakouts in some pretty tender places. Going braless more often, especially in the summer months, or at least changing out of your sports bra after a workout will cut down on this.

Anatomical Awakening

While bras may be sold on the assumption that they support a women’s body, there’s no scientific evidence that wearing one offers any true universal benefits. In fact, daily bra use trains your muscles and tissues to take a time out. Our bodies love outsourcing labor, so if the garment is doing the work, the body learns not to. Without a bra, our muscles can work as designed.

Finding a Better Fit

Let’s dispel the assumption that bra size doesn’t really change. Most women understand that even within their monthly hormone cycles, breasts can swell and deflate a fair amount. Unhooking provides a great opportunity to reset your skin memory and get measured for a bra that’s supportive rather than stifling!

Shed the Shame Factor

Toning down our womanly facets has a sticky history. For our own “protection” against “the wrong kind of attention,” girls are instructed to keep covered and contained, and failing to do so automatically makes you “the wrong kind of woman.” The unspoken burden impressed is that it’s a girl’s job to hide and constrict herself because a man can’t control himself. This double-standard can leave a budding teen feeling like she’s done something wrong just by having a functional female body and rob her of healthy, body-positive self-expression and sexuality as she matures. Dropping that narrative and presenting the brasier as a practical option rather than a moral obligation will do wonders for self-esteem for generations to come!

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