October is breast cancer awareness month. It is estimated that breast cancer affects 1 in 9 Canadian women, and men can develop breast cancer as well. It is a scary disease, and this month is also a reminder for us to be as proactive with our health as possible and do breast self-exams. As part of the breast cancer awareness campaign, today, October 13th, is No Bra Day. I wanted to take this opportunity to also talk about how I have been going braless since 2014.
First I transitioned from underwire molded cup bras to simple bralettes. After a while I decided to ditch them too and go all natural, and now I can’t imagine going back. I admire the women who ditched their bras during the feminist revolutions of the 1960s and ’70s, and it turns out that going braless has even more benefits than just those social ones. Here are six health and wellness benefits of going braless.
1. Be More Comfortable
You know the sweet relief of taking off your bra at the end of the day? Imagine that, but all the time! I cannot fathom going back to wearing bras. It feels like boob prison even more so to me now. Not to mention the pain of shoulder straps cutting or underwire poking you.
2. Have Firmer, Perkier Breasts
A 15-year study showed that there was no benefit to wearing a bra, and in fact, it may even accelerate sagging. This is because without a bra, muscle tissue develops to support the breasts resulting in higher, lifted nipples. They even found that stretch marks faded.
3. Save a Ton of Money
It’s outrageous to me how expensive bras can be. In fact, $16 billion is spent on bras annually worldwide. Now think about having the freedom to put all that money toward something else.
4. Wear Any Cut of Shirts or Dresses
There is no concern about bra straps showing or strapless bras sliding down around your waist if you opt out of a bra entirely. You can wear whatever cut you like and show off your beautiful shoulders and back without worry.
5. Improve Lymphatic Circulation
The band of a bra secured around your rib cage can actually inhibit circulation of the lymph nodes near your armpits and up the centre of your chest. The lymphatic system has the important job of transporting white blood cells as well as toxins, so you want it functioning well.
6. Learn to Appreciate Your Shape
I have small breasts, and this was a major source of insecurity for me for over a decade. Ditching the molded bras and embracing my natural size and shape is one of the most empowering things I have done for myself in terms of self-confidence and body acceptance. And big-breasted ladies can experience this positivity too.
So today celebrate No Bra Day by going braless and raising awareness about breast cancer. See how it feels and you may end up like me and decide to make every day a no bra day. Of course, it’s an individual choice for each person. I’m not saying we all should ditch our bras – I know some people like them. I’m just saying we should question why we do things and not be too afraid to go against the mainstream if it suits us personally better.
As I was putting this post together, I realized that there was so much more I wanted to hit on, so I think I’m going to split it up into two or three different posts. If this interested you, or you want to hear more about my personal story, or learn how going braless actually works in a practical sense, I will dive deeper into those areas in the future. Leave me a comment with anything in particular you are curious or would like to read about.
Do you wear a bra? Why or why not? Would you consider going braless?