Thursday, October 29, 2015

Unburn Your Bras! (If You Want To!) (it's Totally Up To You!)

Some women do not like wearing bras, and that's cool with me.  But as someone who does, I wish people would stop inventing reasons to disparage the practice.  Like Gwyneth Paltrow digging up that whole myth that bras contribute to breast cancer (discussed here).

The whole "bra burning" feminist stereotype has its toesies in fact, with some women suggesting bras are only worn to confirm to a beauty ideal and pointing to cultures where sagging boobs are considered normal.  Of course some of these cultures also make women stay in a hut while menstruating, thus illustrating that "traditional in subsistence cultures" is not synonymous with wise.

Ancient Greek breastband
Bras are not worn purely to prevent sagging, they have an even longer history of being used, especially by female athletes, to prevent movements that can distract from or impair performance physical tasks (a.k.a. "jiggling").  This suggests that said jiggling might be unpleasant for active women for reasons other than internalized patriarchal self-loathing.

In fact the centuries old Stethodesme or Fascia (cloth or leather breastbands) were essentially a more inconvenient version of the bra.  If western culture had not headed off down the path of corsetry (a.k.a. binding things that don't jiggle) we might actually have developed a decent sports bra by now.

For those not disturbed by their jiggling, that's cool.  Personally I prefer to do without it and that is a totally valid choice, thank you very much.

1 comment:

Melisse said...

A good fitting bra makes me so much more comfortable. Bad bras are evil, but a good one is wonderful.