Can anyone tell me what exactly the point is of wearing a bra?
I've been wearing one for a number of years now, but I have always been given conflicting information as to why exactly women are 'supposed to' wear bras.
I've been told a range of things, from 'it's for support', and 'so your breasts won't sag', to 'to stop your breasts from jiggling around, because that looks odd', and 'to cover up your nipples'.
I've also heard that bras can cause back and neck problems, squish your breasts, actually CAUSE sagging, block letting fluid drain from your breasts (leading to cysts) and a bunch of other negative things.
I've always just found bras uncomfortable, especially underwire bras, even though I've been told 'underwire is for support, it would be more uncomfortable if you didn't have it."
Is there an actual medical reason to wear one, or is it just a question of social norms?
To my knowledge, there isn't a broad medical reason for wearing bras, no.
However, many women, myself included, do find *not* wearing bras to be extremely uncomfortable. For quiet a few women, mostly those with larger breasts, not wearing bras (or not wearing properly fitting bras) can cause back, neck, and shoulder pain. Don't even get me started on how much running without a bra can hurt!
Now, if you're more comfortable without a bra, then there really isn't a huge reason for wearing one. If you feel more comfortable with a lightweight thin, non-underwire bra, that's fine too. If you don't like your nipples showing through clothing, there are options other than bras.
Sagging has very little to do with bras or no bras, and much more to do with genetics, pregnancy, and breast feeding.
Ill fitting bras can do more harm than good, but I'd say that on the whole, the decision to wear a bra or not wear one doesn't really affect your health. If you'd rather not wear bras, there's no real reason to (particularly since they can be expensive!).
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