A unique offering of healing gifts
and fine art pieces.
the column vine
Breasts Weren't Made
I've often thought that whoever invented
the bra had to be a man, because he didn't have to wear
one. As a woman who was never able to feel completely comfortable
in a bra, and not shy about bringing up the subject in conversation,
I've asked dozens of friends and colleagues how they managed
to keep their bras on for a full day. I've been asking this
of women for years hoping to master this trick, but I haven't
yet been let in on the secret.
by Lise Cloutier-Steele
The women's responses always baffled me.
Most claimed that the wired or non-wired contraptions
were comfortable while many were quick to recommend a
style and the store where I'd find it. I guessed a long
time ago that I'd never get the truth. Bras, in my view,
are like spiked heels or today's low-rise jeans. Although
all are uncomfortable, and unhealthy in the case of high-healed
shoes, style and society rules always seem to prevail
over comfort and common sense.
When my mother introduced me to my training
bra 39 years ago, part of me was pleased to finally get
one so that I could lose the undershirt and avoid further
ridicule by my peers. But after I had it on for about
an hour, another part of me decided I’d have to
find other more ingenious ways to become socially acceptable
at school, because wearing a bra wasn’t going to
do it for me.
My bra always ended up in my lunch or school
bag, and in later years, in my purse. Finally, I gave
up on wearing one altogether, opting for the more appropriate
camisoles I've been wearing for over 20 years now. And,
since recent studies have shown that wearing a bra is
not the best thing for breast health, it looks like I've
been way ahead of the game for years!
According to one study
by Sidney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer, bra-wearing
is linked to breast cancer. Their study showed that women
who wore their bras 24-hours daily (yes, many women wear
their bras to bed!) increased their risk of breast cancer
by a 113-fold in comparison to those women who wore theirs
for 12 hours, or less, each day. Most women believe the
myth that breasts need to be properly supported to prevent
sagging when we do not have the research to prove the
necessity of breast support. In her book Dr. Susan Love's
Breast Book, Dr. Love writes: "A mistaken popular
belief maintains that wearing a bra strengthens your breasts
and prevents their eventual sagging. But you sag because
of the proportion of fat and tissue in your breasts, and
no bra changes that."
bra has been around for about 100 years, and evolved from
the corset worn by women of the Renaissance era. Yesterday’s
corset was worn to help the woman look more shapely, and
to expose her breasts, and today’s bra is equally
sexual in nature. Neither was intended to be comfortable,
however, the camisole was, and you can find many styles
at any department store. Sears camisole by Jessica
is my favourite lately. Not only is the camisole more
comfortable than a bra, it improves the flow of lymph,
which is also essential to good breast health. The camisole's
elastic make-up will give you the support you need for
everyday wear or working out at the gym, and it will give
your breasts a more normal appearance as opposed to the
perky look of a teenager's chest. As women grow older,
their breasts are supposed to be at a lower position.
Somebody should be telling that to the plastic surgeons
earning a living at augmenting the breasts of mature women.
I'm not saying that all women should burn
their bras, but if some of you want to read interesting
and practical information on breast health, have a look
at these sites. I think you'll find this literature breast
and Breast Disease
to Prevent Breast Cancer
is a communications specialist and a professional writer
and editor. She is the author of Living and Learning with
a Child Who Stutters, and the recipient of a Canada 125
Award in recognition of a significant contribution to
the community and to Canada for her volunteer efforts
to help the parents of children who stutter. She is also
the author of Misinformed Consent – Women's Stories
about Unnecessary Hysterectomy, www.misinformedconsent.com.