When I was younger, I used to have the tiny little wires in my bra stick out and poke me painfully in the chest, it was usually so abrupt and unexpected, I would seriously say to myself “I think my bra is trying to kill me”. Once a writer, always an exaggerator eh? I ended up pulling out those sinister little wires from almost every bra I owned.

Fast forward to present day, with everything improving as time goes by, I doubt that there’s still a lot of bras out there trying to stab its owners but one must not forget, that underneath all those layers of sinful lace, glamorousness, and/or “plain-janery”, depending on your aesthetic preference, lies the same questionable skeleton of metal wire wrapped in a usually tight elastic band aka the “underwire”, aka “those-things-that-tried-to-kill-me-as-a-teenager”. Now this should normally not be an issue, until we begin to put certain factors into consideration and the same old question pops up again, “seriously is your bra really tryna kill you?”

In October 1999, Hyde park, London, two friends were killed by lighting in a park after the wire in their bras acted as a conductor during a storm but that’s not what I mean by your bra might be trying to kill you. You see, our breast tissue houses a big part of the lymphatic system. This is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, and other unwanted materials by transporting “lymph”, a fluid containing “infection-fighting” white blood cells throughout the body” and also by returning any extra fluid back to the blood.

Unlike the cardiovascular system, there is no heart-like pump for this system to move fluid around, instead it relies on movement as you breath and work  your muscles to push these fluids towards the heart. In other words, the boobies (alongside other parts of your body) are meant to move, or bounce in this case!

Now imagine having to constrict that area with a tight fitting bra for at least six hours daily. This will restrict proper blood flow around the area and is in my opinion not a good case practice. According to breast health expert Cheri-lynn Burk, “underwire bras impede the movement of breast tissue and cause the lymph tissue to gather toxins”.

The authors of the book “dressed to kill”, Soma Grismaijer and Sydney Singer conducted a study of over 4,000 women and the results were really surprising. They found out the following

  • women who wore bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer.
  • women who wore bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 52 risk of breast cancer,
  • women who never or rarely wore bras had a 1 out of 168 chance of breast cancer.

The results of this study though circumstantial are still very thought provoking and worthy of taking into consideration.  “but.…. but, dat cup brassiere wey dey get wire naim dey help make bobby continue to look front” ….err actually, not so much Mami.  According to a study in France led by researcher Prof Jean-Denis Rouillon using over 330 women as voluntary subjects, women who handed in their bra saw a 0.3-inch lift in their nipples and also developed more muscle tissue to provide natural support compared to those who still wore theirs.

The sports science researcher believes that very frequent usage of bra quickens the process of breast sagging as constant restriction prevents what we call the “suspension muscles” from developing properly around the breast areas. These muscles are responsible for toning and providing natural support to the breasts and therefore needs to be allowed to breathe freely.

Now I can totally understand if going braless is not an option for you, personally I think the shocking stares will not be a very welcome idea in, say a boardroom meeting or at a church service lol, and for some others, the breast size may not just allow for that luxury. However, there are still some measures you can take to ensure that you allow your body do its job of releasing toxins, and building supportive muscle while still giving it bra-aided support.

First off, scrap the “underwire” bras. Yep! “teenage-me” was on to something. You can take out the underwire from all your bras but If you find that too crass for your taste, then by all means purchase some non- underwire bras and always make sure to buy your size. You can also opt for bralettes, sports bras and the likes. Although these alternatives don’t provide as much lift, they are less constrictive and still do a great job of holding up the breasts without restricting fluid movement and other bodily functions of that area.

If for other reasons you still decide to keep wearing “underwire “bras, then it is advisable to wear them as little as possible, never wear them to sleep so your body is unrestricted at night and also, it helps to massage your breasts before bed to aid free lymph flow.

Of a truth, bras are beautiful pieces of under-garment with good intentions, but wrongful and way too frequent usage of them might prove to be counterproductive. While I’m not saying that these garments have a murder plan, I’ll still like to point out they are absolutely not necessary in EVERY situation. Take care of your breasts ladies, let the girls out every once in a while, aint nothing wrong with a good olé’ bounce you know.

Finally, do you ever wonder why it feels so damn good to take off your bra at the end of a very long day? like you just get home, take off your clothes, reach out for the back of that new VS bra and snap! freedom baby…pure freaking freedom!

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