In ancient times, women used to wear supportive garments made of linen and other materials to provide lift and shape to their breasts. Bras in their current form have been a staple in women’s undergarments for over a century. In this time many myths and misconceptions passed down through the generations have taken hold, many of them a product of women’s insecurities about their combined with societal pressure to conform to certain beauty standards. Here are some of the most common myths about bras.
Myth 1: Bras raise cancer risk
The story goes that bras raise your risk of developing cancer in a variety of ways including trapping toxins and because of the underwire. There is no evidence that bras trap cancer-causing toxins or that underwire has a similar effect. The overall consensus among doctors is that neither the type of bra worn nor the tightness of the undergarments has any connection to the risk of breast cancer.
Myth 2: About perkiness and sagging
One of the most pervasive myths about bras is about their effect on the perkiness of breasts. One myth has it that wearing bras will cause sagging with the other insists that not wearing them is what causes sagging.
Apparently, one group insists that not wearing bras leaves the girls at the mercy of gravity causing sagging and the other insists that wearing them hinders the growth of muscle tissue which would have worked to prevent sagging. All of them are wrong.
Sagging is a natural process caused by age and the effect of gravity. Breasts above a certain cup size will naturally drop below the inframammary fold line.
Another perkiness myth is that sleeping in a bra helps maintain the perkiness of your breasts. Sleeping in a bra will not harm your breasts in any way but it could compromise the quality of your sleep because of the discomfort. Overall, whether you sleep in a bra or not has no effect on perkiness or sagging.
What’s critical for all of us to engage with is ‘who says sagging is ugly?’ Patriarchal society does. We are under no obligation to buy into it.
Myth 3: Cups do most of the supporting
It’s easy to assume that it’s the bra cups or the underwire or the straps that do most of the supporting. This Is not the case. Your bra does most of the heavy lifting. The straps are there to help keep the cups flush to the body while the band provides 90% of the support. This is why when shopping you should look at the band and consider buying new bras when the band starts to lose elasticity and wear out.
Myth 4: A good bra can last a lifetime
We all wish this was true, but unfortunately, it’s not. It doesn’t matter how good the bra is, everything eventually wears out. It’s that annoying entropy thing. The good news is smaller bras last longer so there’s something the small-chested have going for them. The best practice to keep your bra in tip-top shape longer is to rotate it with other bras so that you’re giving it a break and not wearing it daily. You should also wash it by hand.
Another related myth is you shouldn’t wash your bra too frequently to keep it from wearing out and becoming loose. It’s actually the reverse, regularly washing your bra to remove the accumulated sweat and oils can prolong its life.
Myth 5: About your bra size
With all the talk about the importance of knowing your bra size, people get fitted once and assume their bra size is the same regardless of the brand. Others recognizing that bra size varies from brand to brand take the view that in this case bra size has no value at all. Both sides are wrong. Bra size is not standard, it varies based on brand and still, it’s important to know your size because the right fit is crucial for support and comfort.
There’s a prevailing myth that when buying a bra you should try it on the middle hook. The logic is it gives you allowance to make adjustments in either direction. This makes sense, especially for people who experience significant changes during their period, yet it still isn’t the best practice. Bra manufacturers design those hooks so that you can tighten your bra as it wears out. That should be what you keep in mind as you test out bras when shopping.
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