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Could wearing a bra be doing your figure more harm than good Controversial study says underwear 'is not needed'
Study found wearing a bra could be sending women's busts southwardsResearchers claimed that bras are little more than a 'false necessity' They also said wearing the underwear did little to relieve back pain
Sophie Borland, Larisa Brown and Peter Allen
05:04 GMT, 11 April 2013
23:42 GMT, 11 April 2013
Trudging into a fitting room, waiting to be measured, getting hot and bothered as you struggle into ten different styles to find one that fits properly …
Bra shopping often feels like more trouble than it’s worth. And according to a French scientist, it actually is.
Jean-Denis Rouillon claims that bras ‘are not needed’, and might actually be doing women’s figures more harm than good.
100 models wearing Wonderbra's new Multiplunge bra arrive at the National Gallery in central London.
But according to a new French study, women could be better off without the underwear staple
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His controversial research concluded that a bra could ‘prevent supporting tissues from growing’, and that breasts might be less likely to sag without one.
It would mean the likes of gardener Charlie Dimmock, who became famous for not wearing a bra on Ground Force, and actress Anne Hathaway, who frequently goes without one at awards ceremonies, have the correct approach.
Professor Rouillon, a sports scientist from the University of Franche-Comte in Besancon, eastern France, spent 15 years studying 130 women with different bust sizes.
All were told not to wear a bra for varying lengths of time, between a few months and several years. During this time Professor Rouillon took regular bust measurements using callipers and a slide rule.
The women were asked whether they suffered back pain or felt restricted carrying out daily tasks when not wearing a bra.
He said: ‘The first results validate the hypothesis that the bra is not needed. Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity.’
Professor Rouillon said he believed the ‘absence of a bra could keep breasts in shape’ and prevent back ache.
He explained: ‘The decision not to a
wear a bra appeals to women in terms of comfort and aesthetics. Contrary
to popular belief, the breast does not fall, but tightens and lifts,
and the quality of the skin improves.’
Rouillon said 42 per cent of the women ‘felt discomfort’ for the first
three months of not wearing a bra, but then it disappeared. None were in
pain, however, nor were they hampered from doing daily activities –
Advertising campaigns featuring perky beauties
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (left) and Miranda Kerr (right) have boosted
sales for Marks and Spencer and Victoria's Secret. But bras could
actually be making women saggier
Despite his findings, Professor Rouillon said women should not get rid of their bras. His study only involved a small number of women and the long-term effects of not wearing a bra are unknown.
Indeed, previous research has shown that women who do not wear a sports bra while exercising could be damaging their breasts.
The ligaments which support the breasts are not elastic, and can be irreversibly stretched when the breasts bounce during repetitive or high impact sports.