Sorry, Victoria's Secret and Frederick's of Hollywood ... although your products may be seductive and decorative, a study conducted in France* reports that not only do bras not support the female breast and decrease back pain, they may actually be harmful in that they may in fact encourage the breasts to sag.
According to the results of a 15-year study led by professor Jean-Denis Rouillon of the University of Besançon, conventional wisdom is wrong and bras are a "false necessity." According to Professor Rouillon, who spent a decade and a half using a slide rule and caliper to carefully measure changes in the orientation of the breasts of over 300 18-35 year-old women at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (University Hospital) in Besançon, “Medically, physiologically, and anatomically, breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity. On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.”
Indeed, after regularly measuring women who were not wearing bras, Professor Rouillon and his fellow researchers concluded that "on average their nipples lifted seven millimetres in one year in relation to the shoulders."
The researchers believe their findings suggest that wearing bras prevents the growth of breast tissue, which can lead to deterioration of the muscles that support the breasts. The breasts of women don't wear a bra get more of a workout and are, therefore, better developed.
Dr Rouillon was careful to note that the results of his study were preliminary, cautioning that “The small sample of 320 young women is not representative of the entire population – that would require something like 300,000 subjects.” The professor went on to add, “We will simply have to recruit a larger sample of the female population, and conduct further research."
I'm volunteering to do the data collection in this country.
More thoughts tomorrow.
* Where else?