Liberty Tackles the questions of Bra Necessity and Why Naturist Women Wear Bras
Guest Blog by Liberty Braless
Why Do Naturist Women Wear Bras By Liberty Bra-less:
Naturist Women and Bras – “Why do naturist women wear bras?” is a question that has been around for a long time, women tending to have a love-hate relationship with the garment in question. The answers to this question are complex, but why should it be of particular interest to nudists? While realizing the dangers of generalizing, naturists tend to be more aware of their body and to spend more time unclothed. Therefore we might expect them to be less wedded to items like a bra. However, naturists tend to move in two worlds, naturist and textile, and because of perceived stigma to naturism, they often go to some lengths to keep the two separate.
The bra has many roles in women’s lives. It was first conceived as an alternative to the corset as women became more active publicly in the early twentieth century. It was predominantly a cover, and one of the first models was simply two handkerchiefs sewn together by a corner to make two diamond shape breast covers. As the undergarment industry became a multibillion dollar global industry numerous ways were found to market bras to women – function, icon, privacy, fashion statement, allure and perhaps most important of all, necessity.
One of the claimed functions of the bra is to ‘support.’ If naturists appear to need little support when nude, why would they need support when textiled? The concept of support is of course entirely fictional. Whether evolutionist or creationist it is hard to believe that the human female was created in a way that required her to have her breasts cantilevered to prevent losing them, or damaging them. Breasts are well supported, attached to the chest wall by a wide base and by a skin cover. As they grow larger and mature they bend so that the undersurface of the breast lies on the outwardly projecting chest wall to form the inframammary fold. In reality, what the bra does is elevate the breast to a horizontal position, imitating pubescent breasts, thereby throwing the entire weight onto the back, neck and shoulders, sometimes with serious health consequences.
In the search for new markets, manufacturers, having exploited every color, shape, style and fabric, came up with a new idea. Women, they observed, were becoming more active and participating in sports. Perhaps, they wondered, they could be persuaded to buy yet more bras to cover every time of the day and activity, and thus the sports bra was born. Breasts move with exercise they stated, which is not a very surprising finding. The next step was to argue that this was undesirable. Moving breasts might draw attention to you, and worse might actually damage these organs, therefore women need to control their breasts with ‘scientifically’ proven products. In practice breast movement is not that significant, being well-anchored and generally firm, and most sports bras do little to reduce movement .
Naturists tend to be associated with healthy outdoor, physically active lifestyles, and for many, playing sports in the nude comes naturally. The fact that naturists are not afflicted with damaged breasts raises serious questions about the rationale for the sports bra. There are actually no reports in the medical or scientific literature of breast tissue damaged by exercise.
We have been witnessing a progression towards more top freedom recently, and if it continues, it’s a serious threat to the lingerie industry. But more significantly if women are going to be spending more of their day ‘unsupported’ why would they feel the need to do so at other times of the day?
Also, nudists are not by nature unduly modest, but by simultaneously moving in a dominant textile world they might internalize those values and possibly overcompensate to protect their concealed naturist lives. The modesty argument for bras is inherently contradictory. While providing ‘cover’ and disguising the actual contours and elements of the breast, they are also sold as items that accentuate the breasts, and as sexual lures.
Given that that there is no social or scientific rational for a bra, that there are significant concerns of harmful effects, and that they are expensive, uncomfortable and rarely fit, one might expect them to go down the historical path of many earlier garments like corsets. However given the intense marketing and social pressures this is unlikely to happen in the immediate future. Two factors in women’s lives and health might make a difference though – increasing topfreedom, and by extension normalizing nudism and removing the stigma that creates an existence of two solitudes.
What do my female naturist readers think? Are bras necessary? Do you go braless? Do you run or play sports totally nude or don a sports bra? Leave a comment!
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