Women, it’s Time to go Braless.

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side view chest breast white shirt

Bras cause shortness of breath but women still wear them anyway.

Bra: /brä/noun: an undergarment worn by women for societal reasons.

I am a woman who has gone braless since a young age. My drawer never had more than two bras, taking into consideration that there has always been an unused one.

It has been more than five months since I’ve used any of them­—I even think I lost them. I basically unchained myself from the constraints of the “have-to’s” of wearing a bra.

Before digging in the details, I’d like to highlight the fact that some women can’t go braless, as they are large-breasted. Therefore, not wearing a bra can be pretty painful for them and may cause serious backache,F” if their breasts are not supported.

Another reason to wear a bra could be any heavy activity that causes the breasts to bounce. Therefore wearing a bra will definitely keep them in place, avoiding pain.

Now, let’s move aside the physical reasons and bring to the table the psychological ones.

I’m basically speaking of women who “psychologically” don’t feel comfortable going braless and the sad part is, that they have small to medium breasts, which is in their favor, if they decide to let go of bras.

1. Society.

Society makes us believe that wearing a bra will give women a cleaner look. Not only will she look decent, but she will also have a good reputation.

We live in a society where mothers drive young girls directly to the lingerie store, once they start growing breasts. The first thought that we are raised on is that breasts are a “dirty” part of the body and undergarments must hide them.

Most of the cultures today consider the woman’s exposed nipples as wrong, sexual and nude. This is due to objectifying breasts and turning them into a “forbidden/exposed” part.

But tribal cultures don’t see this problem. If you have ever watched a documentary of people living in such cultures, you can see the woman completely topless among hundreds of men. And the fascinating part is that none of them stare or look.

The problem with society today, is that people are becoming less concerned about what they like to do and more concerned with what they should do.

I daily ask myself this question: Why on earth would I subject myself to tightness and discomfort in my chest area, for the sake of other people? And every time I come up with the same answer: I simply don’t have to!

My comfort comes first, people second.

2. Hide erect nipples.

We all know that nipples are a sensitive part of the body, in both men and women. They can be stimulated by many factors, mostly by touch or cold. Basically they are part of the skin; just like we can easily get goose bumps, we can easily get erect nipples.

Many women wear bras as they feel embarrassed when getting erect nipples in public—the sad part is that most people regard erect nipples as sexual arousal and totally disregard the factor of cold.

Why is it okay for men to have erect nipples? As far as I know, both sexes have breasts and nipples. I don’t understand why women are solely given a hard time.

3. Prevent breasts from sagging.

Okay. Some women have gone to extreme lengths, wearing a bra while they are sleeping. I feel shortness of breath just thinking about it!

I have personally asked many women, why they would let themselves feel uncomfortable with a bra if they’re sleeping. They all said that they constantly wear bras to prevent their breasts from sagging.

Women, I researched this long and hard—I even asked a doctor—and no, bras do not prevent your breasts from sagging; it’s a process that will happen sooner or later. This is a large myth and bras have no medical necessity whatsoever.

Breast ptosis (sagging) is caused by many factors like pregnancy history, weight changes and aging. It’s simply part of the process of growing old—wearing a bra will not stop it.

4. Because everybody else is doing it.

We tend to do stuff we don’t really understand—we don’t even question it—and the reason is because everybody else is doing it.

The only way to break free from this loop is to stop and question. If all women are wearing bras, it doesn’t necessarily mean that wearing one is the right way or it’s what you should do.

Wearing a bra, most likely, bothers many women but they’re simply not questioning it. As a result, they keep on wearing it and nag about the red marks the bra is leaving on their skin.

5. Bras make women feel sexy.

I give a perfect 10 to the lingerie industry when it comes to this. Since they make us believe that we will look hotter in a bra, they have been able to make billions of dollars.

It’s sad to see women buying a brand new bra before going on a date, taking into consideration that there is a high probability that their date won’t even see that bra. They just buy it because “psychologically” they will feel hotter.

Movies make us believe that a huge part of the sexual experience is that moment when the man takes the woman’s bra off. Even when we fantasize, we imagine the instant when your man is unhooking your bra.

Why not start to fantasize—and actually make it real—about that moment where your man takes your shirt off and tada! The breasts are there without any garment. Plus, your man will either fight with your bra or brag about it, if he unhooked it really fast. (He will give you that strange sexy look with a wink that says: “yeah, I unhooked a lot of bras before; I’m experienced!”).

Well, save him and yourself the trouble and don’t wear a bra in the first place. Sexiness isn’t about the lingerie you wear; it’s about your attitude!

6. Ashamed of the size.

The bra successfully helps women to get over the feeling of shame, when it comes to the size of their breasts. If the breasts were too small, she would fill the cups with whatever it requires to make them look bigger, and if they’re large, she simply gets a minimizer bra.

The invention of minimizer bras and “double Capitonné” let women think there is a major problem with having small breasts or large breasts. Women have become unconfident about their bodies, especially about their breasts.

The bigger problem lies with women who have uneven breasts; which is normal. What women should know is that all of us have asymmetrical breasts. Hormones and underlying medical causes can cause them to differ in size every single month.

Despite the psychological distress that this may cause, a woman should never be ashamed of her body’s parts. Her confidence will reflect self-respect.

7. Staring.

Fact: with or without hard nipples, people will stare at you when you’re not wearing a bra. People have this tendency to make braless women feel that they have never seen breasts before.

In order to prevent this uncomfortable staring, women wear bras. I’ve experienced this before and I have to admit, at a certain point, I would cover my free breasts with my long hair, when someone is passing by.

Now, whether a woman or a man stares at my chest when I’m braless (I’m always braless now), I simply keep on walking confidently. One thought that helps during this courageous process is, “I am comfortable and breathing.”

8. Fashion.

Bras have become a fashion icon in the world. Tops were specifically tailored for them and shopping for a bra that matches your outfit has become the most important thing, after breakfast.

Some women even think that wearing a sexy, fashionable bra is vital to grab a man’s attention. Well, good luck for those who believe this—there are many breasts in the world, but there aren’t too many brains left.

Is it really worth it to feel pain in our chest and shortness of breath, just for the sake of that colored line on our shoulders? I think not. Fashion doesn’t care about us. At the end of the day it’s an industry that only cares about its own revenues.

Women, to sum it all up, it’s your choice to wear a bra or not. If wearing one bothers you, simply take it off! At first, it might feel tough to deal with all the staring and the asking, but I promise, in no time you will be carefree.

I understand that most of the time social occasions or jobs require women to wear a bra. As I mentioned above, some women are large breasted and going in public braless is quite uncomfortable and painful for them.

Yet, if you choose to take that bra off forever, but are still feeling hesitant, I suggest you use alternatives that can help you at first. You can get adhesive cups and put them on your nipples or wear dark, thick shirts. You can also go creative and wear a shirt with pockets on the breasts!

Whatever the woman’s decision, she must remember that her comfort and health comes first.

Some studies even suggest that breast cancer might be related to bras, as their wires suppress the lymphatic system below the armpits, blocking an internal network of vessels supposed to flush toxic wastes from the body. Over time, these toxins accumulate in the breast tissue and creates an environment where cells can turn cancerous.

Be wise with your decision. Let’s set those breasts free!


Grismaijer, S., & Singer, S.R. (1995), Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras.Garden City Park, New York:Avery Publishing Group.

Relephant read:

Taking Off Your Bra Won’t Help End Cancer.


Author: Elyane Youssef

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: gareth1953 at Flickr 

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anonymous Feb 15, 2016 5:21pm

I really loved your article! I am 31 and big breasted women and have been wearing bras forever and just recently I have decided to go bra less out in public and it was amazingly freeing! I didn’t feel confined by a bra and didn’t mind the bouncing of my breast as I walked. At least I didn’t have a bra digging in my skin and leaving marks on my on my body and feeling uncomfortable wanting to take off my bra right then and there. I love me and my breast and by reading your article you have given me so much great information!

anonymous Jan 23, 2016 2:59pm

After reading up on the link between breast cancer and bras a few months ago, I am happy to say that I have ditched my bra.

anonymous Jan 20, 2016 4:53pm

Bravo! Finally a real movement for Women everywhere.Ii did not wear a bra since the seventies but felt it necessary about ten years ago so I could be 'proper'. Ha! They hurt, bind, pinch and left welts as the breathing issue.
I would get into the car and slip my hand under my shirt and remove the blasted thing as and when possible. Glad to see this going on right now and regardless of age.

Thanks for the encouragement..

anonymous Jun 28, 2015 7:37am

As an older woman wanting for years to make the leap to freedom from bras, I’ve always felt restricted by being somebody’s mother, teacher, now grandmother. ( I never wear one at home and the first thing I do when I get in the car is take my bra off.) I am inspired by your stories. I have promised myself more free time and have promised myself total freedom in retirement.

Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration!

anonymous Jun 14, 2015 5:11pm

Hello,I really enjoyed reading your web site, for years ive wanted to go braless but am big breasted amd my nipples stay hard. Im 58 years oldl. And bras irrritate me. So ur articles help enlighten me. im buildging my confidence slowly.

anonymous Jun 9, 2015 4:22pm

Hello, good article. I’ve also read the book “dressed to kill”, it’s a good read. I’m a 38D and started to go braless when I was having breathing problems. I have an enlarged asaphegus, and had trouble breathing while eating. Talked to my Dr and she sed try going w/out a bra at meal times and anytime I feel constricted in my breathing or back hurting. So I talked to my husband about it and he sed ” go for it”. I was afraid at first to go w/out because we are a christian family and thought it was wrong. But after researching I found out it is ok afterall. So with this being sed, I’ve gone off and on w/out a bra for 2 yrs now. It feels so good and easier breathing, less back/shoulder pain w/out. I finally went to do my shopping 2 wks ago sans bra, and I was ok. I do however wear a cami under my shirts to help some support. Hubby wants me to feel comfortable to go w/out all the time, so I’m getting there. Hes concerned about my health and well of course, he loves it !

anonymous May 5, 2015 1:18am

It sure would be good if people just left breasts alone! Most breasts do quite well if they are ignored. They are designed by God, the Creator, Mother Nature, Evolution, whatever your preference, to move freely without any restraint other than their own support structure.
A suggestion for the sweat-under-the-breasts problem:
Take a thick cotton undershirt that fits your torso not counting your breasts. Cut an arc over each breast, forming a flap that hangs down making a double layer of cotton. Additional thickness of pima cotton cloth can be tacked in place inside the flaps for more absorbency if desired. Once you get the proportions just right, you can use the original undershirt as a pattern for making more. An additional unmodified undershirt that is of a normal size can be worn to protect your nipples from chafing by your outerwear, and to slightly reduce pokies.
It really is no one's business what kind of underclothing you wear. Underclothing is primarily for protecting outerwear from body oils, sweat and scurf (skin shedding particles). It also protects sensitive parts such as nipples from chafing from rougher outer clothing.

anonymous Apr 22, 2015 5:15pm

I've also started to not wear a bra the last few days and it feels amazing,I feel so liberated and yes people do stare as I am an E cup but they surprisingly not saggy and I also feel quite sexy too as my breasts are a full shape and so what if the nipples poke out?i haven't a problem it's society that has made it seem rude so no going back to s bra for me my boyfriend loves it too so it's a win win

    anonymous May 5, 2015 1:48am

    Just don't let your freedom get in the way of a good job. Not everyone is as enlightened as you and some of the unenlightened may influence or determine your pay, advancement or whether you're first to be laid off.
    A bra requirement may be met with a lightweight, lacy "sleep" bra that only barely restrains your breasts, allowing almost full freedom of movement. A formfitted crop top of thin stretch fabric may suit you.
    A conventional rigid cup or even a boxing bra with cup protectors may be appropriate if you are working in conditions where your breasts may be exposed to being burned, cut or punctured. Your E breasts can dangle quite far when you bend over if they are not restricted.

anonymous Apr 6, 2015 9:48pm

Its the stare from women that bother me the most…its been 15 years without a bra & it still makes me uncomfortable at times but there is no way i m going to able to buy my way out of discomfort.

anonymous Apr 4, 2015 10:58pm

I agree that it is often more comfortable without a bra. I pretty much only wear them when I'm going out in public in a thin shirt, but also like to wear a bra when I want to look nice.

Don't get me wrong, I love my boobs, and think that the 'bare look' is pretty hot. But sometimes I just want that full rounded look with nice cleavage; sometimes I wear a sports bra to flatten, not for better support, but for a more boyish look. I think that bras can be used to express yourself just like any other fashion, like tattoos or hair coloring/cuts.

As for bras causing breast cancer… I'm a little bit dubious about that. Granted, you can't believe everything you read on the internet, but several reliable sources including:
https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/one-more-tim… , http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type

I wholeheartedly agree that women should do what is comfortable for them, not what society deems 'acceptable'.

anonymous Mar 9, 2015 8:15am

Any difference between sports bras and classic under wire from a health perspective to anyone's knowledge? Secondly I'm helping the cause and now feel good about going he'sless at home, normalizing seeing swaying breasts for my kids (all boys) horrifying that it's mom HAHAHAHAHA I can't say I have the guts to do so in public quite yet, but I've got semi biggies. Great read!

anonymous Mar 8, 2015 10:30am

Totally agree! I divorced myself from bras a little over 2 years ago. I always hated them, and always hated the assumption by bra companies that I want my chest size to look bigger. Most bras in my size either have padding or underwires. Why can't my size be just as acceptable as a larger size? Bras make women's chests conform to a certain shape, whether that shape is bigger or smaller. Why are people afraid to look like themselves?

    anonymous Mar 9, 2015 6:28am

    Hello Amelie, glad you joined the club! Cheers!

    anonymous May 5, 2015 1:52am

    Men LOOK at big breasts but don't care for hands-on!

anonymous Mar 8, 2015 8:50am

Hi Elyane. I am a medical anthropologist breast cancer researcher, and co-author of Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. I enjoyed your article and its cultural analysis. I would like to add a medical issue, which is that bras constrict the lymphatic system within the breasts, resulting in fluid and toxin accumulation. This causes cysts (filled with this backed-up lymph fluid), pain, and, ultimately, cancer. In fact, wearing tight bras for long hours each day, year after year, from puberty on, is the leading cause of breast cancer.

Your assumption that large breasted women need a bra for support is not correct. Large breasted women are not freaks of nature who require 20th Century lingerie for artificial support. In cultures where there are no bras, large breasted women have no breast problems, and such cultures have very low breast cancer incidence rates.

In addition, when the weight of the breasts is supported by a bra, it causes deep grooves in the shoulders, which impinges on the blood and nerve supply to the arms and hands, causing tingling and numbness. It also causes hunched shoulders and backaches. Also, bras cause breasts to droop, since the natural suspensory ligaments which should support the breasts atrophy and weaken due to the artificial support. (Just like putting your arm in a sling can cause your muscles to weaken.)

If we are to end the breast cancer pandemic, we need to end the bra. Your article is excellent encouragement for women to try a bra-free Self Study, to see for themselves if their bras were harming their breasts. After one month without any breast constriction, most women refuse to put back on a bra. These women will be spared the ravages of breast disease.

For more information, see my website KillerCulture.com.

    anonymous Mar 9, 2015 6:27am

    Hello Sydney, first thank you for your beautiful feedback. I checked your website and went through some articles and I'm quite delightful to see there are people out there who are supporting women to go braless! I will personally share your website on my Facebook profile and have people to read your take on this subject. Cheers!

    anonymous Apr 14, 2015 7:06am

    Yay. I just found this whole "bra-less move" After realizing one day that my bra was causing at least part of my breathing problem that I have been taking strong medicine with bad side effects to control, I stopped wearing it. I have large, D-cup (I know, sorry, but it does give a good, quick reference) and after a month I noticed, beside the fact that my breathing, chest, shoulders, armpits and back felt better, that my breasts were "stronger", less "droopy"
    It took a little getting used to and it was easier to transition under the "cover" of winters sweaters and coats but now I don't even think about it. I was so happy when I found this and realized I wasn't alone or a weirdo.
    I am so happy that this can become a part of our culture and my daughters and all women can have the possibility of enjoying life with out this crazy, useless, torture device.
    Thank you, thank you Sydney and Elyanne for posting these. ❤️❤️

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Elyane Youssef

Elyane S. Youssef is an extraterrestrial who was given birth by Earthlings. While living on planet Earth, she fell in love with art, books, nature, writing, photography, traveling, and…pizza. Elyane finds her joy in backpacking and bonding with locals. To see the faces she interacts with on her travels, you can follow Face of the World on Instagram. Besides getting on and off planes, she is in a serious relationship with words and hopes to inspire as many people as possible through them. Once her mission is accomplished on Earth, she will return to her planet to rejoin her extraterrestrial brothers and sisters. In case you’re wondering, yes, she is still willingly obsessed with Frida Kahlo. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also check out her macrame art on Instagram.