Ladies, you may want to sit down for this.
You've probably spent hundreds of dollars over the years on bras — not to mention time spent finding one that doesn't dig into your skin, leave red marks on your shoulders and look lumpy under your t-shirts. Perhaps you even cleared out space in your apartment for a special bra-dryer.
And it may all be for naught — at least if a French researcher is to be believed.
Jean-Denis Rouillon, a sports medicine professor from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Besancon in France, took on the weighty task of studying the effects of bras on women's breasts. After 15 years, he found that the garments do nothing to prevent breasts from sagging — and may even increase it."Our first results confirm the hypothesis that the bra is a false need," Rouillon said, according to France Info. "Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity. Instead, it languishes with a bra."
Wearing a bra inhibits the growth of breast tissue and contributes to poor posture and muscle tone, he said, adding that "the breast will gradually degrade."
The lengthy study involved 330 women aged 18-35, whose breasts were measured at regular intervals with a slide rule and caliper.
Those who didn't wear bras saw a nipple lift of about 7 mm a year towards the shoulder. Their breasts also became firmer, and stretch marks faded.
The research is still preliminary, Rouillon said, adding that he doesn't advise all women to stop wearing bras, at least not yet.
But at least one of the study's participants is convinced.
Capucine, 28, stopped wearing a bra two years ago, she told France-Info.
“You breathe better, you stand straighter and you have less back pain," she said.