It feels like every other week we’re getting conflicting information about the evil or importance of bras.
You NEED a well-fitting bra, say lingerie companies. 70% of women are wearing the wrong size. You need to right one, or your breasts will slowly descend to your knee caps.
Non, say the the French scientists. Burn your bras and let your breasts hang free. Enjoy the sprightly, perky breasts of a cool, bra-free French woman.
We’re confused, our underwear drawer’s a mess, and we don’t know what to believe anymore.
So thank the boob goddesses for YouTube channel Stuff Your Mom Never Told You. Host Cristen has helpfully broken down what the heck actually causes sagging in the boobage area, and reveals what we can (and can’t) do to prevent it.
So, first off. Where did this furious bra debate come from?
Turns out it’s all down to little things called cooper’s ligaments. This is the connective tissue underneath the breasts that help them retain their shape.
Back when bras were first created – for fashion purposes, FYI, not any supportive reasons – doctors believed that underwires provided support for our cooper’s ligaments, preventing wear and tear and sagging.
Then a French study said that actually, it’s wearing a bra that makes breasts sag. They claimed that the underwire makes our cooper’s ligaments lazy and weak, as they don’t have to work as hard to keep the breasts upright.
And thus the confusion and drama began.
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But here’s the thing. As Cristen points out, we’re all getting distracted by the bra or no bra debate, ignoring the actual reasons for sagging: our genes.
The reality is that breast saggage is down to three factors: skin elasticity, breast tissue density, and breast size.
Less elasticity in the skin means more stretch, and thus more saggage over time. Larger breasts with a higher ratio of fat to milk glands also tend to hang lower, leading to the appearance of sag.
Other factors that will lead to breast sag – regardless of your genetic predisposition to the power of gravity – include age, pregnancy, weight fluctuation, and smoking. Seriously, don’t smoke if you’re hoping for eternally perky breasts.
Essentially the lesson here is this: There’s really not much you can do to prevent sagging. Because gravity is a thing that none of us can escape.
Exercise that promises to perk up boobs is nonsense (there are no muscles in the breasts, so exercise can only tone the muscles underneath – maaaaybe increasing support as a result), and magical lifting creams are bullsh*t.
The best thing you can do? Wear a bra if you want. Or don’t.
Accept your boobs. Love your boobs. Embrace the sag as a beautiful part of the aging process. All boobs are beautiful.