Friday, May 11, 2012

VAGINA SPEAK: Our breasts, as mother nature intended

VAGINA SPEAK: Our breasts, as mother nature intended.
By Molly Harrington
From C.L.A.P. Spring 2012
Lock ‘em up, girls. It’s time to venture into the public. Pad them, cup them, smooosh them together until you have the perfect cleavage, for that round boobylicious look.
Underwire. Still? Please, post on the C.L.A.P. blog if you want to share your story, as I am speaking from a less endowed lady’s standpoint and would love to hear others experiences; but why do we cage them in metal? Sure, many from A cup all the way to G cup may feel they need the support or aesthetic that underwire provides, but humor me and try a week without(of course with a supportive structure that allows you to feel comfortable, which, I dare say is quite difficult to find, but in the end, worth your research). It might give you better support than ever because you can stop contorting your breasts into that expected shape as envisioned long ago by the corset (let’s not forget who invented that tortuous apparatus).
I gave up underwire three years ago, and upon cleaning out my underwear drawer this winter I found the ones I was still saving for a rainy day/fancy event when I feel like I need to be wearing a real bra to appear “professional”. So I tried one on and almost broke out in hives from being so uncomfortably caged in and overly sensitive to the maker’s idea of what a breast shape should look like, starkly contrasted to the actual contour of my breasts, which, I’m discovering are shaped more like awkward triangles than round melons.
Now, riddle me this, women’s clothing retail...where in the goddesses’ name is the well merchandised section of those lovely bras or bralettes without underwire? Oh, the hideous ones hidden in the back. Or the three ugly uniboob bras for sale at The Gap. Or in the training bra section (no joke - bought a couple at Target but they were way too small). I honestly bought a nursing bra once because it a) had no underwire but b) was the only one with a cute floral pattern, unlike all the white matronly ones. (I did end up throwing this out because whoa...there’s a whole other world of discomfort with the weird snappy things holding in part of your breast and it gets all itchy and then you realize you’re wearing a nursing bra but not actually nursing anyone...after that experience, when I breastfeed some day I’m just gonna let those titties dance in the breeze. BTW, Mothers, you are amazing.
Anyway, I would like to put out a little PSA for our desperate need for a creative lady who can start designing modern, cage free (now for eggs AND boobies!), and non-synthetic material style bras (perhaps find a new name for these as well? goddess tops?) for the naturelle, creative womyn/transgender folk who want to walk around freely AND stop supporting Victoria’s Secret and other misongynist, evil bra empires. Until then, I’ll keep wearing a cami or the one bralette that actually fits, washing it every full moon or so.
Hang loose, ladies. Here’s why. Love, Scientific Research
I found a study that researched women and their chances of breast cancer, depending on hours of bra wear. How? Because the lymphatic system has major pathways and vessels in your breasts. The lymphatic system is essentially your daily waste filter, circulating throughout your body and excreting toxins that otherwise build up in the body and can lead to all sorts of disease. Therefore, if an area of lymph vessels is frequently constricted, it can harm your tissue health and lymph drainage: 97% of lymph waste collected in your breasts drains through your armpit lymph nodes. (phew! I just had to remove my yoga top with a built in shelf bra while writing this to release constriction)
Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer (a.k.a. DON’T sleep in your bra. Ever.)
Women who wore bras more than 12 hours per day but not to bed had a 1 out of 7 risk.
Women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 152 risk.
Women who wore bras rarely or never had 1 out of 168 risk.
This above study was conducted by Singer and Grismaijer - see their book Dressed to Kill
*They also found that women who exercise frequently are at lower risk because the natural, bouncing movement in the breasts during exercise increases the lymphatic drainage.
**I personally believe practicing Yoga is one of the best ways to get your lymph moving and simultaneously a gentle form of exercise. Deep breathing and compression in postures boosts the circulation of lymph and promotes elimination of built up toxins. I’ve also heard trampolining is good. Both activities make for a great way to get involved in your COMMUNITY!
Now go find your friends and burn some bras.


  1. Yes! "We Must, Must, Must release our bust!"

  2. I feel bad for men because most won't know the sweet sweet feeling of relief that happens when you take of a tradition bra after a 10 hour work shift. you can almost hear them singing beautiful songs of freedom! I for one like the loose sports bra made of lace I found back in the day at american apparel (I know I know)... it provides a little discretion without giving me that teen barbie / manican silhouette.

  3. The potential effects of wearing a bra 24 hours-a-day are terrifying. It shows how unnatural the whole "brassiere" thing is (*cough**cough* corset *cough**cough*). The interesting difference between bras and some other constricting womyn's undergarments is that a corset, for example, is recognized as an aesthetic accessory. Bras are somehow viewed as inherently essential. While throwing on a sports bra can be beneficial, the push-up is all about looks. (It sure isn't about comfort, am I right, ladies?) I think the aesthetic of a womyn's body in it's natural state is the sexiest --no lace or frills necessary. It's like wearing a lot of make-up: when you take it off, you still look the same underneath. Of course, it depends on your comfort level, but I think it's certainly worth a self-assessment. Are you comfortable with wearing that bra, or are you doing it because you feel like it's somehow essential?

    American Apparel is one place where I've found comfortable underwire-less bras. Gap Body has a couple of lace options. It's a bummer that these places are gross/corporate, and that I don't necessarily agree with their ethics.

    So C.L.A.P. ladies, if you have any suggestions on places to bra shop, occupy my underwear drawer.

  4. I'm also going to throw out the fact of how in our society, women are not allowed to be bare-chested, but men are. How much do you want to bet that a major justification for this is that the (heterosexual, apparently infant) men couldn't "handle it." Or boobs are "gross," or too "sexy." Sigh. Another blatant example of the whore/Madonna dichotomy that permeates so much of a female's place in our country. So Puritan! So boring! So many tanlines!