I’m paraphrasing here but it is true; not all breasts are created equal. And I’m not just talking from one person to the next. Even our own twin sets are not always twins, with one typically larger than the other.
Our breasts are wonderfully unique to each of us, so why is it then that our bras are so uniform?
Every day we are shown the perfect way to holster our breasts and, even depending on our outfits, sizes, style, the cycles of the moon, they all seem to say the same thing – lift up and out.
If we’re supposed to be thinking in a body positive way when looking at ourselves in a bra, how can we also be worrying about whether or not our breasts are front and centre?
It’s counter-productive. We are constantly reading about how no two breasts are the same and how every person’s body is beautiful, but this message seems to get lost when it comes to bras.
While the majority of bras do promote the ‘lift upwards and forwards’ effect on your bust, this doesn’t mean that it is the be-all-and-end-all of how your boobs can look.
And even if they do, why not? They’re your breasts after all – wear them however you want.
he first thing to know about sports and breasts is this: women have always participated in athletics, bra or no bra. In ancient Rome, women bound their breasts with cloth and leather. Pottery and mosaics from the fourth and fifth centuries show female athletes wearing bikini-like uniforms.
In the Victorian era, women turned to corsets to keep their breasts from moving too much. Those competing at Wimbledon in 1887 returned to their dressing rooms in between matches to “unhitch their bloody corsets,” having been “repeatedly stabbed by the metal and whale bone stays of the cumbersome garments” as they played.
By 1911, women got a “sports corset” with flexible material, and thanks to the 1914 tango craze, someone even invented a dancing corset. But it wasn’t until the 1920s that bras started to replace corsets in the United States, and while brassieres designed for athletic purposes were patented as early as 1906, they simply never caught on.
Finally, in 1977 — the same year Victoria’s Secret was founded — the sports bra as we know it was invented by Lisa Lindahl and Polly Smith, with the help of designer and runner Hinda Miller. That first sports bra was simply two jockstraps sewn together. It wasn’t just that jockstraps were the right size, they were also the right idea. “We said, what we really need to do is what men have been doing: pull everything close to the body,” Miller later told researchers. They called this new bra the Jockbra, but quickly changed it to Jogbra after store owners in South Carolina deemed the name
During its first year on the market, Jogbra moved 25,000 units. Two decades later, in 1998, the sports bra industry sold $412 million worth of product. A 2002 study estimated that sports bras accounted for about 6 percent of the then-$4.5 billion bra market. Today, the bra market is worth about $15 billion. Factor in that female participation in sports is increasing every year and athleisure appears to be here to stay, and it’s no
wonder that from Lululemon to Under Armour to Victoria’s Secret, brands are turning their attention to sports bras.
We can be so body positive about the rest of our bodies, it is time to give our breasts the same treatment.
Be proud, be confident, but most of all, be comfortable! Think about it, there wouldn’t be so many memes depicting the release of a bra at the end of a day if there wasn’t a grain of truth to it.