That is the definition of objectificationand if you are a breast expert or bra expert or even someone who claims to want to help women, objectifying non-Western women should never be a part of that. Their bodies are not a cautionary tale for what happens if you go braless. And all this would be true even if the research said bras will keep your breasts from sagging.
Listen, if wearing a bra makes you feel better for whatever reason more support, less pain, preferred shape, fashion and style, whateverthat's great. People should wear bras if they want to wear them for whatever reason they want to wear them. There's nothing wrong or bad about wanting support or shaping or what have you.
But there's no need to resort to tired tropes, body myths, urban legends, and racist stereotypes to explain your preference. Just say you like them and move on. Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie. I found this page whilst googling to find out why many women in the Himba tribe in Namibia have such pert breasts.
The old women do sag. But some of the girls were perky in a way I never was. So not all bra less tribeswomen sag. They rub their skin with a mixture of lard and red ochre every day instead of washing. Lard is good for the skin, might make it stronger, firmer.
Clay ochre May also help tighten the skin around the breasts, hold them in place? I am a little disappointed. Is it because of the different beauty standards and therefore, evolution picks the longer, bigger, heavier breasts? Is it because of some elongating techniques? Some tying down? Is it because of the younger ages of pregnancies? without support so the gravitational pull damages the breast tissue? And suddenly I am resorting to racist stereotypes? Who even said anything about race or superiority of short, ball-shaped breasts?
The title is misleading. The article is more of a philosophical essay or a blog post on the political views of the writer instead of facts and research. Not going to comment on the race ct of your post. I do agree that these women are not proof that bras prevent sagging. I have worn one correctly fitted since I grew breasts, have been at a stable weight since my early 20s, never had children, and am Could be genetic. Could be a combination of other factors. I wish it was true, but so far, the evidence says otherwise.
Thank you so much for this. As someone who had a lot of pain from underwire bras and abandoned wearing them 8 years ago, I really wish this information got out more.
Now I get my pretty-kicks from the occasional bralette, which are more much comfortable for me. Wow, I just came across this post. What a powerful and well presented article. I am quite moved by it. Thank you so much. Common sense tells you that there is a reason for this. And all your article is really saying is we do not know why it is that African tribal women have saggy breast and other races do not. I find this Article pointless. I mean it has to over time due to the breast constantly being lifted.
Whether it is genetics or not, I find it incredibly odd that tribal African women almost always have saggy breast while many African Americans are becoming a lot less saggy over time. I know the research is not there yet, but until then, it is quite okay to use logic and our common sense.
While there are things that cause sagging breasts, African women may just have saggy-looking breasts from the start due to genetics. And I am sure there is an evolutionary reason for the difference in breasts between races. If you have another study about the breasts of African American women becoming less saggy over time, please do include it here as I would very much like to read more information about this. As in Aboriginal cultures, the breasts can then be tied down for comfort when traveling, etc - a different form of sports bra.
But the proof is the pictures-that whether in-person white saggy tits or in picture African or South American saggytits-not wearing a bra leads to saggy, tubular tits.
That proves you for the lazy liar you are.
Browse tribal breast stock photos and images available or start a new search to explore more stock photos and images. Mursi woman with a lip plate holding her child on a lookout of the Omo valley. Details of the scarification of a Suri tribe woman breast, Kibish, Omo 19/11/ One explanation I read for the "saggy" breasts of "African Tribal women" was that some of the cultures encouraged women to keep working while these breastfed so they would "toss" their breast over their shoulder to their back where the baby was strapped in so they could work and feed the baby at the same time - there are some Find the perfect african tribal women stock photo. Huge collection, amazing choice, + million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. No need to register, buy now!
I wish you a very happy holiday season, and thanks for taking the time to comment on TLA. And I do agree with Clem in that it is not racist that people point out African women have sagging breasts.
It is just a fact. I swear, everyone cries racism so easily and so much nowadays that the word has really lost its credibility and I really do not take the word seriously anymore.
It is not racism to make an observation and make logical assumptions based on those observations. It is people like you who make it very hard for races to communicate amongst each other because racism is constantly being brought up and people cannot say what they truly feel out of fear of being called racist.
Alas, it is racism to make completely illogical assumptions about people based on their race, and the assumption that only the breasts of African women sag is one.
Furthermore, that assumption is damaging to all women no matter where they live as it creates a culture of false expectations i. people become surprised when their breasts lose elasticity over time as opposed to recognizing it as a natural side effect of aging, pregnancy, etc. After all, people used to think phrenology was logical, so what seems sensible at one time may very well be debunked in light of further research and evidence later on. Breast ptosis is common in all geographies and ethnicities.
Also, those breasts in NG are extremely saggy. Facts are never racist, as facts dont have agendas. That is a bare FACT. I have breastfed 4 babies with natural D-cups and I am not saggy. Bras work. It is lazy and calls you out. If NG showed photos of hippies past adolescence, they would show plenty of saggy, tubular white tits as well. Sorry but this article is too defensive. Bras prevent sag. Photos of tribal women from around the world including Africa confirm thisas do photos of predominantly white hippie women.
Alas, there is no scientific to evidence to support this hypothesis. And, in fact, the current body of research, as small as it is, would disagree with you. My breasts sag. They were just made that way.
Or, in some cases, calling security a separate story tho. All that aside, this is an exceptionally well-written article that makes my geek go wooop! Brains, looks, kindness and awareness of so many issues that need to be addressed and to make people aware of. Thank you for this. If you feel like you could almost like a disney princess if you lost 10 pounds, bleached your teeth and spent hundreds of euro on clothes and make-up, you might feel like you have to try. If you accept that your ethnicity or body shape or whatever means that you are never going to look that way, maybe that puts you in a position to define your beauty in your own terms earlier on.
As a disclaimer, I am a white conventionally attractive woman living in a predominantly white area, so while I do my very best to be sensitive to racial issues, I am always conscious that I may make a misstep. Please let me know if anything I say is unacceptable.
I had to reconcile myself very early on like early to mid teens with the fact that women who look like me were never going to appear in a fashion magazine anywhere. Thanks for mentioning this other ct to the whole beauty conversation. Hi Cora, Thank you for your article. I was hoping you could provide some links to these sites etc? Also, I just want to point out that Africa is a large continent made up of many different countries and many ethnically diverse people.
Naming and shaming people and all the negative repercussions that would inevitably accompany any decision to do so are a distraction from the topic at hand, and these issues are sensitive enough and complex enough already without invoking the nuances of web etiquette when it comes to publicly outing racist remarks. However, I chose to limit my discussion on the problems with that phrase to the 3 points I felt were at the core of this issue and could be easily conveyed on a consumer-oriented blog.
In no way did I wish to imply that women in severe, severe financial distress should make lingerie a priority over basic necessities like shelter, food, or childcare.
My comments about making choices were intended for people of modest means, which is why I used myself as an example. That being said, I agree, it is not for someone like me to dictate to any woman where her priorities should lie. It was absolutely not my intention to offend anyone, and if my comments have done so, I sincerely apologize. This is a very excellent opportunity to remind those of us who are fortunate enough to have an excess of quality lingerie to donate their bras, even to a place like Value Village where I frequently both shop and donate.
All ages, and although the ratios of the racial mix will vary from the US, or Canada, or even England there still is one. Every woman is different. The other day I ftted a woman in her 70s with remarkably full and resiliant breasts for her age. Given the substantial amount of motion and stretch that occurs. But, bras do gather up that tissue, sagging or otherwise, and make you more comfortable and make your clothes fit.
Kind of hard to wear a fitted dress if those GGs are at your waist. And from the earliest days of corsetry women have found some way of doing that in any culture where clothes are a necessity. So, individuals and many, many factors. After all, if bras stopped sagging, most women would be sporting perky uplifted racks until their 90s. Thanks for sharing your point of view. It was an insightful article and the comments regarding the article were very good as well.
Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, Candace. I always appreciate your RTs on Twitter. I completely agree with the article and I enjoyed that it is so informed. Hi Icy, Thanks for leaving this comment.
Eastern European beauty standards. I live in America, and my experience with beauty ideals tends to be very focused on the fashion and intimate apparel industry.
So thank you for giving me something else to research. Similarly the treatment a black woman of size receives in our society is very different from the treatment a white woman of size receives. After all, when you look at fashion spreads, runway shows, and magazines i.
That was just AWESOME post! Thank you :.
Thank you for being willing to share the change in your perspective. Cora this article was amazing! I am a white woman who has worn a bra for comfort and shape since I was 13 and I know that it is likely that my breasts without the aid of surgical intervention will sag either with time or after I have children especially if I breastfeed which is a cause of breast sagging that was not addressed in this study or the French study.
I think too often things like fine lines, greying hair, stretch marks, and breast sagging are treated as aging signs that can and should be completely avoided, which is not possible. They are two almost entirely unrelated facts!
Somehow I think if I choose either not to have children OR if I choose to nurse my children, my breast size 36GGand different life choices no smoking will affect my breast height more than their genetic influence.
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Especially since clearly my breast size is so different. Find what makes you happy right now and lets focus on ending breast shame and shaming, and disordered eating, and increasing body acceptance especially in the youth. And let me tell you I think your article definitely hits the right notes on that front.
Thanks for that! Hi Adrianna! And thank you for sharing your experiences and another great example of correlation! But hopefully blog posts like this and comments like yours can be a part of changing that.
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Thank you so much for writing this, Cora. It is an incredible, thoughtful, well researched piece of informative writing. It is up to the woman herself. Women ask me ALL the time about ptosis, and I tell them the same as what you have mentioned, the studies are not conclusive, but lifestyle, childbearing, fluctuations in weight, breast density and especially heredity all likely come into play.
Women with longer sternum bones often complain that their breasts do not sit as high as they could, while fuller busted, petite women with shorter sternum bones can often feel overwhelmed by their breasts.
Women, especially those like myself in the deeper cup sizes require them for support and comfort. Western culture has developed an extremely unhealthy obsession with lift, creating a near impossible standard.
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Regarding sampling bias, I mostly agree with you there. My issue with the French study which concluded that bras are not necessary is that indeed, that study took into account a small group of womenexclusively from France. This makes the data skewed and therefore, irrelevant right from the get-go. I have also fit entire generations of mothers, sisters, daughters and grandmas, so I see how big of a factor heredity can be. My clientele is incredibly, incredibly diverse, from ages 12 to 97, representing a wide strata of socio-economic groups, all with different needs and expectationsand also from many, many different cultures.
Working in Toronto, I have clients who hail from all over the world. It is for ALL women. And thank goodness for that! There is still much, much work to do. Things are far from perfect. That being said, even with my experience I would not presume to come to any scientific conclusions nor be willing to pass judgement across the board.
I am aware of the ugly history you mention in regards to indigenous women being exploited and negatively objectified by Western culture. I find it demeaning, absolutely shocking and utterly, completely unacceptable. Thank you so much for bringing this to light. I greatly appreciate your perspective, and your insight on this very, very important topic. You have given us much to think about.
I sincerely hope the bra industry and scientific research communities hears your words. Now certainly we are interested in those that carry brands that we cannot readily find where we live in the U.
As such we have looked a boutiques that carry more expensive European brands. However those are also the boutiques that are featured when searching for boutiques in Toronto. Given the price point of product lines they carry one would be hard pressed to claim that they are for all women.
Now certainly you many not work at one of those higher end boutiques that cater to a particular clientele-fair enough. However there was a time in our lives when we low paid graduate students yes a still a fair amount of privilege with very little disposable cash. We could barely afford to purchase the occasional bra on sale at V. semi-annual sales.
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Point is there are large segments of women who shop for lingerie at places at Target and Wal-Mart. They shop for brands featured in those stores because they do not have the disposable cash to shop for anything else even if they wanted to. If they exist that is great but based on my searching of the boutiques in Toronto and other places they are the exception. And thus they are not open all women. Full disclosure: I have worked at three boutiques in Toronto.
Secrets From Your Sister, Change of Scandinavia and Melmira respectively. I wish to make it clear that I no longer work at those stores, and now offer my services as an independent fitter and consultant. Please keep in mind there may be limitations depending on the style, country of origin as well as the size.
It is important to note that European bras will almost always cost more, due to import fees and duty. Even though Melmira has the reputation of being exclusively a shop for a moneyed clientele, it was there that I actually witnessed the most diversity. It is not my favorite boutique, but there I helped people on social assistance, women who were mentally ill, and many young women who were students, or economically challenged, just like you and your wife. Boutiques do not carry the lines offered at Target or Wal Mart for several reasons, the boutique niche is exactly that.
fitting and harder to find product, and also because lower priced product is readily available at the stores you mention. It would be redundant to do so. It is also at this point that I often talk to women who balk at spending on their lingerieabout priorities. Women spend money on handbags, shoes, jeans, hairstyles, makeup every other part of their appearance, with the exception of their foundation garments, which are arguably the most important.
Many people spend as much on dinner and a movie on a regular basis. Forgoing a daily Starbucks coffee adds up to a very, very fine lingerie collection.
Again, full disclosure.
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There is the misconception that boutique bra fitters are extremely well paid, and make bundles of commission and showered in free product. From my experience, I can assure you this is not always the case. I will be brutally honest. As a boutique fitter, my yearly earnings, after taxes actually were comparable to just several thousand dollars above the poverty line.
Coming back to priorities, because I am a size 36G, there is no shopping for bras at Wal Mart for me.
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Therefore, I make hard choices when it comes to both my lifestyle AND my wardrobe. I have a low maintenance hairstyle and do not visit expensive salons. I wear a LOT of vintage and thrift store items. That being said, at my blog I have written an article outlining why it is good to invest in fewer pieces of better quality.
Keep in mind, however that the quality and life span of those bras will be much, much lower than those at the mid to higher price point. If you are looking at investing in mid price point European product, I recommend Chantelle and Panache products, which are likely available at the boutiques you have probably researched.
I apologize to Cora, I sincerely do not want to derail the conversation or detract from the very important issue she has raised. I would prefer and encourage anyone else with a non related question to email me privately at [email protected]. In my previous employment, I worked with women who, even after holding down 1 or 2 full-time jobs, were still below the poverty level. No one is saying bra fitters are well-paid, at least no one in this particular comment thread.
The amount of money bra fitters make is completely unrelated to this discussion. I am not going to speak for Cora but based on a number of her subjects I would be shocked if she would object to someone addressing the importance of class in discussions race-particularly when a claim that may overlook a question of privilege is introduced into the conversation. The same objection can be made of those that assume race is not impacted by gender, sexuality and class or class is not impact by race, gender and sexuality.
Complicating a discussion of race is not on my view a hijacking or derailing of a thread. So I do not think you or I have anything to apologize for I will happily refrain from this in the future if Cora deems it to be derailing the discussion. I do thank you for your recommendations of where to shop but your emphasis on what my wife and I would do, I think, misses the point.
We are quite comfortable now but that is besides the point. There are many who are not. And they certainly do not need to be told they need to get their priorities in order. I am not here to judge your choices-or theirs. That you make trade-offs so that you can buy more expensive bras highlights my point: you still have the privilege of making those trade-offs. There are many women who make similar choices and do not have the extra cash to spend.
They are not spending on handbags, lattes from Starbucks or getting their hair done. They are working multiple jobs and are barely able to make ends meet. There is simply no reason to assume their decision to purchase a few bras at Wal-Mart means they do not have the right priorities or that they are failing to make the tough choices enabling them to shop in boutique.
To suggest that means that the boutique experience is not open to all women is not indict you. It is to suggest that privilege still matters, no matter how welcoming, when considering who can partake of the boutique experience.
That working class women or women on public assistance are not unwelcome in the boutiques you worked is great but that is not the point. It still takes a particular kind of privilege to make the choices they and you make to shop at them.
And to suggest all women have this privilege overlooks the ways in which socio-economic conditions for many women prevent them from being able to have the same experience no matter what their size.
It has to do with where research is conducted usually universitiesand where the test subjects usually come from university students.
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