July 21, 2016 11:33 am
Updated: July 27, 2016 12:26 pm

Why more women are freeing their breasts by going braless

A lot of ladies are kissing their bras goodbye, which may be what prompted lingerie giant Victoria's Secret to introduce the less cumbersome option of the "bralette" this past spring.

Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret
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A woman’s bra is often one of the first things that flies off as soon as she gets home.

Because let’s be honest: bras can be super uncomfortable. Not to mention chest-sweat inducing in the hot summer months. So it’s no surprise that young women have started to ditch the constraining contraption altogether.

Some women are even going under the knife to make going braless more comfortable, according to Toronto plastic surgeon Mitchell Brown.

Even though breast augmentation is still the most commonly requested surgery, he said, clients who ask for breast reductions do so for two reasons: either because the heaviness of their breasts brings them pain and discomfort, or because they want an aesthetic change.

“They’ll say, ‘Listen, I just want to be able to wear clothes that I can’t wear today,'” he said of their reasoning.

“Clothing styles change, people are wearing clothes with much less support and want the ability to just throw on a strapless dress or T-shirt and not always feel like they need to wear a bra for support.”

Google shows there have been more than 100,000 posts dedicated to the braless look in the past week alone. But the idea isn’t exactly new. After all, women were burning their bras back in the ’60s. It’s just a new generation that’s now leading the feminist charge.

As with any trend, celebrities have helped pave the way. When the “Free the Nipple” movement exploded in 2014, stars like Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Chelsea Handler and model Cara Delevingne showed their support for the gender equality campaign that argues both sexes should be able to bare their chests freely. In some U.S. states, women can get fined and even jailed for being topless.

READ MORE: Montreal women fight for the right to bare it all, insist sexual double standards need to end

Model Kendall Jenner has become the most famous braless face in recent months, titillating millions with sheer tops that show off her nipple ring.

In a blog post she titled “Free the Nipple,” Jenner wrote that she doesn’t see “what the big deal is with going braless.” She finds it sexy and comfortable.

“And I’m cool with my breasts. That’s it!'”

‘Braless warrior’

But the title of “braless warrior” goes to Montana teen Kaitlyb Juvik. The 18-year-old’s breasts made news around the world in June after her high school teacher complained that her lack of bra made him “uncomfortable.”

READ MORE: School dress codes: Discriminatory or necessary?

Juvik had been going braless for more than a year by then due to how uncomfortable wearing one was for her. The day she got called into the principal’s office, she was sporting a loose-fitting black top with stickers over her nipples.

“The problem here should not have been Kaitlyn’s attire, but the morality of the male teacher,” one of her classmates, Brooke Lanier, told People.

Lanier started the Facebook group “No Bra, No Problem” in response to the debacle.

“Our movement is about regaining freedom and making a women’s choice to wear a bra, or not to wear a bra, her own. To take things a little further, we are working towards the de-sexualization of the female body,” the Facebook page reads.

WATCH: In April 2014, Canadian model Serenity Heart launched a cross-Canada topless tour, with the aim of de-sexualizing breasts

It encourages women to take a stand against society’s expectations and to share a braless photo, along with their reason for going commando up top.

The video “Why I don’t wear bras” earned 17-year-old YouTuber Stella Rae more than half a million views since May.

“Don’t be ashamed of having nipples,” the Seattle teen said in the video. “It’s like, who cares? You don’t have nipples? You’ve never seen nipples before? Why is this such a taboo subject?”

She also pointed out that you save money by not wearing bras, which can be pricey.

In what could be a response to the undergarment backlash, Victoria’s Secret — which reportedly gets a third of its revenue from bras according to USA Today — began to push the thin and wire-free “bralette” this past spring.

There are a number of other alternatives to bras, as Savannah Brown points out in her YouTube “guide to going braless.” A couple of the ones she lists include silicone pasties (which come in different sizes and shades) and tape if you feel you need a little lift.

The 19-year-old tries to avoid both of those because she finds it “empowering to walk around and feel a bit free” and likes the look of “seeing a bit of nip through her shirt.”

“I’m comfortable and I’m confident and I’m just unapologetically saying, ‘This is my body.'”

She admits there are some cons to going braless, though.

“If you have big boobs it’s not the most comfortable thing… Even me, having not a very big chest at all, if I have to run downstairs it’s a bit painful.”

The two YouTubers said in their videos that the freedom to wear whatever they want, without having to find the perfect bra, helped motivate their decision to go braless.

But doesn’t a bra help prevent your breasts from sagging?

While some might tell you that the only way to fight gravity is to wear a bra at all times — even at night — the Toronto plastic surgeon, who operates on hundreds of breasts each year, stressed that’s not necessary.

Yo-yo dieting and breastfeeding can take a bigger toll on your bosom than not wearing a bra. And how your breasts fare over the years depends in large part to your natural skin elasticity, Brown explained.

He said “it would make sense” that the more your wear a bra, the more you’ll maintain the shape of your breast. “But in the end there’s no science behind that whatsoever.”

READ MORE: Bra fitting 101: How the right bra can change your life

“If you want to go braless from time to time, that’s no problem at all.”

“You need to do what you’re comfortable with.”

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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