Health and Empowerment

Since so many of my posts have been up serious creek, I thought it
important for folks to realize that not all of feminism is

So much of what makes feminism so attractive,
to me, is that it covers a multitude of issues on the spectrum of women
and gender.  One of the basic things that I think we forget is how
important our health factors into our feminism.  Yes, our HEALTH. 
After all, there isn't going to be much you can do when you can't
breathe properly or stand up straight because of, say, your bra?

Yep, a new article has emerged exploring the health affects of ill-fitting bras
and the woes of wearing said harnesses.  Headache?  Indegestion?  Maybe
switch out your chest straps for something more comfortable and
supportive.  Not standing up straight or have poor posture?  Maybe it's
because of your bra.

"If a woman is bending forward because of insufficient breast support,
the trapezius overstretches and causes headaches. All nerve roots come
from the back; stomach upsets and fatigue are common byproducts of bad
back health. If ladies have a proper bra-fitting, back problems are
often resolved."

The article covers the dying trend of bra-fittings and advocates
that women should at least get an idea of what their size and needs are
before they grab whatever they think their size is.  I was yawning
during the article until it outlined all the different signs that
you're wearing the wrong size.  I started thinking about how much time
and care I put into picking my shoes, but how I haphazardly grab what I
assume to be the correct number and letter in the bra department.  Now
that I think about it...for something you wear nearly everyday of your
life post-puberty, don't you think it might be worth the investment to
invest your money in what fits, rather than what looks good or has the
color you think matches your shirt?  It might be worth alleviating back
pain, headaches, or other ailments.  At the very least, you can sit up
and breathe normally.

Breath is essential to feminist discourse.

by Lisa Factora-Borchers
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Lisa Factora-Borchers is the formal editorial director at Bitch Media. Her work is widely published and she is the editor of the anthology, Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence.



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4 Comments Have Been Posted

Or, if you're lucky, like

Or, if you're lucky, like me, to be part of the small-breasted group, I've been going commando for months now. I normally wear men's t-shirts, loose-fitting clothes, so it's not like a wet t-shirt contest. Sure, I wear bras when I wear tighter shirts or shirts that I would look funny in with pointy boobs. But other than that, it feels great! No more back pains or straps digging into my shoulders. And I'm glad I don't have enough boob for underwire to go 'under' because those have got to be the most uncomfortable things ever!

two words - bra fittings.

two words - bra fittings. especially for ladies with larger bosoms (myself included), these are totally crucial. figuring out how to find a bra that fits right totally requires professional help, imo.

<a href="">this post at shapely prose</a> has a great list of resources across the country for finding help with bra fittings. it's amazing what a difference it makes!

in addition,

in addition, here is some health-related information regarding binding:

i only just found this resource after a quick search, so i would be happy to know of any other (more detailed, less sterile-sounding) resources that are out there as well.

bra brouhaha

If I never read another bra article, it will be too soon. I've already read at least 10 "measure your breasts or die" articles in the past few years. Bras weren't even invented until the 1950s, so how the fuck did they become so crucial to our health?

Besides, turning some consumer cosmetic item into something dead serious (e.g. "does your foundation carry harmful bacteria?) is the least feminist type of journalism out there.

Not only that, but every single time I've been measured for bra size -- at different reputable stores, for different reasons (including to get a store discount) -- the results were: same size I've been wearing all these years. It isn't rocket science, gals.

And even if it were, we could handle it without the help of a women's magazine.

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