Blog: Leonie BarrieBoom or bust?

Leonie Barrie | 30 March 2005

I guess I was more than a little intrigued – and perhaps sceptical – when a news item titled ‘An Innovative New Strapless Backless Bra from Australia Will Revolutionise How Women View Their Wardrobe’ landed on my desk. The BustFree Bra – medical grade expanded polyurethane bra cups that are held in place by the wearer’s clothes – seems to offer a number of advantages over conventional bras or other self-supporting products, including the fact that it is light weight, unlikely to cause allergic reactions and, of course, eliminates wires, hooks, strap lines and marks on the skin. The downsides as far as I can see are that it doesn’t offer much support and is limited in its size range.

However, what interested me most has less to do with the BustFree Bra itself. Instead it’s the health message regarding a possible link between the constriction and pressure on breast tissue caused by conventional bras, and the occurrence of breast pain, the formation of cysts and the possible development of cancer. Breast disease seems to be a problem only in cultures where women wear bras – making the bra a possible health hazard. If you think about it, most women wear a bra a minimum of 15 hours a day and some as much as 24 hours a day.

Conventional bras have become an essential part of every woman’s wardrobe and this is unlikely to change – so any development that has the potential to combine health and aesthetic benefits is certainly worth a closer look. Indeed, the bra’s developers say that when it was featured on the national Australian TV Show, Today Tonight, 50,000 pairs of cups sold in the first month.


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