The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, with it, comes the arrival of the somewhat controversial holiday known as National No Bra Day. The Oct. 13 holiday is pretty self-explanatory (go bra-less for a day) and was created to encourage women (and men) to get screened for breast cancer.
The holiday was created as a social media campaign that was said to have started in 2011. Although the day has been widely celebrated and has gained traction on social media channels, the holiday has not been welcomed by all. Some have claimed that the holiday plays into overtly sexualizing women’s bodies; others have defended their bras because of support and comfort. Still other women have pointed out that the holiday can be insensitive to women who have undergone mastectomies and have had their breasts removed entirely. Some women just choose to forgo bras altogether.
With that said, the holiday is celebrated to promote health and safety – and it advocates that both sexes schedule a screening or perform their own breast examination. In light of the National holiday and the awareness it brings to “the girls,” here are 15 facts to set the record straight about bras and breasts.
1. In the United States, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
2. Breast Cancer is rare in men, but an estimated 2,600 men are diagnosed each year.
3. In 1991, a case study revealed that women who did not wear bras were less likely to get breast cancer than those who did, Marie Claire reported in 2015. Scientists from the case study believed it had to with “factors connected to wearing a bra” as opposed to the bra itself actually causing harm: "They believed that that too-tight underwire compressing mammary glands could trap toxins." Bra expert and author Jene Luciani had told the outlet. "But there is no scientific evidence to back up this claim."
4. Throwing bras in the wash and using hot water can damage the garment.
5. Bras can last six to nine months.
6. The average woman in the U.S. wears a size 40 D bra, according to Everyday Health.
7. After a girl gets her first period, breasts can continue to grow for two to four years afterwards.
8. "Brassiere" was first used in 1907 in Vogue Magazine, Useless Daily reported.
9. Your bra should be washed once a week (at the very least).
10. The Milky Way was thought to have been made from drops of breast milk from the Greek goddess Hera.
11. Around 85 percent of women wear the wrong bra size, according to Kate Middleton’s royal bra fitter, wrote The Independent.
12. Warner’s was the first known brand to introduce traditional cup sizing in 1935, according to Bosom Galore.
13. When cup sizes were introduced, there were only four cup sizes available.
14. In the early 1990s, bras were referred to as “bust bodices” or “BBs.”
15. The smallest bra size is a "AAA" and the largest is a size “L,”