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The no-bra movement is taking over 2021 fashion — and it's leaving many women behind

From crop tops to backless dresses, this season's biggest trends are leaving women with larger chests on the sidelines.

1/8/2021 8:00:00 AM

The pandemic has allowed people all over the world to prioritise comfort over style and, in turn, enabled many women to do away with the uncomfortable and restricting bras they resent.

From crop tops to backless dresses, this season's biggest trends are leaving women with larger chests on the sidelines.

, it's easy to notice that a bra would not work in about 50 per cent of the shirts that are being sold,” she says. “It's a bummer because I really like some of the patterns, but wearing a bra would completely ruin the style of the tops.”Of course, the no-bra movement began long before COVID-19. The feminist movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s saw activists burning and disposing of their unwanted brassieres as a political statement. The question of whether bras are really necessary or simply a useless contraption created by the patriarchy has resurfaced many times since. But no wave of pro-bralessness has successfully resulted in the extinction of the undergarment just yet, though not for lack of trying.

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A 2013 studyfrom Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon, a sports medicine specialist from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Besancon in France, even declared that bras don’t present any health benefits whatsoever and can actually cause breasts to sag. The study explicitly advised young women to throw their bras away for good.

Julia Metraux, 23, recalls hearing about this study and feeling puzzled.Australia fashion week included this look from Anna Quan, that would make it difficult to wear a bra underneath. (Getty Images)As someone who struggles with chronic pain, Metraux says she experiences an unbearably sore back without a bra. She doesn’t believe she’ll ever jump on the braless bandwagon no matter how widespread the movement becomes. headtopics.com

“Therearesome health benefits to me, just as someone who has back pain and things like that. When I walk around a lot without wearing a bra, then I bounce a lot and that hurts my back,” says Metraux, who wears a size 32GG. “When I’m sitting at home and not moving, that’s fine, but it’s a very different situation when I’m going places.”

ALSO SEE:Comedian Nikki Glaser opens up about her battle with anorexia: 'I'd say it was intermittent fastingMetraux’s proportions have always made shopping for clothes no small feat, but she estimates that approximately 80 per cent of the items being sold by major retailers right now don’t work for her body type. Just shopping for bras in the first place is a challenge in and of itself, she says, due to her small waist and large bust.

“I never felt like I really could participate in [fashion trends] in the first place,” she says. “If we’re moving past bras, that comes with the idea that there are a lot of bras that fit me in the first place, which isn’t true.”This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.

Update your settings here to see it.Though she does believe she should have more options when it comes to clothing, Metraux says she’s skeptical that the fashion industry will ever accommodate all body types, including hers.According to Dr. Sarah Nutter, an assistant professor at the University of Victoria and an expert in weight stigma and body image, the fact that many of the styles currently dominating mainstream retailers don't allow for bras to be worn creates even more barriers in an industry that is already inaccessible and non-inclusive to so many. It also doesn't help that many of the current styles are reminiscent of Y2K, headtopics.com

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an era known for its exclusion of bigger bodies and chests. “We know that a lot of stores don’t carry plus sizes or aren’t size-inclusive and that limits a lot of women from participating in clothing they’re really excited about potentially,” she says. “And so, by adding this no-bra aspect to it, I think it’s just further limiting who this fashion is accessible for.”

Chiara Ferragni, an Italian influencer and designer, was spotted in Cannes wearing a denim crop top.(Photo by Arnold Jerocki/GC Images)Indeed, those who’ve historically struggled to find clothing to fit their bodies are now seeing that struggle exacerbated by trends stemming from the discourse claiming that all women everywhere would like to do away with their brassieres for good. And some busty women who used to be able to find clothing that covered up their bra straps and clasps are now experiencing that same struggle, too.

At times, Nutter says this can have detrimental and lasting effects beyond just putting a damper on someone’s shopping trip.“When we’re feeling as though our bodies aren’t accepted and don’t have a place in the world, that can lead to some potentially really harmful consequences including mental health struggles, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and so on,” she says.

ALSO SEE:Elizabeth Banks recalls shooting down an agent who told her to get a boob job: 'I'm not having surgery'In the end, Nutter says the way to make a movement truly inclusive is by emphasizing that it’s about choice. If we want to break free from the harmful and restrictive rules society imposes on women and all people, she says, we must encourage individuals to make decisions for their own bodies and ensure whatever choice that may be is made possible and accessible. headtopics.com

In an ideal world, that includes whatever styles are filling the racks of major clothing brands.“All of this is well-intended and a really great effort away from beauty ideals that have been so strict and rigid for so long and really negatively impacted women, and I think the key is

if you want,” she says. “If you want to wear makeup, do it, if you don’t want to wear a bra, do it, but if you want to do the opposite of those things, please feel free to do that too.” Read more: Yahoo Singapore »

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