Bras and Shoes: Breast Cancer, Bunions, Back Strain and “Beauty” Lies

WARNING: Naked breasts appear in this post, for instructional purposes only.

This post is meant to inform about some aspects of modern women’s (and men’s ) lives in Western nations that need changing. Yes, these are “first-world” problems. But, they ARE problems. If you don’t mind the problems these cause or you don’t have these problems, go read something more fun/useful. Or, pass it on to those who might benefit from reading it!

BRAS, ANTI-PERSPIRANTS and BREAST CANCER

BRAS
I have always hated bras. I personally hate wearing them and almost never do. Even when well-fitted, bras inform me that there is a special place in hell for those who design them. Bras itch, ride up, pinch and nonstop bother me.

I also hate the rationales people make for women’s wearing of bras. As a feminist, I am offended and disgusted by the so-called “reasons” for bras because these are based on modern, industrialized, Puritanically based Western cultural biases that “require” teenage or adult females to cover our nipples, to pretend not to have any. Also, we are told that we are “unprofessional” unless we are complicit in disguising our breasts’ shapes. These misogynistic attitudes are NOT “universal” and need to be eradicated.

However, I could put all that hatred aside and just accept that some women want (or claim they “need”) to wear bras, except for three somewhat newly surfacing facts, based on extensive research over many decades:

  • 1) Bras do not work. Gravity wins. It wins BIGGER when women wear bras: bras CAUSE breasts to sag MORE because wearing bras weakens the pectoral muscles that would ordinarily work and strengthen to hold up one’s breasts over a lifetime. With few exceptions, NO WOMEN should wear bras just to “hold them up.” Those whose breasts hurt due to hormonal changes and jiggling makes the pain worse: sure, wear bras. Those with extremely large breasts claim that wearing bras helps “carry” them, HOWEVER: the BRAS cause more shoulder and back pain than their breasts.

    Jean-Denis Rouillon, a professor at University of Besançon in France, authored a study stating that women are better off not wearing bras. They are scientifically unnecessary, and, in fact, could be hazardous to breast health, leading to sagging breasts and increased back pain….”Medically, physiologically, anatomically — breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity,” Rouillon told France Info radio. “On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.”
    http://www.medicaldaily.com/bras-make-breasts-saggier-french-doctor-says-women-better-bra-less-244995

  • 2) Bras increase the risk of breast cancer.
    The Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society (ACS) are the main organizations who refuse to properly present summaries and warnings derived from the amassing research that shows a link between increased incidences (“Risk”) of breast cancer the wearing of bras, especially tight ones, for 12 or more hours per day, particularly all night.

    …at least five research studies have shown that there IS a strong connection between breast cancer and bra wearing for many hours per day.
    http://www.inquisitr.com/1202191/your-bra-may-be-killing-you-scientists-call-for-boycott-of-komen/

    lymphatic_system_breast

    Lymphatic Systems of Breasts: image from healthieralternatives.wordpress.com

  • 3) Underwire Bras, in particular, cause health problems.
    The pressure points that underwire bras rest on are critically important, according to Eastern medical knowledge, to the functioning of major systems in the body. However, constant metallic pressure on these points is contra-indicated in all women and can cause a myriad of health problems over time.

    The UnderWires in the UnderWire Bra fall directly onto two very important NeuroLymphatic Reflexes. The one under the right breast goes to the Liver and Gall Bladder. The one under the left breast goes to the Stomach….If a woman keeps the metal UnderWires on top of those reflex points, over time that WILL mess up the functioning of the associated circuits: Liver, Gall Bladder, and Stomach. Bottom Line: It will likely make her sick, slowly and quietly.
    http://www.relfe.com/wp/health/dangers-underwire-bras/

If those three information points do not convince you to stop “supporting” bra-wearing and worse, if you are still committed to wearing bras yourself, that is illogical. Check out this infographic and OTHER problems caused by ill-fitting bras:

ill-fitting bras symptoms

% of Women Having Problems Due to Ill-Fitting Bras: image from http://www.bariatriccookery.com

Almost half the women who wear bras that are ill-fitting (which, according to other research, would include MOST women), suffer skin rashes. Another 35% have shoulder pain. Are you one of these women?

If you are that irrational about bras, you might want to discontinue reading the rest of this post, because things are going to go from bad to worse for you.

ANTI-PERSPIRANTS
(not Deodorants, which merely mask smells)
are those products that attempt to “dry up” or prevent the armpits from sweating. What about the causal connections between anti-perspirants and breast cancer? After much “debate” and “debunking” of the “myth” of this connection by the research FUNDED BY THE COMPANIES THAT MAKE ANTI-PERSPIRANTS in the USA, we finally have unbiased research results from the UK showing several causal links between the key ingredients in anti-perspirants and DNA changes and between the lymphatic blockages intentionally caused by these products that lead to increased incidences of breast cancer in both men and women.

Britain has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the world and every year almost 13,000 British women die from it. Britons are also among the biggest users of antiperspirant deodorants, getting through £300 million worth of bottles each year. The rising incidence of breast cancer in men may also suggest a connection. Breast cancer in men has doubled in the past three decades to 300 cases per year – a time frame that coincides with the increasing use of underarm products by men.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-185071/How-safe-antiperspirant.html

Guess what gets the attention of researchers, health commissioners and the public? when the problems affect MEN. Sigh.

SHOES

Enough about breast cancer? Depressed, yet?

Let’s talk about shoes. I do not understand some women’s obsessions with shoes. I really don’t. But, obsessed or not, most of us wear shoes most of the time.

How well do our shoes serve us? Do they support our best posture, provide safety from h

Luckily for me (!?!) I was in a serious car accident my senior year of high school that caused me to have life-long problems with my right leg. This prevented me from ever getting into wearing “high” heels, or ANY heels, for that matter, for more than about 30 minutes per… year. I say “luckily” because both my mother and her mother had/have bunions and hammertoes. So far, I do not.

I also have many back problems and hip issues from other injuries that continue to plague me and keep me wearing the most supportive, comfortable shoes I can afford.

What about you? Do you go for fashion at the expense of your comfort or health? I hope you don’t.

If you do, read on and perhaps I and the research can change your mind.

hammertoes

Hammertoes: image from http://www.kyforward.com

Bunions, Backstrain and Hammertoes

Because of her own problems with shoes and foot health, Ivey Allison wrote a great post which I recommend you read in its entirety. Here is a salient quote, based on her research:

…almost every shoe on the market, flat or heeled, has a toe box design that is too small and tapered to allow the foot to be properly aligned. The result? Foot deformity — and painful bunions….Every single pair of shoes you own is likely deforming your foot. Permanently.
http://www.xojane.com/healthy/bunion-care-treatment-prevention

The Huffington Post‘s Rebecca Adams & Ellie Krupnick did some great research and wrote summaries of their findings in last October’s post on what shoes are the worst offenders, causing bunions, hammertoes, and back strain, among other problems (not to mention costing ridiculous amounts of money!). here is a sample and the link to the full post:

STILETTOS
Wearing heels shifts your weight to the balls of your feet, which puts pressure on your foot. This also creates a balance problem: It forces your knees and hips forward, hurting your back and legs. Wearing these shoes can cause: hyperextension, ankle sprains, midfoot fractures, neuromas (benign nerve tumors), pinched nerves, bunions and hammertoes.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/09/shoes-worst-for-feet_n_4069370.html

They also summarized the impact and effects of wearing Platform Wedges; Converse-style Sneakers; High-Heeled, Rain or Thigh-High Boots; Ballet Flats; and, Flip-Flops.

Bunion

Bunion: image from my.clevelandclinic.org

The worst offenders? I guess it depends what you think are worse. Each shoe type they mentioned came with its own list of problems, such as:

  • mold, fungus, bacteria, wart viruses and blisters;
  • inflammation, tendonitis, heel pain, strains, fractures and external injuries (e.g. stepping on a nail);
  • chronic stress injuries, particularly to the heel;
  • inflammation, tendonitis, heel pain, strains and stress fractures;
  • inflammation, tendonitis, heel pain, strains, stress fractures and external injuries (e.g. stepping on a nail);
  • hyperextension, midfoot fractures, neuromas (benign nerve tumors), pinched nerves, bunions and hammertoes;
  • hyperextension, bunions and hammertoes;
  • hyperextension, ankle sprains, midfoot fractures,
  • neuromas (benign nerve tumors), pinched nerves, bunions and hammertoes.

Choose which group of symptoms you’re willing to acquire and then merrily (warily) go shoe shopping.

Or, buy better-fitting, healthier, more comfortable shoes.

Comfortable-stylish-walking-shoes-FINN-SANDALS

image from mostcomfortableshoesguide.net

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Why posting about fruit is insulting to women: DO NOT PARTICIPATE in this year’s “Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign”

A feminist’s analysis of this year’s “BREAST CANCER AWARENESS campaign”: the reasons that I’m not participating and I’m telling all.

Call me a “spoilsport,” if it makes you feel better. I am frustrated and unwilling to “go along” with this year’s “Breast Cancer Awareness” Facebook “campaign” (and anywhere else it’s trying to occur) for these reasons:

1) Men also get breast cancer. They usually die from it sooner and more often precisely because there is very little “awareness” about males’ getting breast cancer;

male breast cancer

image from takboprintipe.wordpress.com

2) A “cuteness” factor of a zillion does NOTHING to help fence-sitters, if there even are any: how could there be, when 1 in 4 women gets breast cancer? Who could be “unaware” of it mystifies me;

incidences of all cancers 2013

from http://www.cancer.org, “Estimated New Cancer Cases* in the US in 2013. Estimated New Cancer Cases* in the US in 2013. Cancer Incidence Rates* by Sex, US, 1975-2009”

3) Waste of time, networking, and energy. I see nothing in any of these “campaign” solicitations that has a call to action, a place to donate for cure research, or ANYTHING but cuteness and “don’t tell the men.”

All this, for what?

BC colors facebook-win2

image from gerson.org

4) BREAST CANCER IS NOT SEXY, just because it afflicts one’s breasts. This year, it’s fruits. Each fruit is supposed to signify the poster’s MARITAL or RELATIONSHIP status. As if the entire campaign weren’t insulting enough to the intelligence of adult women, THIS is the type of device it uses every year. One year, it was some lame statement that was supposed to indicate unusual places that we like to have sex, but really was about where we put our PURSES (I don’t even carry a purse 90% of the time; bad for my back and shoulder). Another year (see above), our bra color or underwear color or other such nonsense.

It’s all supposed to be pseudo-titillating and sexual, which is another gripe I have.

So, I’m blowing its cover, here. Tough rocks, cutesy women.

I’ve had too many friends and relatives DIE of this horrible disease to find it at all cute or funny, anyway.

Here is what “feminism” actually means.

Feminism

With this information in front of you, how could you NOT be a feminist? You can have fun; some things can be cute. I have an excellent sense of humor. But some situations require serious ACTION.

Here is the disclosure/invitation post:

“Hi Ladies , so here it is that time of year again when we try to raise awareness of breast cancer through a game. It’s very easy and I would like all of you to participate. Two years ago we had to write the color of our underwear on our wall. Men wondered for days what was going on with the random colors on our walls. This year we make references to our love life status as a flavor. Do not answer this message, just post your word on your wall AND send this message privately to all the girls on your friends list. Blueberry is for single, Pineapple is for it’s complicated, Raspberry is for I don’t want to commit, Apple is engaged, Cherry is in a relationship, Banana is married, Avocado is I’m the better half, Strawberry is can’t find Mr.Right, Lemon is I want to be single, Raisin is I want to get married to my partner. Last time the underwear game was mentioned on TV, let’s see if we can get there with this one. Copy and paste this message into a new message and send it to your friends, then update your status with your answer. DON’T TELL THE GUYS.”
[I couldn’t stand all the misspelled “it’s,” so those I fixed. The rest I left “as is.” Pathetic, for a piece of writing; another gripe.]

HORRIBLE. Don’t do this inane “campaign.”

SPREAD THE WORD about breast cancer and give to fund the cures: http://www.bcrfcure.org/

BCRF logo