Laverne's View

Unsupported Evidence

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An award-winning ad for R & G Corset Company from the back cover of the October 1898 Ladies' Home Journal depicted a proper foundation garment for women.

An award-winning ad for R & G Corset Company from the back cover of the October 1898 Ladies’ Home Journal depicted a proper foundation garment for women.

Are women better off without wearing bras? This topic on nighttime news, squeezed between Korea’s nuclear threats and the start of baseball season, had women voicing some strong opinions. I, of course, am one of those women. My first reaction was a resounding, “OMG! YES! YES! YES!”

Jean Denis Rouillon, a professor at the University of Franche Comte’ in Besancon, France, conducted a study in which he examined the breasts of 300 women, ages 18 through 35, over a 15 year period. His study concluded that “bras provide no benefit to women and may actually be harmful to breasts over time,” and “medically, physiologically, and anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity.”

I must step in here and applaud Professor Rouillon, for his courage in taking on such an arduous assignment. This brave man single-handedly (okay, maybe he used both hands) examined the breasts of 300 young women over a 19 year period. He worked long, hard hours.

Hi honey. Don’t hold dinner for me. I’ll be working late…Yes, again.

Capucine Vercellotti, a 28-year-old woman who participated in the research, found that she breathed easier without the constraints of a bra. No kidding, Capucine. The only time I fully enjoy breathing, is when I’m in the shower.

I knew from the first day I forced my arms behind my back and blindly attempted to find teensy metal hooks to fit into weensy metal eyes, that constraining and compressing my breasts was not in my best interest. Like caged animals, my girls have always cursed the inhuman individual who saw the need to restrain this part of my anatomy. All they ever wanted was to be free.

Maybe it made a modicum of sense to cover them in 1914 when 19 year old Mary Phelps Jacob tied a couple of silk handkerchiefs together to conceal stiff whale bone stays that were visible through her sheer gown. But before long the notion became a popular fashion statement as style conscious women saw another way to start and follow a trend.

As luck would have it, someone, somewhere, decided those little silk handkerchiefs should do more than conceal whale bone. They might as well lift and support, also, because – heaven forbid – time and gravity might eventually have their way, and they would loose the youthful perkiness God, and most men, believe they should have.

I love being a woman. I have never wanted to be a man but, … and I say this knowing full well I will be slammed by most of the female population: when it comes to fashion, sometimes women are morons. The greater majority of them will rush out and buy anything that Fashion Magazines dictate. But, if they had clearly thought this bra issue through nearly 100 years ago, millions of women would not have dents in their shoulders from carrying around the weight of the world, and their midriffs would not have to tolerate irritating fabric rub. And for what? Just so bosoms wouldn’t bounce?


I’ve harnessed my girls every day of my life since eighth grade. When I told my mother that Jackie Young had winked and asked me what I had in my gym-suit pocket, she said it was time for me to wear a bra. And, she promised, if I always wore it my breasts would never sag. Well, despite 62 painful years of doing what Mother said, I have two words to describe what my girls look like today: National Geographic.

When I was in fourth grade I visited an eye doctor who prescribed glasses. “Don’t wear them all the time,” he said, “or you will become too dependent on them.” I did what he suggested, and only wore them for seeing the blackboard, reading and movies. Of course, the rest of the time I bumped into walls and got into stranger’s cars. But, the point is, I never found the need to rely on them. And, so it should be with bras.

Rouillon cautioned that women who have worn bras for several decades would not benefit from taking their bras off now.

Wanna bet? Stand back.

Editor’s Note: Laverne H. Bardy is a syndicated humor columnist. Visit her at She’s the author of “How The (Bleep) Did I Get This Old?”  Her articles appear regularly on She blogs for the and is also a columnist for,, and Copyright, Laverne H. Bardy, published with permission.

Laverne H. Bardy’s humor column, Laverne’s View, has been syndicated with Senior News Wire Services since 2004, and is read in newspapers throughout the United States, Canada and India. She wrote for 50 Plus Monthly, a regional New Jersey newspaper, where loyal readers laughed at her humor from 1999 to 2009. Currently she blogs for Huffington Post’s “Fifty” section, and writes for us here at, as well as and

Laverne began her writing career in the mid 1970’s, when she was asked to write and edit Hotline, the Parent/Teacher newsletter at the school her children attended, in Livingston, New Jersey. During that same period she wrote one play, collaborated in writing another, and worked with the Livingston school system’s psychologist to write a series of Behavioral Modification skits that were presented to parents and teachers of the student body.

Laverne wrote human interest stories for West Essex Tribune and The Newark Star Ledger for a stretch then went on to join the staff of Northern Horizon’s newspaper.

Some publications Laverne’s work has appeared in are Reader’s Digest, Mature Living, Montage Magazine, Northern Horizons,Woman’s Hockey, Big Apple Parents’ Paper, The Daily Record newspaper and New Jersey Jewish News. Anthologies include Chocolate for a Woman’s Courage, Rocking Chair Reader, Bedpan Banter, Story House, and Craft of the Modern Writer. She is currently working on a book, How the (Bleep) Did I Get This Old?, a compilation of her columns, life stories and ramblings. Laverne was interviewed by Bottom Line Retirement, twice.

When she is not writing Laverne gives talks and humorous readings in coffee shops, libraries, and for various organizations and workshops. Some of her topics include: Growing up in the Fifties, How to Get More Humor in your Life, and The Joys of Aging. Talks about the joys of aging don’t usually last more than thirty seconds.

Laverne was nominated for publication in the 2006 edition of Marquis Who’s Who of American Women.

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