SEX Education star Gillian Anderson surprised fans this week after revealing she’s stopped wearing a bra as they’re “too f***ing uncomfortable”.
The legendary actress said she won’t even wear one if her boobs reach her belly button.
So, we’ve separated the boob fact from fiction – from whether the weather changes the size of your breasts to ill-filling bras damaging your puppies.
BOOB SIZE CHANGES WITH THE WEATHER – TRUE
EVER feel you’re getting the Wonderbra effect in the hot weather? You could be forgiven for feeling like Eva Herzigova, as Katie Weir, aka The Bra Whisperer, says your boobs are not deceiving you.
“In hot weather our bodies swell, including our breasts, which can increase by around half a cup size,” she says.
“When it’s hot the body becomes less efficient at removing fluid from tissues, which causes swelling in the chest area.
“It is temporary but wearing a bralette or a super light-weight mesh crop top on a hot day will give more stretch.
“Women should have a professional bra-fitting every six months, as bra size may fluctuate between seasons.”
Cosmetic surgeon Paul Banwell adds: “Some women will find their breasts will change in size with their hormonal cycle as well as dietary habits and stress levels. It’s very difficult to say whether breast size changes in summer because while that may be the case for some, it won’t be the case for others.”
YOU CAN’T SLEEP IN A BRA – FALSE
BIGGER-busted women can find sleeping braless uncomfortable, so Katie suggests maybe ditching the underwire and switching to a bralette.
She says: “Sleeping bra-less can cause sweating, boobs disappearing under your armpits and general discomfort when moving, so a non-wired bralette with boob separators is a good option because it provides some support as you sleep.”
A WELL-FITTED BRA COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE – TRUE
“GETTING any concerning changes checked out early is key to ensuring breast cancer is diagnosed at a stage where it is treatable and survivable, says Sophie Dopierala-Bull, of the Coppafeel! charity. “Having a relationship with your pair, either through treating them to a bra fitting or boob check means you are more likely to notice when something isn’t quite right for you.”
EXERCISE CAN MAKE YOUR BOOBS PERKIER – TRUE
WHILE exercise can’t make breasts bigger, push-ups can make them perkier. Cecilia Harris, head personal trainer for health and fitness app Results Wellness Lifestyle, says: “The pectoral muscles that span the width of your chest, are the secret to toning your chest. “Building strength in these muscles will tighten them and lift the chest area. It’s like giving yourself a free boob job.
“For push-ups, start in a high plank position with your hands on the floor and wrists positioned under your shoulders. Slowly lower your chest towards the floor by bending your elbows then with power, push back up to the start position. If you are a beginner, drop down to your knees. Repeat several times.”
DIETING CAN MAKE YOUR BOOBS SAGGY – TRUE
PLASTIC and cosmetic surgeon Paul Banwell says: “Some people think losing weight will make their breasts less saggy, but unfortunately this is not the case. Not only do crash diets often lead to a deprivation of many key vitamins and minerals, they also send your body into starvation mode, and instead of burning fat it actually signals to your body to store up its fat reserves and to burn lean tissue.
“This can cause loss of muscle as well as the tissues around them, which happens so quickly that your skin doesn’t have enough time to adjust, and the result is sagging skin.”
UNDERWIRED BRAS RAISE BREAST CANCER RISK – FALSE
THE rumour your bra could give you cancer by restricting blood flow has been rumbling since 1995 book Dressed To Kill claimed there was a link. But Paul says: “There is no real medical evidence that underwired bras raise your breast cancer risk.”
SLEEPING ON YOUR TUMMY IS BAD FOR YOUR BOOBS – TRUE
PAUL says: “Sleeping on your stomach can be terrible for the breasts. Having them pressed against a mattress for hours doesn’t help with their perkiness and can increase the onset of wrinkles.”
WEARING THE WRONG-SIZED BRA DAMAGES BOOBS – TRUE
MANY women put their breasts at risk by wearing ill-fitting bras to exercise, a Portsmouth University study found.
Scientists say most bras do not give enough support to prevent irreparable and painful stretching of ligaments during exercise.
The study, which involved testing women running in different bra types, found that boobs move up to 21cm in every direction, while most bras are designed to limit just vertical movement.
Paul says: “Wearing the wrong-sized bra can change the appearance of your breasts and if your bra isn’t supportive enough, it may cause them to sag or droop.”
DITCHING A BRA WILL MAKE YOUR BOOBS DROOPY – FALSE
X-FILES star Gillian Anderson, 52, has stopped wearing bras in lockdown and says she will continue to do so “even if my breasts reach my belly button”.
But is it true that going braless encourages your breasts to sag? Not according to a French study of women aged 18 to 35.
Sports scientist Jean-Denis Rouillon found bras weaken the muscles that hold up boobs, and the nipples of women who never wore bras were on average seven millimetres higher in relation to their shoulders than regular bra-wearers.
But he says: “A middle-aged woman, overweight, with 2.4 children? I’m not at all sure she’d benefit from abandoning bras.”
BREASTFEEDING MAKES YOUR BOOBS SAG – FALSE
PAUL says: “During pregnancy breasts often become larger due to the increased blood flow and of course, the milk.
“While pregnancy and the increasing and decreasing size of the breast itself can have an impact on the tissue, breastfeeding won’t have an impact.”