This international day of awareness has a certain attraction for men and it is easy to see why.
October 13 is a day women are encouraged to leave their brassieres at home. This modern undergarment won by women to support their breasts, shortened to bra, was first fashioned in 1889 by Herminie Cadolle of France. Its history has framed the social history of the status of the woman especially in the context of the evolution of fashion and the constantly changing social views of the female anatomy. Through the years, women have used an assortment of garments and devices to cover and restrain, to reveal and modify the appearance of the breasts. And it has held an endless fascination for the male folks.
However, the day of awareness christened “No Bra Day” has a distinct focus of its own. Although the origins of the international event are vague, the day has been regularly marked since at least 2011 with the unique message of raising awareness for the importance of breast cancer screening. It recognises the symptoms of breast cancer and encourages regular self-examinations in the fight against this specific cancer. By encouraging women to leave their bras at home, it brings to the attention of the international community this particularly feminine concern. As it is marked across the world, the hashtag #NoBraDay is used across social media platforms for the 24-hour period of the 13th of October. In the course of that, the discourse of recognising symptoms, the importance of knowing how to carry out self-examination and the need to partake in regular breast cancer screening come to the fore.
Yet, it has no come without controversy. One of the earliest texts declaring the “No Bra Day” read: “Ladies, free your breasts for 24 hours by removing those dreadful (but at times oh-so-helpful) bras. Our perkiness should not be hidden. It is time that the world see what we were blessed with.
Your breasts might be colossal, adorable, miniature, full, jiggly, fancy, sensitive, glistening, bouncy, smooth, tender, still blossoming, rosy, plump, fun, silky, Jello-like, fierce, jolly, nice, naughty, cuddly… But the most used word to describe your breasts on October 13th should be FREE!” And as such, the goal has been lost in the lustful attraction that the breasts always hold for men. And for some women too. In large part, this has detracted focus from the very important cause that the day was set aside for.
But, every year, we, men and women alike, ought to refocus attention on the lofty objective of the #NoBraDay and help women kick Breast Cancer away forever.
If wearing a bra on this day is absolutely necessary, you can definitely show your support by wearing something purple.