By Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer.
Medical Anthropologists Directors, Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease
Nobody knows better than naturists what it’s like
to run up against mainstream bias. We live in a
culture where wearing clothing is not only the
norm; it is also in most cases the law. You personally know that nude recreation is empowering,
liberating, and healthful. You know that you feel
more comfortable naked, as nature intended,
There is one article of clothing that is particularly problematic, which women are compelled to
wear. It is worn intimately close to the body, so
close that it often interferes with circulation. It alters the body’s shape, and when you change shape you also change function and impair health.
Women are required to wear this garment from
the time of puberty until death, and some actually wear it 24/7. Women become so accustomed
to wearing this garment that they feel “naked”
without it, as though being naked is a bad thing.
Their bodies become so reliant on the garment
that they feel they need it for support.
Of course, we’re talking about the bra.
Bras are designed for fashion reasons alone.
There is no medical reason for wearing bras. And
research has shown that there are lots of medical
reasons for not wearing one. In fact, most cases
of breast pain and cysts are caused by wearing
tight bras. There are literally tens of millions of
women who suffer daily from bra-caused problems. Bras cause neck and back aches, headaches, nerve damage to the arms and hands, skin
depigmentation, skin rashes and fungus, breast
pain, fibrocystic breast disease, reduced melatonin secretion, indigestion, restricted breathing,
reduced self-esteem, and more.
The worst thing bras cause is breast cancer.
Of course, if you look up bras on the Internet,
you will see lots of ads and images, and little
mention of the problems they cause. There are
over one million bras sold daily in the US alone,
so this multi-billion dollar industry is not going
to air its dirty laundry in public. There have been
suspicions within the bra-manufacturing community (which is dominated by gay men, by the
way), that underwire bras can cause breast cancer. But without research to prove it, there could
be no liability claims, so no worries.
„How Naturists Can Fight Breast Cancer“
By Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer.
Medical Anthropologists Directors, Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease
As with other cultural norms about clothing,
fighting against the bra is a tough battle. It’s
not about science, or health. It’s about what is
perceived as acceptable by the culture. The culture uses science to justify its biases, so studies,
which support the status quo are welcome and
published. Meanwhile, research that challenges
cultural practices is squashed and discredited.
The culture is like a person. It can be rational to
deal with the facts, but it instead rationalizes the
facts to support what it already wants to believe.
It is opinionated, goes into denial, and can be
self-destructive. And in a culture where clothing
is essential, including undergarments like bras,
any information that challenges the status quo is
Fortunately, truth has a way of sticking around,
despite the resistance. You know naturism is
good for you because it feels good. Your body is
your natural guide. That’s why we have feelings.
Despite what the culture says, you can feel the
truth. That’s why naturists encourage other people to try this liberating lifestyle. They will feel the
The same thing applies to bras. Women who
wear bras are usually aware of the discomfort,
and rip off their bra as soon as they get home.
They instinctively know that the bra is uncomfortable, but as with most clothing, you get used to
it. Some women no longer feel the discomfort, or
even feel worse without a bra. Some swear that
they need a bra for support, as though the human body was designed with a flaw that needs
20th Century lingerie to correct.
When women stop wearing bras, amazing things
happen. Their breasts suddenly feel less pain.
Cysts disappear, even after years of having
doctors repeatedly remove the cyst fluid with a
needle. Once the bra is gone, the cysts are gone,
too. They discover that their breasts actually start
to lift and tone, like an arm regaining strength
after being held in a sling for years.
They say that they also breathe easier without
a tight band around the chest. And their body
image and self-esteem improve.
We discovered these reactions from women during our 25 years of dealing with the bra-cancer
issue. We have been on a journey of discovery
that has taken us from the jungles of Fiji, where
we first realized the problems caused by tight
bras, to the halls of academia, where the bracancer link is now being taken seriously.
So seriously, in fact, that there is intense industry resistance to this information. With billions
of dollars at stake, the lingerie industry has met
our research with ridicule and attacks. Now, however, there are numerous new bra designs that
are allegedly better for the breast, and which
are based on our research. Being bra-free has
become an acceptable fashion, and celebrities
from Gwyneth Paltrow to Gigi Hadid and Kendal
Jenner are bra-free, and even First Lady Melania
Trump has sported a bra-free look.
The Top-free and Free the Nipple movements
are questioning why women need to wear bras,
or wear anything over their breasts, especially if
men don’t have to. The fabric of society is being
redesigned, literally. Health and comfort are
becoming more important than conformity to
That’s good news for women, especially since
wearing bras is a leading cause of breast disease. Becoming bra-free is a great and effective
way to prevent and cure breast disease. Unfortunately, there is another fly in the ointment.
It’s the cancer industry.
Cancer detection and treatment are big business.
Breast cancer is a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
As a result, prevention is often ignored; the money is on detection and treatment.
In a culture where bras are the norm, and breast
cancer detection and treatment are extremely
profitable, you can expect that there will be resistance to information about bras and breast cancer. While there are numerous studies showing
bras cause cancer, these are being suppressed,
ignored, or censored by the cancer industry. Instead of looking further into the bra-cancer link
and doing more research, cancer experts have
dismissed the link as a “myth”.
It’s hard to break away from cultural orthodoxy.
The medical industry does not want to challenge
the bra industry, or any industry. Their job is to
detect and treat disease, not change the culture
to prevent disease from happening in the first
place. In fact, it took over 30 years for the tobacco-lung cancer link to be accepted by the medical
community. In the 1950’s, after research already
showed this link, doctors still were used in advertisements selling cigarettes.
These same cultural factors that resist change
are preventing the mainstream recognition that
bras cause cancer. You would think that truth
would trump all other considerations. It doesn’t.
And as naturists, you already know that.
Why are bras a problem for health? Bras are
designed to alter breast shape, and they do this
by applying constant pressure. This pressure
compresses the delicate, tiny lymphatic vessels
in the breasts that drain lymph fluid, which flows
mostly to the armpit lymph nodes and removes
bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, toxins, cellular
debris, and other waste products from the breast
tissue. Lymph flow is a passive process, aided
So wearing a tight bra not only constricts the
drainage of lymph from the breasts, but bras
also immobilize the breasts further hampering
The lymphatic system is more than a waste
disposal system for cleansing tissues. It is also
the circulatory pathway of the immune system,
which is why lymph fluid travels to lymph
nodes. These nodes are factories for production
of white blood cells to fight infections and cancer cells that are detected as lymph percolates
through. If the lymphatic system of the breasts
is hampered by constrictive clothing, then the
breasts become progressively toxified and the
immune system cannot effective clean up the
damage. The end result is cancer.
Naturists are not new to the concept of clothing
causing disease. All tight clothing is harmful,
including tight jeans (which causes Tight Jeans
Syndrome), neckties (which raise brain and
eye pressure and can cause glaucoma), corsets
(which deformed and disabled women, men and
children for centuries), and tight shoes (which
cause foot deformities, hammertoes, back injuries, and other foot disease). Anything tight is
harmful to the health of the human body, which
needs adequate circulation.
This should all seem obvious, especially to a naturist. However, when we conducted the world’s
first study into the link between breast cancer
and bras in our 1991-93 US Bra and Breast Cancer Study, the world was shocked. We looked at
nearly 5,000 women in five major cities, about
half of the women having had breast cancer,
and asked them about their bra wearing habits
and attitudes. We discovered that the longer and
tighter the bra was worn the higher the risk of
breast cancer rose, to over 100 times higher for
a 24/7 bra user compared to bra-free.
We announced our findings to the major US
cancer organizations and women’s groups, but
all of them ignored us. Questioning the bra was
too challenging a concept. It meant questioning
body image and the promotion of bra-shaped
breasts. It meant possibly having to change
one’s own dress habits and wardrobe. It meant
questioning all prior breast cancer research that
ignored this vital lifestyle factor, like ignoring
smoking when researching lung cancer. It was an
embarrassment to everyone who overlooked this
most obvious factor impacting women’s breast
If you have trouble with your feet, the first and
most obviously suspect should be your shoes.
If you have trouble with your breasts, the bra
should be top on the list of culprits. But who has
the courage to challenge the bra?
We soon realized that the only way to get this
information to the public would be to get our findings published in book form. Avery Publishing
Group was excited about our research, and the
first edition of Dressed to Kill was released in
1995. Soon after, we were invited to speak at a
naturist conference by the late naturist visionary
and founder of The Naturist Society, Lee Baxandall.
We were opposed immediately by the cancer
industry, which vehemently argued that bras cannot cause cancer and that women should continue getting mammograms to detect tumors once
they appear. The lingerie industry threatened my
publisher with a lawsuit, which never materialized. And even feminist groups were split on the
issue, fearful that this meant they would have to
stop wearing bras and be exposed to perverted
men. (The liberation spirit of the bra-burning
70’s was long gone.)
The only people who understood our work and
appreciated its significance were alternative
health practitioners, such as massage therapists,
chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, and alternative health MD’s who understood the importance of the lymphatic system and its proper
circulation in maintaining health. And, of course,
there was the naturist community.
For the past 25 years we have been keeping the
issue alive, with one secret weapon: when women try being bra-free, their breast health dramatically and quickly improves.
However, since the mainstream cancer industry
still discredits the bra-cancer theory, and actively
tries to suppress it, we need to continue getting
the word out. As women become bra-free, breast
cancer rates will drop. Women will stop suffering
from pain and cysts. Breast disease will become
a rarity, as it is in bra-free cultures.
However, while being bra-free is becoming more
acceptable, it is still practiced by a minority of
women. We need more women to show the benefits of bra-freedom. We need women who are
not afraid of their breasts looking natural, who
are comfortable with their bodies and have a
health body image.
Clearly, naturist women can show the way. Who
can better appreciate the problems of clothing?
And since naturism instills a healthy body image
and sense of self, naturist women are not ashamed of their breasts, or of being bra-free.
We need naturist women to join the
International Bra-Free Study.
This long-term study will follow these women
over the years to show that this group of women
has the healthiest breasts in the world. These
women can be the control or comparison group
for all future studies on breast health and bras.
Bra-free women will have little or no breast pain
or cysts, and their cancer rates will be lower
than that of other women, comparable to t
hat of men.
Women who enroll in the Study will be doing
the best thing they can to keep their breasts
healthy and disease-free, and will be an inspiration to other women to do the same. This is how
we will end the breast cancer epidemic. One
woman at a time. And naturist women will
lead the way.
This is also a great way to help others get past
their breast phobias and promote naturism.
Naturists to the rescue!
For those who would like the full story about the
bra-cancer link, go to our website
You may also want to read our 2018, updated,
second edition of Dressed to Kill.
To join the International Bra-Free Study, go to