Last week, an obscure French sports doctor named Jean-Denis Rouillon went on a student radio station and said that bras were useless, or maybe even harmful to muscles that support breasts naturally. After 16 years of studying the busts of some 300 women, Rouillon had concluded that women should consider going bra-less, lest their breasts succumb prematurely to the inevitabilities of age.
Someone in the student station's small listenership must have made a call, because it wasn't long before the story was being broadcast nationwide, and eventually around the world.
"Medically, physiologically, anatomically — the breast derives no benefit from being denied gravity," said Rouillon in a later interview with France Info radio. "On the contrary, it becomes saggier with a bra."
France Info also interviewed "Capucine," a 28-year-old participant in one of Rouillon's studies, who said going bra-less had done her body wonders. "You breathe better, you stand up straighter, you have less back pain," she said.
In an interview with Reuters, Rouillon clarified that the results from his study are unpublished (and therefore unreviewed), that bras lead to the degeneration of breasts' "suspension system," and that the garments restrict circulation. "But a middle-aged women, overweight, with 2.4 children?" he asked, rhetorically, "I'm not at all sure she'd benefit from abandoning bras."
We await the review and publication of Rouillon's personal, preliminary boob-study.