As a kid, I watched a lot of those PBS National Geographic type shows that visited Indigenous cultures around the world. And I always got knots in my stomach when the camera panned over topless women with elongated sagging breasts.
It wasn’t the esthetics of it—I was too young to understand the sex appeal of perky breasts over sagging ones. It was the threat of my own discomfort someday; that is, if my breasts ever appeared and then (inevitably) began to sag. How awkward that must be, to not only have those two masses bulging out from your chest like external organs, but to also have them heavily hanging down like undeveloped appendages.
In the Western world, we thankfully have Victoria’s Secret helping us out in that department. And as any woman who wears a C cup or larger knows, being without a functioning bra is quite terrifying—worthwhile of calling in sick from work and hiding out until you can properly stow your girls in their preferred Lycra/Spandex cup homes.
Bras offer us comfort and support and keep us from accidentally losing a dangling nipple in the paper shredder, but they don’t prevent sagging breasts–in fact there’s conflicting science on whether or not bras may actually accelerate sagging. Regardless of the bra’s role in it all, it seems gravity works despite our best efforts to ignore it. Naturally, many women turn to the Internet to solve their problems, and headlines like these about preventing or reversing sagging breasts are everywhere:
I’m no doctor, but I do have boobs (two!). And you know what? Boobs sag, whether or not they’re excessively large or used for long periods of nursing. Yes, we can have them surgically altered so they don’t sag or jiggle. We can try “home remedies” or the exercises these articles recommend to stop the sagging. But we can also just let them do their thing—bras optional.
The worst thing about our obsession with sagging breasts is that not only are women way more fixated on the issue than men (a good man loves you the way you are, aging boobs and all), but these so-called “tricks” don’t really work. Yes, you may see some minor improvements, but nothing except implants will give you those perky, porn-worthy boobs.
And here’s some irony: nobody’s writing articles about natural remedies and tricks for how to prevent sagging testicles and “perk things up” down there, even though it’s as common as sagging breasts. Why? Because society obsesses over women of all ages having the perky boobs of a teenager, regardless of how ridiculous they’d look on a 60-year-old woman. Yet we just accept that men age; we even focus more on their “distinguished” look of grey hair and crow’s feet than the erectile dysfunction and floppy balls that come along with it.
That’s not to say we should all go topless, or even braless (the horror!). But aside from medically necessary surgeries, perhaps we should spend our time on more pressing issues like making sure our breasts are healthy, rather than trying to fight aging—because even behavior that childish doesn’t fool nature.
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Woman holding breasts image via Shutterstock