Science Supports Kendall Jenner Ditching Her Bra

July 26th 2016

Lucy Tiven

Model and "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" star Kendall Jenner announced that she doesn't need a bra in a post titled — “Free the Nipple” — on her website.

“I really don’t see what the big deal is with going braless," Jenner explained.

“I think it’s cool and I really just don’t care!” she said. “It’s sexy, it’s comfortable, and I’m cool with my breasts. That’s it!”

Though the star's choice has been lauded as a body-positive statement, scientific evidence also supports her decision.

A 2013 study led by French sports science researcher Jean-Denis Rouillon looked into how wearing a bra affected 330 women between the ages of 18 and 35 over the course of 15 years, according to CBS News.

The researchers reported that women who went braless had firmer breasts, which were also lifted an average of 7 millimeters, and that their stretch marks faded.

"Our first results confirm the hypothesis that the bra is a false need," Rouillon told French news site France Info. "Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity. Instead, it languishes with a bra."

The researchers believed that their results indicated that bras restrict the growth of breast tissue and allow the muscles that support women's breasts to weaken and deteriorate.

But Roullion also pointed out that his study looked at young women specifically. He said older women who wore bras for many years might not benefit from ditching lingerie.

"It would be dangerous to advise all women to stop wearing their soutien-gorge (bra) as the women involved were not a representative sample of the population," he told French-English news outlet the Connextion.

Jenner's choice may benefit the health of her breasts — but it also points out some of the limitations and omissions of the body positive movement as championed by brands and celebrities.


Jenner, an affluent, conventionally attractive model, experiences a great deal of body privilege and financial freedom not shared by most women.

Jenner's words about freeing the nipple have already drawn a great deal of media attention that will likely benefit her career. This isn't the case for most normal or plus-sized women — many of whom already are subject to stringent workplace dress codes — and would most not likely be celebrated for freeing their nipples in the office. For these women, going braless actually is a big deal.

Although Jenner might not be the poster child for the body positive movement, she does offer a positive message that could draw greater attention to the criticism other women face about their bodies.