A brassiere, popularly known as a bra, is an undergarment primarily worn by women to cover their breasts. Apart from covering breasts, it can also enhance or reduce the size of breasts or creates a cleavage (the hollow depression between the breasts).
Now that we know what a bra is, the million-dollar question is, can a man wear a bra? It’s a pretty simple question, but it requires the wisdom of the mighty King Solomon. Let me break the silence. Yes, it’s okay for men to wear a bra. As a man reading this sentence right now, you might be asking yourself, how can a man be such a sissy?
But please take a minute to appreciate the fact that there is a man somewhere with a chest like this and they didn’t wish to be this way.
Let’s dive in and see some of the reasons that would make a man to wear a bra.
Why Do Men Wear Bras?
1. Support for enlarged breasts
Every human being on planet earth is born different; some are short (like David), while others are taller, like Goliath. So, if you see a man with enlarged female-like breasts, don’t start judging right away because there must be a story behind it.
There is a condition called gynecomastia, which causes the breast gland tissue in men to increase in size. When a man’s estrogen and testosterone hormones don’t balance, the breasts can enlarge in size. Sometimes they can even enlarge unevenly. Man boobs are not painful but they can be socially distressing to some young men. They start avoiding their close-fitting outfits such as t-shirts and they also never want to be seen again without a shirt.
What would you do as a man reading this right now, and with such a condition? You guessed it right. Go for surgery. Big mistake. Why? One, it’s pretty expensive. Two, the surgery might fail.
Liposuction surgery only removes the breast fat, leaving behind the gland tissue. For mastectomy surgery, which removes the entire gland tissue, you might suffer from hematoma (blood build-up at the incision wound).
So what’s better, if surgery is such a costly affair? A bra is a practical option. If you have man boobs, don’t be ashamed. Go for a bra. It’s the safest option you’ll have at hand to look more defined under your shirts.
2. Cross-dressing and feminization
When you hear the word cross-dressing anywhere, what comes to your mind? Anybody? Okay. Cross-dressing is an act of dressing in clothes worn by the opposite gender. When a man wears a dress or a skirt, he is referred to as a “cross-dresser.” Same for a woman when she wears men’s clothing.
There are several reasons why people practice cross-dressing, namely: reducing anxiety, sexual stimulation, and subverting gender norms. You might call them “weirdoes”, but as outlined in the universal human rights declaration, all humans are entitled to the freedom of expression, and cross-dressing falls in this category.
Simply put, feminization is the shift in sexual and gender roles in society—men who practice feminization end up wearing bras and taking on female roles such as babysitting. Suppose you happen to see a breast-free man wearing a bra; the reason could be either cross-dressing or feminization. Or the wife simply wants her husband to wear a bra.
3. As part of sportswear
Now, this is where it gets exciting. Many men around the world are soccer fans. Have you ever seen your soccer idols wearing bras during training? You may have wondered why some male footballers wear bras during training or even during live matches.
Why do male athletes wear bras?
Men can wear sports bras also called athletic vests when training for different games such as football, basketball, and tennis. Athletes wear these wearable tech bras in which electronic body monitors are hidden to record their physical data and movements on the training ground. These bras are essential in analyzing a player’s heart rate, speed, preferred position on the pitch, and so on. This not only helps to track and improve a sportsman’s performance but it can also be used to track his medical condition in order to prevent future health complications.
In some long-distance sports such as a marathon, the sports shirt gets sweaty and salty and it can constantly rub your nipples as you run causing peeling and discomfort. Such discomfort will easily make you lose the race so it’s better to wear a sports bra to cover your nipples.
4. Transgender people
Transgender people are individuals whose current gender doesn’t match the gender they were assigned at birth. A child might be born a girl, but as time goes by, she comes to realize their dominant gender is that of a boy. By the time this dawns on him, the innocent boy will already have overgrown breasts and low self-esteem follows next.
As long as you live in this world, one thing you’ll come to realize is that experience is the best teacher and that you can never truly know how much something hurts until you go through it. This is precisely what transgender people go through. It wasn’t their will to be born that way.
So next time you see a man in a bra, be kind because you don’t know their history or what they are going through at the moment. Try walking in their shoes for a moment and experience what they feel. As a society, I think we should embrace them wholeheartedly.
How to Buy a Bra for a Man- A Guide to Bra Sizes for Guys
A good bra could be completely unnoticeable, while a bad one can become a horrible experience. Finding a perfectly fitting bra can be tricky but as a man, you should choose a bra according to your current circumstances.
If you’re a transgender person or you have larger male breasts, choose a bra that completely hides the breasts because fellow human beings can be very judgmental.
Breast size measurements can make all the difference and it’s highly recommended to never go bra shopping without knowing the right size that’ll fit you.
If you use a tape measure to measure around your chest just below your breast, this length in inches is your band size because that’s where the bra’s band should sit. If it’s an even number, you should take it as it is and if it’s an odd number, you should round the number to the nearest even number to get your band size.
Next, use the same tape measure to measure the length around the fullest part of your chest, that is at your nipple level. If this length is an even number, subtract the band size from it to get a number for your cup size. If it’s an odd number, round it off to the nearest even number and deduct the band size from it to get your cup size.
Different bras exist to serve different needs and they include:
- T-shirt bras
- Plunge bras
- Push up bras
- Sport bras
- Strapless & multiway bras
For men who are cross-dressers, any bra that amazes you is good to go, depending on your needs. You may want your chest to look slimmer, in which case you need a slimming sports bra or compression bra. You may also want to do away with shoulder straps, in which case you need a strapless bra or bandeau. If you are an athlete, it’s discomforting for boobs to keep bouncing up and down as you run and so your bra should hold them tightly. Luckily, for the majority of athletes, a special sports bra will be assigned by your club, personal trainers, or your institution.
Do Straight Men Wear Bras?
Some people believe that only gay men wear bras and in many communities, it’s seen as some sort of taboo for a straight man to wear a bra. But as we have seen above, there are legit reasons that can necessitate straight men to wear bras. Unfortunately, many men with such conditions feel compelled to struggle without a brassiere when they should be wearing one.
Some men may need to wear a bra due to natural conditions such as gynecomastia and transgender development. Others need to wear bras due to career needs such as sports or as a personal choice. So next time you see a man in a bra, be kind because you don’t know their history or what they are going through at the moment. It is ok for a man to wear a bra and as a society, we should appreciate such people instead of being judgmental.