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Kendall Jenner Frees Her Nipple but Should You?

By Valaer Murray ; Updated July 18, 2017

From celebrities breastfeeding in public to other stars supporting going braless, the nipple's 15 minutes of fame never seems to cease. The latest is Kendall Jenner's proclamation -- via her subscription-only site -- that going braless is "cool" and "sexy."

While she labeled her post "FREE THE NIPPLE!," it's not entirely clear whether she wrote to support the campaign begun in 2014 by filmmaker Lina Esco. The gender equality campaign is still going strong and even gaining steam, evidenced by a recent protest march in Brighton, England.

Also in June, a Montana teen organized her schoolmates to protest not being allowed to go braless at school after she was told she was violating the dress code. She created a "No Bra, No Problem" Facebook page to rally other people to the cause.

Is Going Braless Good for You?

Whether or not you support the freedom for women to go bare-chested or go to school or work braless, it might not be the best choice for everyone. Women -- and their breasts -- come in all shapes and sizes, and therefore have different needs when it comes to the support that bras offer.

Back pain -- as well as neck and shoulder pain -- is one issue that can be caused by not wearing a bra or even a bra without enough support. "According to a study by the University Hospital of Wales, pre-menopausal women who go without a bra for a period of three months tend to have 7 percent more back pain than women who wear effective bras regularly," writes fitness instructor April Redzic.

Exercising, especially, without a bra can cause breast pain and sagging.

"Not wearing a bra puts undue strain on breast tissue and causes painful discomfort," writes journalist Eleanor McKenzie, quoting a 2008 study by researchers at the University of Wollongong that was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Breasts' fatty tissue are supported by ligaments, and the extra weight can cause the structures, called Cooper's ligaments, to sag.

"Compression sports bras are considered better for small-breasted women, while encapsulation bras may be better for larger ladies," McKenzie writes of findings from the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom.

Obviously, this is a personal choice, but unfortunately going braless may not be that comfortable or healthy for women with large, heavy breasts or chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.

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