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Paper Monitor

11:14 UK time, Friday, 12 April 2013

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

If you're a woman, it may be worth reading the Times before getting dressed this morning.

The paper reports how Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon, an academic at the University Hospital of Besancon in eastern France, has broken the post-war consensus.

Bras may not be necessary for holding up breasts. Or "norks" as Carol Midgley calls them in her commentary.

The Frenchman tracked 320 women's breasts over 15 years. I'll bet he did, a wag might mutter.

"Our first results validate the hypothesis that the bra is a false need," the professor says, adopting a most unpage 3 lexicon.

"Medically, physiologically and anatomically, the breast derives no benefit from being deprived of gravity. If it is, the tissues that support it are going to decline and the breast will progressively suffer damage."

Prof Rouillon is not one to shirk the detail. He notes that after a year of not wearing a bra, the nipples of women aged between 18 and 35 rose by 7mm on average.

Older and underweight women might need a bra but for the young it could be damaging, he argues in a technocratic idiom that comes naturally to a Francophone scientist.

"If a woman puts on a bra when her breasts first appear, the suspensory apparatus does not work properly and tissues of the bra distend."

It's left to Midgely to shoot his theory down with some anecdotal evidence of a less professorial tone. "Going without them gives you backache, a dowager's hump and the impression that two labrador puppies are tussling under your jumper."

Paper Monitor, who cannot confirm or deny the presence of a bra about its person, is keeping an open mind until Monsieur Rouillon's full research is published.

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