We Can Totally See Why Female Soldiers Are Demanding To Be Issued With Sports Bras

When you think about it, it's insane these don't come as standard part of the kit


by Sophie Cullinane |
Published on

Anyone with breasts over a size C (B in some cases) will be aware of the unique, nipple-burning pain of exercising without the adequate tit-scaffolding in place. I’ve just been re-measured and I am now a 28G (I know – it’s harrowing) meaning that even a slightly misjudged run down the stairs braless can be enough to inflict actual, fully-fledged back pain for the rest of the day. On one of the four times I’ve gone jogging in my adult life I came back with bruises underneath my armpits from the force exerted by my un-tamed breasts flopping around.

Which is why the news this morning that female soldiers are demanding special sports bras as part of their kit to protect them on active service, doesn't exactly surprise me. In fact, the only surprising bit about it is that they didn't come as a standard part of the uniform already.

READ MORE: Exercising As A Big Breasted Woman Isn't Just Physically Painful; It Can Scar You Emotionally Too

‘Why are women in the three Services not issued with sports bras?' one female soldier has written in Soldier Magazine about the issue. ‘They are a vital piece of kit which ensures comfort and protection for the vigorous physical activities expected of all serving soldiers, sailors and air women. Regardless of the size of your breasts, the tissue in this area of the body can be irreversibly damaged by high and low-impact activities undertaken in the line of duty and during military recreational activities.'

The soldier says she's not the only big-breasted woman who's had to resort to buying her own sports bras to take out to the field. 'I take a 30JJ size bra and for 20 years I’ve had to go out and purchase decent support myself,' she writes. 'I’ve heard all the excuses about the wide range of products available to us but there are few companies who make sports bras of the quality that are suitable for an active servicewoman. Surely a contract with one of these firms, or even better, the return of the hosiery allowance which was around £45 per year would solve this. I love my breasts and don’t wish to go under the knife to repair them and then begrudge the money I’ve spent to ensure I can do my job. We issue recruits with sports kit and other essential wear so why not decent sports bras?’

READ MORE: How Being Boob Shamed In My Teens Still Affects Me In My 20s

Authorities insist her demands aren't being ignored – but say it's complicated. ‘The Army is pursuing the provision of adequate support for servicewomen,' her superiorBrigadier Matthew Lowe replied. 'A statement of user requirement is being drafted and could lead to a procurement solution. I say ‘could’ because any such requirement would need funding and this is not guaranteed.’

While it's clear an increase of uniform would affect budgets - anyone who's had to buy a super-size sports bra will know how expensive they are – surely there should be an obligation to provide our army staff with all the physically stuff necessary to do the job properly? Female or otherwise.

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Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophiecullinane

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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