On Viewership, Misconceptions, and the Spread of Misinformation (on International Women’s Day)

It’s a fact that people who use social media are more prone to watching videos than reading articles. Even when they read something, the same people are far less likely to read an article that doesn’t have a picture above the link/headline. This is no more obvious than on Facebook, where the website has altered their algorithms to steal YouTube and blog views. Facebook has also taken to restricting previews of videos when posting onto the website via your computer, and completely restricting said previews when you share via mobile, making sharing from other sites inconvenient.    

That said, I question why “news” outlets intentionally spread misinformation when making a video with accurate information is insanely easy. While garnering shares and likes by pandering to ignorance can be conducive to making money (though, again, Facebook gets most of it), it harms both the viewer and the reputation of the producing source. We see this in groups like “Lizzy the Lezzy”, “Equality House”, and most recently, “ATTN:”. What benefit is there in spreading misinformation? Better yet, what use is there in contradicting yourself? When your mission statement is as follows:

ATTN: is a company with a simple mission: inform and empower the next generation to make a social impact. Content is chief in pursuing this, and everyday on new media platforms, we share commentary, news articles, and videos that cover important societal topics (economic mobility, civil rights, education, criminal justice, the environment, etc) as well as incorporate meaningful calls-to-action.“,

how could you sanction posting this video after publishing this article?

To be clear, there is absolutely no link between bras and breast cancer. There never was. The belief that breast cancer was caused by breast bindings is an old wive’s tale, spread by the misinformed in a skewed attempt at railing against the patriarchy, and that which was debunked over half a century ago. Wearing a bra also doesn’t affect your Cooper’s ligament. If your breasts are “perky” or “sag” have much more to do with skin elasticity, which is a byproduct of your genetics. Your number of pregnancies as well as if and how much you breast feed are also factors. Likewise, your genetics are also responsible for your breast shape and starting location. If wearing a bra hurts you, there is an extremely high probability that you are part of the 84% of women who are completely uninformed of their bra size. While not wearing a bra is completely acceptable, and no one should be shamed for going without, if you are going to wear a bra, do so correctly.

Being properly fitted for a bra is a part of the process of purchasing lingerie, regardless if that lingerie costs $20 or $120. When being fitted for a bra, you do so without clothing on. Measuring your rib cage and bust line are a little difficult when you have a shirt on. This seems like common sense, but it isn’t. There’s a shame that surrounds being fitted that directly contributes to the misconception that bras are painful torture devices, and that helps bolster the old wive’s tale’s success of brassieres causing cancer. In doing a bit of research and gleaning information from my work in lingerie, I have found that the fear of having large breasts is very present in many women, primarily because having a larger chest is indicative of abiding by a different standard of beauty (as the American standard highlights proportionality, and having a large chest means most women have what is commonly known as “an inverted triangle” shape). Women tend to balk far more at being a DD/E than having a circumference of 36 inches. Women have shouted and actively argued with me – insisting that my math was wrong and that there was no way their chests were that big, while my tape measure and the black numbers confirming my determination stood in stark contrast against their skin. It wasn’t until I would show them that store bought bras actually go up to a size 40G (and custom bras to a L), and they gained some perspective, that the women would concede to trying on bras that fit them. And, lo and behold, once they were put into a bra that fit, their backs stopped hurting; their complaints about straps digging into their shoulders disappeared. Most returned and sheepishly said they could no longer feel the bra. …All in all, there really is no reason for the beliefs these women held/hold to be the rule(s) instead of exception when there’s no basis for it. That women are so cowed into skittish behavior when it comes to their own bodies and experiences is atrocious, and shows us exactly how far we haven’t gone in accepting all body shapes.

 

So if wearing the right sized brassiere is not only comfortable, but poses absolutely no health risk, why the belief in the exact opposite? Being ashamed of your own body only goes so far as an excuse – especially when being self-conscious means you’re in pain and bleeding just to lie to yourself when you aren’t fooling anyone. Why the baseless fear mongering? Why can’t people endeavor to be more accepting and knowledgeable instead of simply enduring in a constant bid to fit an arbitrary and wholly unattainable mold? Why can’t we see we can and should have more because we’re deserving of such? Are people so eager to accept these inaccuracies because it shrouds the issues they have with their bodies? Is disparaging bras part of an anti movement to encourage women not to wear them?
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