We’ve all been there. Your one, well-used sports bra is in the wash (or badly needs one), so you strap on your most comprehensive t-shirt bra in the hope it’ll anchor your boobs enough for tonight’s jog/gym session/netball game.
But oh my goodness, never again. Because now there’s an image we will never be able to get out of our minds thanks to a simple but very effective new ad.
Berlei’s commercial for its Spring/Summer range of sports bras demonstrates the kind of trauma our poor breasts endure when not properly secured during exercise.
To make the point, the Aussie brand animated a breast – nipple and all – being kicked, hit, squashed, punched, bounced, tossed, even lobbed through a basketball hoop.
“Stop your boobs playing their own game,” the tagline reads.
According to research by University of Portsmouth scientist Dr Joanna Scurr, it’s estimated that at least 50 percent of women experience breast pain while exercising, no matter how large or small their cup size.
And little wonder. During her investigations for the Research Group in Breast Health, Dr Scurr recorded breasts bouncing up to 21cm.
The correct sports bra, she argued, can allow women to participate in exercise that may otherwise be off-limits and even reduce the need for pain medication.
“Studies have shown that medication to reduce breast pain was only successful for 54 percent of women, but they had to put up with side effects of the medication,” she told Science Daily, “whereas sports bras were shown to be successful at reducing breast pain for 80 percent of women, with no side effects at all.”
Berlei's own research showed that 40 percent of Australian women don't wear a sports bra while exercising. With that in mind, the brand said it hopes its new commercial will encourage women to consider a well-fitting bra as an essential piece of sporting equipment.
"Most women are conscious about how their breasts feel during exercise because they can bounce around, feel uncomfortable and painful, however they are often unaware of the damage that can happen below the surface to the soft tissue and delicate Coopers ligaments inside their breasts if they don’t have the correct support," Head Designer for Berlei Innovation, Adele Kershaw said in a statement.
"Women are aware of the need for different equipment such as footwear and clothing for different sports, but they need to be aware of the importance of wearing the right sports bra for different sports to prevent this damage."
The brand took a similarly sympathetic approach to improperly secured breasts in a 2017 commercial. But it proved a little too in-your-face for Facebook.
The clip featured close-ups of a variety of women and their everyday boob struggles; from bra straps that cut in, to strapless bras that lack support.
For reasons that still aren't entirely clear, the social media giant banned it from feeds, citing "potential offence to the community". YouTube, too, pulled the clip but ultimately reversed its decision.