I was privy to an interesting conversation a few weeks back about entrepreneurship and fulfillment. My sister had been taken aback by an Instagram Reel she saw that basically shamed people who worked 9-to-5s while touting the benefits of being an entrepreneur. It was as if one couldn't thrive at a 9-to-5, as if everyday professionals play themselves every day going into a regular J-O-B. My sister began to question whether she was missing out on something great in focusing on her 9-to-5 as a teacher (and a damn good, dedicated one, at that).
As a journalist, editor, and consultant, I have covered entrepreneurship (particularly in service to Black women) for almost two decades, and I’ve studied organizational leadership while earning my master’s degree, so I had to go into both journalist and big-sister-protector mode, immediately reassuring her that while entrepreneurship is an awesome endeavor, it’s not for everyone, and there’s no shame in working a 9-to-5 you love. Also, you can indeed build wealth and fulfillment when taking the traditional professional path.
We’ve all seen that theme being perpetuated on social, where influencers push hustle culture and entrepreneurship as the end-all-be-all to happiness and getting to the bag, all while disrespecting and disregarding the valuable work of 9-to-5ers.
Again, more power to my boss sistas (me included), but here’s the affirmation all my fabulous 9-to-5ers need, especially my young professionals who are early in their careers: Sis, it’s more than okay to love your job, be an employee, and thrive. And indeed, you can be financially free, happy, and accomplished without having a business account in your name or a brand you’re pushing on IG.
Here are a few stats to back that affirmation: According to recent Bureau of Labor stats, 1 in 5 businesses fail within the first year. And while Black women are among the fastest-growing groups in terms of entrepreneurship (with 2.7 million businesses across the U.S.) Black women have higher labor force participation rates than other women (at 58.8% compared with 56.2% for women overall). There are more than 75 million women in the workforce (compared with 12.3 million women-owned businesses), so sis, you’re not alone.
The key to thriving at a 9-to-5 is totally foreign to any IG Reel or TikTok video you might watch a million times regarding entrepreneurship. Here are five ways you can build a career you love and thrive as a 9-to-5 power woman:
1. Actually pursue (and do) work you like to do.
There are so many statistics about unemployment, inflation, and what's wrong in the world of working. Please don't let that drive you to take a job that you either hate or aren't passionate about. While we all have bills to pay, it's a better idea to always strategize for landing a job that aligns with your passions, skills, and financial goals, even if you have to start from the bottom with a mindset and plan of elevating. You won't always get that dream job on the first try or even after the 10th interview, but find ways to work for that dream company, build that dream life, or work for that dream boss.
Do your research, get the training needed, and find unique but authentic ways to brand yourself via LinkedIn or Facebook. If you have to take that just-to-pay-the-bills job in the meanwhile, set a few goals with deadlines so that you can focus on your plan and get a better job that's more of a fit for what you'd like to be doing.
Take a few assessments to see what you're good at, what skills you have, and where your weaknesses might be. Sit down and write what you love doing, scenarios where you felt empowered and loved, and the types of jobs or industries where you might find a fit for what you're called to do.
This tip might seem like a no-brainer, but oftentimes women take jobs that they know aren't a great fit from the job description or interview process, remain at the job for longer than they should, and end up in both a professional and financial rut. If you can avoid doing this, you have a better chance of thriving.
2. Invest in yourself, your growth, and your future. Make this a priority.
Even with a job you don't necessarily like or when working for a company that's not quite a good fit, there are ways to invest in yourself and your financial future. Be sure you're locked into their 401K, you're taking advantage of every benefit of the packages they offer, and you're taking every bit of PTO allowed. In your spare time, again, be sure you're looking to the future and applying for jobs or positions that meet the standards of your future self. If you love your job, be sure you're setting benchmarks and goals as to how you'll grow, when you'll apply for promotions, who you'd like to work with in the C-suite, and what projects you'd like to take the lead on.
If you want to build wealth at a 9-to-5, investing is a good idea, no matter how much you make, and boosting your savings goals is also something you should become deliberate about. Some companies still offer matches for retirement fund investing.
That's totally okay because you can take retirement and investment planning into your own hands by talking to someone at your local bank or other financial services company (like Fidelity, for example). You can set up a regular or Roth IRA to save for your future. If you find the FIRE strategy to be one you'd like to pursue while you're working a 9-to-5, there are several online resources and available coaches to guide you through that process.
If you're okay with retiring at the traditional age, seeking out companies that provide opportunities for retirement investment is key and you must ensure you have a great financial plan for that. Prioritize your financial planning as a 9-to-5 employee so that you can achieve the life you want. While there are several systemic barriers to equity and wealth building for Black women, nothing beats a disciplined savings strategy and a bit of planning savvy. (Here's some great guidance on how to boost your savings goals in other ways beyond retirement funds.)
Remember, retirement planning isn't just about waiting until you're "older" and it's not just something your mom or grandma should be thinking about. You should be planning today for the lifestyle you want in the future, especially if you'd like to live it up via travel or lavish luxuries, you want to have a flexible work-life balance by a certain age, or you plan to finance your children's education. Wealth building is a game of strategy and long-term planning for sure.
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3. Connect with a mentor and create a community of support.
Thriving at a 9-to-5 is almost like raising a child. It takes a village. Connect with mentors, sponsors (or people at your company that can speak to your abilities for opportunities there), and other means of support in your career journey. Oftentimes, many of us work in a silo, just thinking hard work will pay off, but you'll need more than that to advance at a company. If you find that the culture of the company you work for is toxic, doesn't reward quality, or doesn't meet your professional needs, consider looking for work at another company. If the mission and values of a company don't align with yours when it comes to opportunities for growth and advancement (i.e. coverage of extended training, mentorship programs, ERGs, or workshops), it's time to say "Goodbye," or "No, thank you."
I remember my first major full-time job in publishing, and there were so many opportunities for growth. There was a stipend to take courses, opportunities to be mentored, company retreats, and a culture that made me feel like a valued team member.
I stayed at that company for almost a decade and had some of the best years of my professional life there. I also experienced growth in my confidence, skill set, and abilities to the point of ascending to a management position. I was also able to come up with a class (of sorts, like high school or college), of amazing Black professionals in media and communications, and make lifelong friends in the industry. These are people who, while we don't talk on the phone all the time, continue to inspire me and drive me to do more in my career.
4. Keep a positive perspective and add fun to your work day.
It's easy to get into a mental cycle of negativity, especially with so much bad going on in the world today. However, getting into the habit of gratitude and documenting wins at work helps to balance this. Keep a journal of your accomplishments, small and large, and be specific. (You can write, for example, that you led a team that brought in new clients or that you were able to boost revenues by 20% with your efforts. You could also write that you arrived on time for 30 days in a row, hired new talent that led to boosts in morale, or led trainings that helped with understanding a new system or way of doing business.)
While you indeed need to be aware of the challenges of working as a Black woman in any business arena, you should also keep your eyes on the prize (as the elders used to tell me growing up in the South as a child). If you are focused on the end goal, you're better able to steer your way through much of the mud of BS and strife that comes along with making boss moves at work.
I once had a situation at a job I loved, where an older professional was trying to get me fired. I'd already impressed managers in multiple departments and always wrote down my wins. Needless to say, not only did I not get fired but I thrived at the company for several more years and ended up befriending the woman who tried to get me fired (years later.) Keeping receipts and having a positive attitude through that ordeal is what led to my survival at that company.
Also, adding a bit of fun to your workday can help with coping with the everyday stresses of any job (whether you like your job or not.) Get active, make meetings you lead fun and engaging (in line with your company's policies and rules), and try out-of-the-box thinking when approaching problem-solving at your job. Smile often and find the humor (when appropriate).
Try to be a light in someone else's work day, and find ways not to take yourself so seriously (especially the higher up you go in your career). I often read emails back to myself before sending them just to find the "fun" or "light" factor to them and will add GIFs, a "LOL" or an exclamation point to take the edge off of a message. I'll also add a compliment, congratulations (if applicable), a fun quote, or a high point (especially to emails that might be about correcting behavior or disciplining someone.) It's super-helpful for me because I find management quite overwhelming and stressful and providing negative feedback is draining.
5. Allow your purpose, not money or a job, to define and motivate you.
When your foundational motivation is purpose, you're often feeding fulfillment, no matter what role you take or job you have. I have always wanted to help give voice to the voiceless, and I've always been attracted to work that helps advance women, especially my fellow Black women. I've found that the jobs I've thrived in have done just that, even on the days when I feel the work is tedious, annoying, or overwhelming.
I know that if I'm writing or editing stories or working on projects that will achieve that goal, I'm more apt to enjoy the work I do, overall. I also am more likely to offer my best in those roles, versus ones where I don't feel like I'm actively contributing efforts toward purpose.
I once worked a customer service job, when I was in-between clients and needed to supplement my income, and found that the monotony of the job as well as the organization's culture just didn't align with my passion for helping Black women (or empowering women at all). This ultimately led to a very traumatizing end to my employment with the company. I totally disregarded purpose by taking on that job and staying there even when I saw signs that the way they did business just wasn't empowering and didn't align with my values. I also wasn't focused on how I could be a change agent to strategically leverage the opportunity, thus, it ended in an abrupt disaster.
While the position did help fulfill my financial and healthcare needs at the time, I probably would have found myself in a better ending with that particular company had I remembered my career purpose and held true to it.
All in all, if you're strategic, purposeful, deliberate, and open-minded about working a 9-to-5 and making a job work for you, you can find fulfillment and build wealth in order to reach your personal and professional goals. You don't have to be an entrepreneur to find ultimate happiness. You can succeed as a professional who offers the gifts God has given you to the best of your ability and with an end goal that honors why you're here on Earth.
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Amber Riley Is In Her Element
Amber Riley has the type of laugh that sticks with you long after the raspy, rhythmic sounds have ceased. It punctuates her sentences sometimes, whether she’s giving a chuckle to denote the serious nature of something she just said or throwing her head back in rip-roarious laughter after a joke. She laughs as if she understands the fragility of each minute. She chooses laughter often with the understanding that future joy is not guaranteed.
Credit: Ally Green
The sound of her laughter is rivaled only by her singing voice, an emblem of the past and the future resilience of Black women stretched over a few octaves. On Fox’s Glee, her character Mercedes Jones was portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as the vocal duel to Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), offering rough, full-throated belts behind her co-star’s smooth, pristine vocals. Riley’s always been more than the singer who could deliver a finishing note, though.
Portraying Effie White, she displayed the dynamic emotions of a song such as “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” in Dreamgirls on London’s West End without buckling under the historic weight of her predecessors. With her instrument, John Mayer’s “Gravity” became a religious experience, a belted hymnal full of growls and churchy riffs. In her voice, Nicole Scherzinger once said she heard “the power of God.”
Credit: Ally Green
Riley’s voice has been a staple throughout pop culture for nearly 15 years now. Her tone has become so distinguishable that most viewers of Fox’s The Masked Singer recognized the multihyphenate even before it was revealed that she was Harp, the competition-winning, gold-masked figure with an actual harp strapped to her back.
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Riley began to feel like she’d found her voice. This sounds unbelievable. But she’s not referring to the one she uses on stage. She’s referencing the voice that speaks to who she is at her core. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space.”
“Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind. It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women."
If you ask Riley’s manager, Myisha Brooks, she’ll tell you the foundation of who the multihyphenate is hasn’t changed much since she was a kid growing up in Compton. “She is who she is from when I met her back when she was singing in the front of the church to back when she landed major roles in film and TV,” Brooks says. Time has allowed Riley to grow more comfortable, giving fans a more intimate glimpse into her life, including her mental health journey and the ins and outs of show business.
The actress/singer has been in therapy since 2019, although she suffered from depression and anxiety way before that. In a recent interview with Jason Lee, she recalls having suicidal ideation as a kid. By the time she started seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants in her thirties, her body had become jittery, a physical reminder of the trauma stacked high inside her. “I was shaking in [my therapist’s] office,” she tells xoNecole. “My fight or flight was on such a high level. I was constantly in survival mode. My heart was beating fast all the time. All I did was sweat.”
There wasn’t just childhood trauma to account for. After auditioning for American Idol and being turned away by producers, Riley began working for Ikea and nearly missed her Glee audition because her car broke down on the highway while en route. Thankfully, Riley had been cast to play Mercedes Jones. American Idol had temporarily convinced her she wasn’t cut out for the entertainment industry, but this was validation that she was right where she belonged. Glee launched in 2009 with the promise of becoming Riley’s big break.
In some ways, it was. The show introduced Riley to millions of fans and catapulted her into major Hollywood circles. But in other ways, it became a reminder of the types of roles Black women, especially those who are plus-sized, are relegated to. Behind the scenes, Riley says she fought for her character "to have a voice" but eventually realized her efforts were useless. "It finally got to a point where I was like, this is not my moment. I'm not who they're choosing, and this is just going to have to be a job for me for now," she says. "And, that's okay because it pays my bills, I still get to be on television, I'm doing more than any other Black plus-sized women that I'm seeing right now on screen."
The actress can recognize now that she was navigating issues associated with trauma and low self-esteem at the time. She now knows that she's long had anxiety and depression and can recognize the ways in which she was triggered by how the cult-like following of the show conflicted with her individual, isolated experiences behind the scenes. But she was in her early '20s back then. She didn't yet have the language or the tools to process how she was feeling.
Riley says she eventually sought out medical intervention. "When you're in Hollywood, and you go to a doctor, they give you pills," she says, sharing a part of her story that she'd never revealed publicly before now. "[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that's not fixing my problem. If anything, it's making it worse."
“[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that’s not fixing my problem. If anything it’s making it worse.”
Credit: Ally Green
At one point, while in her dressing room on set, she rested her arm on a curling iron without realizing it. It wasn't until her makeup artist alerted her that she even realized her skin was burning. Once she noticed, she says she was "so zonked out on pills" that she barely reacted. Speaking today, she holds up her arm and motions towards a scar that remains from the incident. She sought help for her reliance on the pills, but it would still be years before she finally attended therapy.
This stress was only compounded by the trauma of growing up in poverty and the realities of being a "contract worker." "Imagine going from literally one week having to borrow a car to get to set to the next week being on a private jet to New York City," she says. After Glee ended, so did the rides on private planes. The fury of opportunities she expected to follow her appearance on the show failed to materialize. She wasn't even 30 yet, and she was already forced to consider if she'd hit her career peak.
. . .
We’re only four minutes into our Zoom call before Riley delivers her new adage to me. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says.
On this Thursday afternoon in April, the LA-based entertainer is seated inside her closet/dressing room wearing a cerulean blue tank top with matching shorts and eating hot wings. This current phase of healing hinges on balance. It’s about having discipline and consistency, but not at the risk of inflexibility. She was planning to head to the gym, for instance, but she’s still tired from the “exhausting” day before. Instead, she’s spent her day receiving a massage, eating some chicken wings, and planning to spend quality time with friends. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m not going to talk down to myself. I’m going to eat my chicken wings, and then tomorrow I’m [back] in the gym,” she says.
“My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway."
This is the balance with which she's been approaching much of her life these days. It's why she's worried less about whether or not people see her as someone who is humble. She'd rather be respected. "I think you should be a person that's easy to work with, but in the moments where I have to ruffle feathers and make waves, I'm not shying away from that anymore. You can do it in love, you don't have to be nasty about it, but I had to finally be comfortable with the fact that setting boundaries around my life – in whatever aspect, whether that's personal or business – people are not going to like it. Some people are not going to have nice things to say about you, and you gotta be okay with it," she says.
When Amber talks about the constant humbling of Black women in Hollywood, I think of the entertainers before her who have suffered from this. The brilliant, consistent, overqualified Black women who have spoken of having to fight for opportunities and fair pay. Aretha Franklin. Viola Davis. Tracee Ellis Ross. There's a long list of stars whose success hasn't mirrored their experiences behind the scenes.
Credit: Ally Green
If Black women outside of Hollywood are struggling to decrease the pay gap, so, too, are their wealthier, more famous peers.
Riley says there’s been progress in recent years, but only in small ways and for a limited group of people. “This business is exhausting. The goalpost is constantly moving, and sometimes it’s unfair,” she says. But, I have to say it’s the love that keeps you going.”
“There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman,” she continues. “We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
"There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman. We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
Last year, Riley starred alongside Raven Goodwin in the Lifetime thriller Single Black Female (a modern, diversified take on 1992’s Single White Female). It was more than a leading role for the actress, it also served as proof that someone who looks like her can front a successful project without it hinging on her identity. It showcased that the characters she portrays don’t “have to be about being a big girl. It can just be a regular story.”
Riley sees her work in music as an extension of her efforts to push past the rigid stereotypes in entertainment. Take her appearance on The Masked Singer, for instance. Riley said she decided to perform Mayer’s “Gravity” after being told she couldn’t sing it years earlier. “I wanted to do ‘Gravity’ on Glee. [I] was told no, because that’s not a song that Mercedes would do,” she says. “That was a full circle moment for me, doing that on that show and to hear what it is they had to say.”
As Scherzinger praised the “anointed” performance, a masked Riley began to cry, her chest heaving as she stood on stage, her eyes shielded from view. “You have to understand, I have really big names – casting directors, producers, show creators – that constantly tell me ‘I’m such a big fan. Your talent is unmatched.’ Hire me, then,” she says, reflecting on the moment.
Recently, she’s been in the studio working on original music, the follow-up to her independently-released debut EP, 2020’s Riley. The sequel to songs such as the anthemic “Big Girl Energy” and the reflective ballad “A Moment” on Riley, this new project hones in on the singer’s R&B roots with sensual grooves such as the tentatively titled “All Night.” “You said I wasn’t shit, turns out that I’m the shit. Then you called me a bitch, turns out that I’m that bitch. You said no one would want me, well you should call your homies,” she sings on the tentatively titled “Lately,” a cut about reflecting on a past relationship. From the forthcoming project, xoNecole received five potential tracks. Fans likely already know the strengths and contours of Riley’s vocals, but these new songs are her strongest, most confident offerings as an artist.
“I am so much more comfortable as a writer, and I know who I am as an artist now. I’m evolving as a human being, in general, so I’m way more vulnerable in my music. I’m way more willing to talk about whatever is on my mind. I don’t stop myself from saying what it is I want to say,” she says.
Credit: Ally Green
“Every era and alliteration of Amber, the baseline is ‘Big Girl Energy.’ That’s the name of her company,” her manager Brooks says, referencing the imprint through which Riley releases her music after getting out of a label deal several years ago. “It’s just what she stands for. She’s not just talking about size, it’s in all things. Whether it’s putting your big girl pants on and having to face a boardroom full of executives or sell yourself in front of a casting agent. It’s her trying to achieve the things she wants to do in life.”
Riley says she has big dreams beyond releasing this new music, too. She’d love to star in a rom-com with Winston Duke. She hasn't starred in a biopic yet, but she’d revel in the opportunity to portray Rosetta Tharpe on screen. She’s determined that her previous setbacks won’t stop her from dreaming big.
“I think one of my superpowers is resilience because, at the end of the day, I’m going to kick, scream, cry, cuss, be mad and disappointed, but I’m going to get up and risk having to deal with it all again. It’s worth it for the happy moments,” she says.
If Riley seems more comfortable and confident professionally, it’s because of the work she’s been doing in her personal life.
She’d previously spoken to xoNecole about becoming engaged to a man she discovered in a post on the site, but she called things off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new boyfriend publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says, half-joking before turning serious. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”
Credit: Ally Green
"I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness and you enjoy it and work through it.”
With her ex, Riley was pretty outspoken about her relationship, even appearing in content for Netflix with him. This time around is different. She’s not hiding her boyfriend of eight months, but she’s more protective of him, especially because he’s a father and isn’t interested in becoming a public figure.
She’s traveling more, too. It’s a deliberate effort on her part to enjoy her money and reject the trauma she’s developed after experiencing poverty in her childhood. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”
After everything she’s been through, she certainly deserves to finally let loose a bit. “I have to have a life to live,” she says. “I’ve got to have a life worth fighting for.”
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Better Off Braless: The Benefits Of Not Wearing A Bra More Often
Somewhere between the start of the pandemic and entering the late stages of my 20s, bras become less and less of a priority.
Within that span of time, I, like most of the world, spent my days inhabiting my small bubble, staying in the house with loose-fitting loungewear, and being on Zoom calls that only required me to be presentable from the neck up. So as the demand to have my breasts at their perkiest form, so did my commitment to wearing bras.
The relationship that most women have with their bras is… well, complicated. While society has led us to believe that they’re required for us to be deemed as “ladylike” and “neat,” many of us find the garment to be a bothersome (and optional) accessory at best.
From underwires that poke and dig at our sides to push-ups that spill over, the argument in support of bras has begun to wane over the last few decades, with women of all cup sizes asking themselves if it’s better to just go braless.
Courtesy of Harper Wilde
“Many years ago, I ditched wired bras and opted for going braless out of a desire for freedom and celebrating natural human form,” multi-hyphenate Alyson Stoner tells xoNecole. The movement activist best known for their fly dance moves with the likes of Missy Elliott and on Step Up 2: The Streets, shares that when it comes to their bra selection, comfort is key. “As someone who enjoys moving their body, I found that I do want an underlayer that provides some support without interfering with comfort and mobility.”
A source of concern when choosing to go braless is whether or not the lack of support from a bra will, in turn, affect the firmness of one’s breast, resulting in early sagging. However, Sabrina Sahni, M.D., an oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Florida, shares that breast sagging is a result of age, not whether you’ve ditched your bras.
“Sagging breasts – also called ptosis – generally occurs due to chronic aging,” she tells xoNecole. “The breast is made up of a combination of glandular and fibrous tissue and fat tissue. Over time, the glandular tissue may become replaced with fattier tissue, and that can lead to more sagging. Wearing a bra or not wearing a bra ultimately does not change that.”
"Wearing a bra or not wearing a bra ultimately does not change that."
Women with heavier breasts may find that going braless may have its set of drawbacks, but Dr. Sahni says that you should always pay attention to your comfort levels since bras are a garment designed to support your back and correct your posture. “Those with heavier or larger breasts who choose to go braless may actually have worsening back/neck/shoulder pain,” she says. “Wearing a bra may allow them to correct their posture and help alleviate tension on those muscle groups.”
“Women with larger breasts may benefit from wearing a well-fitted, supportive bra as it may alleviate things like upper back pain or neck pain,” she shares.
Listening to your body is key when choosing whether you want to toss out your bras forever or just for a day. The beauty in a woman’s body is that it will tell us what we need to know before we even have to ask. There are common misconceptions about tighter bras being linked to causing health issues like breast cancer.
And while studies do show that Black women are “twice as likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer early when compared with Caucasian women,” the manifestation of this disease is predetermined by other varying factors.
“There are a lot of myths out there about going braless being better for breast cancer risk. It is completely false,” Dr. Sahni explains. “Whether or not you wear a bra does not have any bearing on your overall breast cancer risk. Ultimately, your risk is dependent on a variety of factors, including family history, your breast density, your lifestyle, and your reproductive history.”
If you’re looking for classic, weightless comfort that’s close to going braless, Alyson Stoner recommends Harper Wilde, a body-inclusive intimates brand on a mission to create a more comfortable world for womankind. They currently have a capsule collection with the intimates brand in partnership with their company, Movement Genius.
“Harper Wilde has been my go-to for years now because the materials are truly soothing on my sensitive skin, the amount of support feels like you're being gently hugged (not squeezed), and the styles are flattering and beautiful enough to wear as shirts or visible layers,” they say.
Courtesy of Harper Wilde
The brand offers super soft, breathable cotton fabric in their Triangle and Scoop Bralettes ($40 each) that will put the bliss and comfort back in your bosom.
Dr. Sahni says that choosing to opt out of bras or keep them close to your chest “truly depends on the individual” but it should be understood that “wearing or not wearing a bra won't significantly impact your overall health.”
“Ultimately, it comes down to comfort. There are some women with chronic breast pain where perhaps changing their bras to something more supportive and well-fitted may help,” she says. “Alternatively, some women find that going bra-less will alleviate their breast pain. I tell women that they should choose a bra that is comfortable for them, feels supportive, and one that they can wear regularly.”
So whether you choose to free the tatas or wear a bra that feels like it’s barely there, remember to listen to your body because ultimately, the choice is yours.
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