It would seem that Japan is experiencing an upswing in men who like to wear bras. I had no idea until reading a story on the website My Navi that claims this is so. Sure enough after searching Japanese online shopping site Rakuten, there were six pages of bras designed specifically for men on sale.
My Navi‘s bra-wearing woman reporter went to gather evidence of this phenomenon to find out why more and more men a looking to strap on a brassiere.
During her research, the reporter found that this trend was occurring worldwide as she found various websites where men who wear bras share their feelings and experiences. Obviously, her first question was, “Why do some men enjoy wearing bras?”
One guy from England explained, “I feel relieved and protected,” which seemed to be a common reply. Another reader from Italy seemed to have a more physical reason, citing “My back feels supported by my chest and relieved.”
The men also shared the events that triggered this preference such as one man “began doing it after losing a bet.” Other men slipped on a bra the first time after playfully doing so at the request of their wife or during Halloween.
While many of the men felt protected there is also the anxiety of getting caught. Many bra-loving guys refused to wear them to work for fear of being exposed. Others worry about their spouse or significant other catching them raiding the underwear drawer. This leads to a circle of fear: Without the bra, some men lack that comfortable feeling of security, and with them they have to be careful not to get caught.
The only solution would be for society to change its perception of the habit or for these people to get a job at RocketNews24, where wearing a bra isn’t only allowed – it’s rewarded!
When the My Navi story hit, Japanese netizens had a range of opinions about this trend. Some cited the “ongoing feminization of men” while others simply wrote these guys off as closet homosexuals, for some reason.
Other commenters expressed a liberal attitude saying if it doesn’t affect their life then who cares, and “this shouldn’t be a problem since men and women are supposed to be equal.” One reader warned “they can’t wear it this summer. The sweat would make their shirts see-through.” Which triggered a “novel” idea for Cool Biz in Japan.
Many comments also alluded to the character of Stefan from The World of Golden Eggs, a Japanese computer animated series about a rural American high school. Here, Stefan can be seen wearing a bra which he insists is a ‘pectoral supporter’ and nothing more.
Male bra wearing will likely stay in the underground until some huge star besides Stefan sets the trend. Glam, visual-kei, and grunge rock all tried to get guys wearing gowns in to the mainstream, but it never seemed to quite take off. But who knows, maybe someday Michael Jordan will lift up his and reveal that the secret to his success was actually a frilly red bra. Then perhaps a new day will dawn in socially acceptable men’s undergarments.