I’ve been busy with my sports bra trial recently and writing up the review for Baby Routes. All that time spent thinking about underwear got me wondering about the wider possible uses of the bra. I have personally used my own bra in the past to hide money and travel documents when travelling in less salubrious locations and our most faithful undergarment has long been associated with the struggles for women’s rights and the feminist movement. With the researcher in me fired into action, I discovered very quickly that the trusty bra is not only adept at providing us ladies with everyday support but also saving lives and helping fight poverty!
Here are my favourite uplifting tales of miracle bras. Please send me any others you know about!
- Hiker successfully rescued after using her bra as SOS signal. I always knew that a good sports bra was an essential item of hiking clothing and now it turns out the brighter and bolder, the better! Should you get into a tight spot, like this American lady did in the Bavarian Alps, you will be able to use your underwear to signal your position to rescue teams!
- The bullet-proof bra. It appears the humble bra has been successful more than once at bouncing of bullets and saving grateful wearers’ lives. In 2009, a 57 year-old Detroit lady survived being shot by armed burglars after she spotted them breaking into a neighbour’s house. Amazingly, the bullet struck her underwired bra which slowed it down and thereby reduced the severity of her injuries. In the same year, a Brazilian lady also dodged a fatal bullet after her bra which was stuffed with money (another handy use) caught the worst of the impact.
- Super Bra deflects knife in domestic dispute. Nikola Dennis from Chippenham avoided serious injury from stabbing in 2011 after the kitchen knife used to attack her got caught in the underwire of her bra. Mrs. Dennis is not the only one to be saved by her underwiring – 26 year old Vicky Parsons from Hull survived a knife attack whilst on her break from her job as a barmaid. The underwiring in her £6 Asda bra deflected the knife leaving her with only superficial skin damage.
- Padded bra cushions Mum-of-one during car crash. It may be a funny concept but for Lisa Somerville wearing breast-boosting padding inside her bra was no joking matter after she was involved in a head-on car crash. Doctors told her that the extra padding in her underwear prevented her broken ribs from piercing her heart and were the means of a lucky escape.
- The bra that doubled up as a tourniquet. Off-duty nurse Jayne Craig saved a motorcycle crash victim from bleeding to death after some quick thinking. With the help of a bra and a belt, she created an improvised tourniquet which saved the life of the lady. Jayne was recognised for her quick thinking with an award.
- Bra saves lady from riding accident. Christine Agutter got caught up in her saddle girth and found herself suspended above the ground. Luckily for her, she was wearing an underwired Triumph bra which kept her firmly in place until she could be rescued and lowered to the ground. Nurse Agutter believes a normal bra would have strangled her.
- Donate a bra and help fight poverty. This has to be my favourite innovative use of the bra for the greater long-term good. Oxfam have been sorting out donated bras from the UK, selling some on to raise money for the charity and sending others to social enterprise Frip Ethique in Senegal. Women from Frip Ethique use donated clothing, of which bras are by far the biggest earner, to sell on to market traders and earn a living.