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A bra, or brassiere, is an element of clothing manufactured and worn specifically to cover, support, or enhance the breasts. A water bra is known for such breast-enhancing capabilities, but with an additional element: liquid. The liquid used in a water bra is usually a gel, not water. Though a bra may be made with the liquid already inside, modern gel inserts may also be added to an otherwise waterless bra.
The modern bra became popular as corsets began to go out of style. As the 1800s came to a close, the idea was no longer to elevate the breasts, as corsets had. Comfort and support began to take over as the primary reason for wearing this undergarment. Over the next century, bras became more compact in size.
Like corsets, bras can increase cup size. In a water bra, the gel-filled cups are meant to look more natural than firmly padded bras. Old-fashioned padded bras, particularly the torpedo or bullet bras popular in the 1940s and 1950s, made breasts appear as pointy cones. For many decades since, the padded bra was known to be thick, heavy, and at times, obvious. Bra manufacturers eventually began to produce bras that moved with the breasts during regular activities such as walking. The water bra was one of these bra types.
Though it is still considered somewhat of a novelty, the water bra gained much more popularity in the late 20th century. Typically filled with a gel rather than water, a small bag containing the substance is attached or sewn into the bra. This bag is often teardrop- or oval-shaped and is meant to curve naturally around the breast. Occasionally, the entire bra cup is filled with liquid, though manufacturers don’t prefer this method due to the possibility of puncturing.
Removable liquid pads have also become popular. Often sold as a water bra set, these pads can be taken out if cleavage enhancement isn’t wanted, or they can be utilized with other non-water bras, as they are simply placed between the cup and the breasts. These pads or liquid-filled bags are occasionally referred to as chicken cutlets or chicken fillets, as their shape is often akin to that of a chicken tender.
When worn properly, water bras, like other bras, enhance cleavage. An incorrect bra fit may decrease the appearance of cleavage. A bra that is either too big or too small will flatten the breasts and cause them to look far less aesthetically pleasing.