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Advice on whether binders are safe

(51 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Mon 29-Jan-18 16:56:10

Hi, my dear best friend is in a bit of spin as her daughter (13) is saying she wants to be a boy, and she wants a binder.

I didn't even know for sure what a binder was, and looking on line with her, I'm still confused! Some look like T-shirts, some like sports bras and some look like something else!

My friend is not a mumsnetter but she knows I am always on it and she asked if I could find out a bit about binders. Are they safe, for age 13? Do sports bras work as well. Or should she just say no?

Her dd has never been a typically 'girlie girl' but she never expected this and I must say I am quite surprised too.

She gave me permission to ask about this and I'd really like some practical suggestions for her, please. She's a single parent so making decisions pretty much alone. She's really quite blindsided by this and not sure whether to just say no or completely give in!

I am advocating a kind of middle path, but I am not sure what that is. I've read a bit about the subject and also had mental health issues with my own dd so used to walking on egg shells!

Please don't think I want to interfere! It is all my friend can talk about at the moment!

We have gender fluid people in my wider circle of family and friends but no talk of binders so please help, and be kind! thanks

TallulahBetty Mon 29-Jan-18 17:01:03

Totally thought you meant a ring binder. Like a folder. <retreats>

Italiangreyhound Mon 29-Jan-18 17:10:20

Well I did Google 'Binders' and I did get ring binders at first @TallulahBetty

Italiangreyhound Mon 29-Jan-18 17:15:30

Can I also say all this is very new for my friend and her dd, no big long build up etc.

I tent to think it may be phase but I know she needs to be supportive too, or debate etc will be shut down.

therealposieparker Mon 29-Jan-18 17:17:19

No. Binders are not safe.

Tell your friend to look up breast ironing, it's like binding but for poor brown women..... so totally not okay.

therealposieparker Mon 29-Jan-18 17:19:37

Also the desire to hide breasts is perfectly normal for all types of girls, very few see it as currency. My dd only wears baggy shapeless clothing, at 11 she has DDs and so totally hates it, thankfully she has a pretty good grasp of reality.

Jenala Mon 29-Jan-18 17:23:36

This website is useful for parents in her situation. Parricularly this page about binders.

Jenala Mon 29-Jan-18 17:23:50

Aaagh particularly

Italiangreyhound Mon 29-Jan-18 17:27:56

I've heard about breast ironing in an article some years ago.

Thanks posieparker and Jenala.

BlueBooby Mon 29-Jan-18 18:23:50

I have read about a study showing that most users of breast binders reported negative health effects. Off the top of my head, this included things like chest pain, rib pain, shortness of breath. I think there was also a warning given out last year advising to let children with breast binders on to be excused from PE because of the physical side effects. Worrying stuff. sad

I'm sorry a link would be a lot more useful, but I can't use Google right now. My internet is playing up. I think it should be easy to find though.

Wonderwomb Mon 29-Jan-18 18:37:43

They’re really not good for young developing breasts. Well any breasts really, but particularly bad when breasts are developing.
A sports bra might be a good middle ground, with reassurance that it’s perfectly normal for girls to feel uncomfortable or not want breasts. It doesn’t mean they’re boys, just normal girls!

DrRisotto Mon 29-Jan-18 19:47:03

If this is a recent thing, why not wait it out? It's probably a phase. I've seen a statistic saying up to 90% of children expressing desires to be the opposite sex, eventually change their mind.

I remember a friend of mine saying that she'd cut her boobs off if she grew any! She later was more upset that they weren't especially large...

Italiangreyhound Mon 29-Jan-18 23:57:57

Thanks, all, that is helpful, will pass it on.

I have been trying to read up on this in case I can find something out. It's just info seems to be polar opposite. Some saying no issues, some saying lots.

Lots of info on internet is about trans women, not girls who want tobe boys or men. My friend's child didn't saay 'transgender' exactly, just she want to be a boy.

My friend told me her dd says she'd been thinking about this for ages but it is all quite new for her mum and that is why it has been a shock.


DrRisotto Tue 30-Jan-18 06:58:45

There's a websites called transgender trend which she might find helpful

DrRisotto Tue 30-Jan-18 07:13:32

Here's a link to a sub section of the transgender trend website related to binding

AdalindSchade Tue 30-Jan-18 07:20:15

They absolutely aren't safe at all.
When I was developing breasts I used to wear 2 bras at a time and safety pinned them in ways so they would flatten my breasts as much as possible. Teenage girls often fear developing breasts. A sports bra would be a good compromise although they aren't very comfortable to be honest.

AdalindSchade Tue 30-Jan-18 07:21:45

It may help the child to hear that most teenage girls feel similar about developing adult bodies. Anything to challenge the narrative that 'cis' people are all hunky dory with everything related to puberty and sex roles and discomfort with growing a woman's body must make you trans.

Stopmakingsense Tue 30-Jan-18 16:57:02

Your friend needs to find out what her daughter is looking at online, and intervene if necessary. F2M transition is all pervasive on the internet - not just Tumblr, but Watpad, YouTube, all manner of fandoms, anime, cosplay. There will be thousands of people cheering her on, celebrating being her authentic self, and, frankly, messing with her head.

Italiangreyhound Tue 30-Jan-18 17:01:57

Thanks so much all.

I do know she is into anime and cosplay but I thought that was just dressing up.

I do know that a lot of the You Tubers both our children talk about are male. Where are the female role models I wonder!

ShineyNewName99 Tue 30-Jan-18 20:36:46

Really great article her:

Italiangreyhound Tue 30-Jan-18 23:02:31

@ShineyNewName99 that is a brilliant article.

Thank you, I will share it.

I am also going to suggest she talks to her dd about talking to the doctor about this. Her dd may not want to talk to a medical professional. I know some medical professionals may be all for it but I think this may be the way to go. Hopefully, not enthusiastic at all.

It's all new and this may put a break on things. thanks

Italiangreyhound Mon 05-Feb-18 00:28:47

Just in case anyone is still reading, I found this very interesting article.

I am aware some girls will be desperate for a binder and it may be a real issue for them.

My friend's dd seems to be very influenced by certain young women on You Tube and let slip that one was getting her first binder at age 23. At which point her mum pointed out she was only 13, so of course it was different.

I doubt she will have heard the end of it but it does seem to have quietened that one down a bit. My friend has agreed her daughter can buy some male type clothes and her dd is into cos play so she may get some stuff.

No idea if this is normal for other girls in this 'predicament' but my friend's dd is very driven by what she reads on line! I think this may be an issue for many.

Thanks for the support, nice to be able to be there for friends in their time of need and all that.


Stopmakingsense Mon 05-Feb-18 07:42:33

Just before my DD told us she was trans, she got into cosplay. All part of the same culture.

EleanorXx Fri 16-Feb-18 00:29:51

Trans trend is an awful, bias website that has caused trans youth to feel depressed and dysmorphic. Please don't show her it.

loopsdefruit Fri 16-Feb-18 01:04:49

ah yes, cosplay... the gateway drug hmm

Cosplay is just a fancy term for 'dressing up'. Cosplay can be of any character from any thing that someone is in to. It has about as much to do with the trans community as comic books and Doctor Who. If your child is cosplaying as characters of a different gender then they may do that as a precursor to coming out, but it didn't make them trans.

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