How Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ Season 3 Highlights Use of Breast Binders


As in every season, go to Netflix Sex education tries to spark important conversations around sexuality. But in Season 3, the series also seeks to highlight issues with gender identity and the challenges non-binary people face.

Although the school’s new principal, Headmistress Hope (played by Jemima Kirke) is initially seen as “cool” and promises to change Moordale High for the better, it soon becomes clear that she has a slightly different agenda.

Part of reforming the school away from the “Sex School” label is to introduce a new school uniform. Hope believes the move will create a clear definition between study and students’ personal lives, but is also strict about how students adhere to the new policy.

This in turn becomes problematic for non-binary students in the school, who are not only forced to adhere to the gendered dress code, but are also forced to choose between the line for ‘boys’ and that for ‘girls’. , and learn about reproductive health in a very gendered way, which minimizes their identity.

Headmistress Hope (Jemima Kirke) enforces a strict school uniform policy in Season 3 – sparking negative reactions among students. One of those students is Cali (Dua Saleh).

Cal (played by Dua Saleh) is one of the most vocal students defending non-binary rights. rules.

Despite her deal with Cal, Layla (Robyn Holdaway), another non-binary student, struggles to stand up publicly against Hope. It’s only in the final episode of Season 3 that we get a better look at their character, the episode opening up with them by applying a chest binder with safety pins. While they are applying the garment, there are visible marks under their arms and cuts from the pins and bandages.

Later in the same episode, Layla follows Cal into the bathroom, where they apologize for “not talking.” They then enlist Cal’s help in finding a better and more comfortable solution for the bandages. Cal explains that they used to use the method, but “almost broke a rib.” After trying on a fitted satchel “designed for safer breast compression”, Layla exclaims “it’s so much better!”

News week spoke with Dr Paul Banwell, a leading cosmetic surgeon and visiting professor of plastic surgery at Harvard Medical School, to learn more about binders – including the different types, how they are used and what potential health implications they may have.

What are breast binders?

Sometimes called breast ties, they are used to decrease the appearance of the breasts.

Dr Paul Banwell said News week: “It’s basically a compression underwear that binds the breasts to the body creating a flatter chest.

“The binder presses down on the skin and the tissues that create bumps on the breasts so that they look and feel flatter.”

The binders are available in different lengths depending on the personal preferences of the wearer.

Who could use a chest binder?

“Someone navigating their gender identity may choose to use a binder to make their presentation genre and gender identity more compatible,” Banwell said.

They are most often used by trans and non-binary people who don’t want their breasts to look feminine and can reduce feelings of dysphoria around gender, without resorting to invasive surgery.

What Should I Consider Before Buying a Binder?

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Banwell explained that the most important thing is to make sure it doesn’t restrict your breathing. If this causes pain, cuts, or difficulty breathing, you may need to increase a size or two.

A well-fitting satchel should allow normal breathing.

How long can I wear a binder?

They should not be worn for more than 8 to 12 hours a day and you should take them off to sleep.

It is also not recommended to wear them during exercise, instead you should look for a sports bra that has a similar flattening effect.

What can I use instead of a workbook?

Binders aren’t suitable for everyone, and there are other breast flattening methods that may be better for you.

As explained above, sports bras can sometimes be used in place of a dedicated binder.

“It won’t provide as much compression as a specially designed binder, but it can be a first step,” Banwell said.

Ola and Lily Sex Education
Ola and Lily’s relationship to be explored in Season 3 of Sex Education

You can also try kinetic tape, as Banwell explained: “It is a type of medical tape that can be used for chest bandaging.

“You should never use other tapes as binders – for example plastic or duct tape – as they could restrict breathing and irritate the skin.”

He added: “Trial and error can help decide which workbook is best for you … Much depends on your personal preferences.”

If using a workbook to help you navigate your gender identity doesn’t help, Banwell suggested seeking medical advice to determine if counseling, hormonal medications, or surgery may be more appropriate for you.

Are there any risks associated with the chest bandage?

Banwell explained, “There are a number of risks associated with using a chest bandage, including restricted breathing if they are too tight, skin irritation and broken skin, overheating, and in severe cases, bruised or damaged ribs.

“People with underlying conditions such as asthma, scoliosis and lupus should consult a doctor before using one.”

Sex Education Seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Netflix now.

Sex education season 3
Moordale students to wear uniforms in Sex Education season 3


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