I live in a country where the faintest bit of sunshine sees all men immediately remove their t-shirts and expose their breast tissue yet stating that my boobs make it impossible to find flattering tops can still be widely interpreted as overtly sexual or attention seeking. Go figure. I was also aware that some people would have issues with me openly discussing my boobs and find this difficult to reconcile with the feminist blogging I'm partial to.
Well, sucks to be them. If I was complaining about being flat chested people wouldn't even consider my behaviour to be sexualised or anti-feminine. If I was a boy complaining that my pecs were too large people would probably think I was a bit of a douche yet they still wouldn't interpret my behaviour as either of the above. So here and without shame is a blog on a subject many women can relate to. The pain of having big boobs.
As you might have learnt from my blog so far, I love a bargain. Unfortunately shopping for bras in larger sizes means a lot of money spent. I'm sure they try to justify this with the classic line they roll out for justifying outrageous prices on plus size clothing 'it requires more fabric'. Well for someone who has a large back and cup size, I can see why that's true, however I happen to be (depending on my pizza consumption for the week) a 30-32 back size. Quite small when you think about it.
However unlike the less chesty girls out there and despite my small back size I'm still expected to shop in 'specialist' bra shops where bigger sizes are accommodated for but at ridiculous prices. The average cost of one of my bra's is £25, I can pick up knickers for a quid. There's a clear disparity here. When I whine about this my friends who are also blessed in the chest area yet have bigger back sizes often say they can find their size quite easily in any high street store from Topshop to Primark. These friends can pick up 2-5 bras for the cost of my one bra.
Why? Because shops are yet to accept that the typically 'small' sized back measurements such as 28-32's aren't just accompanied by a AA cup size. In my house last year all 3 girls were a G or H cup yet none of our back sizes went beyond a 30 (and no, as far as we knew there wasn't anything in the water). Even those that have accepted still struggle to provide as wide a range and the prices are still much higher. I eagerly await the day I can walk into all high street retailers and find my cup size, until then I shall continue to be bankrupted by my boobs.
This is something I noticed a lot when I was younger. As I developed boobs quite young (I say developed-in my mind I woke up one day when I was 13 and was suddenly a C-cup)I became accustomed to people thinking I was older because of my lady lumps. This ranged from the advantageous not being ID'd as much as my friends to the awkward having friend's older brothers act slightly inappropriate in face of an awkward 13 year old with Katie Price like assets.
Yes, a warning to flat chested girls. You may be conditioned to think by society that having a decent cup size would make you more confident and help you fill out clothes better but as soon as you do you're expected to cover up. I once had someone comment on a holiday photo of me and a friend with a smaller cup size stating 'trust you to be the one with your boobs out.' Well, actually I was wearing a bikini that fit me (size 14 top from primark as I refuse to buy the extortionately overpriced bra size bikinis available) and around 80% of my breast was covered, about the same ratio as my pal stood next to me. However mine looked bigger because, quite simply, they are. And apparently this was my fault...
This is something I never really thought about until I got to uni and I encountered a lot of people who were as top heavy as myself (take note bra shops, we are not a minority). I have one friend who constantly tries to loose weight despite having the perfect body because her boobs refuse to shrink. My boobs have remained bigger than me despite the emergence of some hips since starting uni, so i'm still out of proportion. The thing is, boobs aren't always just fat. There's breast tissue and glands in there too and no amount of exercise will get rid of those parts of your tata's.
And speaking of exercise, I was informed by a (small boobed) smiling assistant in a shop the other day that it would 'probably be best' if I wore two sports bras* and did I know that due to my cup size I needed a high impact bra no matter what the exercise? No, I didn't but thanks for letting me know that even running for the bus could require me strapping my boobs in like a lunatic in a straight jacket.
Having big boobs rules out a lot of different style of clothing. I'm a big fan of v-necks as they don't force my puppies to live the life of Chilean miners,seeing no end to the enforced darkness that high neck tops cause. However these rev up the slut claims from friends, family and passing strangers so they are a bit of a minefield. My biggest issue this season has been the amount of high neck dresses available. I don't know who these dresses are supposed to suit, they dwarf flat chests and make my rather rounded one look like some sort of ski resort, all steep inclines and mountainous.
I know i'm not fat but really, boobs, give me a break.
Now allow me a little self indulgent moan here but did you know that I can't remember the last time I comfortably crossed my arms? That at certain angles I can't see my feet as my boobs are in the way and last time I ran downstairs sans bra I actually ended up with bruised ribs? Now I know these aren't major things and I probably sound like a whiny little girl but I know many girls will sympathise with me. On a daily basis I will encounter about 10 simple tasks that I can't complete because my tits make my life
Here is a list of just some of the woes of having big boobs:
Sleeping on your front: Computer says no. Hugs-awkward and actually a little bit painful. Laying down-do you want to be suffocated? Lifting- I already have a lot of weight up front, leaning forward and adding more just leads to toppling. Under-wire. Mine once snapped and came out my bra, I left it on the kitchen table and I later heard a visitor ask why there was a horseshoe in our kitchen...
Bra Straps-No delicate bits of silk for me, no sir, you could fucking abseil a rock face with my bra straps. Padding in D+ bras- FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY?! Washing up-fancy some wet underboob? Losing things-I once found an earring I thought was long gone in my cleavage. Button Down shirts-If you hate breathing out then these are the clothing item for you! Have you ever tried packing 10 32H bras in a suitcase? There isn't a bag in the world big enough to cope with that kind of shit. Boob clap-Google it. Bra burn- you haven't known pain until your bra has started to wane in face of your boobs and it starts to rub/cut you. Necklaces-a big chest's worst enemy. Rib tattoos-I have one but can see it? Of course not.
A debilitating illness? No. Really annoying? Yes.
Street harassment is an issue for all women and something that I've blogged about before and my boobs are most definitely a factor in any street harassment I'm subject to. I've had men shout pretty horrific things at me in the street that I won't write here and as mentioned before people like to assume certain things about me because I happen to have a larger than average cup size. I can't do anything about this, it's out of my control, yet I still have to suffer the heckles of strangers who know nothing about me. Some go even further.
I've had people I don't know grab hold of me in the street and one 'friend' recently groped me at a party whilst my boyfriend was across the other side of the room. I don't know wear people get the idea that my boobs are public property from but maybe it's the same principle that makes people grab pregnant women's stomachs (note:anyone who does this to me when I am prego will be faced with my hormonal wrath.) This isn't okay and it can't be justified by the fact my boobs happen to me a little more obvious than some others.
Whilst they make my every day a little bit difficult and cost a lot to support it is undoubtedly this part about having big boobs that I hate the most. Unwanted stares, being shouted at in the street and having people think they can grab me whenever they like are now more of an annoyance than anything else but younger me really struggled to cope with this. To rephrase one of the popular phrases from the toronto slut walk 'my great big chest is not a yes'.
So, I did it. A whole blog post on boobs. Are you a girl with big boobs who feels my pain? Are you a girl with smaller boobs who is currently wanting to punch me in the face for complaining about mine or are you now happier with your small but perfectly formed lady lumps? Let me know, you know I love to hear from you guys!