Wednesday, 3 October 2012

On having big boobs...

Normally I post a mildly amusing photo, related to the content of my posts over there on the left had side of my blog. (I experimented with alternating left and right for a while, but I decided that it just looks better over there on the left). Today, I'm not going to do that. Today I'm talking about something quite a bit more personal, and so I'm going to post a photo of me. I'll post it further down, since I'm still working up to it. This is a big deal, so bear with me.

I've fallen behind in my blog reading of late, and am just in the process of catching up on the backlog of September articles from The Vagenda. Today, I read this one on one writer's experiences of living with big boobs. SM talks about covering up her boobs, and wearing layers of clothing to mask their size. She talks about her dislike for her boobs because of the way that they seem to define other people's reactions to her. For the most part the covering up aspect she describes is totally alien to me. I've never covered up more than anyone else, and I'm not conscious of a particular effort on a regular basis to layer clothing in order to hide them.

For some time, thought, I did have a love/hate relationship with my boobs. This was mostly during the ages of 14-17. That's a relatively short time period, all things considered and to be honest I had a love/hate relationship with most things during that time. I've mentioned in a couple of blogs my experiences as a big boobed teen and the way I feel that people make value judgements about me based on the way that I look, but I haven't really discussed it at length. Like I said, this idea of covering up, attempting to minimise the effect of the boobs by minimising them, totally alien to me. And while a lot of the article rings true, especially the comments about the fashion industry's boob blinkers, a lot of it doesn't. I found myself feeling very sad for the writer, and wondering what it is that's made my attitude and experiences of my boobs so different.

She doesn't say what size she is, so perhaps I'm at the smaller end of the big boob scale. But for me while it is true that in the late 90s and early 00s there was very limited choice of bras for anyone above a C/D cup and all of those were at least £30, today I can walk into a non-specialist high street store and purchase bras for around the £12-£20 range. In 2008 a campaign called Busts 4 Justice successfully lead to MandS removing the £2-4.50 extra that they charged for bras about a DD cup, which was considered to be plus size lingere. Although they initially defended the extra charge, pressure from the campaign led to this extra charge being scrapped. That was in 2008! The list of places that I can buy bras is no longer an independent specialist in a town 11 miles away from my home but includes regular department stores like Debenhams and MandS as well as high street underwear stores like La Senza. There's still some way to go. I can't walk into Primark and buy a bra off the peg for £5 like women up to a D cup can.

The most covering up I've felt the need to do is really about the fit and cut of clothes. Like any woman (or man for that matter) some clothes suit me, and some clothes don't. At 5' 0'' I'm officially short, even for a female. This means that I have to take into consideration the difference between where skirts, for example, fall on me as opposed to the model or even women of an average height. Therefore some knee length skirts jut make me look dumpy, and a bit momsey. The same is true if I wear shirt, top or blouses that fit my bust rather than my arms or waist. My solution to this is get the top to fit my arms/waist/back and wear a vest top or camisole underneath so that there's not too much boob on show, or to allow me to not button it all the way up.
Me, on holiday in Mexico in 2010
I consider myself extremely luck to have the Mum that I do. I skipped the training bra bit, and the bit where you have pretty girly bras in an AA or A cup. I went straight from vest and crop tops to a C cup monstrosity at the age of 13. It was the most hideous bra, that first bra of mine but it was properly fitted by an very nice lady with slightly cold hands in an independent bra shop in Bathgate, West Lothian. I didn't care that it didn't look nice, I was 13 and no-one was going to see it but me. It did make me feel more confident, because everything was secure. When I got a little older I resisted the upwards creep of my cup size, and refused to wear anything above a 32DD. My Mum, knowing that my bras did not fit me, took me back to the bra shop where I was refitted. I discovered that I was actually a 28E (I was about 15 by this time) and I've never looked back. A good fitting bra does wonders for your silhouette and your confidence. This is me, with my gigantic boobs. People do comment on them, and I am sometimes described as " know. Short, blonde, massive boobs." I have a friend who affectionately refers to me, among other things, as 'The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies', complete with French accent. They are part of who I am, and I long ago learned to accept my body. They do not, and never have defined me. I resolutely believe that people who only see me as a walking pair of tits with blonde hair are people who will never be close to me and that they don't deserve to know the me behind that initial first impression.

So I suppose what I want to say most is that I'm so sorry for SM, that she feels that she has a duty to society to cover up her boobs. I love my breasts, I am happy with my body and I hope that someday she finds the confidence within her self to feel the same way.

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog-post, it's excellent! From the lady with the 'french accent' xxx