We all know how hard it is to find a bra that actually fits. The process of finding the right bra can take hours, days, and even then, a compromise seems more plausible. Most of the time, when a woman with “above average”, cannot find the right bra, the solution is to give her a sports bra. The average bra size is 34DD, the size that is considered “normal”. This demarcation between “average” and “large bust” then leads to the stereotypical two-inch wide beige straps bras that always come with an underwire, underwires that dig into your skin and leaves you with burning red marks, costs two days salary and will have to be replaced in under a month. When a strapless bra is recommended, there’s hope, but then the adjusting begins.
Button shirts are always frowned upon. You try and you try, but that little gape will not be defeated. Socio-cultural expectations make sure that button shirts are always frowned upon. You try and you try, but that little gape still perseveres. And going out with your shirt gaping is an invitation, right? Wearing a T-shirt with slogans means you want someone to read across your breasts.
Fashion-wise, finding the right clothes, bathing suits will have to fit your breast and not your body, you are directed to the “curvy” section automatically, your breasts become synonymous with your weight. Breasts are also treated like taboo, and therefore most of the time, everyone gets embarrassed and the issue is silenced.
Big Boobs = overt sexualization. You look sexual in everything you wear, of course. An average V-neck shirt is practically party wear. In all of this, eye contact is made with your breasts. High-necked shirts make you feel like you’re choking, you can’t breathe and the material stretches and makes you uncomfortable.
Bathing suits can start the whispers about promiscuity and availability. There’s cleavage, raging hormones, and when they look at them, and not at you, it’s just something that you’re supposed to accept because those things on your chest, that are “abnormally large”, are alien objects, obviously.
People always ask what size bra you are. Including male friends. You have to explain logistics and explain what a double DD is. No one wants to talk about the insecurity, the constant stares, the eyes that automatically go there, and the whispers and the automatic cat-calling.
Jewellery is restricted to chokers. Cross body bags enhances the size of your breasts. Backless clothes only add fuel to the fire. And then there’s the way people look at you. They market your body and they splash it on objects. From perfumes to soft drinks to detergent to chewing gum to biscuits to clothes, they objectify you and use the body of the woman as a means to selling what they want to sell.
And these people, the ones who consume and demand these products, ask you extremely personal questions like; Why you don’t get a breast reduction surgery? How do you sleep at night? Isn’t it nice to be the center of attention?
According to a study (2013) from the University of Westminster, men who exhibit sexist and hostile attitudes toward women, prefer large breasts. 361 white men, from 18-68 years of age, were shown 3D models of women with a range of breast sizes, and 24.4% of the respondents found large breasts “most attractive”, while 19.1% respondents were attracted to very large breasts. The study concluded that large breasts were labelled “traditional” and more “feminine”.
Big breasts literally gets in the way of the things you may love doing.
Women who like physical activity of any kind, including exercising, cycling, gymming, horse-riding, can be an issue, especially if you haven't stocked up on sports bras.
Jogging or running can make you feel really uncomfortable. Even something as basic as taking the stairs can make you feel really awkward. The situation can escalate and the only viable option left is breast reduction surgery. Women are forced into buying binders, wear really tight bras, even wrap a bandage around their chest to not feel uneasy all the time.
If you wear a bra that is a size less, or is not the fit, the bra straps dig into your shoulders. Large breasts makes the skin to fold and rub on itself, your underwire bra also leaves red marks around the area that result in rashes or some infections.
Experts suggest that pain should never be ignored. For people with large breasts, shoulder/neck/back pains are the most common ailments. Breast cup size D and above can cause upper back pain by altering the curvature of the spine and can harm your body posture.
Sleeping on your stomach is unbearable and sleeping on your side also squishes everything on one side. You try and sleep with a bra on, and the suffocation continues into the night, and you wake up with back pain.
According to a study published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal, while examining the effects of breast reduction surgery on complaints of lower back pain, they found out that 35% of the participants witnessed a decrease in lower back pain. 76% also reported a reduction in their pain and difficulty in carrying out everyday activites.
Your bra size does not define you. Who you are as a person is not intrinsically linked to your breast size. Researchers in New Zealand used eye-tracking technology to see how men looked at women of various breast sizes. They discovered that small breasts attracted and held some attention, most men gazed at large breasts and looked at them while talking to these women. Large breasts can affect your private and personal lives, yes, but if people can’t stop staring at your breasts, it’s because this behavior has been normalized.
Constantly talking about your breast size, or listening to people who are obsessed with your large breasts, can lead to a fixation and depression, and you need to get away from the people who look at your large breasts as an abnormality. But at the same time, do not feel ashamed of discussing them. While selecting your clothes, always get what makes you the most comfortable. Layers of clothing can keep the peeping-toms at bay. Choosing the right bra is very important. To keep the straps from digging into your skin, underwire from stifling, always question and persevere.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that makes false assumptions that label women with large breasts as sexually promiscuous. With this comes unwanted male attention. It should always be reported to suitable authorities.
Physiotherapy, massaging your neck and shoulders, stretching and using exercise balls can help alleviate the back pain. But back-pain is not an automatic by-product of having large breasts. Other symptoms are often forgotten because the weight of your breasts can seem like the only reason.
Breast reduction or breast upliftment is not an option for everyone, one must consider the money and the risks that come with that option. But if your health care provider considers this important, treatment, side-effects, and post-op care are topics that need to be discussed in detail.