UNCONDITIONAL BODY BEAUTIFUL - Part #2 - My Bust
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to have a big bust. Even as a very, very small child, I would put on my mother's bra, look in the mirror and think about how I would look when I grew up, and how I wanted to be busty like my mum. (Although she doesn't consider herself busty). I was a peculiar child, I suppose. I was absolutely fixated on the idea. I couldn't wait to grow up so I could have a big bust, a husband, and a very large family. I haven't gotten the husband or the babies so far, but I got the bust. It's not massive, but it's on the generous side by most people's standards.
|How hilarious is this photo a three year old me playing dress-up in my mum's bra? lol|
I vaguely remember my mum telling me one day that I needed to start wearing a bra. I must have been about eleven. It was handled very casually and naturally, so it wasn't a big deal. I wasn't phased by it at all. I knew everything I needed to know about puberty, so I was completely aware of what to expect. None of the phases of puberty were scary or daunting to me. So much so, that even before certain phases happened to me, I knew exactly when they were coming. I listened to my body closely, and everything happened exactly when I expected it to.
Despite all of the extreme bullying I experienced growing up, I don't remember my growing bust ever being a cause of bullying. None of my peers ever commented on my bust, probably because there were girls who had much, much bigger busts than me at my secondary school, and mine has always been in proportion with the rest of my body. Nobody ever pulled at my bra, or even seemed to notice I was wearing one. If they did notice, I have no recollection of anyone saying or doing anything about it. I've also never found bras particularly uncomfortable, and I do not understand women who take pleasure in taking off their bra at the end of the day. In fact, I prefer wearing one to not wearing one, even at home. Anyhow, as I was saying, getting breasts in the first place, just wasn't a traumatising experience for me at all, unlike to a lot of other females. I loved the fact that my bust was developing, and for many years, as I continued to develop, I was chuffed with what nature gave me! I never saw them as something particularly sexual, or as bait to attract boys. I simply saw them as something pretty and feminine. Something that reaffirmed my femininity. I never thought they were particularly big. They were just the right size for my body and frame, and I was never petite or short.
For the longest time I used to think that I would have been upset if I hadn't developed a chest during puberty; and that if it had it not happened naturally for me, I would have gotten a boob job. I often thought that if I ever fell victim to breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy, (all sorts of cancer occur in my family regularly), the first thing I would do would be get a boob job, even if it meant getting into debt, because the idea of being small or flat chested horrified me. I was both proud and grateful that nature had treated me well in the chest department. I was happy that I had a bust that fitted in with my plus-size body and enhanced my femininity. In fact, whenever I saw other women who were large with small busts, I always thought they looked slightly odd. Yeah, my bust sometimes got in the way of my fashion choices, but it didn't matter to me as a teenager. I still remember how I couldn't wear many of the cute t-shirts I really liked at the time. There were these puppy t-shirts were all the rage in the 90s and I really wanted one; but on all the ones I tried on, the puppy got lost under my chest. You'd have the eyes of the puppy up at the top which usually sat conveniently on each one of my nipples, then there'd be no body (since that part was lost right under my chest), and then the puppy's paws poking out from under my bust. Random and off key, and I just wasn't going to walk around looking like that! Sorry.
I was happy to have a bust, and although it was something I had been waiting to have since forever, it was never something obsessive, or something I wanted to rub in everyone's faces. (No pun intended. I promise). I was so oblivious to their presence in my every day life, that I can vividly remember the few times that they were focused on, or pointed out to me.
When I was about 18, I went to Venezuela with my mum, to visit friends and family, and see Drs. We stayed with one of my cousins who at the time lived with her friend and her friends daughter. The friend's daughter, who was about eight years old but very cheeky, saw one of my bras one day and was shocked. She picked it up, and said it looked like a giant bowl, or a hat. She kept going on about how big it was. She was very sweet and innocent, so it was just funny to see and hear, not rude or offensive at all. I think that was probably the first time I realised that I was probably larger than average.
At college one day, back in London, this guy who I used to know through mutual friends, decided to tell me that he thought I had really nice eyes. I am used to people complimenting me on my eyes, so I took it at face value and said, "Thank you". Later on that day, I mentioned it in passing to another male friend, a mutual friend of ours, that this boy had told me that he thought I had nice eyes. Our english teacher, who was within hearing distance, raised his eyebrows as he turned to me and said, "I think you'll find that means nice boobs!" My friend nodded, looking serious, gestured to our teacher as if to say, 'Yep, that's what that really means,' and I turned bright red. Thoroughly embarrassed at my naivety. (And no, my teacher wasn't a perv. He was a very cool guy who could get away with all sorts of madness, but he was harmless and very much admired and respected by all of us students). The guy who paid me the compliment was notorious for being a womaniser (although I never understand what anyone ever saw in him since he was shallow, a time waster, an abuser, and didn't seem to going anywhere in life), so perhaps I should have questioned a compliment that came from him, but, whatever. Lesson learned!
Years later, when I was living in Madrid, I got a random comment about my chest once more. I had made plans to go to a poetry reading with a housemate after work. I was working at a nun's school at the time, so I was dressed quite modestly. That particular day I was a wearing a high neck navy-blue dress. After the poetry reading, my housemates and her friends decided to go to a club, and invited me to join them. I accepted since I didn't want to go home. They had decided to go to an upscale nightclub, and I was curious to see what this place was like. We jumped the queue and got straight in because someone knew someone. I was barely in, when this random guy came out of nowhere, put his arm around my shoulders, then tilted his head downwards to stare at my chest, and excitedly asked, "How much did you pay for those beauties?" I was gobsmacked. shrugged him off and carried on about my way. How dare he!
Later on that same evening, I got 'stalked' by a rather large and incredibly strong ginger fellow with a big frizzy beard, who thought I was some other girl he'd met before; and he didn't believe me when I insisted I wasn't her. He later spotted me leaving the club, and ran towards me, shouting at me as he proceeded to follow me on my way home (my wonderful housemate and her friends had headed back home without me, on purpose). He imposed himself upon me, spoke to me in a loud and aggressive tone, told me he was a lawyer, showed me all his ID and law school paperwork (as bait), saying repeatedly, "I have a good job and I come from a good family!", while he completely disrespected and disregarded the fact that I wanted to be left alone. He blocked my way as I tried to get away from him. He was clearly very drunk, but his reflexes were still quick. Suddenly he violently put his hands firmly on my shoulders, tried to pin me down, and didn't let me go. I struggled to break free, but he was stronger than me, and he was shouting at me desperately at this point, asking about why couldn't he get a girlfriend, and he insisted once again that he came from a good family and had a very good job. I didn't stop fighting him off and I was eventually saved by a passing taxi driver, who saw the struggle and stopped. I managed to break free and rush into the taxi, but he was pulling at the car door to get in with me. The taxi driver drove off and the guy never managed to get in. I was all kinds of livid and scared on the way home, and when I told my housemates what had happened after they left, they thought it was no big deal. As for the 'predator', I don't know if he had noticed my bust. I don't remember him saying anything about it at all. But that night, despite my looking scruffy and not wearing anything even remotely sexy or revealing at all, I ended up fighting off all these aggressive guys, literally. Needless to say, I never went back to that nightclub ever again.
Most recently, I had an incident at my previous flat, which was another flat share. The washing machine broke down, and the landlord came over to fix it. The culprit? A rather large metal bra under-wire that had got caught somewhere, stopped the inside from spinning and made a loud scary crashing noise if we put a wash on. I was at work when he came over, and when he messaged to say what had happened, he added, 'and it was very big', as if to say, 'It could only have been yours, Rebeca.' And yes, all my housemates had small busts. As you can see, I can count the incidents where my bust size has been overtly brought up on one hand. No other significant events involving my bust come to mind, so I guess they aren't traffic stoppers.
I wouldn't say my girls are perfect, but I've been mostly happy with what I've been given. Lately however, my views on them have changed. I even did a post on that a while back called BUSTY GIRL PROBLEMS (Click HERE to view that)
My perception of bosom beauty has altered over time. I often find my bust is an inconvenience when trying to expand my choice of necklines. Basically, I've transitioned from seeing generously busty as something feminine and nice looking, to something that is overrated and just gets in the way. No to mention how much effort goes into keeping them under reigns. Having a bust that sits high like mine does, means I often end up with an unintentionally exposed cleavage, and that can be a nuisance. No matter what I wear, most tops will go south, and you'd be shocked how much judgement I've endured for that. A lot of people assume I am flaunting my bust, even when I am not, and it has led to making me feel a lot more self-conscience about my girls and the necklines I opt for in my day to day life. I've started seeing a small bust - which once upon a time I didn't want for myself at all, - as elegant and practical, and these days, part of me wishes I had a smaller bust. Even when looking at celebrities before and after book job photos, I tend to think their smaller bust actually looks better than their expensive fuller bust...
Victoria Beckham would be a perfect example of this for me.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I have evolved from loving the look of a full bust to just hating it. I still think it's something feminine that can be beautiful. I just think it's one of those things that has been glorified and it's really not worth all the fuss!
There are lots of styles of clothes that I feel I can't really wear because of my bust. A lot of oversized clothes hang from the edge making it look like I am wearing a square tent, for example. As I get older, (I am now in my early thirties), I want my image to reflect a persona who is responsible, serious and professional, and I feel as though having cleavage can take away from that image. I still remember reading somewhere, years ago, that Charlotte Church's mother had be told-off constantly about her cleavage exposure at her daughter's concerts. It just wasn't elegant, or fitting, to be dressed like that for the Opera now-a-days. And let's face it, both Charlotte and her mum are gorgeous looking!
|Charlotte Church and her mother.|
We live in a world where every book is judged by it's cover, and people's intimacy and privacy has become a very public affair. And a part of our intimacy, is our body - which is probably part of why we do not walk around naked. Even tribes men in very rural and primitive areas of the world tend to wear some degree of clothing. These days it often feels like everyone is baring all in the media, and in turn, increasing numbers of younger and younger girls are embracing age-inappropriate sexy, revealing, clothing. Just think about how many young female stars have had to resort to nudity or semi-nudity to get attention and success? Long gone are the days when celebrities were celebrities based on their talents, instead of their looks. And with this shift, their influence over the populace has increased dramatically. Their influence has trickled down into everyday regular people, and more and more girls and women are being made to feel inadequate for not looking sexual or feminine enough, and part of that, often involves the 'need' for a large bust. The more I 'mature', the more it irritates me that despite feminism being here already, women are still being judged by their appearances and not their worth. It's the last shred of control that they have over us.
There is nothing wrong with a bit of cleavage. I know this; and let's be honest! There are bigger issues out there to discuss than debating the size of boobs. But when individuals lives are being deeply influenced by this topic in such a negative way, you can't just act as if it's irrelevant.
And although there is nothing wrong with cleavage, I think it helps to know when and where it's OK to walk around showing cleavage. It's not usually OK for a 9-5 job where you want to be taken seriously and treated with respect. In my case, I work with children. My students range from infants to teenagers, and are both male and female. The last thing I need is to be walking around school with my cleavage on show. The more I want to keep my girls under wraps, the more my chest seems like a nuisance. I'm already tall and big which means I don't go by unnoticed. I don't need to add attention to to that unnecessarily.
So what's a girl to do when it seems like every top has made it it's business to unveil your charms? I know I don't want to live in high necks that are restrictive. I also do not want to spend my day constantly having to pull back my tops, or checking that the buttons on my bosses aren't bursting at the seams. Wearing a scarf all the time is a nuisance in itself, and going into that might mean a whole other blog post. I just think it would be nice to be able to wear a button up blouse without feeling paranoid about whether or not it is bursting at the seams. Or wear a regular t-shirt that doesn't have to be either pulled up at the chest or pulled back from behind constantly. It would be nice to find strapless bras more easily, which don't cost a bomb, and which actually do their job. It would be nice to be able to run for the bus, or even just be able to go jogging, without having to put my arm across my chest to literally hold them down. Not doing so, can result in being painful. All that said though, I feel blessed to be female. We possess the gift of carrying life, and being the passage way into this world. And our bodies are capable of producing the nourishment for our babies, through our breasts. No matter what size or shape you get, that alone is enough to be grateful and to feel blessed.
Overall, I'm pretty content with what I have. These days I see small chested women walking around and I am slightly in awe. They are so lucky! They can wear almost anything they want without much hassle of making clothes fit right all over. They can run without thinking twice about it. They don't have to worry about their girls popping out overtime they bend over. Would I like a smaller bust too? In my head, sometimes, I do. But the fact remains, that I am who I am on the inside. I am not my body. And I am certainly not my boobs.
I am so much more than that, and so are you!
This is a collaboration which I founded with several over bloggers, so here are the links to their posts on this matter:
Curves Become Her
Curves a la Mode
Cool Curved Chrisandra
Katherine Hayward - My life with CP
Josofab's Curvesity World
Clothe your Curves
Just Me Leah
I will be updating this list, as a few of us have been falling behind schedule, so please stay tuned!