created in partnership with Bras N Things

Will I Ever Feel Fully Comfortable With My F-Cup Boobs?

Last month, pop-star Marina Diamindis (AKA Marina and The Diamonds) posted a Tweet.
“Oh to have small boobs for a day,” the musician mused. 
“The backless dresses I’d wear! The braless errands I’d run in a tank top!”
For many, running errands sans bra is likely the norm or at least an option, but for people with boobs over a size D, it's an everyday yearning. 
As someone who oscillates between wearing a size F and G, this is often at the forefront of my mind when out shopping. Just last week I was looking for a dress to wear to a work function. While I perused the racks of high street stores, I grew increasingly frustrated. I know that fashion has an aversion to big boobs (and bigger bodies in general) but the styles only suited a particular body type: one that wasn't mine.
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Everything was either backless, had tiny buttons down the front (that would last approximately three minutes with my boobs), or featured spaghetti straps, meaning you can’t wear a bra underneath it without your bra straps being super obvious. 
I only had two hours to find a dress and as I was rummaging through racks, the all too familiar I-hate-my-boobs-tears welled in my eyes.
All of a sudden I was 15 again, aware of my quickly growing chest (and all the looks that came with it). 
‘I’ll try one more store’, I thought. While my self-esteem was lower than Myer’s basement at this point, I eventually found a dress that suited my bust. Then, another unsettling thought crept in: was it too booby?
I video-called three separate friends asking desperately, “I’m going to a work event, is this too much?” 
They emphatically all said no and I bought it, feeling confident for that night’s event.
But therein lies the issue for people with big boobs. They symbolise something. Rather than just being mammary glands that are larger than the norm, they’re automatically sexualised, even out of context.
Sure, I felt really confident in my dress but it didn't stop me from playing mental gymnastics in the dressing room first. 'Okay, I’ve finally found something that fits my body shape but does it look like I’m showing off? Do I look slutty? Will I be judged for having my cleavage out at a work event?'
Having big boobs is one of society’s starkest Madonna-Whore complex examples. The Madonna-Whore Dichotomy explains the polarising perceptions of women in general as either “good,” and “pure” Madonnas or as “bad,” simply because they're being promiscuous or seductive.
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‘Be confident, wear what you want’, says society. But don’t be too revealing because otherwise you’re clearly "asking for it".
It’s in these moments, my Google search history shows, ‘How much does a breast reduction cost?’.
I get jealous of women who say they “never wear bras” because they’re “sooo uncomfortable”. I’m envious of people who don’t have to shop almost exclusively in-store because online stores don’t employ bigger-busted models. 
And I definitely feel insecure when shops shove the larger sizes to the back of the rack. There’s nothing empowering about hunching over, almost kneeling on the floor, desperately hoping a bra store has your size.
When they do, they’re often plain colours: all beige and black.
However, it seems that some brands are finally starting to get it. Enter: Bras N Things. The brand has just released a fun new range that goes beyond the beige and frumpy lingerie us bigger-breasted gals are accustomed to. The new Big Boob Energy collection comes in all sorts of playful styles and colours and ranges from bands 8 to 22, and cups A to H.
Australian swimwear brands like RAQ and Form and Fold are also creating inclusive swimwear that means the back of your neck doesn’t get sliced into as the weight of your boobs pulls on the flimsy bikini material.
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It’s clear these brands are being led by people who know the struggle, who’ve also felt simultaneously desired and uncomfortable. Who’ve cried in lingerie change rooms while hearing “You’re so lucky!” from well-meaning B-cupped friends.
Thankfully, conversations like body neutrality are helping with this boob back-and-forth and sticking with brands that cater to my body shape makes it easier to know what I can and can't wear.
But having big boobs is a confidence rollercoaster, and one that, like many, I'll probably ride for the rest of my life.
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