Falling out of (and back in) love with my tits

People who see my boobs now don’t believe I was once a 34C, but I was. Honest. At uni, looking back, I had these perfect, neat, perky breasts. I adored them, and I dressed to let the world know. I’d lost a lot of weight on my gap year, and I was a comfortable size 12, a true hourglass. I wish I’d known who I was fashion-wise at the time, because I wasted those couple of years on jeans and black scoop neck tops.

‘I can see your bra,’ my friends would chorus, endlessly, as I flaunted my cleavage day in, day out. Weirdly, my tits got more (negative) attention from women than they ever did (positive) attention from men.

‘I don’t care,’ I’d reply, but I did. I cared because I hated feeling criticised for the one part of my body I actually liked. I cared because I felt a bit slut-shamed, even before I’d ever heard the word. I cared because the girls criticising often had shorter skirts and more luck with guys than I did. I felt like I couldn’t pull off sexy, only cheap and unpolished. Rather than admit defeat, I kept it up, right through my wrap top and clingy jersey dress phase.

I couldn’t tell you exactly when my bra size started to creep up. I’d guess I was a DD at least by the end of uni, and the rest kind of came with the additional dress sizes. By the time I was an F cup, I wasn’t sure my tits were still sexy. I felt like the line of my cleavage had changed as I’d got older – everything felt lower and more spread out and although I still touched them with the casual affection I always had; sliding my fingers into the warm space between them, or tucking my folded arms around them and idly stroking them over my clothes when cold or daydreaming; they felt like what they essentially were: fat. After all, they contribute to the number I struggle with every time I step on the scales and whereas I’d once looked ok in backless dresses, I had enough flesh around my bra strap now that I didn’t like to catch sight of myself in the mirror and see the bulging fat that had seemed to appear one day out of the blue.

It was Sinful Sunday changed things. In the very first photo I posted, which was taken by a friend, I was kind of stunned by how much rounder they were than they looked to me from above. To me, they looked pointy, and I hated that: from the front, that wasn’t the case at all. I’ve mainly posted pictures of my tits since, because they don’t let me down like the other bits do: my tummy might look huge or my thighs flabby, but in seven out of ten shots, my tits will look okay.

But I still hadn’t quite come to accept how they were making clothes fit. Whether I tried on the size 14 or 16 in clothes shops meant for grown-ass, professional women, the necklines couldn’t accommodate my bust in a way that was appropriate for the workplace (where I still show a fair amount of cleavage) without the addition of a vest top underneath, which seemed to me to simply add more bulk to a body I felt was more than bulky enough.

I hadn’t shopped for clothes in Pepperberry for years – since before it was even called that, in fact. It was simply ‘the clothes range in Bravissimo’ when I last bought something there and I barely filled out a size 14 ‘Really curvy’ top. Last weekend, wanting my casual clothes to flaunt my tits again, but for them not actually to burst free, as they continually do from my favourite maxi dress, I tried again. I tried a dress I liked in the 14 and the 16 ‘Really Curvy’ and still it pulled at the back. Frustrated, I resigned myself to leaving without anything. But as I handed the dress back to the shop assistant, it occurred to me what might be wrong:

‘Am I a Really Curvy or a Super Curvy?’ I asked. The bust fit is determined by how proportionate your bust is to the rest of your figure and I’d always reckoned I had average-sized tits for a size 16 woman.

The shop assistant looked me up and down as I stood there, fully-clothed. ‘You’re what, a G or H cup?’ (Good guess work!) ‘Definitely a Super Curvy.’

My bust, it turns out, is not in proportion to the rest of my body. It’s bigger. I’m ok with that, but it’s taken me a while to get there. When I asked a friend for her verdict on the dress, she said ‘It certainly draws attention to your tits.’

Yep, and you’d better get used to it, cos that ain’t gonna change.

Fat is an issue that I’ve not had in my relationships … thank god

Earlier this week, my neighbour came round with my Christmas gift, a bottle of marsala wine and a legendary M&S stollen – a vision of icing sugar and flaked almonds. He handed it over and wished me a 2014 that was ‘lucky in love.’ My neighbour is amazing, and if he wasn’t over 60 and married, I’d probably be making a move.

Anyway, that’s by the by. I took the stollen to work, commenting to a colleague that if I ate the whole thing by myself, it was unlikely that I’d be lucky in love next year, because, y’know, I’d be huge.

‘Do you consider your chances in love to be linked to your weight?’ she said, sounding vaguely horrified, as well she might.

I nodded and she shook her head. ‘That’s not good,’ she said. ‘Not good at all.’

She’s right – it’s not. You shouldn’t keep an eye on your weight because you’re worried about what a man might think about it, you should do so (if you want to) for your own health, sense of wellbeing, desire to reach a goal etc. etc.

A friend came round last night, after her work Christmas dinner. She mentioned that one of her colleagues, who she had a bit of fling with back in the Spring, had joked, after she’d finished both her risotto and sticky toffee pudding. ‘Wow, seeing you eat like that, it’s no wonder you’re a size 14.’

Now, this friend is petite, height-wise, and she’s a size 10-12. She said she’d laughed off his comments, told him to fuck off and felt smug that that particular day she was wearing a size 10 dress. Because that makes his comment fine, obviously.

I said this, and pointed out that that was hardly the point – how is it funny to accuse someone of being a dress size that’s smaller than the UK average? Because her attitude didn’t thrill me either, rather than calling him a cunt, which is what I’d have done, she was just pleased that he was two sizes out.

I am a size 14, bordering on a 16, and I pointed this out to her. She backtracked sharply, ‘Oh, but it’s different, isn’t it, because you’re taller, and curvier, and you have bigger tits.’ Well, yes, all of this is true, but it’s also a massively flawed argument. If we were the same weight we’d be very different sizes, but if we were the same dress size we’d be just that, the same dress size.

Her attitude isn’t quite as bad as his, but it’s still not great, and in my life I’ve found most of the pressure around my weight has come from other women (namely my mum), not from men.

The boy, for instance, has never made me feel remotely fat or uncomfortable about what I eat or drink. The only thing he has a go at me for consuming is wine which is clearly in his glass, not mine. Last week I mentioned, in passing, that the night before I’d eaten two bowls of cereal, a croissant, and then my dinner, all because nothing seemed to sate my hunger – and then I’d felt massively sick.

‘Well, obviously,’ was his only comment. ‘I’d expect a seven-year-old to know  that.’ He wasn’t at all bothered by how much I’d eaten, just by the fact that I seemed surprised that it had made me nauseous – and that was worth teasing me about. It’s that attitude which makes me happy to fuck him on top of the covers, sober, in daylight, and to wander around naked after sex without worrying about the size of my tummy, and fuck, it’s liberating.

So please, ladies, don’t fuck anyone this Christmas who makes you feel fat. There’ll always be men, but there won’t always be lebkuchen (this statement may be  slightly flawed). But seriously, if he wants to sleep with someone skinnier than you, then that’s what he should do. You don’t need to be a certain weight to make him happy.