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.