Big fat boobs

I have been debating for weeks–months even–about this post. Perhaps you will think me crude or inappropriate for approaching the subject of female anatomy in this manner. But in a culture where breasts are openly displayed, discussed, and ogled, I feel the need to add my unique perspective to the public dialogue.

I realize this subject might be a trigger for some folks. So if it is, please do me a favor and just skip this one.

CraftyjoeOnce upon a time, breasts were used to feed children. They weren’t hiked up by the latest fad from Victoria’s Secret. They weren’t brandished on huge billboards. Surgeons didn’t slice them open to make them bigger or smaller. They were there to perform a function: to make milk for a baby. And please spare me the feminist lectures. In nature, that is how all bodies are made, even human bodies. It’s the truth, so deal with it. (I was going to say “so suck it up,” but maybe the pun is a bit much … )

Nowadays, breasts aren’t just breasts–they are porn.  It’s a strange world, where–at least where I live in the good  old U.S.A.–nursing in public is considered bad form, yet it is common to walk by larger-than-life examples of soft core porn (enormous boobs hanging all over the place) in the local mall. In the public eye, bosoms are valued for their aesthetic and erotic properties over all else. I hate to say it, but the more I look around, the more I see us moving into Brave New World territory. It’s appalling.

Over the years, I have worked, cried, and laughed with hundreds of women who have been affected by pornography, whether directly or indirectly, and you know what? Pretty much every one of them has a strong opinion (or paranoia) regarding the boob dilemma. I have heard it a gazillion times: “If my boobs were bigger or more perky, maybe he wouldn’t have turned to porn.”  Well … guess what ladies? I have been all over the country, and after visiting with dozens of beautiful, intelligent women of all bra sizes the only pattern I’ve found is this: Whether they were big- or small-chested, cosmetically altered or au naturale, just plain beautiful or bombshell gorgeous, all their husbands turned to porn.

Ah, boobies. We can’t get enough of them. Seriously, what is with the obsession over women’s chests? I just don’t get it. I would say, “Maybe it’s because I’m not a guy,” but  women are obsessed with boobs too:  “Mine are bigger … I wish mine were bigger … I bet hers are fake …. That is totally a push-up bra … ”

I really don’t get it.

Without a doubt, we are a hyper-sexualized culture. We devote so much time, energy, and money to selling sex and sexualizing random products. (Can anyone say Carl’s Junior?) Just imagine what we could do if we focused these resources on something other than exploiting women’s bodies. Or rather images that used to be women’s bodies before they were cropped, edited, and airbrushed to death.

Newsflash: A boob job won’t fix all your problems. Obviously, media sets superhuman expectations for female bodies. But so do celebrities and the super-rich. I’ve had conversations with countless ladies who are convinced that plastic surgery will make all their boob-dilemma dreams come true. If I had a quarter for every time I heard someone say “I want a boob job,” I’d be a wealthy woman.

For some people, breast implants work. They choose to get them. They are happy with them. And that’s fine. Really. I have friends with implants who probably feel this way.

But you know what? If you hate yourself before going under the knife, then surgery isn’t going to fix that. It’s just like weight loss or a haircut. It might feel awesome at first, but when the novelty wears off, what then? You are still you, and you can’t change your self-image or fix your self-esteem by changing the way you look. Believe me. I know. I’ve tried. That kind of change has to happen from the inside-out.

On a side note, my girl Jacy wrote a fantastic post a while back that totally confirms my suspicions regarding this matter. Kudos to Jacy for being so brave! I love her.

The bigger, the better … right? I wish I could say that I am above all this hubbub, but I’m not. Unfortunately, I get swept up in it too … but probably not in the way you think. Many women seem to believe that big boobs = happiness. But I’m a walking example of the opposite. I’ve often wished I were smaller … much smaller.

Why is the grass always greener on the other side?

I have spent many a workout in my double-layered sports bra (because I need extra support) envying the sleek, boyish bodies of athletic, possibly bra-less beauties around me. It might sound crazy, but it’s true.

I have always been big chested. Now please don’t go looking through my pictures and commenting on them, ok? That’s not the point. But seriously … How would you feel being sized for your first bra at age 8? That was me. Wearing a bra in 3rd grade.

I remember during my physical exam that year, when my parents asked about it (they were present at the time), the doc reached up my shirt, groped around, and reported, “Nah. She’s not developing yet. It’s just fat.”

Yeah. Thanks, genius. What exactly are breasts made of?

In retrospect, this might be why I’ve always felt embarrassed and grossed out by my chest. Growing up, my posture really suffered–not just because of the weight of my bosoms, but because of the shame I felt.

Other obstacles? Well … Trying to find modest yet cute clothes has always been an adventure.  And don’t even get me started on swimsuit shopping. On occasion, well-intentioned friends have recommended I wear a high-neckline Speedo. But guess what happens when I put on a racing suit? Yep, no cleavage, but … I hang out of the sides! Yeah, you know those sleek, slender, marine-mammal-shaped olympic swimmers? That’s who they design Speedos for. Not me. 🙂

Just thinking about pregnancy and nursing makes me laugh. With my second baby, I was fitted for the largest bra of my life. “You are a size H/I” the boutique lady told me.” Um. What? {For those who are unfamiliar with bra sizing this large, it goes like this: A, B, C, D, DD (E), DDD (F), DDDD (G), DDDDD (H), DDDDDD (I) … and I was between an H and an I. Yeah. That’s big.}  I’m pretty sure my face flushed right at that moment. “How big do cup sizes go?” I asked. “Oh, to size M,” she said. Wow. I did not know that.

Also, I can definitely identify with a fellow preschool mom who described her post-nursing breasts as “tennis balls hung in the end of tube socks.” Ha! Bigger = better, huh? How about when they hang down to your waist?

I have a million stories, but I won’t bore you with them. After all, who wants to hear a girl go on and on complaining about having big boobs? And wouldn’t that just prove what I’ve already said? We as a culture are obsessed with boobs. We can’t get enough of them.

Suffice it to say that experiences like shopping for formals, undressing on my wedding night, going to the beach, and changing the locker room have all been very stressful if not horrifying at times because of my chest issues. On more than one occasion, I have burst into tears after seeing myself in a picture or a video because I feel so huge.

You know … writing it all out makes it sound so silly. Maybe it is. And maybe–like so many body image issues–no one will ever really be able to see what I see when I look in the mirror. But do any of us see ourselves as others see us?

So … now what? In the end, I keep coming back to a discussion I had with some ladies at Virginia Beach last month. The age-old topics of body image and plastic surgery came up, as they often do in those settings. We talked about accepting ourselves as we are.  We watched this amazing video by Colbie Caillat.

Through this experience, I came to the conclusion that all these attitudes (porn, obsession, surgery, and embarrassment) are either wrong or irrelevant, even mine. It doesn’t matter what we look like. It doesn’t matter whether we are big or small, whether we’ve had plastic surgery or not.

We need to do our own thing, then love and respect ourselves.  But we also need to let other women do their own thing, then love and respect them too.

As a whole, the human race would be much better off without the immense stress and social pressure associated with media illusions and warped body image nightmares. It’s so exhausting. As Lexie & Lindsay would say, “I am more than just a bra size.” (Actually, I don’t know if they said that, but it sounds like them.)

I think we’d all do well to take Elsa’s advice on this one and “Let it go.” (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.) And I don’t mean we should have a bra-burning ceremony. Just … let it go. Let it go!

Oh, come on. You know what I’m trying to say…


Graphics: (top) and /nuttakit (bottom)

14 thoughts on “Big fat boobs

  1. I love everything about this post. EVERYTHING. Especially that you tackled it and did so beautifully (and humorously). Bravo lady! 🙂


  2. Male perspective here. I recently heard of a testimony meeting where a blubbering woman apologized that she was “being a big boob.” When the bishop stood up, he said, “It’s ok sister-so-and-so, we love big boobs.” Whoops. But it’s true. Breasts have an unbelievable effect on men–and I agree it doesn’t make any sense! There is a real, overpowering reaction that makes me feel like I’ve been brainwashed. I ask any woman reading this for understanding. Imagine the most delicious milkshake you have ever tasted (or whatever your favorite desert is). Then imagine that your culture believes in leaving free samples of them everywhere, and you’re confronted with that sweet, amazing flavor every ten minutes every day. The commonness is no excuse, but there are many of us men who hate having this impulse and wish it weren’t so, even as we’re being impulsively drawn to it.


  3. Love! I sent carls jr a letter recently saying goodbye to their Santa Fe chicken sandwich because of their filthy ads. I’m so sick of boobs!


  4. Dude! What an amazing comment! Thank you so much for–well–first of all, wading through my piece. I don’t think I really expected any guys to read it. 🙂 And thank you so much for speaking up and sharing your male perspective. What a fascinating analogy. That really helps me understand better. Not that I like it, of course–same as you. But it is always fascinating to be able to see the world through someone else’s eyes, even for just a small moment.


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