As this blog has proven I am a little obsessed with boobs and bras!
I wasn’t always like this. I remember going from a flat chested 14 year old to a huge bosomed 15 year old. I knew nothing about bras aside from the fact that the ones I wore were basic, unpadded and ugly.
I snared my first boyfriend at around that time. Upon hearing that I was an F cup he shrugged and said “My ex was a D cup, I’m sort of over boobs, especially even bigger boobs.”
If only I knew then what I knew now – that knowing someone’s bra cup letter is only half the story. She could have been a 38D and I could have been a 30F, thus meaning that her breasts would have been bigger than mine. I wish I could have told him that to soothe my wounds a little and make him squirm. Instead I felt slightly ashamed about my sudden journey into the murky depths of the alphabet and silently scolded my out of control body parts, begging them to go easy on the expanding.
It’s a shame he couldn’t have told his the opposite.
Over the years I learnt more about bras and boobs and sizing. Not all of those things looked good or worked out well for me…
And I still didn’t understand how those cups and letters worked. I felt proud at myself for fitting into size 14 skinny jeans, and yet in the same breath would happily tell my female friend how I was a 40FF. I was basically telling them that my rib cage was a size 18/20 and yet I was blissfully unaware. We women are so caught up on numbers – on the scales, on our dresses, on our knickers. And yet when it comes to bras it’s all about the letters, no thought it given to what those numbers mean and what they say about you and your size.
It took some strong words from a bra savvy friend to convince me to take a trip to Bravissimo – and that sparked a whole series of bra revelations and understandings! Having a smaller back band felt comfortable, not freakish and absurd. H cup bras existed and could be pretty. My boobs didn’t have to be smushed together, sweating like two bald men in a wrestling match – I could have an actual 3D cleavage. Knowledge is power, and you don’t know power until you are a woman walking tall in a well fitting bra, your waist shown off, your shoulders free of the heavy weight of your chest, a smug smile playing on your lips as you bask in the glory of your instant makeover.
Fast forward a few years – competitions, starting my blog, going to fit events, press events, seeing online calculators… all of that has contributed to me having a pretty damn perfect knowledge of how bras work and should look and feel. I don’t know everything and I sometimes still struggle, but I am more up to speed than a pack of Marks And Spencers tape measure wielding stressed out fitting room assistants, something I like to tell them often.
And there lies my problem.
I am obsessed.
I just cannot let it lie when, in my opinion, I see someone doing it wrong or wearing it wrong. If I read an article about so and so having surgery to go from “a 36DD to a 38F” I see red. For one, how many celebs do you know whose backs are broader than mine? And also, when going under the knife the surgeons do not, to my knowledge, add inches to women’s ribcages, so why oh why is that measurement going to change?! I am feeling angry just writing about it!
I accost girls in toilets on nights out – usually we are already talking about bras and boobs, but then I feel the need to lecture and preach and slip a few business cards at them. I tell random women on the internet “woah, you cannot be a 38, not with a 29 inch waist!” I have tried to fit my sister, my Mum, my Granny, heck, even my boyfriend had a little makeover!
Friends who I barely know have cowered as I have tugged on their bra straps and laughed at their band size. I’m quite out of control! I feel passionately that every woman deserves to feel confident and sexy in a well fitted bra, the firm band holding her in place, the wires fuller encasing her, the straps tight but not too tight. I know I go about it the wrong way at times, but it’s like titty sling tourettes – I can’t hold back!
I do recall how I felt when my friend prodded my overflowing breasts and laughed at me when I tucked them back in and sulked. I get that it is SUCH personal thing to be pulled up on. Women don’t always want to be told that they are bigger than a D, despite them often actually being the same volume, just with a smaller back. They don’t want a stranger or even a friend to comment on something that private and mock it, change it, impose views upon them. They don’t care that a 36D is the same as a 28FF, they don’t want to have to comprehend how and why. It is something I need to learn and something I need to stop getting irate about.
I recently had an article and photo published in a magazine and felt I didn’t look as I normally do.
I was labelled as being a size 18 which was ok, most of my dresses are an 18 with a few exceptions either way.
I wasn’t prepared for what would be said.
Part of me was relieved that those were the only two bad comments I saw, but part of me saw red. How dare some internet strangers judge me on one horrific photo! Who did they think they were…oh wait.
That’s what I do.
It didn’t feel great to experience the turning of the tables but at least it made me realise what I must put others through.
I don’t think my obsession will ever go away. I imagine I will always gasp over ill judged sizes in magazines and drunkenly lecture unsuspecting women in toilets at nightclubs. But I just want everyone to know what I know and understand! It’s frustrating to see some women in denial about being over a DDD cup, increasing their back bands rather than getting to know their bralphabets. Awful fitting calculators and ill fitting bras on models on websites almost give me nervous breakdowns – but I just need to learn to curb my obsession and bestow knowledge when I deem appropriate. I get a lot of emails and comments from women who I have helped find their size, so I must be doing something right. But my obsession needs to come out to play when it is called for, not every time my bradar starts to beep.
I can’t promise anything, mind.