I was one of those “early Bloomers” and had a B cup before I entered middle school and a C cup by the time I entered High school. The thing you aren’t prepared for when you are a 12-year-old girl is that suddenly you find yourself being sexualized. By Everyone. My male classmates made me feel weird and uncomfortable with my newly acquired figure. What was worse was the adults. If you wore anything too form-fitting or that had any sort of neckline, you were told to cover up. Hell, we all know girls get school dress code violations for this stuff even now.
I remember in high school, I was running down the halls after school doing personal PT like many other students. Like many of the other female students, I was wearing shorts and a cropped sports tank to run in. Most of my fellow female students were never stopped or questioned. I was told by a teacher that I needed to cover up and was indecent because, you know, I had cleavage. I stopped running in the halls after that.
It is the constant struggle of the large chested gal to wear anything that doesn’t look “indecent”. We have more breast tissue, so clothes just look different on us. The only way I can not show cleavage in a shirt is with a crew or turtle neck shirt and I can’t limit my wardrobe to just that. This results in women and girls being shamed for their breasts. That wasn’t the only instance of adults policing my body but one that has stuck with me these decades later.
High school also had me quitting activities when boys sexualized me too much for them. One of the saddest things I ever did was quit doing NJROTC part way through high school, because every week when I had to wear my uniform to school, multiple male classmates ( not in the ROTC program) would harass me about how “good I look in a uniform” and how my “curves looked just right”. It took a year and a half of that for me to just stop doing it altogether because it was a weekly traumatic event for me. This is also the first time I’ve said my actual reason for quitting. When it happened, I just said I wanted to try different things that I wouldn’t have time in my schedule for if I continued with the ROTC program.
As an adult, it makes me so mad that I allowed myself to silently endure sexual harassment to the point I stopped doing things I loved. Even as an adult, there are times where I worry if I am dressed too sexual or alluring because of what that can bring on. I hate that I’m like that. Really. I wish I could undo all the brainwashing we’ve had that sexualizes women’s breasts and makes us feel dirty for having them.
There has never been a time in my life where I didn’t resent my breasts, even just a little bit. When I had my first kid, I found it was extremely painful to breastfeed him. I worked with a lactation consultant but after months of pain I gave it up. Not being able to breastfeed can make you feel like a failure as a mother and that’s how I felt. My second pregnancy was twins who had to be delivered prematurely and there was no way to breastfeed them as they didn’t have the sucking reflexes. So I pumped, for weeks until that exhausted me. By the time my youngest was born, not even a year after the twins, I had come to terms with the fact that many mothers can’t or don’t want to do it and that’s fine. However, I still had to suffer from the painful swollen breasts until the milk dried up. That was a hellscape and a half every time.
When I was newly divorced and started dating in my 30s, again I found my breasts sexualized, over and over again. Sometimes I found men who even went so far as to fetishize large breasts. It just got so old and disheartening.
Let’s not forget the general annoyance of large breasts like underboob sweat, falling out of tanktops while sleeping, and rolling onto your breasts while asleep. That one is a rude awakening, I assure you.
There is also a physical health piece too. Large breasts do a number on your back while wearing bras. Back and neck pain can be excruciating. Even just trying to find a bra that fits well. I have taken to looking specifically for bras meant for good posture due to the NTOS (Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome) I have on top of the weight of my heavy breasts.
So with all the things that I hate about them, is there anything that makes it worth it? For me, not really. I’d be perfectly happy to get a breast reduction and possibly elevate some of my pain but that kind of thing costs major money that I just don’t have right now. I try to love and accept my body but this is just one of those things that I have never liked about my physical self and hope that one day I can change it, or at least come to terms and accept it.