6 years ago by

During the month of “relationships,” why not talk about our relationship with our boobs! Not to mention October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Read on to hear how our relationships with our boobs have changed over our lives. And you can learn more about breast health here.

Garance | Bra Size: C(ish)

When Veronica told me to write a “quick paragraph” about my relationship with my boobs, I was like but I could write a whole book!!! But okay. Quick story of my relationship with my boobs:

Age 11: My nipples pop. I don’t see them at the time (who looks at their body at 11?) until my boobs follow a few months later and AN OLD DUDE from my Corsican village passes by me on the beach, and says: “Aaaah, it’s growing!!!”

CREEPO. The shock. PERV. Seriously. I am still a child. I had never had anyone look at me like that. I put on my swimming bathing suit (I am a swimmer at that time), super covering, and I hide my body all summer. And the summers to follow.

Age 11: My mom gives me a bra and says, “wear this so your boobs stay up there right where they’re at!” I have been wearing one ever since.

Age 12: Well, crap. I am at school and I am “the one with the big boobs.” Boys follow me like I am honey and make dirty jokes and shame me and it’s THE WORST. I am constantly in shock and I have no idea what’s going on in my life. Men look at me in a different way. A fisherman from my village tries to have me come “nap with him.” Thank god, I escape. It’s like a storm of sexuality broke all over me and I have no tools to respond. I repeat: I am 12.

Age 14: By then I have retaliated by wearing XXXL t-shirts and XXXL jeans. I am a skater girl you guys. The “teenage angst look” saves me from the sexual bullshit. I fall in love with a skateboarder and, well. He finds my body sublime. It actually probably is. “You’re like a pin up! Stop worrying about the size of your boob.”

Age 16: It’s Kate Moss time. Flat chest is where it’s at. I ask my mom if I can get a breast reduction and she says no fu$@ing way. I learn to live with my boobs because I have no choice.

Age 25: I still don’t know what to do with them in terms of fashion, but I have to admit, they look pretty good. I am French, so, sometimes, I even go topless. But I am still boob shy. I will probably always be.

Age 30: I know what I can wear and what I can’t. I have the hardest time in the world finding bras. Going bra shopping is a quest, and still is to this day, no one understands MY boobs. I don’t want hard boobs, and most bras are hard as hell right now because it’s assumed most women want bigger boobs, so, padding it is, even on bigger sizes. I don’t want too much protection and padding cause it makes you look giant from the sides, but I don’t want flattening cause it makes you look like you’ve put on ten kilos. I don’t want strapless that are padded. I don’t… I don’t… I don’t…

I can never ever find the perfect bra. If I found it, I would buy 5000 of it, right here, right now.

Age 35: My boobs are awesome. Thassit. Thank god I didn’t have them reduced. Whatever is fashion still works better on smaller boobs. Love you boobs. Proud of my boobs. Showing off my boobs, even. Not so boob shy anymore, uh?!

Age 41: Time for my mammo. It HURTS!!! At that time I am doing fertility treatments and I am an emotional mess. So when they call me to come back because “something’s not clear on the mammogram” I see my life coming to an end. I tell Chris and it’s total, total freak out moment. I have to wait a day to do the mammo again during which I consider life, death, cancer, and what’s truly important. We go have lunch to try to cheer ourselves up and it’s the weirdest lunch of my life. I tell myself that whatever happens I’ll figure it out. We’ll figure it out. I go back and do it and I am crying the whole time. The nurse is soooooooooo nice. After another mammo I receive my results. All is well. Apparently I have fibrous, dense boobs (no joke!) which makes it harder to analyse.

So, here was “quick paragraph” about the story of my boobs and me. And here are my conclusions : mothers, as much as you can, protect your teenagers from the sexual storm. Educate, protect, allow XXXL t-shirts. Girls, give your boobs a chance – love and body acceptance sometimes needs time to grow. And to all of us, as much as mammography has been criticized as being dangerous, unnatural, and a “sham from the medical industry,” I personally think that’s the best prevention tool we have right now, and that it’s saved many lives. Thassit!

Veronica | 34A

I think it should be noted that Garance’s subject line when sending me the above words was “BooooOOOOooooBBBoooBBBBBBiiiiiiiiiiess.” That’s a direct quote.

I’ll say I am happy enough with mine except for that fact that they insist on growing nipple hair. Like INSIST. We already know about my body hair struggles but I didn’t even mention nipple hair in that post because I could write a follow up book to Garance’s Boob Book about nipple hair.

But I think nipples are overlooked. They’re like super heros! They can shape shift! They can do the talking for you if you want (wink, wink). Their size / shape / color varies just as much as boobs themselves!

I also don’t think it’s an accident that you can basically show any part of the boob in a movie but once who show nipple it’s like WHOA, WHOA, WHOA. Avert the children’s eyes!

But, guys have nipples too. So why do women’s nipples have so much more power? Because like I said, THEY’RE SUPER HEROES.

Oh! Also! YOU CAN FEED A CHILD FROM THEM.That is some crazy mutant alien shit and I love it. Seeing my friends breastfeed makes me so proud to be a woman. (Although ironically I was a formula fed baby!)

Anyway, back to nipples. It was really when I started loving my nipples that I made peace with my smaller sized chest. Nips for life!

Bogdana | 32DD (sometimes 32E)

My boobs started to grow at age 12, while every other girl in class didn’t get a hint of breasts until grade 10, or even today. Which is EXACTLY what I wish had happened to me.

I recently watched Iliza Shlesinger‘s stand up and one of her jokes was something along the lines of “Have you ever seen a woman say “Oh I have these big boobs and butt, I have no idea what to do with them?!”

Yes I’ve seen one…me!

It’s tiring to have to move my breasts to the side every time I’m trying to perform low lunge on a yoga mat. Or, when skipping from excitement, having to hold on to them along the way. Or explaining to a sales assistant that, “No, I don’t need a push up!”

Today, I’m working on making peace with myself. Although, breast reduction surgery will probably cost less money and time than a therapist.

Signing off, DD

Vanessa | 34DD (sometimes 32DD)

I don’t think about my boobs particularly, but I definitely think about removing my bra. ALL.THE.TIME. Sometimes I take it off in the middle of a work day. When I moved to NY, I didn’t wear a bra for the first few months. It was so liberating, but also not very flattering. So here we are, back to agony and torment.

My breasts started to bother me in my early 20’s because I felt like the size of my breasts limited my clothing choices. Crewnecks, anyone? Turtlenecks? Spaghetti strap dresses? Strapless? ha.ha.ha. I’m not saying these items are a categorical no in my clothing repertoire, but it is much more time consuming to find a fitted dress that I like and more importantly, feel comfortable in. Not the easiest to pull off, unless you’re Monica Bellucci or Sophia Loren. I don’t even like fitted dresses, but if I did, it would be difficult for me to feel great in one.

Once it was one of those days I decided to remove my bra midday and then found myself at a museum. When checking my bag for weapons and the like, the guard at the security check dug up my bra that was buried at the bottom of my bag and flashed it for a quick sec to a couple of eager museum-goers behind me. Oops. It was funny. Appropriate attire if you’re going to see some nude sculptures if you ask me.

Christina | 34A

I’m pretty happy with my small boobs. I don’t really think about them on a daily basis. I’m lucky that I can pretty much always wear lightweight, triangle bras (or no bra at all), so I’m not thinking about being in an uncomfortable bra or anything. I do talk about boobs with my friends all the time though. It’s one of those things that I feel like girls are always talking about (my boobs are so big today, your boobs look good today, are my boobs hanging out of this, blah, blah, blah).

I think my relationship with my body has changed a lot over the years. I’m petite and I have more of a pear shaped body (bigger hips and butt, flat boobs and skinny upper body). When I was growing up I was really ashamed of it, and I wished that I had the opposite (skinny, long legs and bigger boobs). Now I accept my shape much more and I actually like it. I really mean that. Learning to embrace my “flaws” as things that make me beautiful and different has been one of the best parts of growing older.

Ughhhh I have the most embarrassing accidental flash that everyone in this office already knows about. I went out with a bunch of friends one night and I was wearing a tank top with no bra. It was one of those very blurry and fun summer nights that we don’t really remember but of course, one of my friends is a photographer who was taking pictures the whole time! When he got the film back I was horrified to see myself sitting in a public place (a freaking bowling alley) with ONE ENTIRE BOOB EXPOSED. Ahhhh, I was humiliated!!! I laugh about it now, but also cringe!!!

Caitlin | 34A

Having big, small, or boobs in general wasn’t a priority of mine during puberty (which came on super late, and super fast, and is now all a blur!). I’ve been consistently uninterested in my boobs since day 1.

And now, all I think about daily when it comes to boobs is “what can I wear in public that doesn’t require me to wear a bra.” I hate wearing bras!

But, I am a big fan of wearing those skin-colored nipple covers (my preference before wearing a bra — although these do sweat off in high temps so be forewarned…) and I have accidentally (er…intentionally) “flashed” a few people after probably too many cocktails… and the reaction/surprise when you’ve seemingly got no nipples is kind of worth the humiliation of admitting online that you’ve “flashed” someone before.

Gabby | 36DD

My one and only complaint about having bigger boobs: Seventy five percent of my wardrobe is made up of white button down shirts.. all with safety pins hidden on the inside to close the gap in the shirt that my boobs cause.

Linne | 34D

I actually love my boobs. And I’m not the type of person who is overly confident, obsessed with my body or anything. But I have to say, my boobs are actually one of my favorite parts of my body. My ass is completely flat because I hate cardio and I don’t care enough. But, my boobs feel like just the right size for me–they’re big enough to feel present, but not too big to be annoying (and small enough to be able to wear bralettes! Actually, the only underwire bra I will ever buy is this one.) I’m also into pairing lingerie with jeans for a night out (my mom has a pretty stellar collection of vintage La Perla camisoles and bustiers that she has given me), so I’d definitely say I’m comfortable highlighting my cleavage.

Carie | 34A

Once upon a time I used to wear a 34C, which is mind blowing if you know me now because I’m tiny. I have zero idea what happened, but assume I lost the “baby fat” one has in their late teens / early 20s. My mom and sister have always been more endowed than me, and it’s a family mystery that I came out shorter, smaller and flatter.

Nudity was never big in my house growing up and I remember the first time I saw the boobs of someone outside my family and I was shocked by how different they were. Her boobs were a totally different shape and her nipples were three times the size of mine or anyone in my family. It was my first glimpse into the wide and beautiful spectrum of female boobs.

When I was in college I worked at a Gap Body so I’ve seen my fair share of boobs and been present for a few emotional moments when someone finally found something, often after a major surgery, that supported them and made them feel good about themselves. As much as I was a shit retail employee, I found it really rewarding to help someone through an experience like that and realized how fortunate I am to have to pay so little attention to the role mine play in my daily life.

Today I’m a solid 34A. I’ve been measured at a 32B, but hate feeling constricted by bras and so usually don a simple, lightweight one, if at all, but it functions as more of an accessory than a necessary part of my outfit, if that makes any sense. I’ve had days were I think a certain item of clothing would fit me better if I were bustier or wondered what it would be like to actually feel them move when I walk, but c’est la vie. Those thoughts last about 2 seconds. For as teensy as they are, they are round and perky, so I consider myself fortunate in that regard. If I ever give birth to a kid, it’ll be fun to have bigger boobs for a change, but then it’s just downhill from there. Literally.

Sarah | 34C(ish)

I started puberty before anyone of my friends/ girls in my grade so I was so self conscious of my boobs, especially after this boy in my class said he liked my “lemons” which made me turn bright red and want to hide them, but couldn’t! Now, I actually really love them and they make me feel more feminine/ attractive. I’m happy with my C size boobs, but is it weird to say I touch them all the time?

Mary | 34B

When I was younger, I hated the fact that I had small boobs. I felt like all my friends had big boobs and I was constantly told to get a boob job later in life… assholes. Now I love my small boobs and the carefree nature of never having to wear a bra :)

Given the fact that I have a huge ass, I definitely like having an ass over big boobs.. comes with the life experience of having this asset (lol, get it).

Once I was leaving a club in Europe and I was wearing a very deep v neck silk top (also was very over served this night)… I thought I was being greeted by friendly smiles by all incoming club go-ers, but really they were staring (and smiling) at my boobs that were hanging out of my top… my friends still talk about it to this day.

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  • Victoire October, 3 2018, 10:19 / Reply

    Super article! C’est très bien d’avoir des conversations franches et simples sur des questions encore taboues qui n’ont pas de raison de l’être! Merci pour ça!

    Juste Garance, si je peux me permettre une suggestion: quand tu écris “mères, dans la mesure du possible, protégez vos adolescentes de la tempête du sexe. Eduquez, protégez, autorisez les t-shirts XXXL “… Je comprends le traumatisme mais… Non, ça ne devrait pas être aux filles de modifier leurs comportements en fonction du comportement erroné des garçons, mais aux garçons de rectifier leur attitude vis-ò-vis des femmes et de la sexualité. J’utilise le conditionnel car étant une femme je sais bien de quoi l’on parle, et de tous les comportements que l’on module en fonction des hommes juste parce que l’on est une femme dans une société inégale dominée par les hommes et qu’il y a toujours un risque de subir une injustice de la part des hommes n’importe où dans la rue. Je ne dis pas qu’il ne faut pas prévenir les filles, malheureusement, mais je dis qu’il faut commencer à renverser le problème vers qui a la responsabilité de ces actes et non qui les subit. J’aurais donc préféré lire “mères, dans la mesure du possible, éduquez vos fils, enseignez leur les principes d’égalité homme-femme, de respect de chaque chose et de chaque être, des concepts d’espace vital, d’intimité, de sensualité etc. Engagez les à suivre leur propre voix plutôt que celles que la société sexiste d’où l’on vient leur impose. Formez les à être les hommes de ce monde nouveau que nous n’avons pas eu mais que nous voulons pour les générations futures”. Tu as souhaité parler de tes valeurs et de celles que tu entendais appliquer au sein de l’Atelier doré, parmi lesquelles figurait en bonne place le féminisme… ;) J’espère que tu sauras entendre cette critique formulée avec le plus grand respect. J’admire beaucoup ton travail et te repose souvent sur les réseaux sociaux à e sujet.
    Merci beaucoup! Victoire

  • 100% d’accord avec Victoire même s’il faut bien avouer qu’en tant que mère d’une fille ET d’un garçon, je me surprends moi-même à dire des trucs énormes parfois, sans y prendre garde, alors que je me considère comme une féministe. Lutter contre le sexisme intériorisé, c’est du boulot!
    Article top par ailleurs! Comme je me reconnais dans ton témoignage, Garance!

  • But Vanessa, just do it on the turtlenecks!! Just a slightly bigger cup size here and I just do it tight and consider that my big boob sexy!!!

  • Bonjour Garance , j’ai découvert la marque prima donna il y a environ 2 ans et ai enfin trouvé ma taille, 95B. Depuis qu’ils sont si bien soutenus j’en suis enfin fière. comble de l’ironie…ils commencent à se ratatiner. Je ne les ai jamais dévoilés ni mis en evidence sous le nez des autres, bien au contraire, je me suis toujours appliquée à les faire deviner. Parfois, lorsqu’une amie ou collègue use de subterfuges pour faire fantasmer sur un decolleté complètement bidon ou met des décolletés profonds ressens une petite pointe de jalousie (alors que je suis totalement incapable de faire pareil…)
    mais , très vite, je me resaisis.Bien qu’étant donc très protrectrice vis à vis de mes précieux “accessoires” je sens qu’on les observe et les compliments masculins ou féminins sont émis de façon respectueuse et cela , réellement , depuis que j’ai trouvé les bons soutien-gorges. Alors oui, ceux -ci me coûtent une blinde mais c’est devenu une priorité , à choisir entre un pull cher ou un soutien -gorge , je préfère le second et c’est agréable de savoir que si j’ai 2h de sommeil , ou de nouvelles rides, ma poitrine reste fière (aux yeux des autres) , en toutes circonstances.
    Il m’a fallu attendre l’âge de 50 ans pour les apprécier enfin!!!
    (Je me souviens d’une maman extrêmement pudique mais que je voyais parfois après la douche enfiler un soutien gorge et de mon emerveillement devant ses seins magnifiques, je peux encore les deviner aujourd’hui en fermant les yeux, si je me la représente c’est forcément avec ce si joli buste, cette femme si simple, si banale mais avec ce si beau trésor….. que d’émotion!!)

  • J’adore cet article !! Et en fait quand je le lis je me dis que ce qu’il faudrait faire, c’est créer une marque de lingerie qui s’adapte VRAIMENT aux seins des femmes, tout en faisant qu’elles se sentent sexy et belles. Quelles que soient la forme de nos seins ou leur taille, on galère toutes à trouver la jolie forme de soutien-gorge qui nous va. Bisous à toutes et continuez !!

  • Caroline October, 4 2018, 5:19 / Reply

    Thanks for the comments of the big boobs team. Thank you Garance!
    I’m a 90E (French size, dunno the American one) and I still feel pissed off at how I can’t run, can’t jump (my knees over-compensate), can’t wear MANY types of clothes (my tailor always pulls on my jackets so that they properly cover my boobs).
    And, yes, I got male stares as a kid (from the age of 10 onwards… lucky me…).

    I’m still considering the breast reduction for when they’ll start falling (yep, another downside of big boobs). After many years, still don’t love them…

  • in American it would be a 12DD/34DD. I just had a breast reduction – I wanted one my entire life and at 45 years I thought what the heck, I am doing it (I also herniated discs in my neck 9 times the previous 1 1/2 years). Anyway – it hurt a lot, took ages to recover from but it was absolutely worth it. They couldn’t remove as much as I wanted – I always dreamed of being an A or B cup, but int he end I am a DD, but compared to being a GG that is a huge difference. Also guess what – the bigger your boobs, the greater your chance of breast cancer – so I might have saved my life too!

  • I’m 70 now and still love my breasts…they have been through all phases including: no bra tee-shirt 60’s..breast implants with string bikini, nursed two children for several years each, had implants removed when silicone scare of ’90’s came.
    Now, enjoy sexy lingerie and also going bra less. Breasts are lovely…even after biopsies ….but I really detest the work boobs. Like making fun of them and calling them stupid…you boobs you. Breasts, small or large, just amazing works of nature….love the words decollete and cleavage!!

  • Aurélie October, 7 2018, 4:50 / Reply

    Merci les filles pour ce superbe article. J’ai adoré le lire et comme je m’y retrouve. Ce caractère sexuel qui nous est attribué naturellement et qui nous pose pourtant….beaucoup de questions et de traumatismes. Pourquoi ne pas juste accepter ce que la nature nous donne et arrêter d’en faire une fixette??? Je sais, la société et le regard des autres n’est pas faciles et nous poussent pas à le faire. :)
    En tout cas, j’ai trop aimé cet article franc et libre!

  • You tagged this post “Breast cancer” and correctly note right off Oct is breast cancer awareness month. Then you never mention it again, but blather on about “boobs”. As a breast cancer survivor who has very conflicted feelings about my reconstructed breasts after a double mastectomy and multiple attempts to reconstruct, this article was a disappointment as it seemed to acknowledge the far greater difficulty in body acceptance post cancer, then gleefully veered off the topic as garance was spared the agony. (Garance i’m happy for you. But this was short sighted and alienating for a lot of your readers.)
    Don’t use the hashtag if you aren’t actually going to talk about it in a meaningful way. It isn’t to drive digital traffic. It’s to actually help cancer survivors feel ok about their bodies. not remotely the same as a woman who never had cancer opining about the size of her boobs. Disappointing.

  • Emma Macdonald April, 18 2019, 6:36 / Reply

    finding this belatedly and love it—but who makes the bra (and set) in the header image! need!! <3

  • So true–on so many levels. Loved reading these frank and honest stories!

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