Yesterday I took a break at the grocery store to skim the May issue of O Magazine, and now I have a gripe to share with you. Tell me if you think I’m being oversensitive, but these excerpts from Florence Williams’ article “Breast Case Scenarios” do nothing to promote the body confidence of large-breasted women. It’s as if Williams, whose book called Breasts comes out in May, has assumed that all O Magazine readers are small-busted women insecure about their size.
According to the lingerie company Maidenform, the average breast size in the United States is 36C. A generation ago it was 34B. Before you celebrate, consider the causes. The breast growth is due in part to the fact that American women are plumper than ever. [Who trusts Maidenform's data anymore? We've all heard different sizes touted as the current average breast size, but I tend to believe a 34D is more realistic than a 36C, which would negate the plumpness connection.]
While the age of menstruation has moved up several months in the past 40 years, breasts are appearing, on average, a full year sooner. Obesity is one likely reason. But certain chemicals that mimic estrogen may also be to blame . . . . [I suspect that her failure to point to any conclusive evidence that early developers tend to be obese is because no such evidence exists. Correct me if I'm wrong.]
Most men prefer smaller breasts than we think. Research has shown that women tend to overestimate the size that men find ideal. [And what exactly are those sizes?]
Big breasts on skinny bodies are quite unusual. Barbie’s proportions would be found in fewer than 1 in 100,000 women . . . . [But we all know that there is a large population of women without Barbie's exact proportions who would be considered skinny with big breasts. It's really not that unusual.]
Now let’s move on to the great bloggers out there who are grounded in the reality that full-busted women with small-to-average waists exist and who spend their time showing us how to embrace our shape instead of promoting a schadenfreude against small-busted women that Florence Williams insinuates against large-busted women in her article. (Again, feel free to tell me I’m being hypersensitive.)
1. Note the title of Imogen Lamport’s post: Tops to FLATTER a Large Bust. She’s not talking about hiding or minimizing here, which is why she can include the cowl-neck in her list. Cowl-necks have the potential to add volume, but there’s also the chance that a viewer may not be able to tell where the drape-iness ends and your bustline begins.
2. Have you always yearned for a delicate, sheer bra? Bras I Hate shows you how to get one by removing the extra lining. You’ll sacrifice some support, but if you’re just going for pretty, it’s a great solution (especially for those of us still waiting for the Claudette Dessous to come in our size).
3. Braless in Brasil’s Biu Biu order finally arrived, and her knit tops look great. See her review here. While you’re on her blog, also check out her ideas for how companies can begin to offer more sizes, a topic that is near and dear to my heart and that I will be exploring more on Hourglassy.
4. How many of Drueber und Drunter’s 9 common reactions have you experienced in trying to help other women discover the joy of a great-fitting bra? I love (and unfortunately relate) to her last one:
Me “BoobsblablabluppbrasblablablaBandsizecupsizeladiladila”. This does not work for me, mostly people just get annoyed.
5. Hopefully you’ve already discovered Busty Girl Comics after 12 Problems Busty Girls Have hit Buzzfeed last week. Later, someone tweeted that she’d forgotten #13–seatbelts! You’ve GOT to check out her clever BGC tee. It’s pretty much the worst possible neckline for us, but it certainly recognizes the reality of our shape in its design! I was also delighted to find Hourglassy listed in her resources for busty girls.