I never really saw this as a blog topic, but Mia made me realize that it might actually make a good one! I’ve just been feeling a little guilty over the fact that I must struggle to make bust size a focal point in everything I write.
So why do so many women I know seem preoccupied with their bust size? I really had to think about it. I’m a person who just is; I’m generally not bothered about much, and even though I like analytic discussions about just about anything and love a great constructive discussion, I still don’t feel that strongly about a lot of things. The way I grew up, my self image and esteem just happened to be built around who I am and what I do over what I look like. I won’t go into specifics, but I’m one of the many in this world who has had a very winding path on my way to adulthood, so looks were not high on the priority list a lot of the time.
In a sense I do pay attention to my bust size, but most often in a joking way–as in when someone asks me to do something and I can’t do it in the same way because of my bust, I’ll just say, “Well, not with my boobs!” or something along those lines. A British co-worker asked me this week why I bought from a UK online store when the pound is so strong at the moment. I just said to him, “Well, if I want a trench coat that buttons all the way up, I have to order from a specialist retailer in the UK.” I’ve also told some co-workers that I write this column because it’s harder to find clothes when you are big-busted. Most people haven’t really thought of that actually! They often get an Aha! moment when they realize that it’s actually true.
My surroundings are definitely another factor in my attitude. Here men don’t catcall women or holler on the streets. Generally we are taught from childhood not to stare at people, not to point at people, and to give people their privacy. So while it is noticeable that I am above-average-busted, people usually don’t show in any way that they notice. Well, also I’m quite blind. Even if they do, I hardly ever notice if someone’s looking at me anyway! It has to be such blatant bust staring that even I notice. In those rare cases, it’s usually just something I can crack a joke about if it happens at work since I’m not bothered if it clearly is just innocent and not on purpose.
But I do wonder sometimes how I’m described to someone who is looking for me at the office and doesn’t know who I am!!! If I say that he’s the dark bearded, deep voiced bold guy in a hoodie–well, am I then the dark-haired, big-busted woman with the black specs who always wears dresses or something? 😀 I’d rather not know, but I know that I might be, and it’s ok. I am that way.
It might seem like a contradiction that I write for a busty blog, but I am big busted and love clothes, so why not? I just don’t always make a focal point over that as it just doesn’t come naturally to me. To me the topics I feel most deeply about apply to womanhood in general and from that perspective, accepting your body is not specific to any particular body type but to anyone in general.
My personal trainer Maria asked me yesterday at the gym when we were–again–fixing my posture during an exercise, “Have you ever considered a reduction?” I was a little stunned at first as the thought had never entered my head. I replied, “No, why would I have?” I understood her point after my initial reply, but then I continued, “If I hadn’t found my correct bra size when I did, I don’t know, I might think differently.” But I’m blessed with not having any pain because of the weight of my bust so that is essentially why. It’s also most likely why my bust is just one part of me just like the rest of my body. If there were any pain, I’d probably think about it a lot more.
Interesting perspective! I also grew up focussing on what I did rather than on my looks and am pretty oblivious to stares. And I don’t suffer pain, regardless of wearing a well fitting bra or not. However comments from the outside made sure to remind me I was different! I don’t know what relationship you have with your PT, and I take it from your post that her comment didn’t bother you, but I doubt she would have felt as comfortable asking you if you’ve ever considered any other type of cosmetic surgery.
One thing I’ve noted is that your description of your male colleague is not merely physical. You also say that he is bold and that he has a deep voice. I think people tend to focus more on women’s looks and would not mention their personality or their voice.
I do get where you’re coming from though. I think I feel the same about my hair. I’ve been rocking a fro for so long that I don’t really think about it and I’m not affected by the odd weird comment.
In any case, great thought-provoking post!
So nice to hear your thoughts Astrid! I love hearing different perspectives and hearing about diverse views.
True, people might pay more attention to female looks than male but when I think about it from our open office perspective where we have about 100 people, consultants and internals from all across Europe, people mostly get described by their predominant characteristics including style, looks, voice. There are also few women who are described by their voice, some by their style, some by their hair. But all this happens with men too, there are some central European male consultants who are just so handsome that it is noticeable and predominant.
Good point about my PT! But in her defense I do need to clarify that I joke about the restriction that my bust causes and have explained to her about the posture issue with my back (dressage background makes me well aware of my posture). So it was in relation but still stunned me as I had never thought about reduction.
Also nice to hear that you could still relate! I think many women have some parts of them they find is “different” but they still are at ease with them. Womanhood all the way <3
I think a lot of it is what you said, not finding the correct bra size. Struggling with looking overweight at as teenager, trying to cover that up, dealing with back pain, never able to find clothes that suit you. But once I found the correct bra size, all of that changed. Now I feel similarly, I’m aware of my bust but it’s just part of who I am.
I understand your PT was probably just trying to think of ways to help, but she really should have first asked whether or not your bust gives you any trouble anyway. A lot of people just assume things and I guess that ticks me off a bit, especially with such a potentially sensitive issue (what if you had been a woman who had been fighting against family having a reduction for years?)