The Girl Without Any Breasts

It happened again. AGAIN. Emily and I walked into the Bra Smyth on Broadway and 77th to look for strapless bras for the wedding, and when I explained to the saleswoman that I was looking for a bra to go under a wedding gown she looked at Emily and said, “She’s the bride?”

I’m not even kidding. If I’m with a friend, the salesperson always assumes that my friend is the bride, even though I’m the one talking about BEING A BRIDE, and if I’m by myself, they assume I’m there on behalf of the bride. What is it about me that screams, “Wow, there’s no way anyone would want to marry HER”?! What is it?? I don’t understand. Is it my massive tattoos of naked dancing women that cover my arms and chest? Is it my shirt that says, “Game Over” beneath a stencil of a bride and groom? Am I just horrifyingly ugly?

But that is not what this post is about. It’s about boobs.

The setting: That very same bra shop.

Characters: The lovely Emily, myself, and a businesslike, sixty-something saleswoman with a Polish accent.

(click here for image source. This woman looks JUST like me, btw)

Here’s the story:

My wedding gown is strapless. Emily’s bridesmaid dress is also strapless. We both needed special bras, but they had to be special in dramatically different ways. Emily needed a bra that would contain and properly present her ridiculously generous bosom. I needed a bra that would make it appear as though I had gone through puberty. It was not the first time we’d gone bra shopping together.

The saleswoman came into the large dressing room with us and whipped out her tape measure. She began with me, since I’d showed my bride’s license and answered a series of questions that only a real bride would know the answers to. “Hmm…” she said. “B.” In college (for me, at least. I was an overachiever), as in bra sizes, this counts as a failure. But success goes in opposite directions on those spectrums. In any case, she was done with me in a second. She turned to Emily.

“Full,” she said. “Very, very full.” She sounded sort of pleased. As though Emily had done a good job, growing those breasts.

I definitely didn’t drink enough milk as a kid.

She brought back two corsets. I looked ridiculous in mine, and the saleswoman paid little attention to me. She was busy fussing with Emily, bringing in other options and working to arrange Emily’s breasts to their best advantage. I found myself against the wall, watching the proceedings.

“And if you’d like more cleavage,” the saleswoman was saying.

“Is that even possible?” I said. “I mean, isn’t that, like, the most cleavage ever?”

Emily cracked up and the woman smiled kindly and said, “You wish you had this?”

“No, no,” I said. “I’m fine.”

The woman bustled out and Emily and I stood there, looking in the huge mirror together, wearing our corseted strapless bras. We laughed at ourselves. To be perfectly honest, we both looked good. Our bodies had both developed at extremes, and yeah, hers was at the end that was going to attract a lot more appreciation from just about every guy in the world, but we both knew that wasn’t always a great thing. And my flatness isn’t always a bad thing. She said, “You can wear shirts without a bra! You can wear backless dresses!” It’s true. I can. I do. And I don’t even think about my breasts most of the time. I don’t think to worry about their size. For some reason, feeling bad about my breasts isn’t something I bother with. I have cute nipples. I look feminine. So whatever.

Until I’m reminded, over and over again, in the dressing room at the bra shop, of just how much I lack.

The saleswoman brought in different kinds of pads. Gel ones. Cloth ones. She stuck them in the bra. It didn’t make much difference, but it was clear that this was the direction to go in. Don’t want to be boobless for the wedding, after all. The guests will expect some breasts under that dress.

“You should know,” the saleswoman said, “It costs twelve dollars for the sewing.”

I nodded.

“And eighteen dollars for each pad.”

“Wait,” I said. “How much for the bra?”

“One-hundred and twenty,” she said apologetically.

“Wait,” I said. “So how much am I spending to not have any breasts?”

She laughed. “It’s cheaper than the surgery.”

I acknowledged that this was true. But I didn’t buy it. I ended up buying a much, much simpler and less expensive bra that looked like I had wrapped a piece of tan gauze around my chest, maybe in an effort to bind myself so that I could look more like a boy. I wouldn’t even have done that, except that I don’t think it’s an option not to wear a bra under my wedding gown.

The saleswoman continued on to fit Emily into a series of gorgeous, sexy bras, which really looked incredible on her. She jokingly suggested that Emily lend me some of her breasts.

And as we paid, I looked around at the displays; all of those matching sets of sweet, sexy lace, and thought about how I would never be able to wear any of them. And I felt really, genuinely bad in that moment.

“Maybe,” I said to Emily as we walked out, “This is why no one thinks I look like a bride. Maybe they expect a bride to have breasts.”

(click here for image source)

She burst out laughing, and then said in a mock deep voice, “We require the bride to be at least a C cup. Women below that are not permitted to marry.”

“Yeah,” I said. “Maybe they assume I’m twelve. And twelve-year-olds shouldn’t get married.”

Who knows. But on the bright side, at least I’ll save a lot of money I might have otherwise spent on cute little matching lingerie sets.

* *   *  *  *

So how much should we care about breast size?

Un-roast: Today I want to love my breasts, out of defiance, but I’m not quite there yet. So I love my waist. The outline of it. The way my hips flair out.

Yesterdays un-roasts:

Wei-Wei: “This is kinda gross, but I shaved my arms today. I love how smooooth they are after getting rid of lanugo. Okay. Sorry if I grossed everyone out here :S”

Cindy: “I am wearing a hula skirt over my work clothes today and a big hibiscus in my hair. I like flowers in my hair. wavy messy hair and flowers go good together! :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CINDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zoe: “unroast: is unable to be a physical one today. i’m proud of myself for getting a job interview though! fingers crossed — it’s today!”

How’d it go, Zoe?? Hope you feel great about it!

Maya: “I like how muscular my legs are. They don’t look like sticks, and my thighs are definitely thighs, if you know what I mean, but you can see the muscle definition. I realize I prefer that to stick legs. My legs do a lot for me and they show it.”

57 Comments »

Kate on June 24th 2010 in beauty, being different, body, new york

57 Responses to “The Girl Without Any Breasts”

  1. Jamie responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    I bought a fancy bra for my wedding dress and took it off for the reception and stuck it in my mom’s purse, all crumpled up, along with the special slip I bought. Then, I found out I could actually breathe. The reception was much more fun after that. It is TOTALLY okay to go braless under your wedding dress.

    So if you still have the receipt, I officially give you permission to return that gauze bra.

  2. Wei-Wei responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    I lost my chest to my eating disorder. Not that I really ever had a chest (I think most of it was, uh, fat.) but I think that I probably would have had a bigger shot at getting one had I not lost so much weight. BUT. I don’t think any breasts look good without bras. Honestly, the perfect, large, perky-without-bra boobs of every guy’s fantasy? I just don’t see it happening. Look. You’ve got perk, and you’ve got size. One or the other. Perk usually means they’re small so they can stand their own weight and not droop like some ancient tribal lady. Size usually means… well, um, big? Boobs? (It reminds me of Barney Stinson. “Describe, face, boobs, start with boobs.”)

    So honestly, whenever my mom pokes me in the chest and comments on how I’m finally getting some volume, she usually is getting a load of padding. Really hard padding. I understand the womanly appeal of having breasts to begin with, but so many people are faking them that you can’t really tell anymore.

    Unroast: I like my chest today. I was doing a russian slow courtroom-type dance, and I had to support my back and hold up my chest in a proud fashion. I liked how strong and steady my upper body looked.

    Wei-Wei

  3. PaperFlora responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    that is so funny, I totally have the opposite problem. Salespeople are always trying to get me into these itsy bitsy little bra’s when it obvious that “my cup runneth over” I’m so tired of it. Once I was in a very well know lingerie store and the sales person kept giving me push up bras, over and over again. I finally turned to her and said do you really think I need a push up bra? I won’t be able to breath!” I got applause from all the other women in the fitting room :)

    http://paperflora2.blogspot.com
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/PaperFlora
    http://twitter.com/PaperFlora2

  4. caronae responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Funnily enough, I hate my large breasts. No woman wants to be a long distance runner and a 34D (or DD). It makes me feel so out of place and it can be painfully uncomfortable; dresses don’t fit me well because I have a thin waist; they bounce and chafe when running. If I could go back to my B or small-ish C days I would in a heartbeat. Just a perspective from a fuller woman, even though it’s probably not what you want to hear right now. :) I can see why it might be nice to feel more womanish for the wedding. But just remember that it’s not your breasts that make you a woman! You have many other lovely, womanly traits, I am sure.

    Un-roast: I have gotten really good at talking myself down from anxiety episodes. I have an anxiety/panic disorder and I have become wonderful at managing it and soothing myself.

  5. Amanda responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    I am impressed you bought something there, the saleswoman seemed to lack customer service skills. If you are interesting in increasing the cleavage, when I was trying on wedding dresses another girl came in for her fitting and the store owner said her trick for less-endowed brides is to take their regular strapless bra and just flip it inside out. I think going braless under the gown would be fine as long as you feel comfortable. One less thing to worry about on the big day:-)

  6. kalin responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    ahhh boobless brides unite!
    i got straps added to my dress. the seamstress asked why and i got to explain how i wasn’t so sure i could hold the dress up otherwise. ahhh fun.

  7. Petula responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading this post. Although I’m feeling a little uncomfortable about all the prancing around in the dressing room looking at how each others’ boobs look in a bra. LOL… No, not really. Just had to say it.

    Well, it seems like you handle that type of thing well. ‘Cause I would have been extremely annoyed. Now that I have my foothold into the 40s I now just prefer that they look as perky as possible. I’m thinking that with less you’ll have to worry so much less about sagging and stretch marks in that area.

    And I love the fact that you can wear whatever the heck you want and not worry about bras showing, cleavage falling and dripping!

    Whatever the size; I just think boobs rock. :-D

  8. San D responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Don’t assume you will be small breasted for the rest of your life. Hormones might change that. I went from an A cup to a C cup in a blink of an eye thanks to having to take Hormones after surgery. Also some women will tell you that some men never look them in the eye, but at their “ladies”. My dressing style is such that I never emphasize the “ladies”. But in jest, sometimes I have. For instance when golfing from the women’s tee, men in the foresome might bemoan that I get an advantage (and believe me I am a bad golfer, I’ll take every legal advantage). I have been heard to say “strap on a bra, and you can join me at the women’s tee”

  9. Cassie responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    I didn’t wear a bra under my wedding dress. I felt like I was supposed to, and tried on a bunch of ridiculous ones. But finally, my mother-in-law the breast cancer survivor convinced me it was silly. I’d say return the bra. And if you’re paranoid, get some nipple stickers just in case it’s chilly at the reception!

  10. zoe responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    jeez, what a rude saleswoman. you’ve got the gift of patience, clearly!

    anyways, great post! i am on the opposite end of the spectrum, however. the universe gifted me with boobs at age eight and they did not stop growing till…oh, about a year ago. going on the pill was the worst decision ever, too, as they basically exploded out of my bras and shirts. i found myself at a 36 DD. aka: REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE. they’re deflated some since then thanks to weight loss and getting off the horrid pill so now i wear somewhere around a C/D cup. i feel normal again!

    having large breasts may seem ideal but, at least in my experiences, it truly is not. no shirts ever fit correctly. if the chest fit, the rest did not and vice versa. i usually ended up having to go up a size and just look plain awkward. oh man and interactions with guys always sucked. all they did was stare at my chest while talking to me, thinking they were discreet about it. it discouraged me from talking to guys and i still struggle with that as well as being comfortable enough to wear a low cut shirt…because i always assume that’s all anyone sees: ridiculous cleavage. and to be able to wear a shirt without a bra, IN PUBLIC…i would kill to be that comfortable.

    i know you know this, but i’m just going to stress it again: the grass ain’t always greener on the other side :)

    oh and the job interview went really well! fingers crossed about a second interview! thanks for asking :)

  11. Vegan Dukka Girl responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    I’m a B too, if I’m having a fat day. Really I’m a large A (aka it looks like I have small breasts if I wear a padded bra. In a swimsuit, my hips just about prevent me being mistaken for a boy! However, I love my chest. I’m a runner and my small breasts are one of my body shape features that help make me a good runner. Hormones did nothing to increase my boobs, and even when carrying more than 20 pounds more than a I do now, I only went up to a large B (I fitted into a C in some small fitting bras). If you had big boobs, you would lose your lovely fey silhouette. You can’t have everything:) (not without knives, being knocked out and general bloodiness)

  12. ally responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    Small boobs over here too. And a wider rib cage. Funnily (?) enough I didn’t notice this until a few years ago, I mean I always noticed that I had small boobs but did not realize that my rib cage was what was making shirts that looked cute on other small boobed girls look funny on me. I’m over the small boob issue (kinda) but now I’m self conscious about the rib cage. Oh well.

    un-roast: my sister pointed out to me the other day that I’m lucky cause my boobs are close together, as in, the edge of one almost touches the other. I like it!

  13. Emily responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Ok. Hi. I am Emily, the aforementioned full breasted girl. I am a 32 DDD, and let me tell you, it is NO FUN. I have back problems, neck problems, poor posture, poor balance, constant shoulder pain, and I am already starting to sag in unpleasant ways. Last time I went in for a check up my doctor asked me (totally unprompted) if I had considered breast reduction surgery. The answer is, I have. Because it is often so unpleasant, it’s not even comfortable to walk around the house without a bra because they are so unmanageable and actually just hurt from hanging there. This is to say nothing of the impossibility of finding bras, bathing suits (i almost always have to modify them myself AND they are extremely painful to keep on for more than five minutes because of the pressure on my neck), or clothes. I want to be able to wear halter tops, backless things, strapless things, light wispy things, but that will never happen. my clothing must be heavily constructed.

    In addition, most guys I talk to don’t care one bit about whether a girl has big breasts or not. It’s one kind of hot, not the only kind. Having a flat stomach and a high metabolism are another kind of hot that I would kill for. You will prolly still be gorgeous in ten years and I will be fat and slouchy. So yeah… stop being all down on yourself. Seriously.

    Un-Roast: my back. I think my back is one of my prettiest features. I wish I could show it off more but my stupid boobs refuse to allow anything without a bra.

  14. rachel responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    I hear you Emily. My back always hurts. I’m a 32DD. Sometimes it’s fun to have cleavage, but showing it off is not as easy as you’d think. Most of the bras in my size are designed to minimize and separate, which is great for comfort, but not very sexy. And the sexy bras that lift everything aren’t supportive. Bathing suits must always be bought as seperate pieces, and I dare not dive in the pool for fear of popping out. I think the idea we all have of the perfect breasts are really fake ones (full, round, perky). I recently ordered bras online at herroom.com and am pretty happy. It was a more pleasant than going to Macy’s and restricting my self to one brand.

  15. Maya responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    I can’t stand caring about my breast size. But I do. Most of the time.

    I may or may not be a 32A. The tape measure and the lady at Victoria’s Secret keeping telling me so, but the past two 32As (one from V’s S) that I’ve bought have been uncomfortable.

    At any rate, my boobs are pretty small. My boyfriend thinks they’re great. I have had to set him straight on a number of occasions. “They really aren’t that big. Really. Honey, I wear the smallest bra size there is.” But isn’t the fact that I bother ridiculous?

    I’m taught I should have big breasts basically for the benefit of men. I mean, let’s be honest here. I’ve yet to hear of any woman physically disadvantaged by having small breasts (see: no bra!) and I’ve heard a good share of bad stories from women who have big ones. I probably would not care if it hadn’t somehow been ingrained in my that bigger breasts are more attractive. But my boyfriend basically thinks I’m the sexiest thing alive (ah, the wonder of adolescence. We’re both on our way to college, but we’re still 17; whatever.)

    Wow, I’m doing really well with tangents today. I guess what I’m saying is, we shouldn’t care about breast size at all unless it’s becoming a physical issue. Because as far as I know, the only reason I care is because I think other people do.

    However, that has not prevented me from getting some perfectly excellent cute little matching lingerie sets.

  16. bobbie responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    I so want to see wedding photos! You must post some after the big day! I love my breasts [well, at 48 they ain't too shabby] and my bras…. all of them. The padded, the push ups, the strapless, the workout, and the everyday ones. A girl always has to be prepared with the right bra for the right outfit.

  17. Justine responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    I am so happy that my wedding dress is a piece of architecture that does not require me to wear a bra (which is crazy because I have an ample bosom).

    The woman at the lingerie shop is exactly what I’d expected to encounter in the wedding world, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Doesn’t sound like an enjoyable shopping experience.

    Un-roast: Today I like my hair. I usually like it, but today I am especially proud that I’ve been wearing it as it comes out of my own head without much intervention, it feels natural and beautiful, even if it’s not perfect.

  18. Anna responded on 24 Jun 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    WHY on earth do people think it’s ok to comment on the size of another’s boobs (big OR small?). If I were you I would have been seriously rude to saleswoman in the store, so props to you for keeping your composure.

    I acquired some sizable boobs in the last 2 years for no particular reason and it astounds me how people in my life find it ok to comment on them. Frankly, I hate them and they’re a major point of insecurity for me, so it really grinds my gears when someone who I haven’t seen in awhile will exclaim about how giant my boobs are. It almost makes me want to say “wow! And your stomach/ass/hips/other body part that people want to be small are looking pretty huge too!”

    I used to be an A, so I definitely sympathize with your side too. I’ve been in both shoes.

  19. Kristen responded on 25 Jun 2010 at 10:49 am #

    I really admire how you kept your composure around the sales woman…I know I would have said some snarky comments! And I would take pride in my small breats if I were you! I would love to wear a backless shirt or dress!

    I lost pretty much my entire bust due to an eating disorder, but that was pretty much one of the things that I was going for; I desperately wanted to look like an elite ballerina, which entails barely having breasts at all.

    BUT, I gained weight in my second semester of my freshman year of college, which resulted in larger breasts. All of my friends would comment on how my boobs had gotten SO much bigger…and I HATED it. I felt like they were only emphasizing the fact that I had gained weight. It’s not like my breats are disproportionate in size compared to the rest of my body (I’m a 34B), but I still feel really self-concious – especially when I’m running.

  20. Kate responded on 25 Jun 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    @A lot of you
    Wow. This was so informative! Thanks for the responses. Many of you were talking about how your breasts have changed size a lot. I honestly didn’t really know that happened very much.

    And everyone is telling me about how they would’ve stood up to that saleswoman. She was really cheerful and nice, though, despite saying those things (I think she had no idea she was saying anything wrong), and I find myself incapable of being mean to people who aren’t being consciously rude to me. This is probably a flaw. I should probably learn to stand up for myself more.

    On the other hand, the same day a cab driver was really rude to me, and I just said, “You are rude and you need to work on your attitude,” which I felt good about.

    So maybe there’s hope?

  21. Kate responded on 25 Jun 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    @Bobbie
    Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to post wedding pictures! I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll look good in at least one of them.

    And I love that you love your breasts. Inspirational!

  22. Elizabeth responded on 25 Jun 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Hi Kate,

    Great post. I have actually had people tell me that I should get a boob job. I have found that sticking up for myself when people make conscious or subconscious rude remarks has been liberating. I think it benefits both parties. I feel better because I don’t walk away feeling like a doormat or as if I should have said something and I didn’t. I also think it’s good to nicely point out to someone how they came across if it’s hurtful.

    If it was not meant to be hurtful, then they will probably feel bad and may apologize, explain that’s not what they meant by whatever they said, or at least think about what’s coming out of their mouth. If they meant to be rude, it puts them in a position of 1) knowing they can’t talk to you like that and get away with it and 2) having to take responsibility for what they said.

    As my eight-year-old daughter says, “Mommy, I know that sometimes when people are smiling they may still say something that isn’t nice. They just smile to get away with it or pretend they are joking.” I’ve become more direct after having two daughters. I am teaching the girls to be kind to others, others should be kind to them, and to stick up for themselves. Mean talk seems to start young. I say, nip it in the bud quick as we can!

  23. Kate responded on 25 Jun 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    @Elizabeth
    That quote from your daughter is amazing. And I appreciate the advice. I think I’m going to try to work on standing up for myself, even in contexts where people say something rude without meaning to. I mean, unless it’s really minor. Because you’re right, it’s helpful for them to know that what they’re saying is hurtful.

    Also, your blog post today made me want to check out “Huge.” :)

  24. Mandy responded on 26 Jun 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    I’m of the bigger chest variety of bride and I’m so going braless in my wedding dress – the dress is strapless and oh-so-fitted and low in the back, so none of my awesome strapless bra’s work. The fitter is fitting the dress for me so I don’t need a bra.

    Seriously, go return that piece of gauze and be free and happy on your wedding day!

    I’m impressed that you guys even hung around and bought something after that sales person was so rude. Really? Big chest, small chest, no reason to judge and be rude like that. ESPECIALLY when you’re fitting bras. She would see so many different shapes and sizes of chests all day and she still judges?

    A funny story though: I had a breast reduction when I was 15 (seriously, I had granny tits) and when I woke up in the ward, the girl next to me had just had an enhancement (aka a boob job) and she was so excited that she’d have boobs for her wedding day. We laughed that we should have just gotten them to give her what they took from me!

    Complete sidenote but I thought it was funny then :)

  25. Eat the Damn Cake » I used to be a skinny person responded on 28 Jun 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    [...] saying, “That is SO slimming!” And “Look how tiny your waist looks in that!” (What is with me and saleswomen, by the way? The last one thought breast implants were an obvious option for [...]

  26. Sona responded on 28 Jun 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    Oof – I went to the same store for my wedding bras, and didn’t have exactly the same experience, mostly because I had a sweet salesgirl who was also South Asian and we bonded over weddings, the fact that South Asian breasts tend to be full on the bottom and not the top, etc. Though I’m not going to lie, she said I was so lucky that I was a medium/large when I was buying thongs on sale since they were the only ones left in the store, it made me think “…yes, your petite frame has oppressed you.”

  27. Kate responded on 28 Jun 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    @Sona
    I wonder what we’d come up with if we compiled a book of stories from women who’ve gone into that store. Could be fun :)

  28. Sarah responded on 28 Jun 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    As a 36DDD, i spend half of my time coping with my breasts. Or at least it feels like it. But despite being from the opposite end of the size spectrum, i have had very similar experiences with sales personnel, at least in the area of unwanted commentary. Usually the response i get is something along the lines of, “Dear Lord, how DO you walk?!?” or “Have you ever thought of getting a reduction?!” followed by much exclamation about how attractive men must find me. This is not only irksome b/c it assumes the greatest achievement is attracting sexual attention, but b/c of the ironic nature of the statement. Men do not find ME attractive; they find my chest attractive. Usually.

    And the sad thing is, b/c of how i’ve been raised, i can’t separate how I feel about my breasts from how society feels about them.

    Thanks for the space to rant! And bonne chance on your upcoming nuptials!!

  29. A cup responded on 28 Jun 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    Uh, B cup is not flat or pre-pubescent. I’m somewhere in the A range and do not consider myself flat. I have gone through puberty and have breasts. They are petite, but they have nerves and glands like any other breasts (FYI, ability to receive pleasure or produce breastmilk has *nothing* to do with breast size). I’m sorry you dislike your body so much, but one place to start is by banning negative body talk. Just don’t feed that monster. Don’t compare yourself to others, and you’ll start seeing the beauty that is right there. You’ll make a great bride.

    And FYI–there are guys that prefer smaller breasts. The texture of larger breasts is different and less firm. Many guys like that, but not all.

    Also, I think you were right at first–you’re not perceived as a bride because of your tattoos and other things (demeanor?). Not because of your pretty typical breast size.

  30. Kate responded on 28 Jun 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    @A cup
    They may call me a B, but my breasts definitely don’t fill those cups. I joke a lot, but I actually feel good about my breasts most of the time. It was frustrating to be made to feel badly about them! I’m glad that you feel confident and comfortable. You should!

    Also, just to clarify (not that it matters so much), I don’t actually have a lot of tattoos. Or any, for that matter. I make stuff up sometimes for comic effect. But I do look super ethnic. My dad thinks maybe people think my friend is the bride because I’m the one doing the talking, and maybe people talk for the bride. I’m open to other guesses.

  31. Anne responded on 28 Jun 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    If you are in New York hit up Ripplu, http://nymag.com/listings/stores/ripplu/. They have a lot of pretty things made for smaller chested women. Lula Lu, http://www.lulalu.com/, is a good source online.

    Nothing that happened in that store is a reflection of you or your body. I can’t believe employees would act that way.

    I used to have a smaller chest and I miss it. My current size is not very large, but makes me feel ungainly and they are always sore. Un-roast: I’m not actually ungainly :) .

  32. Jess responded on 28 Jun 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    I didn’t wear a bra under my wedding dress! I’m a 30AA (luckily I’m short) and I just couldn’t come up with a good reason to bother.

  33. The Raisin Girl responded on 29 Jun 2010 at 11:38 am #

    You’re a much kinder and more patient person than I am. After the first couple of times a salesperson turned to someone else to confirm my identity rather than addressing what I’d said to them directly, I probably would have been like, “Hey. You. Don’t talk to her. I asked you a question.”

    But that’s just me. Temper, temper.

  34. Liz responded on 29 Jun 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    In my opinion it is totally acceptable not to wear a bra with your wedding dress!!! I am a 38D so I spend a lot of time trying to find clothes that can accommodate my boobs and purchasing bras that attempt to squish them into oblivion, BUT my wedding dress had enough structure that I could wear it w/out a bra without risking sagging or my nipple showing through. It was FANTASTIC not to have to wear a strapless (i.e. horrible uncomfortable) bra to basically the best party I have ever been to.

    I’m just saying – it is worth considering =)

  35. Alison responded on 29 Jun 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    I hate when larger-breasted women tell me how lucky I am to have smaller breasts because it means I can wear whatever I want without a bra. Actually, no, I can’t. My breasts are two completely different sizes (I wear a 36B, and the right breast almost overflows from its cup while the left one only fills its cup about halfway at best). With a bra on, it’s not too noticeable — plus, I can wear padding in the left cup to even it out a bit. Without a bra on, though, it’s very obvious and makes my clothes look weird and fit poorly.

    Also, since one is significantly heavier, it droops/sinks while the other stays perky/upright. Even with a bra, my tops usually look and feel a bit lopsided. (For example, the fabric slants and so does any writing, picture, or pattern on the shirt. If it has buttons down the center, they skew to one side. If it’s fitted under the bust, the elastic/seam/whatever will either slant downward toward the heavier breast or else will ride up over it. If I tighten the bra strap to lift that breast higher, I get excessive cleavage/spillage on that side. Padding on the other side does not help.) Without a bra, the difference in vertical position gets much worse, up to several inches. (In this case, the larger breast hangs over and covers any under-bust fitting. I can’t even wear shelf bras without a regular bra underneath because it looks/feels so bad.)

    Even if I didn’t personally find the unevenness unattractive and even if I wasn’t worried that other people might agree (shallow concerns), it FEELS uncomfortable without a bra too. The larger breast brushes against my torso, which is a very unpleasant sensation. And it’s distracting because it’s only happening on one side, and asymmetry annoys me in general. It’s like trying to straighten a lopsided picture frame that won’t stop tilting — except you can never give up, walk away, and forget about it because it’s permanently attached to your body.

    Sorry this comment is so long and vent-y, but I just wanted to add to the discussion that there are other factors besides overall size which can cause breast issues/annoyances. Ladies, don’t assume that everyone with small breasts (or medium or large breasts) has the same experiences and the same advantages/disadvantages as everyone else with breasts that size! And Kate: if you haven’t decided already, I agree with those who said you don’t have to wear a bra with your wedding dress if you don’t want to. If you feel comfortable without one, go for it!

  36. Kate responded on 29 Jun 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    @Alison
    Good points. Thank you for this. I’m glad that you’re bringing other factors into the discussion. I don’t think anyone’s breasts are exactly matching, and I know plenty of women who talk about their breasts being different sizes. And beyond that, people’s nipples look all different, and breasts are varying shapes, and turn out or face ahead, and ALL of these things contribute to how we feel about them. It really isn’t just about size at all.

    Thanks!

  37. Daantaat responded on 30 Jun 2010 at 8:54 am #

    I’m sorry that saleswoman was so rude and inconsiderate to you. It seems that a lot of women also fetishize large breasts the way that some men do. I used to have very large breasts, from the time I was 10 until I was 30. I got them chopped off. I hated them. I hated the attention they brought me, from strangers, from family members, from boyfriends and from customers and co-workers at my jobs. I wanted so badly to de-sexualize myself, to forget about years of abuse and violence, suffering because of a burden that was as much psychological as it was physical. Now I am between an A and a B cup, with a large rib cage, but I love my scarred and imperfect breasts and I finally learned to love myself.

    My breasts are not beautiful in the traditionally acceptable way, but they are beautiful to me. They are not perfect, round and symmetrical, but they respond to the lightest touch. I feel more feminine and more beautiful and truly happier with these small, scarred reminders of the misery of my past and how far I have come than I ever felt with the objectified, fetishized and pornified breasts that I had as a developing teenager.

    And I think that celebrating the beauty of your own body is one way to end the torment of feeling “less than” because our breasts don’t measure up to some culturally defined expectation of what constitutes “real womanhood”.

  38. Eat the Damn Cake » Lessons about failure and success responded on 30 Jun 2010 at 11:23 am #

    [...] Let me just say that I love how many of you have told me not to wear a bra under my wedding dress. That is something that wouldn’t have even occurred to me otherwise, and now I feel kind of [...]

  39. Rose responded on 02 Jul 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    The trouble with most traditional wedding dresses is that they are designed to flatter women with bigger breasts – most of them seem to be corset tops which are totally unsuitable for smaller breasts as there is not enough flesh to push up. even worse if you have broad shoulders too as the assumed breast szie seems to increases relative to upper rib cage.

    I really sympathise with your story as I have this nightmare every December when trying to buy a dress for party season.

  40. Donna responded on 03 Jul 2010 at 10:23 am #

    Be glad you have natural boobs of any size! Because of breast cancer, mine are gone due to a double mastectomy, and though they are reconstructed and are OK, they are nothing like the originals! Love your breasts, ladies!

  41. alexandria responded on 03 Jul 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    I cannot believe you were treated like you had no breasts by that awful lady at the shop. I’m a fellow B cup, but I have never had anyone – at a shop or otherwise – give me shit for their size.
    I absolutely love my breasts. I think they are the perfectly shaped, and perfectly sized for my frame – I’m 5’3″, and usually wear a size 6 dress. Granted, I think they looked bigger when I was a little thinner, but either way, they just… fit me. I waited a long time for these babies… it took almost the entirety of my teenage years to develop them. And now, they fit perfectly in my husband’s hands. I don’t have to worry about back problems later in life. I can have sexy cleavage when I want it, and I can hide them away when I need to be more conservative (I want to be a teacher, so that’s pretty important).
    And I’m also one who didn’t wear a bra under my wedding dress. Granted, it had cups in it for my boobies, which was one of the selling points for me anyway.

  42. Eat the Damn Cake » Cookies for my wedding responded on 02 Aug 2010 at 11:04 am #

    [...] married in seventy-six days, and my arms are chubby. This is a fact. My arms are chubby, but my breasts are not. This is one of the particular, intriguing quirks of my body. This is part of what makes me who I [...]

  43. Kaycee responded on 09 Aug 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    Wow they think a size B is small? I think its just perfect, all Victorias Secret moedels are a size B and the reason I like them is because they admit to using “chicken fillets” even inside the push ups to look like they have cleavage. They dont promote the misconception of skinny girl with huge boobs… its just not natural.
    Having said that.. Im a size A and I hate it. Im sure being a 32DD aint fun either. My roomies that and she hates it too.
    I just want to do something about it before i get married. I have been through a lot of torture and even more rude comments all my life because of it. Hence… the need to have them augmented. And seriously, more than for others, its for me. I want to fit into tops that I like for a change and be able to wear a sexy dress.
    I read ure article and OMG hated the sales woman. Dont care how funny she was trying to act.. the truth is just like its rude to joke about fat people, its super rude to joke about skinny people as well as those who are not that endowed in other aspects.
    SIgh!!! so proud of all the women who have posted here. it takes a great deal of confidence to even admit that we have learnt to be content with what we have… *not necessarily 100 percent* but oh well…=)

  44. Eat the Damn Cake » Brides have to look in the mirror for a long time responded on 31 Aug 2010 at 11:59 am #

    [...] since I picked it, ages ago. I wore the bra. You know, the strapless bra from the post I called The Girl Without Any Breasts. I’m standing there, in my massive wedding gown, which has nearly swallowed me whole, and this [...]

  45. Eat the Damn Cake » Detective Cake and the Case of the Maniacal Underpants responded on 08 Nov 2010 at 11:36 am #

    [...] it happened again. The event you’ve all been waiting for. I went bra shopping. Remember last time? For the wedding? I didn’t even end up wearing that stupid strapless bra (in part because of you [...]

  46. Eat the Damn Cake » Waiting for the A cup revolution responded on 07 Feb 2011 at 11:16 am #

    [...] it. It’s like I can’t even help myself. Because every time feels like a revelation. When I was fitted for a strapless bra to go under my wedding gown, the saleswoman was very impressed…. She measured me at a B and, losing interest, left me to fend for myself. Sort of like how the runt [...]

  47. Eat the Damn Cake » What does it look like to be your size? responded on 08 Aug 2011 at 11:36 am #

    [...] I often get the sense that I am lopsided, when I’m buying something for my bottom and something for my top at the same time. A bikini bottom and top is the most striking example. The bottom has to be a lot bigger. To accommodate my butt (in case that wasn’t clear). The top has to be pretty small. Because of my breasts. [...]

  48. NR responded on 16 Aug 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    It has taken me a very long time, and a lot of well-endowed friends to finally make peace with my barely B bosom. I was one of the first girls in my school to get breasts– which was really exciting! Until I realized that they weren’t going to get any bigger than they already were. By the end of middle school, all the girls had “real” breasts, and I was still waiting for mine to turn into something more substantial. It never has. Despite the fact that every woman in my family is at least twice my cup size, whilst being half my size everywhere else. Fuck if I understand genetics.

    Anyhow… for a long time I really hated my breasts and the idea of producing any kind of cleavage with them is laughable. I hated them, until I started having more and more friends with breasts sized on the other end of the spectrum. (For reference, my BFF is a size G.) I saw that, like me, they had troubles finding clothes and bras that fit well, but unlike me had to wear two, sometimes THREE sports bras at a time just to go jogging! Being somewhat athletic and hating bras, I started to realize that a small chest might just be a blessing.

    A bit tangential, but over the course of 5 years of informal surveys, I’ve also found that, typically, girls with larger breasts has less sensation in them (in terms of nipples/breasts being an erogenous zone). While I can’t speak for any other small-chested girls, I can say that mine are *extremely* sensitive– and I love ‘em that way! Of course, that’s another reason why I DO have to wear a bra.

  49. Spelling responded on 19 Aug 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    wow. it’s really interesting to read everyone’s comments, and see how women are embracing their bodies even when they are having ‘fat days’ or feel like their boobs are too large/small. my stepmom always complains about her chest size. she’s a 36DDD and always says she wants to get a reduction but that lance (my dad) won’t let her. she should really embrace what she has… reading some of the comments from people who have gone through breast cancer (cheers to you, ladies!), i’m sure they’d give a lot to have that big of a chest, even if it’s a drag some days. i myself am a 36B even though i’m 24. i used to have two bras that i’d wear on my ‘dressy’ days (the days that i don’t work out) and they made my chest look ‘perky.’ i personally don’t like this term; it’s like people are saying that your boobs look like god put them up too far or something. and my stepmom always commented on how large/small my boobs looked. i just wanted to say shut up and worry about yourself! *i don’t wanna hear what you think about the features of my body!* and then she often tells me, ‘spells (her nickname for me), it’s time to get back to the gym.’ seriously?! i’m a grown up now. you don’t need/get to tell me when i’m looking a little pudgy. trust me, the mirror and i have this conversation all the time! like seriously, would you tell your friend to lay off the cupcakes?! this really makes me mad.

    so ladies – why do we need to comment on our friends’ bodies? this drives their self esteem down, and you’re kind of a sick person if looking at people who are chubbier makes you feel skinnier. everyone’s human, and no one needs/wants to hear about how those jeans make them look like they forgot that 5 cookies and a large bowl of ice cream isn’t a great choice. (no offense to anyone out there who has a tradition of the sort, jesus loves you and i understand the feeling some times!)

    now, this doesn’t mean that it’s not okay to talk to friends about your bod. i remember how in high school i sat on the track one day with some other girls, friends and otherwise, and we started talking about models. then we somehow started talking about our own body ‘hates.’ some girls who i thought to be skinny confessed that they thought they were fat and how they hated their tum/thighs/etc. it was great to realize that everyone has a dislike about themselves and that, truly, no one has a perfect body. no matter what you might think.

    *roast: my boobs are growing and i really don’t want to be any larger! i’m happy with my size now!

    *unroast: i finally managed to get my new e.l.f. eyeshadow just right! (gotta love the $1 makeup :)

    let’s love ourselves girls!!!

  50. Terram responded on 16 Oct 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    I love this post. I also have small breast from puberty through my last 20s it really, really bothered me. Then I had a baby and they did the most amazing thing. And by that, I mean, they produced a ton of milk and grew a tiny human into a big, fat healthy baby all by themselves. I watched bigger breasted friends struggle to b’feed and produce milk and worry about how much their baby was getting, and meanwhile our pediatrician was shaking his head approvingly at the baby scales and my grandmothers were pinching his fat little arms and cooing about how much my baby was growing. All thanks to my breasts, doing exactly what breast were made for. Eventually the baby weaned and now my breasts have shrunken a whole cup size and are a lot squishier and a bit drooper, but I honestly don’t care. They are beautiful and I am proud of them.

  51. Terram responded on 16 Oct 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Thanks. Sorry about the typos (how embarrassing!), but aforementioned baby is now a toddler and was literally hanging by my jeans while I typed.

  52. Eat the Damn Cake » Little Victories: my breasts responded on 21 Dec 2011 at 11:44 am #

    [...] a bra for my wedding was taxing for my relationship with my breasts. Here’s some of that story. The saleswomen I worked with always seemed to think I was lacking. They’d look at my chest, [...]

  53. Julia responded on 11 Mar 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    I can totally relate to the boob issue. But you should be grateful! I’m the one who looks like I haven’t gone through puberty. I’m 21, and 4’10, and I don’t even fill out an A cup! To top it off, I have no curves whatsoever.
    I resort to pushup bras and standing up REALLY straight. :D

  54. Jenn responded on 10 Jun 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    They wanted to charge me that much to “install” a bra in mine, and since it was way more comfortable without, I went braless!

  55. Eat the Damn Cake » the generic things that make us all exquisitely sexy responded on 19 Nov 2012 at 11:57 am #

    [...] “No, no,” I tried to explain to him, “They’re not good breasts. They’re little! See how they’re little?” [...]

  56. Edith responded on 09 Dec 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    always i used to read smaller articles or reviews that as well clear their
    motive, and that is also happening with this paragraph which I am reading at this time.

  57. Eat the Damn Cake » the pregnant boobs post responded on 13 May 2013 at 10:20 am #

    [...] indignities didn’t stop there. Some of you may remember my bridal boob stories. For example, the one about me trying on my wedding gown: As I twirled in romantic slow-motion in [...]