Hi folks. The fourth assignment for Love EVERY Body focuses on our chest/breasts: 'Are you happy with your chest/boobs? Maybe you've had surgery (mastectomy/boob job.) Maybe you feel your boobs are too big or too small, or less than perky from breast feeding, but they're perfect as they are.'
Again I'm a bit late in posting, sorry. I don't mind my breasts; I don't love them, but they're alright. I wish they were a little bigger or fuller, but I'm also annoyed for being made to feel that my breasts are inadequate; I measure as a 42A (allegedly) and wear a 42B. Growing up, I hated my breasts. They filled out quite late and were a peculiar pointy triangular shape, like an unfashionable version of a bullet bra. My earliest memory of bullying is when I was at Primary School and a male 'friend' picked on me because I wasn't wearing a bra. I was then further humiliated by the Shop Assistant in Contessa telling my Mother that I didn't need one. I've always had fairly large and quite dark areola/nipples, which were clearly becoming more obvious through my standard school uniform (white polo shirt). Thank you puberty.
Anyway, I got my first bra and that was that...until I grew up and got bigger (fatter), that is. It is very hard to find my bra size on the high street and was probably even harder back then (I had enough problems with clothes that I don't remember underwear specifically); off the top of my head the only places I know that I can definitely find my size are BHS, Bon Marche and occasionally M&S. There is of course also Evans but I have never had much luck with their sizing; I can't wear padded bras as the cups are too big. Add to that not wanting to wear something fashioned for Grandmothers and ideally wanting matching bottoms (you can have your size 42B bra but not your size 22 matching bottoms, sorry), it's verging on impossible. Jump forward X amount of years and my underwear prayers are answered by Fashion World and Simply Be, which not only stock my size in bras but also matching bottoms and *gasp* bodyshapers. Eureka!
However, it's not all hunky dory. Stereotypes dictate that larger women have larger breasts and I am often sad that I cannot shop with some of the lingerie brands loved by other plus size bloggers, such as Curvy Kate, as they don't do my size. It's not just stereotypes, either; society has developed some peculiar viewpoint often described as 'good fat' vs. 'bad fat', whereby curvy and/or hourglass shapes are more widely accepted and portrayed as an acceptable norm of the larger/plus size figure. Thinking of these points, it's not really surprising that I sometimes feel that my smaller breasts (and large back) make me inadequate and/or abnormal (as opposed to feminine, beautiful, sexy, or 'normal' in any sort of way).
Image © Saj Khan 2012 (Model: Big Fat Betty [Me]).