I got breasts almost overnight. I was in year six and eleven years old and I had big boobs. While other girls were stuffing their training bras I was trying to figure out a way to keep my boobs contained. My mum wasn’t helpful at all. She didn’t even take me shopping to try to find a bra. I relied on her boyfriends sisters hand-me-down crop tops that did nothing to control them. One of the few things I have to thank my Grandmama for was taking me shopping for a bra upon discovering I was trying to use the second hand crop top to support my new boobs. After discovering target and kmart didn’t seem to stock anything in my size she took me to a proper lingerie store where it was discovered I had a 10D/DD. Back then stores like target only had those sorts of sizes in maternity bras. She forked over almost $70 for one bra and I could have kissed her feet for it. I loved it so much.
Back home I realised my growing breasts had attracted all sorts of disturbing attention from grown men. My mothers boyfriend at the time became too interested. At a time when a girl is already awkward enough about her body I went to great pains to hide mine away from a man obsessed with it. I wore baggy and bulky clothes all the time but nothing I knew how to do would deter him. I hated my body so much during that time. I also tried every option I knew to try to get it to stop – I told my mum (who ignored it, then told me I had nightmares and it must be a dream), I told my friends parents, who in turn got DOCS involved – who left me there after my mother convinced them I was a compulsive liar and I even told school counsellors, year advisers and the girls adviser. For reasons I will never understand no one did a damn thing. I ended up moving in with my dad (even though my step mum hated me and my step brother physically beat the living crap out of me) as it was the better option.
I was now thirteen and a 12D. Thankfully my grandmama stepped in again when she realised I still only had the one bra and the lovely lingerie people introduced me to the world of the sports bra! Years of avoiding all sports as everything seemed to cause “bouncing” issues that hurt like hell! I joined the girls soccer team not long after that and actually had fun participating in sports and stopped telling my PE teacher I had my period each week in an effort to avoid pain.
Not long after that I started purchasing my own underwear. I would save up my pocket money to buy extra bras so I had variety. I treated them so well. I would hand wash them and hang them up in my room.
When I fell pregnant I had no idea my boobs were going to get even bigger. To be honest I didn’t think that was possible. I was trying to cram them into the bras I had. Again another woman had to step in – this time it was my Mother In Law. She decided the four boob look wasn’t very attractive and bought me my first maternity bra. For a girl who worshipped the underwire, I never thought I would be a fan of the soft cupped maternity bras – but it was wonderfully comfortable. While I had usually not word a bra at home or to bed before, leaking breasts made that a pain. So I started living in my maternity bras. I was barely out off it before I was pregnant again.
I kept buying the same sized bras – even when they were tight – because I didn’t know any better. When I had the twins that all changed. There was no way in hell I could fit a size 12 band and each cup (of the maternity bra that fitted properly) was the size of my head. I breastfed the twins for a year and spent the whole time dreaming about being able to afford a breast reduction.
Until I had the twins I was extremely judgemental about plastic surgery. I thought the women who got it done were self obsessed idiots. Why would anyone undergo ELECTIVE surgery??? The day I had my twins I got my answer – my stomach had been stretched so badly that it hung down to my knees. My boobs were as big as my head. Once again I hated my body. Thankfully my skin had more stretch than I ever thought possible and I now have just the small pouch that quite a few other mothers have. But I became obsessed with getting a reduction. I couldn’t wait to be able to afford to have it done.
As I became more interested in fashion, the more I decided I “needed” a breast reduction. After all the clothes looked best on those waifs that were flat chested. Not only did I have to be skinny, but I had to loose my boobs. By now at least I was buying bras that fitted me properly and the larger cupped bras started looking prettier. I could even buy bras at big w & Target.
Then I started putting on weight. In the last 12-15 months I have gone from a size 14 (14E) to a size 22 (22D). I was back at the start. Unless I wanted maternity bras or bras my gran would wear I had to buy from overseas. Almost nowhere stocks above a size 18 band. I also had started getting right into vintage clothing (well reproductions as its nearly impossible to find vintage in my size)…and vintage clothing looks best with vintage shapewear. I adored the reproduction girdles and longline bras…but none of it was made in my size. Which is when I happened upon a link to Rago Shapewear – which makes its shapewear the same way it did fifty odd years ago – which in most pieces goes up to a 48DD (a 22D is a 46D in the states). My favourite piece is now this one
While I love being able to buy these things from overseas – I hate not being able to try things on. And sizes change by brand. I purchased a longline bra from another brand in a 46D after very carefully following their measuring instructions and it is HUGE! It would easily fit another dress size or two up and god knows on the cups – they would hold a basketball each! So when I walked into target the other day I didn’t have high hopes. I was actually just hoping to find a pair of jeans that fit….but instead found myself in the lingerie section. As fate would have it they had just launched their “Fuller Figure Co-ordinates” range which went up to a 22DD. Not only did they have this range – but it was substantial. Not just one or two styles but I must have tried on at least six different styles. In the end I lay-buyed a few sets – pink & frills, black lace and a black slip with a wonderful size 22D cup! If I thought that was wonderful I stumbled across the sale rack and was surprised to see some of it on sale. I walked out of their with two sets of bras and matching knickers for $21!!! While I couldn’t find any images online of the ones I snagged on sale – I did find one of the sets I lay-buyed for sale on targets online store.
Finding pretty underwear helps. I am finally starting to accept my boobs at 29. I can also say Miss Joan Holloway (Christian Hendricks) smokin’ hot body – who has single handedly brough curves back – has helped so much. While I no longer think I need a breast reduction, I would love a lift….after all I breastfed four children things are not nearly as perky as they once were. But with baby steps (and more pretty underwear) maybe I can finally accept my giant saggy boobs as they are.