And despite what we’ve always thought, we can’t blame chickens.
Whilst I’m the first person to throw around dramatic statements (I’m quitting coffee! I love Donald Trump! Red gingham is the new black!) this time I have the proof to back myself up.
Australia, your boobs have ACTUALLY grown.
Yep, it’s no longer a case of boom or bust – our busts are booming. In just two decades, we have leapt up (out?) by two full cups: according to a report from Berlei, the average bra size in 2015 is a 14D, a sizeable increase on the 12B average of the late 1980s.
Twenty years ago, the size ‘DD’ didn’t even exist, let alone the ‘K’ and ‘L’ cups recently added to the brassiere market. And although we’re sure that there were plenty of big-boobed women bouncing around 20 years ago, one thing is still certain: there are more of them today than ever before.
So, why are our chests expanding?
When I read the report on our ballooning breasts, something tweaked in my brain and I started shrieking ‘Chicken Breasts! Chicken Breasts!’ Alas, the urban legend of hormones in chook tits is very much untrue.
What is true, however, is that high levels of oestrogen found in various modern-day products could be causing the leap in the average breast size. Foreign oestrogen (‘Xenoestrogens’) have been found in certain pesticides, cosmetics, and plastics – particularly BPA plastic, which is widely used in an endless list of products, including drink cans, plastic bottles, and till receipts.
Women on the pill or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will see a spike in their oestrogen levels, and therefore grow a cup size or two. Undoubtedly, there are far more women on the pill in 2015 than there were in 1985 when the average cup size was a teeny 12B, which could account for some of the breast growth. Breatht Growthhh.
In addition, women are hitting puberty earlier than ever before – most at around 12 or 13 (Um, hello, I had to wait until I was 16 before I got my period. And I STILL don’t grow underarm hair!), which means more periods. And more periods during the growth, er, period of your teens, means exposure to higher levels of oestrogen, which means bigger boobies. ~fin~
And for all of you tapping your fingers waiting for me to get to the point, yes – the Aussie obesity epidemic is a major factor affecting our breast size. Quite frankly, women are fatter than they have ever been, and along with our expanding waistlines has come a dramatically expanded bustline, too. Cup sizes now need to accommodate the growing number of women in Australia who sit at 100kgs or above, with the average female weight increasing by almost 5kgs in the last twenty years.
Oh, did I mentioned drinking the milk of a pregnant cow can increase your oestrogen levels? Did that make you feel sick? Me too. *puts down coffee slowly*
But for all my sisters out there whose tits resemble fried eggs on meat hooks (read: teeny tiny), don’t get too jealous just yet. As any larger-busted woman will testify, large breasts are often a curse – not a blessing. Back pain, neck pain, digging bra straps, ill-fitting clothing and the acute inability to move faster than a light jog without the feeling of tearing your mammary glands clear from the muscle are just a few of the side effects of big boobies.
A 28 year old model and mum from the UK, Claire Smedley, has a natural set of L-cup breasts; and isn’t shy about pointing out their shortcomings.
‘Although I’ve learned to love them in recent years, I resented them for a long time,’ she says. ‘As a teenager I didn’t have the confidence to carry them off, and I was constantly dealing with unwanted attention from men.
‘Even now, because my breasts are so large, strangers will grab and touch me when I’m out, sometimes in front of my children.
‘They think I’ve put them on display — that I’m asking for it — when, of course, there’s little I can do to hide them.”
So there you go. If you’ve felt a little bustier of late, maybe it’s not just because you’re premenstrual or just went a little overboard on the nutella cronuts this winter. As a nation, our boobs are bigger than ever. Anyhow, I would end with something like, ‘the grass is always greener’, but it makes me think of those pregnant cows making breast-expanding-milk and I feel sick again.
So instead, I’ll finish with the vision of me at my desk, pumping my arms up and down, eyes squeezed shut, chanting…
I must. I must. I must improve my bust.
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