The look on Jessica Rowe’s face was everything. WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE BIG BOOBS, it said. Yesterday she was on Studio 10 being fitted professionally for a bra and discovered that she was not a 10B but a 10C. Fancy that.
She threw her arms around the bra fitter in excitement and gratitude.
I’ve had a similar experience although I was more non-plussed than Jess. Bewildered and shocked more than excited and grateful.
We all carry around with us an image of our bodies. The image we have of ourselves might not always be correct but we carry it anyway. So it can be quite a surprise to realise you’re not, in fact, a small boobed person. You have big jugs.
This surprise happened to me late last year when, with a few hours to kill one Sunday, I took myself off to Myer to be fitted properly for a bra. Like most women, this is not an annual or even bi-annual event. Maybe once a decade? Once every five years? That’s about how often I do the whole bra-buying ritual. Properly. The rest of the time I just randomly grab a bra in my size, try it on to make sure it roughly fits and head to the counter. If I’m familiar with the brand, sometimes I don’t even try it on.
You can watch Jess Rowe’s excitement at her new found breast size here:
I’ve been a 12C for a long time. Before that I was probably a 12B. Small boobs. Except for during pregnancies and breastfeeding when they inflate and then afterwards when they resemble wind socks. My child-bearing years from first pregnancy to last breastfeed lasted about 13 years (NOT OF THE SAME CHILD, OKAY) and so my boobs have gone up and down and then a few centimeters further down.
I’ve also become rather a lazy bra wearer in recent years, favouring pretty crop tops and unstructured lacey bras like this:
And lots of these bralettes from Spell Byron Bay.
So I’m in the changeroom at Myer with my pile of 12C bras and I get fitted and the lovely lady says to me, “Pet” [side note: I love older women who call me Pet, I actually do, it comforts me somehow and makes me feel safe] “You are not a 12C. You are a 10D or a 10DD.”
This came as a shock because women I know with D or DD bra sizes have big boobs and I’ve always thought I had no more than a saggy handful. I still think that. But I let her bring me some bras in those sizes and MY GOD. Suddenly I had boobs. My own boobs. Just sitting in the right place and held up in the right way. Truth: it’s more uncomfortable to wear a bra that fits than one that’s too big. I tend to buy all my clothes too big and I’m not sure if this is because I have some dysmorphia issue or whether I’m just lazy and don’t like the feel of tight anything.
This is what my bra draw looked like before I learned I’ve been wearing the wrong size:
After I made this video about my bra ephiphany, quite a few of my girlfriends went and had their boobs properly measured by a bra fitter in a department store. And they were ALL bigger than they thought. One was a G. Another was an FF.
How Mia found the right bra (post continues after video):
So what’s going on? I don’t remember people having boobs that big when I was growing up? Are we eating too much chicken? Are we getting bigger all over? Or have bra sizes just changed?
I don’t really care, frankly. Knowing my bra size has made a big difference to how my clothes look, in a good way. My boobs just…..sit better in the right sized bra. I’ve even been asked if I’ve had a boob job. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment? I’ll take it.