Friday, February 10, 2012

Having Big Boobs Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

I don't usually talk about such a personal issue that is (quite literally) close to my heart, but I feel a need to express myself with this rather ignored topic.

I know large bazongas are all the rage and are especially popular for ogling by those who possess XY chromosomes. I feel blessed and thank my lucky stars that I am in no dire need to head on over to my nearest cosmetic surgery center so I can have that extra coveted "va-va-voom" and "oomph" factor seen with Hugh Hefner's Playboy bunnies. I should also mention that big boobs provide an extra storage space within my bra for cradling my keys, my MP3 player and my cell phone when I go out for a jog.

But if I'm perfectly honest, having huge breasts can at times really, really suck.

My three main reasons are as follows:


I own a fairly good sports bra and it does a great job giving me support (as it would be expected of bras). However, even the best Victoria's Secret sports bra faces its own limitations when put to test as I engage in vigorous physical activities.

Such as running. And jumping rope.

I honestly can't withstand five minutes of jump rope and not end up having red blotches form on my skin from all the friction and gravity that comes from exerting my body with such an exercise. To make matters worse, with every progressive hop I engage in, I am at risk of going one bounce too many and end up flashing the Creeper Codger who lives across the street from me.


I like clothes-shopping. Being a woman, that is, after all, a pleasurable activity to partake in. However, thanks to what nature intended for me to have, I often face the inevitable ordeal that three-quarters of the restrictive blouses, dresses and shirts that I try on are simply not cut for someone like me. The way some tops strangle me, cutting off the blood circulation until my boobs turn purple, makes me wish (out of pure vanity) that I had a slightly less-massive chest. This is especially true with the "cute" shirts that I meet with continuous defeat in the fitting rooms.

When it comes to tops, my arch-nemesis is, without a doubt, shirts with buttons. Either I try on the shirt that is labeled my size and have the buttons stretched so tightly across the front so they look like I'm giving a deliberate peep-show between the exposed gaps...

...Or I try on a larger size in which the buttons close all the way but the rest of the shirt is big enough for me to go camping in.

Don't even get me started on finding the right bra. Much like tops, it seems like all the "cute" frilly bras that I gravitate towards are reserved for the ladies who don't over-compensate in the boobage department like I do. I try on the "cute" ones, the ones which have flimsy straps fashioned from shoelaces, and am often left resorting to buy the rather plain-Jane garments that have the sole function of keeping my chest intact instead of giving it a more alluring sex appeal.

I truly wonder what goes on in the minds of bra engineers when they make these vital aesthetic decisions.


If you were to bump into me in real life, you are probably more likely to see me out and about with glasses on my face. Lo and behold, I am a four-eyes.

Shocker. I know.

Years ago, a friend of mine, shocked at seeing me on the very rare moment in which I ditched my glasses for more aesthetically-pleasing contact lenses, commented that with my breasts, I gave off the impression that I looked like someone who couldn't tell the difference from her left hand to her right or knew the capital of Switzerland.

Which is absolutely false: it's Bern, dammit, and within their various cantons, the Swiss speak four different languages, such as Romansch. I knew that without the aid of Wikipedia.

I can't help thinking that my friend was right. On the days when I decide to wear my contact lenses and dress to the nine yards (or meters), there's always a little voice of doubt chiding me about how this wrong impression of me not being an intelligent woman is abetted by my top-heaviness. It also doesn't help that an unspoken consensus exists that there is a direct correlation between a woman's cup-size and her IQ points: the bigger they are, the dumber she is.

That being said, it should be apparent that my parents and the American educational system didn't raise a fool and the people who know me in real life know that I am indeed one smart cookie. I only wish that complete strangers, particularly the horny hooligans who wolf-whistle at me from their cars, realize this before making the incorrect assumption about me.

Nevertheless, I am quite happy that my chest is indeed mine and a healthy one to boot. It's easy to take things for granted, and good health is one of them.

Ladies, no matter what size they are, please take care of your girls. Make it a habit to check to see they are in good form and cancer-free every month.

Barb the French Bean

(If the Creeper Codger looks oddly familiar to you, that is because I recycled the same guy from this previous post. You're welcome.)


  1. Randomstuffwelike: I always fear that when I wear a shirt that has buttons, one of the buttons will pop off, fly, and then ricochet straight into someone's eye. Instant projectile!

    jnana: Glad to hear that. :)


  2. I feel your pain. I don't even have exceptionally large boobs, but I still have issues finding shirts with buttons. I don't know why designers make them the way they do. Last time I checked, average breast sizes have increased over the years, not decreased...

    As for finding pretty bras, don't even bother going to boutiques like Victoria's Secret. Their designers seem to think that having large breasts automatically means you're overweight or something, so you couldn't POSSIBLY have high enough self-esteem to wear pretty underwear =_=. Actually, they probably think anyone over a size 2 doesn't have enough self-esteem to look for nice bras...or is simply so prudish, they wouldn't DARE.

    You can find some nice bras in department stores, believe it or not. Though not the high end ones...

  3. Anonymous: Those are very good points. When one considers that the average clothing size for an American woman is a size 14, it would be only fair that high-end fashion designers take into account that they would like to wear nice clothing as well. I remember that when I was a size 22-24, I would break down in tears because all of the clothing I tried on featured hideous, gaudy patterns; it made me feel as if I were settling for something when, deep down, I knew I deserved better.

    Even after I lost the weight, I still had to convince myself to even go shopping at a Victoria's Secret because I sincerely believed that because I wasn't a model-size, I therefore didn't merit to wear their undergarments. Walking into the store and seeing photos of the supermodels glancing down from the walls all over the store made me feel out of place.

    Now, of course, I have a much, much higher self-esteem and realize that I *can* wear certain fashions, yet I still have trouble finding shirts with buttons (in France, my big issue was jeans and trousers) and nice bras! In fact, one of the THE best bras that I ever got was from a Macy's, and I got it on sale. :P

    Sometimes I wonder that because mass-production fashion garners such inconveniences it will only result in tailor-made clothes being in higher demand.


  4. I COULD HAVE WRITTEN THIS! How did you get into my brain??? Especially the part about the shirts and the fact that big-breasted girls obviously don't like nice underwear?

    So annoying. And I'm not even that huge, just an incredibly awkward size.

    *fist bump*

  5. I wear a C or D cup and I still have the exercising and shirt issue! lol! I hate when I find a cute top but when I try it on, it looks as if it were made for a skinny teenage boy...why do they make tops for girls with no boobs? lol

    Principessa Gabriella

  6. Étoile Oye: Hmmmm?

    Harley: Fist bump right back at ya! ('Cause a manly chest bump would have a few obstacles in the way...)

    Gabriella: Exactly, my friend. Designers have to realize that they design for women. Ugh.


  7. This is hysterical! I love the Little Prince image. You are so creative, and the best is that you always talk about such pertinent issues (close to the heart). Love it, Barb.

  8. Thanks, Em!

    Now that you mention it, I could have added to the campfire scene a box that had some holes on the side so my sheep could breathe. ^.^


  9. You definitely said it all! Many women probably wanted to raise these concerns too… Good thing you did it here. You should share this link more often for others to be aware of how challenging it is to have big girls (like what you call 'em here, hehe). I'll spread the word, and… thank you. :)

  10. Completely agree with you... I'd be a 10/12 in tops if it weren't for my boobs - they push me up to a 16 (UK sizes).

    I have an even bigger problem when it comes to bras... Big boobs with a large back isn't as difficult as big boobs and small cup. My last measurement was 26G... 28 backs are hard enough to find and so I wear a 30F to try and compensate.

    On exercising - I cheat a little... sports bras my size are useless - so my sports bra is a 30D. Eliminates all bounce when I go out running thought probably isn't the best solution.

    I avoid blouses, but I like to wear tank tops and t-shirts - but they either pull the neckline too far down that too much is on show, or pull the bottom up that much that the top looks sqwonky... Go any bigger on size and I look drowned in it :(

    1. I feel your pain, sister. Believe me, the hunt for proper clothes is NOT as easy as one would think. --.--

  11. I second your motion. Being uncomfortable is a big PROBLEM for women. At the same time, it is a health risk because it leads to back pains. If you want to have a smaller chest area, doing exercise after the breast reduction surgery would help. It's not yet late for a transformation that will make your life happier and more comfortable. Cheers to your inspirational post, The Beans! :)

  12. Yeah, having big boobies can be quite a challenge, especially for your back. I love the cartoons in your post, they're hilarious. Well, have you considered undergoing a breast reduction? Well, this can help you get rid of boob-related misadventures. Thanks for posting about this topic. I know a lot of ladies out there, who can relate. :)

  13. I know, I know, ancient post, why is someone commenting? But I just feel the need to ask if you lovely ladies with your larger bosoms have tried UK/European brand for cute bras? Curvy Kate, Freya, Comexim, Ewa Michalak, Panache/Cleo, they all have absolutely beautiful bras specifically for larger-breasted women. And for those who have back pain, I would recommend checking out this link to make sure you're wearing the right size: Bonne chance!

    1. Nothing wrong with commenting on an "ancient" post; at least it's not old enough to be written in hieroglyphics.

      I normally cope with purchasing underwear whenever I head back to the States for a month, so it's true that I have never really dealt with the ordeal of finding underwear in France. (Trying to find jeans and trousers is near impossible for me...)

    2. You're actually SUPER lucky when it comes to the UK/European bras because those larger brands are actually AVAILABLE in the stores and they have better consistency in sizing than American brands. And if they aren't available, they're a hop, skip, and jump away on the train. Back here in the good ol' US of A, they're practically impossible to find. I should know, when I re-measured myself with the right technique, my bra size went from what I THOUGHT was a D to a GG UK size, which is a J in US sizes. =_= (BTW, the culprit of the huge jump? I was wearing the wrong band size. Go down in band size, go up in cup. I WAS WEARING A BAND A GOOD 6 SIZES TOO BIG.)

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Apparently, leaving comments on this blog is a hit-or-miss game of Russian roulette: you are either lucky and can comment away, or you are required to log in when the settings are CLEARLY set to allow trouble-free commenting (sorry 'bout that, folks). If anything, the Facebook page is always a viable option. :) -Barb