Despite my new mantra of ‘I am what I am’ (and what I am, is a short hourglass figure with a few extra kilos and a full bust) I still really dread heading to the bra shop for a fitting. On the scale of awkward (say, 10 being a pap smear, 1 being fitted for new orthotics) the experience is around about a 7.4. I had been putting it off until last week. Then matters came to a head (almost literally).
I remember my first bra. Mum took me shopping at Ballantynes and the nice lady measured up my 10 year old body told me to pretend I was going topless at the beach. I was mortified – noone else had boobies and the last thing I wanted to be was different. By age 11 I had grown out of that first bra, the boys at intermediate were calling me ‘Titanic tits’. They just kept on a-going. And so did those boys.
Throughout my teenage years they annoyed me. I could never wear nice bras – mine were always the utilitarian sports range. It generally didn’t matter how slender I was either – and at 17, I was a mere slip of a thing – I was always big up top. I once had a teacher comment on my ‘buxomness’. One of the bitches at school commented boys only went out with me cos I had big tits (to this day I regret my retort wasn’t “the only reason boys date you is cos you’re easier than Divine Brown” but that only came to me 20 minutes later.)
As I discovered over the years, if I tried to cover them up I looked stupid; if I ever revealed them I was showing off. Forget strapless tops or spaghetti straps, cos they just weren’t gonna happen. Men would talk to them, as well as women (I was asked for a motorboat once in a bar, by a woman. It was sorta cool.) I was terrified of wearing a blouse just in case one of the hardworking buttons gave up the fight in a meeting (yes this happened once) and lived in fear of running for the tram. Tops were (are) generally a bad situation – a loose one makes me look heavier than I am, but a fitted one makes me look like I am drawing attention to them. My boobies can’t win.
Fast forward to my mid-thirties and back in swing (ahem) of a jogging programme. Current sports bra on last legs, only effective with another bra over it, (and was accidentally put in drier, so hooks buckling like train lines in the Melbourne summer) so I headed last week to see the nice ladies at Brava for a boulder holder. The young lady there didn’t bat an eyelash as I exposed boobies at her, measured me up saying, “who cares about the size? No one needs to know that anyway,” (no they don’t). The resulting apparatus is like a parachute holder crossed with lycra medieval body armour, but it succeeds in holding the girls in, something that many many bras have failed to do. It was four times the price of a normal bra, but now I can run without fear of them sliding or bouncing out or giving me pain, so that’s nice. One step closer to body acceptance, I hope.
Jogging update: am finding running outside now preferable to the tready. Sunday got to 7.2 along the Dandenong creek in my super new shoes. Win! Also no boobs slapping me in face – double win.
*or ‘the journey of as big titted woman,’ by Bridgey. PS this is not click bait.