Tuesday, April 30, 2013

If You Have Big Boobs, That Means You're A...

... woman with big boobs.  That's all.  Crazy how that works, isn't it?  Yet everyday I hear stories about women- young and old- getting called names, bullied, shamed, and even touched inappropriately just for having large busts.  I'll only say this once: breast size tells you nothing about a woman's personality or lifestyle.

I recently shared a story from my middle school days on my Facebook page (shameless plug: if you like my blog, go check it out!):

A group of my friends went to a lake house. We had planned to just hang out and perhaps make s'mores there, but a couple of us spontaneously decided to go swimming. Everyone jumped in the lake after them with their clothes on. I did too, without giving it a second thought. As soon as we got out, the mother of one of the boys (whom I'll call "Jane Doe") marched up to me, pulled me aside, and absolutely lit into me, saying that I was "giving these boys the wrong idea" and "this isn't a wet t-shirt contest." I was 13 and among some of my best friends. None of the other girls got this lecture from Jane. I was mortified. 

I was subsequently the only one wearing a one-piece (looked just like this!) at the end-of-year party.
A friend said I was "brave" for going against the grain.
I just thought, "Yeah.  That's what I was going for.  Brave.  
Not 'Cover myself in blue material and hope no one notices me.'"

Having done some growing up since then, I'd like to put down what I wish I would have had the maturity (and sarcasm) to say to Jane:

Dear Jane, 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but... (deep breath)... if your sons are ever out in public, they might end up looking at a girl with large breasts.  Oh, the shock!  The horror!  It's a pretty natural thing for a lot of boys, especially ones going through that wonderful time that is puberty, to do.  Most men do have a genetic predisposition to notice certain things about women, one of which I'm sure is breast size.  That's why you, the parent, teach them self-control.  You teach them that they shouldn't "get the wrong idea"* about a girl because she has a big chest.  You don't imply that there's something wrong with the girl for having it.

Singling me out from other girls at the lake- all of whom also had wet t-shirts at the time, I might add- was wrong.  It made me feel like a freak, which I wasn't.  I was a normal, shy, awkward girl with a larger-than-average chest for my age.  You were basically telling me that because of that chest, my body was relegated to pornographic material.  If you saw it like that, that was your problem and not a problem with my body.  You made me feel ashamed of my body when it's the only one I'm ever going to get.  Doesn't a 13-year-old usually have enough to feel insecure about?

I would say that I'm very sorry that my breasts offended you with their existence, but I'm not.  

The Absurd (Now Enjoying Being) Curvy Nerd

*I still think this is a really strange euphemism.  "I thought you were a Gemini," could be the wrong idea.


  1. This is an old post but I've also been there as a 12 year old(now 34 year old woman) girl. I was made to feel that my body and behavior(which was the same as every other girl at the time) was scandalous and inappropriate. Never calling into question the fact that boys should learn how to behave like adults and deal with the fact that some people have *gasp* large breasts.

    1. It is an all-too-common occurrence and is so sad! And people do a disservice to boys by telling them that women who have large breasts are somehow supposed to cover up "for them." I'd think we should empower boys to know that their actions and words are (unless you're talking extreme conditions like certain mental illnesses) under their control.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.