There are three little words that every big-busted woman out there has grown to know and love. “I’m up here.”
In the interest of precision and honesty, I will tell you that at current measurements, I am a 36H. To give you a bit of context for that, picture a fairly normal ribcage and stack two cantaloupes on it side by side. I don’t blame you if you can’t quite picture it, though. Even Google has a hard time with it. For comparison, I just typed “36C” into Google Images.
Mostly breast-related, right? Now try “36H”.
After several pages of results, there’s nary a tit to be seen. When I typed in “36H breasts” (an activity I highly recommend if you’re at work, by the way), the results may as well have come back like this.
It’s aggravating, to say the least.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my body. Aside from the back problems, I kind of dig the buxom look. Strap those suckers up right and I can fill out a sweater so well you’d speak in tongues. It’s not the breasts. It’s the accompanying… unpleasantness.
The indignity starts as soon as I get dressed in the morning. Where a woman of more modest proportions has bras, I have buttresses. I open the drawer to see plain black and beige staring back at me like a stern German governess. The odd bit of cheerful bright lace peeks out, but the price tag relegates them to special occasion status. Sorry, flirty blue, sultry red, pretty purple. I can’t play today. You are a Sometimes Bra. Fräulein needs to go to work now.
Wait, let me back up a second. Did I mention the price tag? Because shelling out the equivalent of one of my utility bills to look like someone’s tattooed grandmother under my clothes is not an experience I particularly relish. It is of no help whatsoever that when I go into La Senza (the Canadian equivalent of Victoria’s Secret and just as incompetent, if not moreso), I am set upon by some clueless salesgirl who is dead set on selling me whatever bra is the next big thing. The last time I was there looking for underwear, this exchange followed.
Perky Salesgirl: Hi! Can I interest you in the new WatersexxxTek bra? It features a triple push-up with water-filled inserts and a clever hidden atomizer filled with our newest perfume, Fancy Pomegranate Slut!
Me: No thanks. I’m just here to look at the underwear. Where are those little Brazilian cheeky things that are really ass-flattering?
Perky Salesgirl: Are you sure? It’s available in all 216 hexadecimal colour codes!
Me: No thank you. You guys don’t actually carry my size, so I’ll just continue looking at the underwear, thanks. Where are the ones I was looking for?
Perky Salesgirl: (confused) We don’t carry your size? We have everything up to DD-cup!
Me: Ha. Hahaha. No. I’m an H-cup. The underwear…?
Perky Salesgirl: …are you sure a DD-cup wouldn’t fit?
Me: I… what? Yes, I’m sure. Having had them since elementary school, I know where my tits are and are not willing to go. They will bound cheerfully into well-fitted bras, the odd corset, and into the capable hands of professorial-looking dudes in glasses. They will balk like a spooked horse at going into strapless dresses, halter tops, games of strip poker since 2007, and I can tell you as sure as I’m standing here that they are not going anywhere close to a DD-cup bra.
Perky Salesgirl: I can check in the back for an E-cup…
Me: No. Please find me an employee who will help me find what I’m looking for. Preferably one that is of voting age.
And so forth.
It’s the comments that really seal it, though. What’s weird is that the worst of it doesn’t come from men. Men stare too long sometimes, but only the most juvenile and crass will say something. Pretty much all the worst and most demeaning comments come from other women.
“Ugh, thank God I don’t look like that. I don’t know how she stands up.” (Just fine, thanks. You’d find it doesn’t impede my right hook much, either.)
“Holy shit, you’ve got really big boobs.” (Holy shit! So I do. I managed not to look down once since puberty.)
“Wow, Jugs! No trouble to tell what the guys like you for, is it?” (Thank you! I didn’t realize intelligence and a daffy sense of humour was as obvious upon first glance as being a shallow bitch!)
“Are they real? Can I touch them?” (They are imaginary and no you may not.)
I probably sound bitter and I don’t mean to. It’s just that I’ve had a total of seventeen years of this kind of bullshit, and it gets tiresome. It’s not much fun being remembered by casual acquaintances as “the one with the tits”. It’s kind of irritating to be treated like Sideshow Boob by strangers.
Still, it’s hard not to smile on those good days, the tight sweater days. A little vexation and a whole lot of va-va-voom. Not the worst trade-off.