Reader Submission: The Real Cost Of These Big A– Titties

July 23, 2018  |  

Getty

Anne called excitedly to tell me she found a beautiful bra with underwire for £12. I screamed in disbelief, asking for proof. Send a picture or it wasn’t real. Ping. There it was on my phone screen – black, lacy, with hints of floral. The straps were thin too. It was so sexily unbelievable. If I could just reach out and touch…

“And it was just twelve pounds on eBay,” Anne said, her voice breaking me out of the reverie of shock. Wow! A sexy and affordable bra for a woman with a cup size E and above? It was truly a wonderful discovery.

As a G-cup bra wearer, I know far too well the horrors of not finding bras that fit. As soon as I hit puberty and started to experience the discomfort that came with the cards I’d been dealt, I knew that this (like my height) was one thing I would always pray to change.

A bra is a harness that women have been socialized to wear to support their breasts (because society is uncomfortable with the idea of seeing women’s breasts just swinging free if they can’t capitalize on it). One of my unspoken dreams is that I will have the boldness to simply free myself of the need to wear a bra, which is why I admire Chidera Slumflower Eggerue and Aminatou Sow, women who have not allowed the constraints of a bra to determine how they go out into the world. But I have to admit, I’m simply not there yet.

For women with smaller breasts, not wearing a bra is an option. For C-Cuppers and above, we are not so lucky. That means we are also limited in terms of outfit choices. Yes, I know the mannequins tell you a different story, but those of us who live with these masses of fat on our chests can tell you the truth. Think of those beautiful, button-down shirts that fit every curve, but leave you with a gaping hole, front and center of your blouse. Or those beautiful dresses that are so cute, fitting all the right places, except for our breast and upper back area, of course, because we need a bra to hold these things up. Yup, that’s a whole lot of backless, low-cut clothing options we’re excluded from right there.

One day while browsing the streets of the Internet, I saw a random advert for a little device that supposedly holds up your breasts without a bra. You simply tape up the sides of your boobies and everything will be okay. Hmmm, sounded like something I had always wished for. Let’s see what the reviews say, I mused. (Who buys anything on the Internet without reading reviews?) Thankfully, our comrades in big breasts were there in formation to warn us that the contraption was not for us. Women with small breasts get all the nice things. I closed the browser with a dissatisfied grunt.

The bra struggle spills over into my fitness life as well. When I first joined the FitFam train, I worried endlessly about finding the right bra. All of the affordable sports bras were ineffective. My girls always spilled out of the cups and the bras did not have any kind of reinforcement. The faster I ran, the more I felt my breasts would fall out and slap my face. If I wanted to continue running, I was going to have to suck it up and bring out £50 plus for the right bra.

Then came a more problematic situation that I hadn’t foreseen. The more I lost weight, the smaller my girth and frame became, yet my cup size remained the same. This further pushed me into a smaller availability bracket in terms of bra size. By this time, I had narrowed down two stores that carried my cup. However, the bras were neither cheap nor regularly available. It was so bad my sister and I made a game out of finding my elusive bra size and spotting them on sale. Let me just say, the struggle of finding a 32G or a 34G is real.

So, when Anne showed me her sexy looking bra, it was a truly a Girls-Squeal-in-Excitement moment. Looking for a sexy bra for G-cups is truly a task, but it is not nearly as hard as finding swimwear or strapless bras. In fact, at some point I gave up on certain activities. It’s so bad that invites to the beach or the pool are met with intense anxiety. I don’t know how much more strain my good and faithful swimsuit can last. So far it’s been four years that we’ve been going strong, because where am I going to find something that fits? Asking for prettiness on top of that is a stretch.

Purchasing fitting bras became even more complicated when I moved to North America. It’s like shopping for extremes — you’re either super small bodied with small breasts or big bodied with big breasts. “Go to Change Lingerie; they have bras for girls like you”, my friend Chioma advised when I complained about not finding bras since I moved to Canada. I had been to Change. The bras are regularly priced at $100 and above. It was a problem. So was adjusting to the size charts. Where in Nigeria and the UK, I was used to the full scale of A to H, America had a whole different thing going on. After D, they had DD, then DDD. Where were the Gs and Hs? A store assistant advised I just go with the best fit. If the desirable was not available, best find a way to make the available desirable. I still haven’t been able to “manage” the available.

It’s laughable that some people think big boobs are a walk in the park — unless they mean a park fraught with hurdles. My breasts cost me time (see bra shopping struggle), money (see affordable bra shopping struggle), and they cause me pain, also known as the shoulder ridge problem. For bigger breasts, the physics of harnesses and stirrups requires wider straps. Larger surface area for the straps, far more effective support. Over time, however, these large straps, supporting the weight of your mounds, form ridges in your shoulder. Glasses wearers will relate to this a little; think of that ridge on your temples and the little ditch on both sides of your nose. Constantly wearing a bra to support big breasts means you’re hoisting your breasts up via your shoulders and your back.

Oh the back! Back pain is also not to be forgotten. Regularly flexing your shoulders and back helps to reduce the tension that builds from wearing a bra for long hours, but it is not for the faint-hearted. It is for this reason that I cherish every moment I do not have to step out of my apartment wearing these beastly things known as support. If you ask me to go somewhere and I make up some silly excuse or the other about how I cannot make it, please know that it is simply because I don’t want to pack up my breasts. For times when I absolutely have to leave the condo, I unconsciously find myself unhooking my bra once I step into the elevator.

Until I can afford a breast reduction, I guess I’ll just have to live with the purchase of expensive bras. Talk about capitalism and the stress of big boobs. I guess I should be thankful about all the money I save declining invites because I don’t want to be bothered with a bra.

Atoke is the author of +234 – An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. She worships at the altar of words, and believes life is too short not to be kind to other people. Of course she exists to watch TV but she doesn’t think that’s appropriate information for a professional bio.

Trending on MadameNoire

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN