How my size G breasts plagued my sexuality



“I was terrified of losing my identity to a couple of overgrown lumps of mammary gland.”

We all have habits. Little quirks or mannerisms unique to our characters. If you were to take a look at a 15-year-old version of me, you’d find a sheltered introvert with her arms persistently folded around her chest. Every so often she’d unfold her arms to loosen her baggy tee with a quick tug, but they would always return to rest under her breasts. 

Recurrent arm crossing is quite a peculiar habit, I admit. But I didn’t cross my arms from the ages of 12 to 19 because I fancied myself as an eyeliner-wearing angsty teen who hated the world. I maintained a tense arm knot throughout my adolescence because I was trying to hide something – my size G breasts. 

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I began developing breasts at age nine before I could even grasp the concepts of sex or menstruation. In the ensuing years, I got used to a repeated array of unoriginal comments.

 “I didn’t know bra sizes went that far down the alphabet” was one. “You’re so lucky” was the most common. But while my friends dreamed of flaunting an ample decolletage, I felt utterly cursed by the universe’s offering of generous cleavage. 

When my breasts hit the G cup mark mid-way through my teens, I realised I no longer fit the male gaze fantasy mould of the perky, Em Rata double D. Instead, my heavy chest delivered me extensive stretch marks and nipples that levelled with my elbows. Exercise without a trio of sports bras was painfully uncomfortable, and more often than not, shopping trips ended in frustrated change room breakdowns. When it came to my boobs, I felt uncomfortable at best and disgusted, at worst.  

What affected me most though, was that emotionally, I was still a 15-year-old girl daydreaming about innocent playground crushes and first kisses. But to the perverted eye, my silhouette mirrored a pornographic fantasy, a patriarchal billboard for lust and frankly, it scared the absolute shit out of me.

My big breasts made me feel alone, and sometimes almost alien. The vast majority of my friends hovered between a B to D cup, on par with supermodels, actresses and singers alike. But despite religiously flipping through almost every issue of New Idea magazine, I couldn’t find a single role model who looked like me.

Even Kim Kardashian, the sex-tape famed socialite, carried a more modest bust than I did. In all my searching, the only place I found a similar figure to mine was on the cover of Playboy magazine, or in outlandishly hypersexualised pornography. 

I was undoubtedly scared of removing the barrier my crossed arms had provided me. I heard the classroom banter and perverted locker-room discussion of boys my age. I knew the way they spoke about girls who shared the same busty features as me, and I was terrified of losing my identity to a couple of overgrown lumps of mammary glands. 

So while many of my friends and peers were sexually maturing and sharing their ‘firsts’ with each other, I kept my arms firmly crossed to my chest, guarding my sexuality, defiantly turning away any symptoms of sexual and romantic attraction that came my way. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still experienced the same attraction and desires as the next hormone-fueled teen, but I had developed such a fear of being sexualised and objectified, joked and whispered about for my busty figure, that keeping my chest size a secret under crossed arms and legs felt like the safest option for me.

My arms remained clenched in that same guarded position, and I didn’t let it down until I was 19, when I made the decision to have my breasts sliced, reduced and sutured back to form a commonly exhibited C cup

My breast reduction had a profound impact on both my physical and emotional wellbeing. Aside from the neck and back pain the surgery relieved me of, I didn’t fear derogatory comments when I stepped out in a low cut top and I finally felt as though I could engage in sex and relationships without the fear that my intimate experiences would be relayed to entire friend groups.

Of course, I knew that as a woman, it would be unlikely I’d escape all forms of objectification entirely – yet I felt my arms were finally unravelling themselves from years and years of gatekept sexuality and I felt free in every sense of the word. 

Last month, when the pop culture world went crazy as a mature-looking, large-busted Billie Eilish graced the cover of British Vogue, I felt mixed emotions. Most were feelings of joy and validation, for finally seeing a body that looked like mine in a magazine. 

But part of me wondered what my teenage experience would have been like had I grown up a decade or two later. What if I had been surrounded by big-breasted sisters who embodied confidence and self-love? If my body type was normalised and respected outside of the porn sphere, would my arms have rested in a different position?

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