Why do my small boobs make me feel unsexy?


Itty bitty titties.

It’s a rite of passage to want what you can’t have in life. When I was little, I was pining for curls in my dead-straight hair. When I was in high school, I was desperately tanning my pale legs in streaky orange tan. Most recently, I’ve caught myself feeling unsexy or unwomanly because of my teenie-tiny bust. And what a waste of thought, time and energy that is!

I have eternally been insecure about my small bosoms. I’ve always thought that the perfect C or D cup would be so fun to have, as my 12B – not that I’ve ever felt comfortable enough to figure out my correct size – feels disproportionate to my body. I’m very tall, and around a size 10 to 12 in most clothes, but I’ve always looked to my chest and wondered, ‘When the fuck will my breasts grow in?’.

Interested to hear how others navigate the world? Head to our Life section.

Literally, I can just pass the Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging pencil-uphold testIt’s no wonder that during sex I notice this insecurity the most – that’s when I don’t have the deceiving shell of a bra cup to create the illusion of bigger or ‘normal’-sized breasts. (If my mother is reading this through a LinkedIn search: please stop, Deirdre.)

I used to fret about there being nothing to hold onto or work with or enjoy, and it made me feel rather unsexy. It’s a thought that was sadly exacerbated when I first got into a relationship, and I wanted it to stop. 

I think of the most objectively beautiful hourglass figures in the world and on my Instagram feed, and wonder why I was not gifted with a voluptuous pair of knockers. Woe is me! But in recent times, I have had a revelation. Let me posit you this: anyone with a large bust working their way through this article is probably angry at me.

Why? Because I’ve had myriad chats with friends who wear upwards of a double D bra and absolutely despise the way it constantly makes them feel hyper-sexy. I hate that feeling for them and am not celebrating their yuck feelings to make my yuck feelings any better, but it’s food for thought.

Perspective is everything. The other evening, I wore a strapless bra. It was for a special occasion as this is something that rarely ever needs to cameo in my outfitting as I go braless more often than not. I needed to wear it because of a new cobalt, knitted, tight-fitting top that had spliced cutouts where my normal bra strap would be, but my nipples looked too overt in the cold weather sans any padding. 

Alas, my one and only (rarely worn) strapless bra is kidding nobody. It’s so insanely fake and protrudes from my chest in such a way that anyone that knows me (including my mother) would look me up and down and notice a significant boob enhancement. Anyway, I was walking to the train station in said top and bra and heels and immediately felt so insecure.

Old men were looking at me differently, I was constantly hoisting the strapless floating device up, and I noticed a jiggling feeling on my chest as I walked. I wanted to rip that thing off and free-boob it immediately because that’s what makes ME feel good.

I’ve felt insecure about my breast size for a long time and for what? Many, many people would love to swap out their smaller bust for a bigger bust, and vice versa. What we don’t have, we think we want. But if we experienced it for a day, I don’t think it would engender the feelings we’re lusting over.

In the bedroom, I’m imploring myself to stop comparing my body to anyone else’s or berate myself for having a lack of ‘curves’. I am me and my body is mine, and there is no way of changing that. I don’t want to have enhancement surgery and never will, but that’s just my prerogative, and breast augmentation or reduction surgery is so important for some people’s happiness.

If you’ve ever had the same feelings of unsexiness due to your body’s natural shapes, I would tell you this: sexiness is the most subjective thing in the entire world and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, whether that beholder is you or the person/people you choose to be sexually intimate with. To the fellow itty bitty titty girls (and anyone else who so desires), let’s try to enjoy the no-bra days, the cute bralettes, sleeping on your stomach and doing HIIT classes without frustration.

The same goes for the bigger-boobs-havers out there. I hope you find joy in finding your best bra fit yet and supporting emerging brands catering to larger sizes. There’s even a community piece here on Fashion Journal that can encourage you to flaunt your breasts in the most amazing ensembles and provide you with techniques to feel comfortable, confident and in control. 

Genevieve Phelan is Fashion Journal’s Lifestyle & Careers Columnist. Her writing fuses introspection with investigation, calling on her own personal anecdotes and the advice of admired experts in the realms of intimacy, money, friendship, careers and love. You can find her here and here.

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