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The struggle of having medium-sized boobs

IMAGE VIA @zigs_mom/INSTAGRAM
WORDS BY EMILY HOLGATE

“Looking at my own pair, they looked neither juicy nor bouncy and certainly weren’t big enough to be associated with the word ‘mommy’.”

Growing up, I was always under the impression that I was on the larger-chested side. My pre-pubescent tits first came through when I was only ten years old, before they quickly grew to a healthy C cup by the time I was 12.

I specifically remember being on a school camp in my final year of primary school, when a girl in class (who from memory was around a D cup) told me, as if to congratulate me, that I had the “second biggest tits in the year level”, with first-place obviously self-awarded to her. 


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Boobs soon became an obsession with people my age, with those who were late to puberty complimenting my chest size out of jealousy and boys suddenly asking for nudes over Snapchat, despite the fact that my early puberty also meant a full face of greasy acne, frizzy hair and heavy periods.

But alas, I was thrilled. I felt a sense of importance in gaining attention from boys for the first time in my life and loved being, in some way, different to the other girls my age. But as others started growing chests the same size or bigger than mine, my body dysmorphia slowly crept in, convincing me that my boobs made me look fat.

Boxy school dresses were always covered by woolly sweaters, even in the middle of summer. I had no idea how to dress for my shape and simply shelved my boobs as a nuisance that would always make me appear bigger than I was. At least they were still big though, right? At least boys still asked me for nudes… right?

But the older I got and the more other girls started growing boobs, I realised I was not special. In fact, I didn’t even have big boobs. With friends around me blossoming into their DD, E, F and beyond cups, I realised I actually maybe had… small boobs? 

As I crept into adulthood, the sexual appeal of big boobs was soon overtaken by small tits and the rise of the no bra trend, with many of my smaller-chested peers embracing their size and rocking skimpy tank tops and cropped tees, nipples ablaze. 

Anyone can embrace the no-bra trend, I’m not denying that – whatever you’re comfortable wearing, by all means, wear it. But there was always a certain stereotype attached to women who could pull this off. With no-bra outfit inspiration circling the internet via images of ’90s icons such as Jennifer Aniston in her Friends era, I realised it was always mostly slim women with A or B cups that were brave enough to try the trend.

I’m not saying I couldn’t embrace it. I definitely look hot without a bra and have gone without one on a number of occasions. But I just didn’t pull it off in the same way as women with flat or small chests did and more importantly, my boobs hurt when I walked around without a bra. So, I found myself feeling (once again) insecure.

In a complete flip, in the past year or two – especially with the rise of sex worker positivity and OnlyFans – I was seeing women such as Anna Paul and Veruca Salt appearing more and more in my feed. The small boob, no bra trend was seemingly replaced with the reemergence of the big boob popularity that had many women in the 2000s undergoing breast enhancement surgery.

My childhood assumption that I was well endowed was well and truly crushed as my now D cup chest seemed sad and unsexy compared to the images of big tits in tiny bikinis I was constantly seeing. So I started wondering: where do I sit in the boob world?

I can’t pull off the skimpy-top, flat-chested no bra look without being in pain, but my cleavage was also barely existent in comparison to people I was seeing in TikTok videos, who would receive thousands of comments riddled with words such as “juicy”, “bouncy” and “mommy”.

Looking at my own pair, they looked neither juicy nor bouncy and certainly weren’t big enough to be associated with the word “mommy”. I know comments like these have their own toll on big-breasted women and I’m not saying I wish that kind of sexualisation upon myself.

On the other hand, I also know that those with smaller breasts deal with their own issues, such as a friend of mine who often worries that she looks like “a boy” or “a child” and will never feel sexually valid. But at this time of reflection, in a digital world obsessed with trends, my boobs just felt insignificant – like there was no place or importance for a chest like mine in today’s beauty standards.

I know I’m extremely privileged to fit into straight sizes and be able to walk into any lingerie or underwear store and know there will be plenty of cute, D-sized bras for me to choose from. But I’m also not going to invalidate my feelings, nor will I succumb to my insecurities. I write this piece purely as a reminder that all boobs are valid in the ever scrutinised fashion and beauty world, and how we view our breasts should not be determined by society, or TikTok comments and trends.

All I’m saying is that for my other medium-sized queens out there who may also feel like they don’t have a place in fashion – you do. What you wear and how you style clothes shouldn’t be determined by your boob size. Simply wear what you want, when you want and (more so as a reminder to myself) stop comparing yourself to others.

If you’re struggling with body image issues or eating disorders, you can call the Butterfly National Helpline at 1800 33 4673 for free and confidential support, or email or chat to them online here.

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