Curvy, busty and top-heavy are all names given to ladies who supposedly wear large size bras. But do they?
In days gone by, the most commonly worn bra size was claimed to be a 12B and anything above this was classed as big girl lingerie.
These days, there's such reduced demand for smaller sizes that some styles aren't even made in a B cup, which tells us plus size bras in Australia are sold more often than we think.
It's time some of these old wives tales about an average cup size are dismissed and the J cup bra celebrated.
Our Breast Friends
Mark & Andrea Busse / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND
Women are getting bigger, it's a fact. However, this is not a bad thing. If plus size bras didn't used to be around and now we're cutting more fabric than ever, it tells us a thing or two.
You'll find many reports online pointing the finger at hormones being to blame for our expanding waistlines:
- More women than ever use the contraceptive pill, which lists side effects as mood swings and weight gain due to a change in oestrogen levels.
- Older women battling the menopause with HRT are said to suffer the same fate.
- Nutritionists report that our hormones can be thrown off balance by xenoestrogens -- foreign chemicals found in plastics, pesticides, and lotions like conditioner.
Perhaps our efforts to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, a hot flush, or knotted hair explains the more recent abundance of F cup bras, but what rarely gets mentioned is the fact that we as individual women will also naturally change shape at different times in our lives.
We have such an ardent relationship with our breasts that one woman (Florence Williams) even wrote a book about their Natural and Unnatural History.
Puberty, pregnancy, and old age all affects the size of our breasts, so why shouldn't bra sizes better reflect this?
What a Silly Notion
Paul Saad / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND / Lingerie stores up and down the country are awash with D cup bras
Twenty years ago 12B used to be the "average" bra size and it was an insult to refer to someone as "curvy". These days, we're finally celebrating our curves. Plus size lingerie is commonplace. There is no average and there probably never was.
If we're getting collectively plumper as women and the size of our boobs is going in and out like the ocean tides as we hit natural landmarks in our lives, like getting our first period or getting pregnant, isn't some kind of average insulting all round?
For all these years, we've been expected to conform to the notion that we are small, average, or plus size. In fact, we are what we are and our boobs are bigger than ever.
As women, we're so used to buying the wrong size off the shelf because there is no alternative, we've failed to notice rows of G cup bras appearing on the shelves.
Lingerie stores up and down the country are awash with D cup bras as standard and plus size bras are available in abundance online.
If you're fuller up top, it's time to kit yourself out.
Revolutionise Your Curves
Lies Thru a Lens / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND
Whether or not you've bought plus size lingerie in the past, go and get yourself measured for the right size bra. The majority of so-called 'plus size' women are jiggling around without the support they need but, gravity aside, wearing the right size bra also feels so much better.
If you've got large breasts, don't squash them into bras that are too small to accommodate them as you'll suffer unnecessarily.
These kinds of uncomfortable everyday symptoms of wearing the wrong bra size can disappear the minute you are fitted by a professional:
- The bra strap is loose around your body or rides up your back
- Your boobs spill out the side or top of your bra cup
- There's a gaping hole between your breast and the bra cup
- Bra straps hang limply over your shoulders or cut into the skin
- You get the '4-boob' effect because the cup cuts into the middle of your breast
- You can't run to the corner shop without hugging your own cleavage
Find out what size bra your boobs should be nestled into and try on different styles at the bra fitting. You'll soon find your personal winning combination of comfort and style and, once you do, not only will your boobs be uplifted, so will your spirits.
How do we know this? Women often admit that they don't feel comfortable wearing a common average-size bra. Once properly fitted, a lot of them discover their confidence has grown significantly... along with their cup size.
Times are changing.
The Choice Is Yours, Ladies
Almost Michelle / Flickr / CC BY-SA
Large cup bras are no longer only made from black or white cotton fabric and shoved to the back of the rail. There is more choice than ever before when it comes to stocking your underwear drawer.
Let us not shy away from the effervescent mountains of fabric out there that cushion and complement our curves.
Want to see them for yourself?
For starters, take a look at this colourful range of lingerie in sizes DD to J cup.