34B? Why Changing Bra Sizes Means Something More Than a Number
Ever since I’ve worn bras, I’ve worn a 34A. I guess I’ve been surprisingly consistent over the years, and when I was younger I didn’t know exactly how bras should fit so I just wore them without complaint (I was probably more like a 34AA). I started wearing bras when I was about 13, so that’s 10 years (almost half my life) that I’ve been wearing the same size.
During that time my weight/dress size has fluctuated (never by much– I’ve always been about a 6-8), but my bra size stayed the same. And as many of you know, in our society a bra size can be much more than just a number; it can be an aspect of who you are.
I’ve read so many amazing blog posts about how breast size has affected how you think about yourselves, from both ends of the spectrum of small- to large-busted. Even though I’ve been small-busted all my life, I thought I’d managed to avoid holding on the stigma of small breasts (“too small” “not womanly” “not curvy”) and just accepted them they way they are.
Boy, was I wrong. But it wasn’t until I came to the realization that my bras were fitting a little differently than usual that I had an emotional response to what my bra size “says about me” (as bogus as that might be). Could it be that a 34A wasn’t working any more? Was I really a 34B? I suddenly felt like I had graduated into a “normal” size, like I was curvier and sexier– which just told me how much I had internalized the stereotypes about small busts + the numbers that go with them.
What I have to say is this: right now I’m between a 34A and a 34B and that’s just about sizing of the bra, not breast size fluctuation, which should make it pretty clear that these sizes are arbitrary. Before you say to yourself that you ARE a certain bra size (as I just did), remember that it doesn’t really say anything about you, except for a general guide for your own reference when buying a bra. Although even then it isn’t a strict guide, because every brand is different.
We need to stop beating ourselves up about the way we feel inadequate or excessive (as the case may be), especially about bust size. And watch out for those people or companies or slogans that make us feel like our bust size says something about us. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve talked about how small my own breasts/bras were because I was just used to dismissing them. And I was wrong: I’d like to stop critiquing parts of my body like there is anything wrong with the way I am. There isn’t. I’d love it if you all would give it a try too– and the second you hear yourself saying that some size is “too big” or “too small”, check yourself, whether talking about yourself or others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, no matter what you think of your shape. I promise.