Volcanista is a Friend of SP, geologist, and LOST evangelizer.
So, over the holidays I took a badly needed holiday vacation, and because I like warmth and the tropics, I decided to go to Chicago and hang out with Sweet Machine, Mr Machine, and their most excellent cats. I read books, watched Lost, took naps, cuddled with the kitties, and took a hot steam bath next to their radiator every time I went to the bathroom. It was quite excellent, and my suitcase will never again be entirely free of cat hair. But we did venture out into the cold a couple times, expressly to hemorrhage money. We both needed some self-pampering and both had noticed our bras weren’t fitting quite right, so one day we made appointments at Intimacy and went downtown to have our breasts handled by professionals (after making a necessary stop at Lush for the post-holiday sale and far too many new bath bombs).
When the saleswoman asked me if I thought I was the same size as before, and I said “No, I think I might be a C cup now,” she said, “I’d say a C or a D.” !!! Shapelings, moving to a B cup was a big change for me last year. In response to a college house questionnaire, I once named my breasts “Small” and “Equally Small.” As I later said to SM and Kate, every time I go into Intimacy, I come out a cup size larger (SM: “You should be in their ads!”). Anyway, SM and I spent too much money and spent the next 24 hours staring at our own and each other’s amazing tits, but that’s not the point of this post.
The point is that I am almost at the high end of my normal size range right now, and it’s making me reflect on how much my breast size has fluctuated during the past decade. I have been this big a couple times now, though with much less well-fitting bras — the first time I went on the pill in my early 20s, that time I tried the birth control patch (I haven’t gotten quite that big again since, but it actually turns out that three steady months of morning sickness are not worth it for boobies), and once or twice over the course of my normal weight fluctuations since then. So if properly sized, I would say I range from an… A? (never properly fitted at the low end, but they are little) to apparently at least a C, normally within the span of a year or two. I should note that I am on the short side and very petite, and when I gain or lose weight it seems to go and come entirely from my rack. The convenient part of this is being able to shop straight sizes and not having to buy a whole new wardrobe when my body decides it’s time to be 10 pounds heavier for 6 months; the inconvenient part is that those changes routinely — and dramatically — affect the size of the most expensive part of my body to clothe. Now that I have a salary I allow myself a once-annual indulgence in one or two lovely, perfectly-fitted, exorbitantly priced bras (which means we are up to three nice ones to date, one of which fit 3 months ago and two which fit today) and fill in the rest of my week with cheap purchasesfrom the internet to get me through with minimal pokage. So my breasts could still be happier, but they feel wonderful (and look HUGE!) a couple times a week. Like today! The girls say hello. To everyone. Loudly.
The upshot is that my body kind of acts like a one-woman case study on boob size. Because the rest of my body doesn’t really change outwardly, I have more or less isolated the breastage effect on social interactions. I spent a couple years after college living in the Land of Entrapment. I went on the pill there for the first time when the weather was warm, which bumped me up probably (in retrospect) from an A cup to a C cup over about a month of warm weather. Furthermore, the local social culture there is such that men are a lot less subtle in checking women out than back east, so there’s no mistaking it. It was very easy to notice changes in how I was treated between month A and month C.
I was certainly blatantly checked out and hit on a lot more. That isn’t too surprising, because, hey, I’m here to be eye candy, right? But I wasn’t used to that kind of treatment so it was weird. And frankly, while sometimes it felt weirdly flattering (hey, I was 22), being sloooowly checked out on the street is pretty damn objectifying. It’s bad enough when men think (somehow) they’re being subtle! I bet the men in this video thought so:
But what caught me even more by surprise was how much friendlier people were — men and women, friends and colleagues and strangers. Most of those people probably were not even particularly interested in sleeping with me or deliberately hitting on me (hard to believe, I know!). They were just… nicer. I didn’t have to wear anything especially revealing for that to be true, either. Bigger breasts just meant better treatment in general, and while some men were creepy and deliberate about it (see above), for most people it seemed to be unconscious. We are heavily socially conditioned to react favorably to breasts.
Honestly, I like my breasts in general and think they look nice on my body at all of the sizes they’ve been, but I’ll admit that I like them a bit better when they’re larger. Clothes look sexier to me and I feel damn hot. I don’t dislike the girls on the small end, but I will certainly sometimes wear some padding or pushing-up items to keep the clothes looking the way I like them to. Frankly, I don’t feel bad about this. It’s one of the many conscious concessions I make to the beauty ideal (see also: shaving legs; bleaching upper lip; and wearing v-neck sweaters, high-heeled shoes, dresses, and variable quantities of make-up). I don’t dislike my body or the things about it I alter for cosmetic reasons; it’s just a hell of a lot easier to do those things, and I consciously choose to do my femininity that way. Besides, I can’t undo all of the training that has taught me what to find attractive, so I pick my battles. For me, in part because I’ve been taught big breasts are better, and in part because of my own [highly scientific!] personal experiments and observations, the portrayal of the rack is part of how I present myself. It’s not even that I consciously display the ladies for personal gain — in terms of skin and cleavage I actually show pretty little, and I am not very interested in deliberately manipulating the people around me* — but I like to look nice and girly and so I go with it.
But I think there is nothing wrong with not going with it, with refusing to play up my breasts or hunt for clothes that create the appearance of that hourglass figure. There would be nothing wrong with refusing to do that as a personal fight against the beauty ideal; or with just not giving a shit; or with deciding it’s too much of a stretch and too much work to be worth it. I mean, the beauty ideal is impossible to reach, but as people go I definitely have it on the easier side, because I am thin and a little hourglassy to start with. When my tits are bigger I have to do even less work (though it’s still a conscious effort). If you don’t want to work for that, I mean, who the hell cares?
Well, okay, a lot of people care, but what they care about is policing you, not attraction. Otherwise they would just happen to not find you attractive, and that wouldn’t be offensive to them, and they wouldn’t care about how you looked. Except that it is your obligation and role as a woman to be attractive to all men, of course. Besides, I can attest that many people are attracted to women with small breasts. While I have been treated very differently on the street based on my breast size, my statistical ability to actually attract real dates/lays are unchanged across my full range of boobages.
Summary of long-winded post: People treat you differently when your breasts appear different sizes, mostly because our society is fucked up. But we should present our breasts how we want to present them, fuck anyone who gives a damn**, and not let the girls hold us back from enjoying our lives, dating, dancing, or taking luxurious Lush-bombed baths. Oh, and we should make a conscious effort to be equally friendly to the small-busted ladies, to counteract that unconscious conditioning that makes us act just a bit friendlier to the chestier among us.
*This is a lie. For instance, I deliberately distracted SM with my breasts so that she would request a guest post, because I deeply covet her internet-fame.
Cross-posted at Volcanista.