I am not into cleavage – never really have been, and I don’t think I ever really will be. Unless it originates from Louboutin-clad toes, I’m not interested. Why? Probably because, since the age of thirteen, I’ve faced the daily struggle of having big boobs.
Now, I don’t mean big boobs as in a DD cup. That’s glamour-model big; the sort that looks great naked, is better with support but doesn’t need it, and can be disguised if necessary. I’m talking about the kind that means you look at bras (and swimwear) with a cup size that goes beyond the fifth letter of the alphabet.
Personally, I don’t believe there are many advantages to having big boobs (apart from the obvious), but there are many disadvantages. For me, the main trouble is posture; a daily endurance of carrying extra weight on my back and shoulders; shoulders that now bear strap-induced indentations, which have set up home over the years like unwanted squatters, leaving an unsightly reminder of the daily struggle. A reminder that, even with surgery, is never likely to disappear. In addition, at quiet times of the day I feel the pressure creep up over my muscles, taking hold in the nape of my neck where it settles in a ball inside my head, pushing against my skull in a bid to escape. Emotionally, it’s not been easy either, but I won’t bore you with the details – as children, we all face some sort of ‘bullying’ when growing up.
Over the years I’ve come to accept that, ultimately, surgery is the only permanent answer to reducing the chronic physical (and sometimes emotional) toll on my body. It’s something I’ve considered (I went to my GP about a breast reduction when I was in my early twenties) but I suppose I, like many others, have just learned to live with it. Yes, my body is uncomfortable at times but, importantly, I’m healthy. In life, despite our own struggles there is always someone else suffering, often more so. If I’m honest with myself, I’ve coped with worse things than this – as many of us know, mental challenges can often be worse than the physical.
In an effort to make the best of the situation I try to be as comfy as possible and the first place to start is to always wear the right size bra. These days, shopping for bras is less of a chore and much more an enjoyable experience thanks to the variety of brands offering larger cup sizes. One of my favourites is Freya, mostly due to the quality but also because you can get everything you need in one place; good basics, pretty sets, sexy lingerie and trendy swimwear. I’ve been shopping at Freya since I was around 18 and, fifteen years later I still am! Why does Freya continue to appeal to me, and to a range of women of different backgrounds and ages? Because they are consistent in quality and approach, and the brand is marketed well with campaigns that are strong, with realistically sized models (bearing in mind that they are, indeed, still models!) who make you feel part of the brand rather than alienated by it. Freya is the girl next door; pretty and flirty by day, and sexy and fun by night. Translated into bras, this means effortless, reliable and nice to look at no matter what the occasion. Actually, it’s thanks to Freya that I’ve put off that second appointment with the GP – so they must be doing something right.
Have big boobs? Make sure you have the right bra size, which will help with posture – most of the support should come from around the back rather than the straps, but inevitably they will take some of the weight so make sure your back/cup sizing is spot on. Do your stretches, go swimming, build the muscle in your back and shoulders so you’re strong. See massage as a necessity when you can afford to, but research your therapists – you’re not looking to relax! Most importantly though (no matter what your size), check your boobs regularly. They’re a bit like having a younger sibling – annoying at times, but you love them nonetheless.
Image: Kris Miller
I’m Wearing: Freya Idol