Speaking as a member of the “flat chested” population of young women, I’m used to jokes about being smaller than the average B cup. (Or A cup, for that matter.) I participate in these jokes, too, because I’m confident enough in my own body to make fun of it. I make fun of my knees, too, all in jest*.
Society has it in our heads that women need breasts, preferably medium-sized to large ones. This is why $1.1 BILLION is spent on breast augmentation every year. Sure. That’s great. I have no opinion, positive or negative, on breast implants or the reasons women decide to get them. It’s not something I’ll ever do, but I am totally respecting any other ladies out there who want to enlarge their…ladies.
But here’s my issue. Being someone who is far from top-heavy, this happens a couple of times a year, usually by people who are an easy C or D cup — they express their feelings of sympathy for my “unfortunate” breast size. Things like, it’s okay, or don’t feel bad, or (my favourite) I’m sure you’ll find someone who loves you for you.
One, I’m sad that people think I’m sad about being “small.” They seem more sad about it than I do. Two, why would I feel bad? I love my body, as everyone should. And three, I really hope someone out there, in a world of 7 billion people, will love me for me and not how much my chest sticks out.
Why feel bad for small-breasted women? Expressing your sympathy about their bra size is not only unfounded (we carry less weight around, can run with more ease, and I’m sure we’ll have an easier time in our older years) but also could be detrimental to a young woman’s self image and self esteem. For me, that’s not the case, but there are thousands of other young women out there who would take a simple, careless comment like, “It’s okay you’re only a 32A, someone will love you for you” and interpret it as not being “good enough.”
The main purpose of breasts is to feed our young. Small breasted women can still perform this biological function with just as much efficiency as larger women. I know many males (and females) would argue the intrigue of the breast is much more than nourishing a hungry infant, but that’s a post for another time.
So don’t tell a woman who might be considered “flat chested” that it’s okay, or that someone will love them anyway. Of course it’s okay, and of course someone will love them! Sharing these feelings from a D perspective could make them feel undesirable, not to mention uncomfortable. There are a select group of people a woman will tolerate talking about the size of her breasts (normally restricted to mothers, embarrassing aunts, close friends, and romantic partners), and it might not be you.
On behalf of small breasted women, stop feeling bad for us. We’re fine. We’re better than fine. We can get away with things like running without having to change into a sports bra. Or maybe not wear bras at all. Aren’t we lucky?
And to quote an old saying in my family, “More than a handful is a waste.”**
*(Note the difference of poking fun at yourself and putting yourself down.)
**That was not an invitation. Keep your hands to yourself.