I’m standing in front of the mirror, looking at myself naked, and all I can think is: Are my breasts really that unattractive?
Let me explain: A recent study conducted by researched at New York University discovered that the most attractive breasts, according to both men and women, are perky, have nipples that are close together, and are moderately sized.
In other words, I am a failure on every count. At least if this study is to be believed.
Frankly, I am not surprised. I have always disliked my breasts – almost as much as I’m sure the 1,000 people polled in the survey would have done had they been included. My 36 once-C’s, now undoubtedly Double D’s, were never right.
I do not know my correct size bra, but I’m pretty sure it’s at least two sizes bigger than the bras I wear – bras that are so comfortable, so old, so stretched, I am able to squeeze into them and continue the pretense that I am still a C cup.
And I know I’m not alone in this struggle.
I have always hated having large breasts – and would happily hide them under a tent every day if I could
But a recent study conducted discovered that the most attractive breasts, according to both men and women, are perky, have nipples that are close together, and are moderately sized
What a complicated relationship we women have with our breasts. Much like curly girls wanting silky smooth hair, and vice versa, most women want the exact opposite of what they have – especially when it comes to their chests.
Case in point, the very women whose breasts were featured in the study showcasing the ‘ideal’ boob types had actually posed for those photos while they were having consultations for surgery.
How ironic that even those women who have what are considered to be the ‘perfect’ pair were, at one time or another, convinced that they needed to go under the knife in order to improve the appearance of their boobs.
Of course we all have those friends who adore their breasts. But these women are very much the exception. These are the friends who refer to their boobs fondly as ‘the girls’, who think nothing of going out with their décolletage on full view, and who delight in talking to men and watching their gaze constantly drop a few inches below their chin.
‘We’ve still got it,’ they say in delight, as I stand to one side, shuddering in horror at the thought.
Our relationship with our breasts can change as we go through life, the tolls of puberty, childbirth and menopause all taking their toll.
One of my friends loved her boobs until she had her third child. But after months of breastfeeding, her once full, high breasts had become sagging and small. So she didn’t think twice about going to a plastic surgeon and having a breast lift, complete with implants.
And now, she is back in love with her breasts, which are once again spectacular.
I have always hated having large breasts… I want no attention on my body whatsoever and would be perfectly happy wearing a tent every day
‘Post-menopause my breasts are now unrecognizable, and uncomfortable. The weight of them strains my shoulders and my back
How do I know? Because last year we were in a restaurant, with a group of women, and she told us all about her boob job – while putting the results on full display.
‘Look!’ she said excitedly, pulling up her silk camisole top and revealing her perfect braless breasts. ‘See how there are no scars? Aren’t they great?’
The men sitting at the bar almost fell off their chairs and everyone oohed and aahed over her new chest.
‘Feel them!’ She encouraged as we all tentatively touched them. It’s hard to believe we weren’t kicked out.
This kind of confidence is completely alien to me; I want no attention on my body whatsoever. If I could wear a tent everyday, cover myself up from neck to ankle, I would be perfectly happy.
Since menopause, I have discovered the caftan, is the sartorial answer to my tenting needs, revealing no cleavage whatsoever, nor a hint of leg. It’s all I wear.
I have always hated having large breasts. Growing up in the Seventies I remember watching British TV show Top of the Pops and longing to be like one of the dancers in the show’s all-female troupe.
Skinny was in, and so were small boobs and plunging lurex necklines. I dreamed of being one of those women who had no breasts, who were able to ditch the bras and wear tiny tops that plunged to their navel, showing nothing but tanned, taut skin.
But skinny I was not, and my breasts refused to cooperate. Never perky, they were at least… upright, at least for while.
Post-menopause they are now unrecognizable, and uncomfortable. The weight of them strains my shoulders and my back. I couldn’t possibly go out without a bra, or I’d have to pick them up off the floor (I exaggerate only a little).
I would love to have them reduced, but my husband would be horrified. He loves my breasts and has no idea why I am so hard on them.
I would love to have them reduced, but my husband would be horrified. He loves my breasts and has no idea why I am so hard on them
Remember: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So if I ask the right person (i.e. my husband), they’re actually pretty damn perfect
It is true that we are constantly fed images of perfect women with so-called perfect breasts and bodies.
With today’s filters, breasts don’t even have to be perfect in order to appear so online. A quick swipe on the screen and pendulous can go to perky in a moment with the help of a photo editing app.
Just this morning a video popped up on my Instagram feed exposing how celebrities using Photoshop before posting. The video showed the actual paparazzi shot, and then how the celebrities had altered them before posting.
It featured the usual suspects – Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Bella Hadid, and a bunch of women I didn’t know – but all of them had done much the same thing with their pictures: smoothed the skin on their faces, narrowed their waists, and lifted their breasts.
It’s clearly in vogue right now to have perfectly perky breasts, but fashions change, and in the meantime, we should work on accepting our breasts as being exactly as they are supposed to be, rather than a perky Photoshopped image that bears little resemblance to real life.
And we can perhaps seek some small comfort in this new study, which proves that however we may feel about our own breasts, rarely are they judged so harshly by others.
In fact, of the people polled, none of them cared much about size or symmetry – instead, fullness in the area above the nipple was the category that scored the highest.
The five best-looking pairs ranged drastically from large to small. Instead of perfect, they were perfectly normal. And while I’m not sure my own ‘girls’ would have made the top five, looking in the mirror now, I realize that perhaps they’re not that far off.
Remember: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So if I ask the right person (i.e. my husband), they’re actually pretty damn perfect.