Because finding a swimsuit that loves your bazoomas can be a bit of a costume drama…

You will put it off for as long as humanly possible

And then you will put it off some more

When you finally decide to go, there are actually loads of things you like!

“Hey,” you think to yourself, “Maybe this won’t be so bad.”

You try the first one on. Oh, no wait, that must be backwards. You turn it around. Oh, wait, that’s worse.

You try and wrestle your boobs into place, but they put up a good fight.

They. Are. Everywhere.

Who even invented string bikinis? They are so weak a tiny dog could overpower them.

And my boobs are the size and weight of a tiny dog. Each.

You keep thinking about that film where Kate Upton ran along the beach with, like, *NO* support…

So that must have hurt like a b***h.

Remember five minutes ago, when you were all excited and optimistic? Ha.


Now, here you are trying to keep control of your boobs as they spill out over this piece of dental floss in every direction known to man.

You decide to try on a plunging neckline. You are almost certain it will look awful, but there’s that thought in the back of your head:

“What if I actually look smoking hot?”

Where is… where is all the material?

DID THEY FORGET TO SEW ENTIRE BITS OF THIS TOGETHER?

Wait, maybe this is ‘the look’? Maybe everyone is meant to be able to see your nipples?

Maybe it’s a feminist statement!

This is not the look. You are not meant to be able to see your nipples. This is not a feminist statement.

The shop assistant yells, “How’s it going in there?”

It’s probably best not to tell her you’re having an existential crisis in the change rooms.

You start giving yourself a pep talk. You will not be defeated by a swimming costume.

You try on another one and look at yourself in the mirror.

Why don’t people understand that your boobs need support?

They need to be taken care of. They need a buddy to lift them up and help them out.

Right, this one has underwire. Underwire is key. Underwire is your friend. Underwire is life.

Ok it literally looks like I’m just wearing a bra.

Why can’t I just wear one of those cute triangle bikinis like other girls? Why must every bikini that fits me be designed to look like a 1950s pin up girl? I do. Not. Want. Polka. Dots.

And it is so uncomfortable. I want to be able to relax, I don’t want bits of wire sticking into my ribcage while I’m lying by the pool!

You wiggle out of the cozzies and heap them into a pile to give back to the shop assistant.

You are Julia Roberts, except you have nothing but anxiety and mild neck strain to show for your efforts.

Screw this. Go and take your knockers out for cake.

This is what ASOS was invented for.

@LilyPesch

Image: Amber Griffin

Ahh, boobs. You fickle funbags. While some of us might spend our teen years feeling like we’re perpetually at the back of the boob queue, others wish they hadn’t been given double helpings. Some people like Liz.

“It seems most girls are thrilled when puberty arrives and the bee stings on their chest blossom into lovely lady lumps,” says Liz. “I was the same. Age 14-15, I went from being basically inverted to a full B cup over the summer. I had been in high school for a year and was jealous of the older girls walking around in all their booby glory so now, life was good.

“But then my full B cups were spilling over my bra by autumn, and my new C cups soon turned into D cups and finally settled at G cups. Suddenly, I had humungo boobs; huge, big, giant, obnoxious breasts at the ripe age of 16.”

elderly women

“One weekend, I went into the brand new Victoria’s Secret that had just opened up. Heading inside with all intentions of finding a beautiful bra to make myself feel better about the boulders on my chest, I asked to be measured to find my perfect fit. The sales girl looked at my chest then looked at me and smirked, “we don’t carry your size here”. I ended up going to a specialist bra shop and getting two beige bras with thick straps. I felt 50 years old.”

Breast friends forever?

When even wearing three bras at once didn’t kill the jiggle, Liz found herself slowly quitting the sports she’d loved when she was younger. “I struggled shopping at all the cool stores with my friends as none of the tops fit. Soon enough I was dreading nights out. I could no longer count on my fingers and toes how many times I had been asked if my boobs were real (as if that’s a question that you can ask a stranger on the street!). Every conversation I had was being directed at my boobs, as if they had the ability to answer back – my face didn’t matter, the only thing that existed was my boobs.”

After enduring pack pain, bad posture and dents in both her shoulders and her self-esteem, at 19 Liz decided to take action – and it was bye-bye boobs. After several doctor’s appointments, some awkward paper nightgown action and a year of waiting, she had a breast reduction operation and went from an (OM)G cup down to a more manageable DD.

Joey boobs

“All and all, my breast reduction was a huge decision, I did not take it lightly,” says Liz. “I researched, I asked questions, I weighed pros and cons and came to the conclusion it was the right call for me. The process was scary, it wasn’t easy and it does hurt, but for me it was the best decision I could have made and I don’t regret it. Not for one second.”

The bare facts on boob reductions
  • It’s usually day surgery – you can be in and out in under 8 hours.
  • If the size of your boobs is affecting your health, you might be able to have a free breast reduction on the NHS.
  • The way your boobs look fresh out of surgery is not always how they'll stay – they might still grow, shrink and change shape.
  • As with any surgery, there are risks – so do your research, talk to your doctor and know every detail. Even the gross ones.

The biggest perks… according to Liz

1. Shopping

I can shop in regular shops and get shirts and dresses that fit!” says Liz. Don’t get me wrong, there are still many styles that just were not meant for bigger boobs but it’s a million times better than it was pre-op.”

2. Getting active

I can go to the gym, play sport and run around with my nephew so much more easily. I still double-bra but that’s for my own comfort and even some of my friends sporting the B and C cups double bra so it’s not that bad.”

3. Body confidence

“I’m happy with how I look topless. Not thrilled – I haven’t made it there yet – but I don’t feel like an 80-year-old lady when my top is off anymore.”

4. Less pain

“Yeah, back pain is a part of getting older… but if I hadn’t done something about it when I did, I might be a hunchback by now. Or at least in more pain than a young woman should have to deal with.”

5. Bras

“I can buy cute ones that don’t cost £200 and only come in boring old-lady white and old-lady beige. There is no massive indent on my shoulder and my bras last a year before giving up on life, as opposed to before my reduction, when I had a three-month window before the weight of the boobies took over…”

6. Social life

“People still stare, make obnoxious comments and oggle at my boobs; but because I’m more confident in myself and know that they’re not as giant as they were, it means I can stand proud, be less self-conscious and not feel like I’m a giant walking boob.”

7. Sleeping

“Sleeping with big boobs is ridiculous. When you lie on your back you feel like they’re suffocating you as they either roll up to you chin, or flop onto your sides like the parting of the sea. Side-sleeping isn’t much better as your cleavage goes up to your neck and gets hot and sweaty… and let’s not even talk about lying on your tum. Smoosh central. So with a smaller chest, sleep isn’t as difficult.”

8. Comfort

“I’m not saying I’m a prancing ball of comfort or anything, but straight up, I don’t struggle with my bra and clothes, I don’t lose crisps and crumbs into the deep abyss that was my cleavage, people stare less, hit them accidentally while hand-talking less, and seat belts fit comfortably between them now. Which is nice.”

9. My parents

“I think the worst thing for a parent is to see your child in pain. Both of my parents felt helpless, but did whatever they could to make me feel better about what I looked like and how I felt (thanks guys). Your fam and friends go through rough times with you and we are so lucky to have these people in our lives. Mine saw me gain confidence and be a happier person because of this ordeal.”

10. Helping others

“The best thing I did for myself was following my gut and getting my boob reduction. Other girls struggling with the decision shouldn’t go through it alone. This is a major decision that should not be taken lightly as this surgery is not for everyone. If I can give just one girl some comfort by sharing my own personal experience then that is definitely one of the best things about getting one.”

If you want to find out more about boob reductions, take a look at the NHS website.

Illustration: Katie Edmunds

A lot of teens worry about the fact that they don’t have boobs yet.

I spent many a PE class reassuring one of my friends that just because she had a chest like an ironing board, it didn’t mean that it’d stay that way forever – and that even if it did, it didn’t matter, because Sian Hughes from the year above didn’t have big boobs either and she was the living embodiment of the heart-eyes emoji. AA-cup anxiety affected a fair chunk of the girls in my year, and I was always sympathetic. It’s no fun having a body that won’t behave the way you want it to.

But that being said, I found it hard to really empathise with the flat-chested girls… because boobs exploded out of my chest at 11 like a puberty bomb had gone off inside me, and nothing has been the same since.

I’m not exaggerating. It happened overnight. My auntie went away for a week during boobageddon and her first words when she came through the door were “Where did those come from?!”. The training bra I’d been wearing for a month or so was a little loose on the Tuesday but wouldn’t do up on the Wednesday. I had to wear one of my mum’s blouses to school because my school shirt didn’t do up over my newly boobalicious body.

Not having a bra to control my brand new bosoms, I spent the rest of the week walking around with my arms crossed so that they didn’t bounce away from me and take out a passing cyclist. First thing on Saturday, my mum and I went to Debenhams to get me fitted for a proper bra; I’d gone from an AA to a B cup in five days.

Initially, I was delighted. I bought the prettiest bras I could find and spent ages dancing around in front of the mirror in them. I had a sleepover with my friends and let them try them on, stuffing the empty cups with loo roll. I doled out sage advice to schoolmates because, as I now had breasts, I was clearly a more mature and worldly person. It was wonderful.

Until it wasn’t. Not only did my boobs arrive in a spectacular and sudden fashion, they also decided that they quite liked it out in the great wide world – and so they kept growing. And growing. And growing.

By the time I was 15, I was an F Cup. I had been taken aside by a PE teacher and quietly told I might want to buy a sports bra. My friends who had smaller boobs were able to wear strappy or bandeau tops because they didn’t need to worry about a bra, whereas if I went braless I felt like my boobs had a mind of their own, energetically swing-dancing away with each other as I walked down the street.

amy-boobs

My boobs also made me a target for bullies. I once overheard a girl in a geography lesson telling a boy I fancied that the only reason I had big boobs was because I was so chubby – that they weren’t real boobs, they were “just extra fat”. I wish I could go back to that lesson and ask her two things – firstly, what did it matter if I was chubby? Secondly, what the hell did she think boobs were? Newsflash: they’re made of fat! Not special glamorous rainbow fat – the same stuff we have on our thighs and our tummies and all over our bodies. Ridiculous.

But there were good points about having big boobs, too. My mum took me to the grown-up shops to find clothes that fit my new body, so I ended up in adult fashion that my friends wouldn’t get their hands on for years. And some of those clothes looked great on me – true, I avoided boob tubes, but no-one in my year could fill out a vintage 50s dress like I did.

These days I’m a size GG, although I’ve been as big as a J cup. My bra size goes up and down depending on my weight, where in my menstrual cycle I am, and sometimes just because they feel like it. I spent years worrying about my boobs when I was a teenager, but as an adult we’ve become friends. I treat them to expensive, well-fitting bras and in return get to look amazing in a V-neck shirt.

Also, there’s no denying that boobs are kind of nice. They’re squishy and soft and warm, and the weight of them on my chest has been oddly comforting when doing scary new things, like starting a new school or going on my first date. They’re an excellent place to store your keys/lipbalm/phone, and occasionally I drop my lunch down there and it becomes a delicious surprise afternoon snack.

My breast size doesn’t make me more or less attractive than anyone else and I’d have a whole host of different challenges and perks (lol) if I was flat chested. Whether your boobs are big or small doesn’t make you better or worse, it just makes you different.

Now, I love my boobs. I love the way they jiggle when I’m dancing with my friends, and I give the cuddliest hugs because I have what is essentially two enormous pillows strapped to my front. They keep me warm in winter and act as handy flotation devices when I’m swimming in summer.

And I still think no-one looks better in a 50s-style dress than me.

@jimsyjampots

Image: Katie Edmunds