Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Holly Jackson: How to Deal with Cup Size Shock
Several of my friends used a good bra calculator and had similar revelations. A good friend of mine found out more about her bra size; she previously thought her bra size was 38G and she turned out to be a 36L. The calculator also gave her the American size translation which made her a 36R in US sizes, this seemed even more of a shock! She was understandably freaked out. Suddenly, her whole life was different. She asked lots of questions that I think about too. If she got pregnant, how would she find nursing bras? If she lost weight would her breast size go down or up? Where in the world did a person buy L cup bras anyway? She was truly upset. Her body, as she understood it, was different than it was before the calculator, and she was now in a category of cup size that can make life difficult.
I tried to be practical and soothe her, but honestly, I feel the same way sometimes. Life was much easier when I was a G cup (even if my bras didn't fit as well). I could wear all kinds of bras and felt like I had tons of choice. As we learn more and cup sizes increase worldwide, G is starting to be more accepted in terms of being a normal cup size. Unfortunately, if you're above that the market hasn't caught up as fast. I find myself staring at websites and wondering where I fit in now that I've found my new size.
If you're struggling with the acceptance phase of finding out you're on the larger end of full bust sizing, here are some quick tips to help you along.
1. You're not alone.
Many women are in the same boat, whether you know it or not. Happily, many women are also blogging openly about their experiences, and lots of wonderful communities have formed around these blogs. Find one you like, and join in. You'll learn things, and even make some like-boobed friends in the process.
2. Tell retailers that you exist.
If we want the market to change, this is what we have to do. In the age of the internet, people are easier to contact than ever. Use that to your advantage and contact retailers and ask why they don't carry your bra size. Small boutiques like Butterfly tend to be more responsive to things like this, but even big retailers have made changes based on widespread internet campaigns.
3. Speak with your wallet.
If someone carries your size, make sure you buy from them. Sometimes this means paying a little bit extra, but that extra is exactly like voting with your wallet. One of the issues that brands face when they want to make larger cup sizes is finding an audience, so make sure you're showing them they have one.
4. Don't be afraid to talk about it.
I once convinced someone to get measured and into a bra that fit on a train trip from New York to Philadelphia. It all started with her awkwardly asking me what my bra size was, and the fact that I was willing to reveal it helped her accept her own full bust figure. I'm not suggesting that you start walking around with a name tag with your bra size on it, but if we don't tell people that larger cup sizes exist people won't realize that they do. Most people don't know that J, K, or L cups exist! By getting measured and 'owning' your size we can change the mental image of full bust women and make bra manufacturers take notice of us.