Small Bust Bras: An Interview with 32AABra & By Baby's Rules, pt. 2
6) Amanda, what are some common misconceptions people have about smaller busted women?
Amanda: There are several common beliefs and ideas about small-busted women that are way off the mark. I believe I have a good sense of what's really going on with these women, because I've been working with them and talking with them online for over two years now. Just to clarify, the majority of my clients and blog readership are women living in the United States who are between the ages of 20 and 50.
Myth #1: Women with small breasts are usually unhappy with their smaller bust size and want a bra that will "correct" this defect with heavy padding.
In my experience, small-busted women are looking for pretty much the same thing in a bra that the typical woman of any size is looking for: a great fit, comfort, good quality for the price, and suitability of the bra for their everyday lives. Some like push-up padding, but many do not. Those of us who prefer less padded styles are comfortable with how we're built and how we look. We do enjoy the benefits of being small-busted, such as the fact that we don't always have to wear a bra and that it's fairly easy and comfortable for us to do high-impact athletic activities.
Myth #2: Small-busted women are ill, hormone-deficient, or have some other health condition that makes them different from those with a more average or large bust size.
The vast majority of women I deal with are in good health and have perfectly normal breasts. Many of us, but certainly not all, do tend to be built with naturally slim and/or athletic frames. We breast-feed our children just like other women. A small bust is not a sign of illness, and for most of us it isn't much of a stigma at all... except when we shop in Victoria's Secret or read a fashion magazine and realize that we are apparently supposed to feel terrible and hate ourselves. And, of course most of us don't feel this way at all.
Myth #3: Women with small breasts have no idea what it really means to need a bra.
A lot of small-busted women prefer to wear a bra, at least some of the time. We wear them for modesty and support; to look fashionable and attractive; for playing sports, dancing and working out; and sometimes to feel and look sexy (such as with boudoir lingerie sets). In other words, we share a lot of the same reasons that larger women have for wearing bras.
Myth #4: Men find smaller breasts unattractive.
This has never been true in my personal experience, and I hear the same thing from the vast majority of small-busted women I talk to. First of all, men like people... not breast size! Some men may prefer a curvier appearance, but do you think women built like me get rejected by tons of guys because we aren't meeting that C-cup criterion for hotness? Not so much.
Chrystal: I'm going to throw a few out there too. Small busts don't need support. Small breasts cannot produce milk to breast feed. Small busted women are uptight or boring in an intimate relationship.
7) Chrystal, you were once a smaller busted woman and, after implants, you're now a full busted woman. What differences have you noticed, whether in terms of the way people treat you or in terms of your lingerie choices, after going from smaller busted to fuller busted?
Chrystal: One change that I find the most annoying is how often I am approached for fittings now with a fuller bust. I could be shopping for a sleep top in a department store and I am offered a fitting! When I was small busted I was never offered a fitting, not a single time! If I'm in a store looking for a lingerie piece I often hear something along the lines of how it won't be on long, so the fit does not matter. I want to feel good in lingerie, and that does not mean an over emphasis on breasts spilling out of a piece that just doesn't fit. Previously I may have gotten a suggestion from a customer service person about how a certain design may accentuate the curve of my waist to hip, now suggestions are breast focused. That waist to hip curve is still there, and I'd love to be able to accent that part of my body too.
8) There's so much weight (no pun intended) attached to a woman's bra size in our society. What advice would you have for a woman who's feeling inadequate because of her bust size?
Amanda: Don't zero in on your breasts (or any one part of your body, for that matter) when you look in the mirror. You're a woman, not a collection of body parts that just happen to be attached. Wear clothes and lingerie that fit well, in which you feel comfortable and attractive. The proper fit in a bra can help a lot with body image and confidence. Throw out (or donate) anything you own that doesn't fit, and make sure your lingerie drawer has some pretty fashion items as well as the usual boring solid nudes, blacks and whites. If you're shy about shopping for bras and lingerie, try looking online first --- you'll get a better sense of what styles you like and where to start looking.
Every single AAA and AA cup woman I talk to seems to think she has the smallest bust of anyone who's ever existed, and that there can't possibly be anyone else out there with her size or shape... it's not true! You are normal and beautiful.
Check out my Getting Intimate series at http://32aabra.com/category/getting-intimate/ for some personal stories by individual women about their experiences with bras and boobs. We've all got body image issues and I've yet to find a single person who has never felt intimidated when trying on lingerie and swimsuits.
Chrystal: I hate hearing, "I'm just an A cup, bras are just an accessory" or "Why are you buying a bra? Your breasts are so small." I think a lot of our own feelings of inadequacy stem from what we find around us. It is nearly impossible for us to stand naked in front of a mirror and not look at ourselves with a critical eye. But this is exactly what I'd tell a woman to do. Go stand in front of that mirror, put all of the attachments of society aside, and just look at yourself. You may be amazed at what you see and feel. It isn't about just looking at your body, if you can really put critical nature aside you may find some inner strength that you did not know was there.
9) For more advice, reviews, or blogs for smaller busted women, what recommendations do you have for our readers?
Amanda: I really like Eve's Apples (http://evesappleslingerie.com/) for useful information about petite lingerie sizing and fit. And I use Twitter a lot (http://twitter.com/32aabra) to keep up on the latest from all the lingerie blogs that I read and people I like to keep track of in the business. I read The Lingerie Addict regularly, of course, plus Lingerie Talk and Erica's blog at A Sophisticated Pair. Usually the features in these publications are not specifically geared to petites or small cup sizes, but I learn a ton from them anyway. I'm also way into The Bra Database (http://bratabase.com/) and The Bra Band Project, both awesome sites that collect information about who fits into what.
Chrystal: Of course there is blog for The Little Bra Company (how did I miss them on the brands list). Another full bust blogger introduced me to Small Bust Big Heart. They have been around for a little while, but really starting to grow. I love Catherine's voice. http://smallbustbigheart.com/
I also like the video in the post below. This blogger is not one that usually writes about bras or lingerie, but she shares her fitting story in a fun and easy manner. You can't help but love her personality shinning through the video. Many people will not agree with her fitting technique, so just remember to try several and find what works for you. http://www.frmheadtotoe.com/2010/08/ask-ms-bra-fitting-101.html
11) Oh! I just remembered another question, and one I'd be remiss not to include considering the topic. What are your respective thoughts on breast implants?
Amanda: The way I see it, breast implants are available and they are one option for women who feel like it's right for them. It's not a choice I will ever make, but just because I'm not interested doesn't mean nobody should ever do it. It kind of creeps me out when I hear about teens, even older teens, having this done... I feel like it's weird to put breast augmentation in the same category as, say, a new car or your own cell phone or whatever. And who feels good about the way they look in their teens? I know I didn't, and I don't think I was anywhere near responsible enough to make such a huge decision at that age.
It's major surgery and I've heard from a friend who's a receptionist for a clinic that does plastic surgery in NJ that recovery can be quite painful. I think every woman who decides to do this is obligated to educate herself about the potential risks, both physical and psychological. But several close friends of mine have them and love them, which is great too.
Chrystal: I really think that it is an individual thing. It may be right for me personally, but it is definitely not something that is right for many women. I do think that there are stereotypes associated with implants, those same stereotypes put me off surgery for several years. I think women should be free to make that choice with out fearing stereotypes, these stereotypes are why many women hide their surgery.
When I was researching implants I found that I was actually in the minority, being smaller busted on considering implants. When I was searching statistics on loveyourlook.com I found that about 90% of women get implants do so after having at least one child. Now three years post surgery I am pregnant with my first. About 40% have surgery for cosmetic reasons, 15% to regain what was lost through pregnancy/breastfeeding or weight loss, and 45% for a breast deformity (Tuberous breasts, significant asymmetry, Poland's syndrome, etc). While I may have made the choice for cosmetic reasons, there is a significantly larger amount of women that make the choice based on other factors.
Love Your Look (sponsored by a breast implant company) and Just Breast Implants (not sponsored by an implant company) are two wonderful patient education resources. I'd highly encourage any woman to educated themselves before making the choice for surgery.
11) Any final thoughts or things you'd like to say?
Chrystal: I'd love to see this post reach out to your readers. One of them may realize that their unique voice just may fill a gap in the blog world, that they may be the one to become a resource for other women like themselves.