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Learning to Love My Small Bust: The Size Complex of a Petite Woman

Image via Meg At Midnight

Dana Givens is editor of My Little Vixen, a provocative fashion and sex blog dedicated all things lingerie. She is also is a freelance fashion and beauty writer with numerous online publications.

As an avid lover of all things lingerie, I love the feeling of wearing a sexy set of undergarments that hugs my shape and the pretty little detailing that make that perfect bra stand out. However no matter how beautiful my lingerie was, every time I look in the mirror my focus always fall on my tiny breasts. I can’t help but be self-conscious of their little size. I’ve always admired women with shapely bodies and envious of their supple cleavage because it was something I never had. In my mind, having full bust was a sign of femininity. I wanted to feel more like a woman but instead I felt trapped in a little girl’s body.

Between the pictures of glossy fashion campaigns and gorgeous celebrities under the spotlight, the average woman will always feel pressured to emulate what is perceived as the ‘perfect body.’ As someone with a petite frame, I’m not gifted with full busty set of breasts; they are a size 34A and they’re not exactly the ideal when it comes to size. I’ve probably heard every flat-chest joke in the book now and while I try to block out the negativity, the constant scrutiny from my peers can still bother me. The worst part was when I did speak out, it always seemed like my cries fell on deaf ears. Being this size all my life made me learn that it was considered ‘acceptable’ by most people to pick on a smaller woman like myself but heaven forbid I say anything against a larger woman. Like most women my size, I have a slight complex when it comes to my small chest and have even considered getting plastic surgery to take care of the problem. I’ve come along when it comes to loving my body and finding lingerie that is designed for petite women was key in my journey.

Image via Huit

While lingerie can be a great confidence booster when it comes accepting your curves, petite women often have a problem with finding the right bra that flatters their small shape. It is important to find that bra give your bust shape with a peek of cleavage. Lingerie brands like Meg at Midnight, Huit, and the Little Bra Company specialize for women with a small chest. The specialty undergarments are a niche market just like their full-figure counterparts for women that often feel neglected from brands that offer what they consider ‘average’ sizes. It is important to find that brand that makes you feel best instead of feeling inadequate.

When I finally started to take the initiative and find bras that were better suited for women like myself instead of the traditional mass-market names, I started to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I started to discover more and more brands that made me feel less self-conscious of the size of my breasts and more on creating a positive body image for myself. I could finally shop for lingerie and not feel embarrassed when it came to saying what bra size I was. It was refreshing to know there was a place for me amongst the lacy undergarments I’ve come to love so much.

Image via The Little Bra Company

Even though I had discovered lingerie that caters to petite women like myself, it was only the first step when it came to overcoming my size complex. The biggest obstacle was being about to look in the mirror and say “You know what, I’m fine with my size.” I may not have the bouncy full breasts of my dreams, but I had eventually learned to say I’m comfortable with my size. While I still may look at a woman with C-cup boobs in envy, I simply learned that I needed to accept my small curves. Maybe one day I will be the size I desire, or maybe I’ll forever be the petite woman with small boobs. Despite the ignorant remarks I have heard in the past, being small made me no less of a woman.

My curves didn’t define me. My intellect, my personality, my femininity, and all the love I had to offer – that’s what made me a woman. No matter how many brands I found with bras that fit me perfectly, if I didn’t learn to accept my body then I would never find peace. My small boobs were here to stay and that’s okay with me. At some point in your life, you have to learn to accept and embrace your curves no matter how big or small they may be, and I’m happy to say I’m at that point in life.

My story represents countless others out there, not only other petite women but also full figured women who suffered from the same size complex, wanting to be smaller. It’s true that a person will always desire something they don’t have and the same concept applied to the female body. As a woman, we will look at our reflection and focus only the flaws we wish we could change and never the beauty that shines underneath. While I may not be the average size, my small busts do not make me less of a woman and even though I do not have the curvaceous busty bosom of my dreams, my breasts are perfectly fine just the way they are.

Holly Jackson

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

26 Comments on this post

  1. Dana says:

    I have no idea where to begin… Firstly, my name is also Dana (pronounced like day-na) and I know was posted 2 years ago but it’s nearly 2am here and I just hate having small breasts… Don’t get me wrong, my boyfriend loves me for who i am and he loves every possible aspect about me but I’ve always hated having small breasts. I’m 18 and I honestly just can’t deal with it any longer. I’m far too embarrassed to even go with my mum to buy lingerie because I don’t feel comfortable with myself looking in the mirror. All of my friends are at least C’s or D’s and I just feel left out. Any advice for a girl my age to feel more comfortable with breast size and not let it bother me as much?

  2. Deamono says:

    A very nice article indeed. Do you have an article on how to love your big bust, and be proud and not ashamed of it? :)

  3. Icy says:

    Now I’m wondering… am I considered “petite” because of my smaller bust? I’m a 36A but measure 5′ 6.5″ … height-wise I’m considered in the upper average… I’m a bit confused now. @[email protected]

  4. Belka says:

    a good article. But the pics do not do it justice and even deflect the effect, because the women in the pics are not flat-chested. If the busts in pics are NOT small. They are at least a full A, and that’s a normal medium size (despite what our Western breasts-obsessed culture says). Truly small or “flat” chests often do not even fill A cup and go down to AA and AAA

    • Cora Cora says:

      I’m sorry you feel like the pictures didn’t represent you. I can definitely empathize with that. However, a “normal, medium size” bust varies according to the latest study or survey on bra fit, and most people believe the average bra size is around a 36DD now. In addition, we’re limited to publishing photos on the blog that we have access to and can legally use.

      As I’m sure you already noticed, this post is about encouraging every woman, no matter her bra size, to love her bust. And the honest truth is that many women who don’t fit your particular, subjective standards of “truly small” or “flat” still feel insecure about their breasts, and therefore this post would still be relevant and applicable to them…even if you don’t feel they qualify.

  5. Scarlett says:

    Thank you for writing this – like others I have had a lot of similar experiences and thoughts (which I won’t bore you with). I appreciate the opportunity to hear someone else with the same feelings and reactions, it helps alleviate the ‘freak of nature’ feeling a bit ;)

  6. Thanks Dana and Treacle, I so relate to this article. It took me a long time to come to love my small breasted shape too, and even longer to find beautiful lingerie that fit me and wasn’t from the teen section. We tend to hear a lot about the problems that larger breasted women have (and rightly so) but often the issues for smaller women are overlooked or dismissed (I have the comment “but you don’t need to wear a bra” ringing in my ears).

    I’m now loving helping other small busted women find lingerie that helps them feel better about themselves. It is a true gift to see their joy when they discover they don’t have to feel inadequate or less of a woman just because their cup size is on the smaller end of the scale. Articles like this are so important in helping us all accept and love ourselves – thank you, x

  7. Rod says:

    Thanks for the article… my sexiest ever friend was somewhere between 30a and 32a… Sexiness and allure is not in how much you have… but in how you use what you have. That was in the 70’s.
    Now, over 40 years later she is still the most attractive (and sexy) woman I know. Some nice lingerie, a smile and a wink… dynamite!

  8. Jamie R. Peterson says:

    Sexy! ♥

  9. denocte says:

    Great piece, it reminds me a lot of my own story.
    I’m very happy you found not only lingerie that you like but also a bit more of acceptance and love for your body!

  10. Annmarie says:

    This is a great, insightful, well-written piece. Keep in mind that most businesses/media/industry are often preying on our insecurities, telling us we are inferior unless we buy their stuff in order to feel better about ourselves.

    I’m glad you didn’t have a surgery, and I’m delighted to hear you feel good about who you are.
    Nothing else matters. Really!

  11. strangedays says:

    Finally, a brand (only one of those mentioned above) that sells 38A. Can’t find it anywhere.

  12. Ali says:

    Great article! I agree, it is so important for each of us to make peace with our bodies and learn to love them. It is a ridiculous waste of time to constantly long after an ideal that likely doesn’t exist, and it will give any woman a lifetime of unhappiness.

    It has taken me a long time to love my curvy hips, but I can now say that I do love them. I have what society calls a “pear” shaped body, and I have always felt my hips were too big for my shoulders, but now I love them and I know how to dress them and enjoy my femininity instead of wasting time wishing I had narrower hips.

    This might come with age too– I’m in my thirties and I appreciate my body far more now than I used to in my 20’s and younger.

  13. Katrina says:

    I have dealt with this, too. All through high school I prayed that I was just a “late bloomer”, and that by graduation I would have the full, glamorous chest that I desired. Needless to say, it didn’t happen. And needless to say, I was even more crushed to learn that I wasn’t a 34A, the size I was wearing in high school. I wasn’t even a 32A. I am a 30A. It is extremely frustrating for me to shop for lingerie, and I HAVE been laughed at while visiting Victoria’s Secret. I do all my lingerie shopping online now. While I have learned to accept my small size (and my husband likes me just fine, he even prefers a smaller bust), I still have “off days” where I wish I had a more womanly shape. But I do realize that I am very proportional and I feel that is important to remember.

  14. I completely agree with you! I had so many issues finding the right bras for my small bust. Cups and bands where not constructed to fit my proportions. They always gapped, had pinching wires, or where purchased from a line designed for teens. I never really identified with my breast size, I elected to have an enhancement. I always enjoy reading about women that come to love their breast, no matter what size they are. It’s not an easy journey, surgical or not.
    On a side note- we need more small busted bloggers! I wish I had been able to read small bust blogs when I was a teenager struggling with not identifying with my bust size.

    • Caterina says:

      I’ve got wide-set, bottom-heavy breasts that were never more than a full A at their biggest. Kiddie bras always flattened me out rather than supporting me. I have thought about an enhancement; then again, I have ridiculous health problems already and don’t want to risk more. It’s a little daunting to consider there’s MORE pain in store, y’know? And I’m a broke student on top of it, who loves the breasts she does have, just not what’s in the mall to hoik ’em up.

      But I found a shop that a) carried bras that fit me and b) were willing to alter what wasn’t quite right. I found out I sit exactly at 31A: 32 is an inch too big, 30 an inch too small. I figure as long as there are cups in existence to fit me, and seamstresses to fiddle with the band, I can get along without new boobs.

  15. teacups says:

    Love it! Thank you for sharing your story, Dana!

    I used to be very self-conscious and embarrassed about my tiny bust too. It seriously caused me distress, and I felt so inadequate! I’d wear awkward, overly padded bras that didn’t really fit. I was afraid to walk into a Victoria’s Secret or anywhere that did a bra fitting because I was afraid they’d just straight up laugh at me. I didn’t believe my boyfriend when he said he liked me just the way I was, because *I* didn’t like me just the way I was! I don’t know what changed exactly, but I think discovering pretty lingerie online **that actually fits me and comes in my size** had a lot to do with it!

    I just flipped from feeling ashamed about my petite breasts to absolutely LOVING them. Not just in a resigned “oh well, I guess I better get used to it” kinda way, but in a gleefully vain way. I like the way they feel, I like their perkiness, their shape. I like the way they look naked and I like the way they look in a well fitted, silky unlined bra or a lacy balconette, and as much as I love lingerie, I’m not afraid to go braless either! My boobs don’t define me, but it’s nice to feel good about them for a change! Feeling more confident about my shape has really made me feel more confident overall. My whole demeanor has changed thanks in part to the discovery that my body is not a problem, and that there’s lingerie out there that’s seriously flattering!

    It feels good to look in the mirror and feel happy, but it also feels liberating, like an act of defiance against all the media influence telling me I should be more self-deprecating about my own body!

    • Dana says:

      I’m very happy you liked it. I wanted to write this because I wanted to share my story and I can do some damage on your self-esteem. I knew I wasn’t the only woman that felt this way. The important thing is to never be ashamed of who you are. I love my little curves and my body is my body. Once I learned to accept myself, I felt a lot better and a lot more confident.

  16. Sophia says:

    Is that you in the top picture? If so, you look to be more of a 30C or a 28D rather than 34A. Your underbust doesn’t look that wide, and you say yourself you are petite.
    Just for the record I think you have a lovely figure and you are still very shapely even if you do have a nice slender frame. :)

  17. Hilary says:

    As another “small chested woman”, it was so good to read this and know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Countless times have I had other women say they wish they were as skinny as I was, only for me to long after their curves. Living as size 34A in a culture that adores breasts is a challenge, some days it almost feels like a physical handicap. Like you did, I also have to learn to love my body for what it is, not hate it for what it isn’t. Love this article, thanks so much!

  18. Emily says:

    As a 34D, yes a size to be comfortable with – when it’s hot out and I get sweaty under my breasts, or I wear the wrong bra working out and they hurt, or they’re bursting out of a plunge bra, or they touch while I’m sleeping and it bothers me (my quirk probably), or when I see a cute bralette or bikini top and I know it would do nothing to support me, or even – hey! I want to get away without wearing a bra… oh little breasts, you are so wonderful! I’m only 24 and my breasts droop. I envy the ski-slopes of the world! I also, love my silly sacks ;)

    I once had a figure model who was very petite, surely no more than a size A, and the most gorgeous young lady I have ever drawn.

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