What is it about boobs, you ask? They’re sensual, great to look at and hella comfortable to rest your head on, to begin with. Men (and women, let’s face it) love breasts, and they’re something we obsess about from a very young age. For all the attention they receive, therefore, you would have thought that by now, someone would have figured out – in our thousands of years of existence – ways to keep them safe and comfortable, but no, breasts are hard work. For all you men who think that it’s as simple as popping them out for your pleasure, think bloody well again – from the time a woman develops ‘proper’ breasts, it’s all downhill.
For example, about 80 per cent of women still wears the wrong bra size, which gives you a rough perspective on the amount of thought we give to our chesticles. I have always been blessed with bountiful breasts, which meant I had the attention of men long before I wanted it, and learning to live with my girls was a process that had several stages.
In college, I would go to a local lingerie shop to look for bras my size, only to be gawked at the pubescent salesman, staring back and forth between my face and my boobs. After a quick scan, he would give me a smaller size, expect me to stuff my cha-chas in and move on, but a few too many trials later, I started to voice my opinion on my size. He was actually offended at the fact that I knew my size better than the X-Ray machine located in his eyes. Then came the time when I officially couldn’t find bras in India any more and had to get them from abroad. A week after placing the order, I got a call from the courier company stating that my Aadhaar number was needed to allow the products into the country. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, in some corner of this world, there exists on record my Aadhaar number, next to a set of bras. #lifegoals
A year later, as my Babylons (if you thought my synonyms for breasts had run out, think again) nearly suffocated me during a particularly complicated yoga position, I got the ingenious idea that changed my life. Two bras. I began wearing two bras for my workouts, and life has never been the same. Before, I struggled with boob spillovers at the gym or the feeling that walking too fast/ running might toss my air-bags into the sea nearby, but with two sports bras, I was now empowered. Of course, this sometimes came with the sensation of the bras cutting into my chest, or the occasional lack of oxygen, but at least my juggernauts stayed more or less in place. Currently, I am at the stage of swinging between accepting my body’s bestowed-upon abundance and the prospects of a breast reduction surgery. Yay. “My back hurts. Can you massage it?” This is literally the first sentence that comes out of my mouth to my partner, even before a “good morning”. Forget the thoughts of a beautiful day – the first five minutes of my morning entail doing back stretches, to ensure the weight of my boobs doesn’t crack my spine. This is also a reminder that as you read this, sit up and straighten your back, boobs or no boobs (admit it, you did it).
I wonder if this apathy towards big-breasted women is common in the world, or if I have merely been living under a rock. India alone is a $3 billion lingerie market, and yet we ignore the untapped potential of the plus size category. We’re fundamentally a group of women waiting to be looked at, you know. While society seems largely oblivious to big-breasted champions, there is a growing community of women who are determined to find a solution. For instance, I have, more than once, had loud, drunk conversations about not finding sexy bras while standing in the middle of a club. I have had friends who’ve come over to show me the ‘sexiest’ item they’ve found – a black, old, wrinkled bra that plunges their libido into a turtle shell.
Finding sexy bras can be a nightmare. Sometimes, all women want is to wear those jaw-dropping corsets and lace bralettes. Do you know how great that feels? Yeah, me neither, because it mostly ends with women sliding into wrongly-fitted old nude bras, which have sustained the weight of breasts (and disappointment) for far too long now. We want out of this top-heavy predicament, make no mistake, and whoever comes up with a solution has our support (sorry, I just had to throw in a few more puns). In the meantime, here’s a message for men – we love that you love our breasts (and we love them too), but please, know that it’s a full-time job keeping them in shape, so give us some credit.