Growing up with out breasts from a now fullbusted woman

There are so many posts about growing up with large breasts. I’m sure there are just as many about growing up with small breasts.  I wanted to share my experiences growing up with no breasts (literally complete absences of breast tissue) because I chose a different path.  Many small busted women love and accept their shape, especially now that more companies are branching into smaller busted bras.  I did not love my small breasts, nor did I ever really come to accept them. I elected surgical enhancement and as a result I am now in the full bust category. So I want to share my thoughts and experiences growing up with no breasts.

I have always been a small person. I am about 5’2″ tall if I really stretch it. I finished high school at a whopping 94lbs (about 110lbs now). I wear a size 5 shoe. My pants are usually a 0, sometimes a 00 is the store sizes large. I had super thin hips until the age of 22 when they blossomed to 34-35 inches. Now my waist usually measures at around 25 inches, in high school it was much smaller.

Age 22, no bra

Now you can imaging being a little wisp of a person in high school, I dealt with some very rude comments.  On a normal basis I was called bulimic or anorexic, while I ate pizza! And those were the nice terms, some where much worse. I experienced rude comments about my body in general, being called a little boy, straight as a board, a plank, bony butt, and many other worse comments. You can bet that I have done my best to block out these memories as completely as possible.

Now on to the boobs. When I was a teenager there were very limited options for bras in small bands and cups.  There was no add two cupsize bra from VS.  As many of you know, small cup bras are designed and sized differently. A woman with a 28 inch ribcage would normally wear a 32 band because the bands are cut smaller in a cupsize below a D.  So with my 26 inch ribcage I may have been able to wear a 28, but definitely a 30. In my town, smallville New Mexico, there was one option for out of the normal bras, Dillards. My mom did the best she could, but it is hard for a naturally busty mom to help a tiny teenager.  I ended up with two bras in a 32AA, the smallest size they had, one white and one beige. I immediately began wearing them on the tightest hooks. I should have been in a 28B or even a 30A.  They were itchy and scratchy, I hated them.

Through highschool the comments about my breasts were worse than those about my petite body. I swear the term itty bitty titty committee makes me want to punch someone.  The saying, “more than a handful/mouthful is a waste” was totally wasted on me because I did not even have that. And you better believe that was pointed out to me.  The most humiliating high school experience was on a freezing winter day when I had to run between two buildings. It was a quick trip, so I went with out a jacket. A male “friend” saw me and made a comment of how I really did need to wear a bra, and it must be freezing outside. Then he thought to tell me that bras come with padding now, and maybe I should invest in some.  Sorry, but nipples happen with cold. I don’t need to be told that.

Eventually I did invest in some padded bras.  I found that the bras in the teen section of Kohls were tighter in the band so a 32 was wearable.  A 32A was too large in the cup, but I bought them anyway to make me feel like I actually had something of a chest. Sometimes I got lucky and the cups were super padded, which meant the actual cup was smaller than the listed size. Sometimes those would actually fit in the cup. The picture below is in a padded 32A bra, unfilled in the cup.  I was 5’2″ and 107lbs, age 23, fresh out of Air Force Basic Training.

A padded 32A with an unfilled cup

Most think that there is no physical pain associated with small breasts. But the reality is that there is.  A badly fitted bra hurts a small bust too. I would sigh from relief after taking off my badly fitted 32A bra with double padding. Now in a properly fitted full bust bra, I don’t have this same feeling. I may not have ever had back pain from heavy breasts, but I did suffer from digging wires, sliding straps, riding backs, etc.  My poor small boobs were stuffed into a badly fitted bras with cups not shaped for my petite body. All this time I suffered the emotional discomfort from other things.  For example, buying a prom dress in the smallest size possible, only to have to take in the chest and wear stick on pads in order to come close to getting a fit. Or being unwilling to go out in a bikini or tank top because they make a lack of breast more apparent.  The fear of showing my sternum while showing my lack of breasts.

I am a more introverted person, I kept to myself and had less of a need for social interaction.  Or so I thought.  My lack of “need” for social interaction was more of defense response to some horrible things that were said. Comments about having no boobs caused me to withdrawal more into myself then I ever would have, both as a teen and as an adult. It took years of soul-searching to find my true self, to pull myself out of this withdrawal from people. It was after these years that I decided to have a breast augmentation.  You can read parts of that here. There is more to come on that eventually, especially if there is interest in reading my story. It was a gradual process, one that will take a more than one post to share. I have experienced many changes over the past few years, and I am more than willing to share with anyone who may be interested.

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27 Comments

  1. Aimee

    I’m an extremely late developer and am very thin, I grew up with a lot of the same comments you’re talking about. I really feel I can relate to you.

    • Thanks for sharing Aimee. The comments we heard (even the ones not shared here) were painful. It is comforting, but sad, to hear another woman relate.

  2. Marie

    I had no idea you grew up in New Mexico! I did too, until my family moved to far west Texas. That area of the country seems to be totally lacking in bra options.
    I was regularly the skinniest, shortest, and flattest girl in my class until I shot up four inches after I turned 13. In a world where most of my my friends had big boobs, I always felt like the outcast. I wished people would shut up and quit staring. My quincenera dress was taken in a bunch because I couldn’t fill it out. I can relate to these issues.
    And then of course, at 18, my body decided to fill out. Now I have the opposite issue. *shakes head*

  3. I can’t believe how rude people can be. It just saddens me. Also, why are Americans so freaked out by nipples?

    • I do not understand nipple fobia too. I rember last comment about nipples was in primary school, after that most people get over it and realize that both men and women have visible nipples naturally. Is there any analytic person out there who can explain the nipple fobia? Thank from advance :)

  4. MrsB

    For what it’s worth, I think you looked beautiful in the pictures above, very feminine and pretty. Growing up I used to look at girls that looked like you and be jealous. I am sorry to hear that you were uncomfortable and had to handle such stupid comments about your appearance.

    My situation was the opposite – I quickly developed a D/E cup, which I fortunately was sort of thin enough to hide (squeeze into) clothing in sizes that fit the rest of my (relatively much smaller) body. I always felt uncomfortable too, shopping for clothes to fit and hide my shape, ending up with constricting clothes that would not let me move or baggy ones that made me look huge. I used to be so sad when I compared myself to my mother and aunts who were always pretty petite women with A cups. Oh how I wished to look like their teenage pictures, and how I longed for spaghetti straps and wearing delicate summer dresses without bras…

    • Mrs B, you made the exact point I was hoping someone would make.
      No matter what size they are, there is always a woman who would be willing to trade. I often wonder if there is a “perfect” breast size that will save one from teen torment. Small boobs are targeted for being too small, larger boobs are targeted for being too large. My older sister grew up with larger breasts and had a similar experience as you. It seems almost worse when there are siblings of different breast sizes dealing with the same torment.

      • MrsB

        Yes, I think it could actually be worse when there are noticeable differences in appearance between women in the same family. People do look for family likenesses, and even innocent comments (“you don’t look like your mother at all”) can hurt a sensitive teenager.

        Sadly the only thing that can shelter someone from teen torment may be the thing most teenagers struggle with; self esteem.

  5. This is your statement I could most relate to, even though I grew up with the opposite body issues: “buying a prom dress in the smallest size possible, only to have to take in the chest and wear stick on pads in order to come close to getting a fit. ” I always assumed girls with your amazing body type could buy anything off the rack. This makes me understand that mainstream clothing options left you feeling abnormal, too.

    • Darlene, I often wonder who off the rack clothes are really made for. I do not think there is a single woman out there that can purchase a dress off the rack with out some form of alteration. We buy for the largest body part, whether it be bust or hips, and nip/tuck or pad the rest. That is why lines like yours are so important! You provide a service to fill an obvious gap in today’s options. I wish more designers/retailers would take the risk and step forward like you have.
      For those interested, Darlene writes for http://hourglassy.com/ which provides a wonderful round up, some topics related to fuller busts but there is a topic for everyone. Her Fairy Bra Mothers series was a partial inspiration for this post. Additionally, she owns/runs/designs for http://campbellandkate.com/ a business that provides daily and professional style shirts for full busted women. A great woman to watch for the future!

      • sophisticatedpair

        Darlene, I didn’t know you had another blog too. I’d love to highlight that in our blog soon. It looks fantastic!

  6. sophisticatedpair

    Like you, I’ve been on both sides of the coin, and it seems that no matter what your shape, there will always be people making rude comments about it and you. I was a late bloomer. When the rest of my 12 and 13 year old friends were wearing training bras or real bras and bragging about their B or C cups, I was still living with the nickname “2 by 4″ because of how slim and rectangular my body shape was. My parents can attest that on more than one occasion I stood in the mirror asking when my boobs were finally going to come in; after all, I came from a family of busty ladies. Was I really going to miss out on them? In answer to my prayers, the girls (and hips and booty) finally came in when I was 14, and I thought they were perfect at what was probably a 28FF. Then, at 17, I hit an all around growth spurt—3″ in height, several cup sizes, and some “dangerous curves” on the bottom half. It took a while to come to terms with my new shape and bust size, and the stereotypical comments about big busted women didn’t help. Eventually, I came to accept and love my body, but it wasn’t easy or overnight. What saddens me is that, as women, we should look out for one another. We should be empathetic to other people’s pain, and we should not speak so carelessly and rudely about other women’s bodies. You never know what kind of lasting scars you will leave.

  7. sophisticatedpair

    Like you, I’ve had the opportunity of being on both sides of the coin, and it seems that no matter what your body type, someone will always find fault with it and with you. I was a late bloomer. When the rest of my 12 and 13 year old friends were wearing training bras or real bras while bragging about their B and C cups, I was living with the nickname “2 by 4″ given to me because of my angular physique. My parents can attest that on more than one occasion, I stood in front of my mirror asking when my boobs were finally going to arrive. I came from a family of busty ladies. Was I really going to miss out on that family trait? Then, when I turned 14, my prayers were finally answered, and my boobs (and hips and booty) all arrived. I thought they were absolutely perfect at what was probably a size 28FF. Life was good until I hit 17, and along with it, an all around growth spurt—3″ in height, several cup sizes, and some “dangerous curves” on the bottom half. At that point, the comments and names switched to being those stereotypical of bigger busted women. What saddens me is that women don’t support one another and often don’t realize how their careless and mean-spirited remarks can leave lasting scars on others. One of my goals with the store is to make sure that every woman leaves feeling good (or at least better) about her boobs and herself. There’s so much negativity in the world, and I think it’s important for us to do our part to make others feel more comfortable in their skin.

    • sophisticatedpair

      Whoops! I thought my first post was eaten by cyberspace. Feel free to delete one of them!

  8. sherlocked

    I’m 19 and I’m a 26E, I’ve never had a growth spurt in my life and I’m wondering if I’ll ever have one. I’m not completely flat obviously, but I just wish they were maybe 2 cup sizes bigger. Mine have grown extremely slowly since I was about 12. I wasn’t too bothered about being small-chested until I was about 15, when my large-chested friend retorted “Why are you wearing a bra? You don’t need one!” I then started to look around at my classmates and wonder why they had big boobs and I had virtually nothing. Since then I’ve hated my breasts, and in fact my whole body in general. I’m not sure how I’m ever going to accept them as they are :(

    • It is a hard situation to be in. Wearing a 26E does not help, there is an incredible lack of bras in your size, much less ones that are meant to flatter someone of your size. At the age of 19 there is still hope for change, but it is impossible to know of you’ll have that change. Some women increase bust size until their early 20s while other stop before they start.
      No one can tell you how to accept your bust, that is something you’ll have to find. It may take a fabulous bra, a best friend that compliments you, or something else. Personally, I never accepted mine and elected enhancement surgery. It’s a personal choice, just like a reduction. I’d never push it or encourage it. I would encourage you to give yourself time and be willing to experiment. That shirt you never considered before could change your thoughts about your size. Just remember what else is beautiful about you during the process.

      • sherlocked

        Thanks for the reply :) I went to see a podiatrist the other day (I have weak ankles) and in conversation with her she told me I should have a growth spurt at around 20/21. I’m not show how she knows that but I hope it’s true. My body doesn’t really look adult yet, I still look like I’m about 15/16. So maybe I’ll fill out a little more :)

      • The doc knows by checking your growth plates. If they haven’t fused at the joint by now then you definitely have growing to do still. Like you, my height was topped out as a teen, but in my 20s I grew these curvy hips that I did not expect. I thought I was done, but my body fooled me!

    • I grew about an inch when I was 23 :) And it is true, you do not finish puberty until your mid-20s. You have some growing left to do.

      If you don’t work out, it might interest you to know that lifting weights can help increase your band size and make it easier for you to find bras. Building a little muscle around the ribs and on the back won’t make you look big or bulky but it will help you get a larger underbust size.

  9. This is enlightening for me. I have been busty ever since pre-puberty. Early bloomer, boobs never stayed medium-size for long. It seems they went straight from nothing to big. I hated my boobs and I wished they were small so I can run around with no pain, fit into clothes and don’t have to go through the taunts.

    It’s a good point you & Darlene made that off the rack clothes are not made for anyone. I would guess that they fit only girls with B- or C-cup breasts. Other women are then left with alterations and body image issues. Never having been a B- or C-cup girl, I wouldn’t know if this is true ;)

  10. I’m very self conscious as it is. Lately I’ve been wonikrg out and my body has been getting tighter. As a result, my breasts dont exactly fill my bras anymore which are size 34 B. Its depressing me! My boobs look and feel so small to me now. I don’t want to stop wonikrg out, but I don’t want my boobs to shrink even more. Is there anyway to enhance my breasts naturally? I heard about something called Fenugreek, but I’m not sure how to take it or if it even works. By the way I’m 24 years old. Thanks in advanced.

    • Unfortunately there is nothing to increase your breasts naturally. Fenugreek is used by women who are breastfeeding increase their milk production. There is no size increase associated with it. The natural enhancements on the market are usually money stealing scams, not clinically researched products that may provide results.

  11. I know your pain, and I am glad you’re open to talking about your own experience. I just started following your blog via The Lingerie Addict. I made the decision to not get any implants due to funding reasons as well as staying within the small bust community. Too often I get comments from people who want me to have bigger breasts. I Kind of like the idea however the thing I REALLY want is an hourglass figure, so since I am investing in waist training corsets already, I personally see no use for implants, at least on myself, That doesn’t stop me from admiring other women with larger breasts though :) As a fetish model, I do come across quite a number of models with gorgeous boobs XD

    Oh and I am 5’2, 110lbs too :D

  12. Alexandra DeHaven

    Are you still replying to these? I hope so. I was wondering if you would have any advice for me. I am 19 and I just recently became a 34B. Right after I turned 13, I began my period and they were so bad, I was hospitalized. After 2 months or this, I was placed on Depo Provera. Depo is an injectable fake hormone that prevents you from having a period. Every women (literally every women) on both sides of my family has a D or DD cup size. Why am I so puny? Could it be because I’ve been on Depo for almost 7 years now? Depo basically shut of my natural hormones. I have decided to quit Depo and I am wondering if my breasts will grow now. I’m really hoping they do! I’m tired of being made fun of. Every my coworkers are like, “Well, were a push up bra!” I am wearing one :(

    • Clara

      Dear Alexandra,

      I would advise you to go to your doctor and ask him or her about it. I imagine you have already had exams concerning your period cramps (for instance an echography or a pelvic scan). If not, maybe it is best to check that everything is ok… All the best !

  13. Chrissy

    This feels really good to hear that someone has been through similar experiences as I. I’m a freshman in college and I feel like an ant among giants. These girls here are so beautiful and resemble the shape of a woman. I’m honestly really tired of hearing about how I have no hips or breasts. Yes I tell them that we are young and have plenty of time to grow and they would get fat when I’m shapely as they are now. However I feel like I will always be T shaped. I’m insecure. I feel like my boyfriend is cheating on me because what man wants to have a girlfriend with wider shoulders than him. Since I have no hips or breasts, my shoulders are very broad. I come across as “buff” to some which really hurts my feelings. High school was tough too because most of my friends filled out. To make matters worse, my little sister is very shapely. My size has seriously damaged my esteem. However misery needs company and it helps a little to know that someone else has had close to the same experiences as me due to our size

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