Warning: This post is long.
Trigger Warning: Eating disorders, body image issues, domestic abuse, self harm, hospitalization, suicide attempt.
I’m not going to make assumptions for everyone, but I feel like a lot of plus sized bloggers had an event or sequence of events in their lives that drove them to blogging. It takes a lot of confidence to take off your clothes and model for the world in your underwear. While this is only my second blog post, I’ve been posting photos of me in my underwear on Instagram for 21 weeks. The first post I made was in response to the “#ImNoAngel” campaign from Lane Bryant. I took issue with the fact that all their models had basically the same body type and were not truly representing the diversity of women that shop at Lane Bryant. The response was extremely positive, and in just a few days I had collected dozens of messages from women who had seen the photo and felt empowered by both my message and my photo. While some people assume we’re drawn to this because of a desire for attention, my motive is to show women with my body type that it’s possible to be confident enough to show yourself off to the world without apologizing.
It’s taken me years of hardship to come to this point.
I distinctly remember the day I realized I wasn’t like everyone else. I was in third grade and my mom pulled me aside in the middle of Lowe’s to tell me that I needed a bra. Nobody else in my class wore bras. They all had flat chests. The first time my mom took me bra shopping, I cried in the fitting room because I didn’t like the fact that I had boobs. I can’t really remember what size I was wearing to start, but I know that I skipped training bras and went right to “real bras”. I felt like a freak walking into school wearing a bra for the first time due to the dirty looks and jokes everyone made when my bra strap accidentally showed in class.
In fifth grade (when boys started noticing girls), I was always made fun of because I had larger breasts than anyone else. At this time I was wearing a C cup, but because I didn’t know anything about bra fitting I was probably a larger size. The girls in my class started rumors about me stuffing my bra. It didn’t help that I had a hard time finding unpadded bras in my size. The boys in my class started rumors that I was already performing sexual favors, despite the fact that I didn’t even know what they were. I had to wear baggy clothes because the clothes made for 11 year old girls weren’t big enough in the bust, and I wasn’t tall enough to fit into Junior’s clothes. It became a struggle to find anything to fit without showing off the fact that I had boobs.
In sixth grade I started to accept the fact that I had boobs (mostly because other girls started to get them too), and it wasn’t as bad. I started joking around with my friends about how big my boobs were going to be when I was in high school. Some girls joked that I’d need a reduction because I was already an improperly fitted D cup. Boys noticed me, and I started to like the fact that I was different because I felt that it made me special. I was really confident about my chest throughout seventh and eighth grade, even choosing to wear outfits that caused lots of tension between my father and I. Even though I was still overweight, it was okay because I had boobs to make up for it.
When I entered my first real relationship in ninth grade, wearing an improperly fitted DDD/F cup, I started to lose a lot of my confidence. My boyfriend was a huge fan of anime, and he had a love for characters with massive chests that even a busty 15 year old couldn’t match. My self worth started to be dependent on my cup size. He’d tell me that my chest was too small for him, and the only time he’d act like I was attractive was when I’d wear an extreme push up bra and show off my chest. It really started to tear away at me emotionally, and I started hating my body more than I ever imagined. When I started taking birth control pills, my boobs grew a lot, but I wouldn’t wear bras that fit me because I loved having an extreme amount of cleavage to gain acceptance from my boyfriend. An unexpected side effect of the pills was that I gained 60 pounds in three short months. When I talked to my doctor about it, his only response was to say it was my only option and other birth control methods wouldn’t work on me.
Eventually throughout our 2 year relationship, I ended up wearing US 40G bras from Lane Bryant because I was too afraid to buy H cups. He would brag to everyone he knew about how his girlfriend was a G cup. There was a porn star he was obsessed with who billed herself as a K cup, so that was his “goal” for my body. I started binge eating for comfort because I constantly worried that my chest would never be big enough and I thought that if I gained weight, I’d gain breast mass. I ended up hitting my highest weight of 250 pounds in eleventh grade. Now, even though I had larger breasts, my weight wasn’t good enough and my boyfriend started treating me horribly and talking to other girls. I ended up in the hospital after a suicide attempt because I felt so useless and disgusting from dealing with being abused by the person who claimed to love me. I’m not going to go into detail about the abuse here because this post is already quite lengthy, but the relationship ended in May of 2013, a week after prom, when he left me for another woman (with much smaller breasts).
It was the summer after eleventh grade, and I was extremely overweight, depressed, and recovering from abuse that I blamed on my body. I made some risky decisions when it came to sex and how I treated my body, and while I don’t regret my decisions I wouldn’t advise anyone else to make the same choices. I still have some of the scars from when I would cut my body to punish it for being so “disgusting” in my eyes. I made a profile on a dating website in hopes of finding someone to make me feel attractive, and one of my friends started taking interest in me.
I ended up starting a new relationship with him out of comfort shortly after my first long term relationship ended. He was a fat admirer, and would basically worship every crevice of my body. At first I loved the fact that he loved my extra weight, but over time it made me feel just as objectified as being told that my 40G bust was too small. The relationship soon fizzled out right before I started my senior year of high school, and I got back on dating sites. I talked to a high volume of guys and girls that would tell me I was sexy and ask to exchange pictures with me. I obliged because I loved the attention and craved the validation. I researched ways to increase my bust size naturally, and was even talking to a man who was willing to buy me breast implants so I could reach my goal size of a K cup.
At this point in my life, I was wearing a 40H from Lane Bryant after one too many underwires snapped on my 40G bras. I met my boyfriend in January of 2014, and what set him apart from the rest was that he was extremely respectful, and while I had a few racy pictures on my profile, he did not once disrespect me or push me into sending him nude pictures. In fact he ignored those pictures. For the first time in my life, somebody appreciated my body without objectifying me. We began our relationship and bonded quickly over many things. He never made me feel like any part of my body was lacking, and made me feel more beautiful than anyone else ever had. I was able to relax and learn to love my body as well. I stopped binge eating and started eating better, and lost the excess weight I had gained. I got back down to 200 pounds, which although is still in the obese range on the BMI, it’s a weight that I felt good being. I’m now 190 pounds due to making healthier food choices.
When my 40H bras started failing me, I ended up finding ABraThatFits on reddit and discovered that I should be wearing a 38J in UK sizing, which is a 38M in US sizing. Wearing bras that fit my body made me feel so much better about my figure as a whole. I no longer had back pain, my posture improved, and I found out that I had a waist because my boobs weren’t hanging at waist level. Once I became comfortable in my body for the first time, I vowed to stop setting body goals. I decided that my focus was to appreciate the body I have, and if my body changes, I’d accept myself. Coming from a past of disordered eating, I didn’t want to live a life in which I was obsessed with food and my bodily proportions. Due to tissue migration (which may or may not be real), I’ve grown to a 36K/KK, which was ironically my original goal, but it didn’t make a difference in my mental health when I grew to this size.
I stopped comparing myself to other women (fictional or otherwise), because I’d found my soul mate and learned that having big breasts didn’t have to be a painful experience emotionally or physically. With my new found confidence, I started looking up blogs of women who had similar body shapes to me. While I still felt sexy and beautiful the way I was, I was upset to see that there weren’t a lot of bloggers with body types like mine. I started to resent my small butt and narrow hips, and when I came to the realization that I was having negative thoughts, I snapped out of it and started my own Instagram account to show women like me that we do exist, and we can be confident and sexy.
That was 21 weeks ago. It’s taken me years to learn to hate my body, but only 21 weeks to fully accept it for what it is and stop worrying about what other people think. Yes, being obese can be bad for your health. Yes, it’s harder to find clothes in plus sizes. Yes, people will insult you for being larger. Everyone has a hard time finding clothes, everyone is made fun of for their bodies, and everyone does something that could negatively impact their health. Setting goals and hating your body will never bring you happiness. The only way you can be happy with your body is if you accept it for how it is, and only choose to change it once you’ve accepted that perfection is impossible and being thin is not a requirement to enjoy life.