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The Agony and Ecstasy of Having Giant Breasts

The Agony and Ecstasy of Having Giant Breasts: Christina Hendricks, star of Mad Men

Christina Hendricks, star of Mad Men

Breasts are everywhere. Known alternately as boobs, tits, gazongas, tatties, and a million other monikers, they may even be the reason you sought out this fine website in the first place (before realizing the bevy of fascinating articles on offer, right? That’s what I thought.) The going wisdom is that you can never have too much boobage. But I’m here to tell you that having big breasts isn’t all candy canes and roses and free shots of Rumplemintz at TGI Fridays. No, big knockers can be a giant pain in the ass (and back).

I know whereof I speak. My own breasts have long been my defining physical characteristic. I’m 5’2” and a 34F, which in layman’s terms means I have tig ol’ bitties. They’ve brought me great joy and great annoyance, as well. You’ve seen them before, but in case you forgot:

Sara Benincasa-lingerie

They showed up when I was eight. They poked up from beneath my super-cool Hypercolor t-shirt, drawing attention away from my thick Coke-bottle glasses. My mothers’ friends exclaimed over them. My fathers’ friends ignored them, because that’s what normal, healthy people do when an eight-year-old kid sprouts boobs.

By the time I was nine, they were big enough to warrant intervention in the form of lingerie. When I was 11, they were so much bigger than everyone else’s that a fifth-grade classmate loudly inferred that I would surely be a “big slut” if I were pretty (which, to be clear, I was not). When I was 13, my grandmother grabbed them from behind at a giant Maltese-English-Sicilian-Italian-American family party and declared, “Ooh! Your boobs are getting big!” There was a soccer game on TV and my extended family of boy cousins was watching the game too intently to pay attention to me being felt up by my grandmother, thank God.

With this history in mind, I put together a list of the five major problems with having big boobs.

1. They don’t work with most button-down shirts (or jackets, coats, cardigans, dresses…)

“Business casual” is the general trend in office-wear nowadays, but just try getting a pair of double Ds to look nice in a button-down shirt. You’ve either got to buy an enormous size that billows out and makes you look like you’re wearing a tent, or you’ve got to deal with the dreaded moment when your buttons pop open in front of a coworker. In order to combat this fear, many of us resort to safety pins, tape, carefully-placed brooches, and other tactics. It’s also difficult to get winter coats that fit in the right way. And forget about a dress for a formal event. Big-boobed gals keep some tailors in business.

2. They attract unwanted stares

I enjoy getting positive (read: respectful and kind) attention for my breasts. When the man I love tells me they look great, I feel great! And in the past, when I’ve had crushes on guys and caught them briefly checking me out, it felt good, too. But you know what’s creepy as hell? Your boss giving you a performance evaluation and keeping his eyes on your tits the whole time. See also: creepy uncles, friends’ creepy husbands, creepy coworkers, creepy strangers. I’m not talking about these folks noticing a nice pair of tits. There’s no harm in noticing, fellas! But there’s a difference between a momentary appreciative glance and an all-out, slobbery, intimidating stare-fest. And lest you think this just pertains to guys, know that women sometimes find large breasts extraordinarily distracting, too. When you’ve got big boobs, people sometimes find it strangely difficult to make eye contact with you, or even to listen to what you’re saying. And that doesn’t exactly make one feel confident about oneself.

3. They make your back hurt

If you haven’t got boobs, imagine strapping two sandbags to your chest for an entire 24 hours. Now try walking — in heels. Try playing basketball. Better yet, trying running. Fun? I think not. I carry a lot of tension in my upper back from the strain of keeping these things aloft. My chiropractor bills over a lifetime probably total in the tens of thousands.

4. They cost loads of money

I’m not even talking about getting a breast reduction (ouch!) or a breast lift (also ouch!) I’m talking about bras. Did you know that bras in bigger sizes are more expensive than bras in “average” sizes? Did you know that Victoria’s Secret does not serve women with large cup sizes? I shop at Jenette Bras in Los Angeles, the most magical and wondrous bra shop I’ve ever encountered (Bits of Lace in Charleston, SC, is a close second). And let me tell you something: I invest. I go once a year and spend, on average, $500 on three or four bras (depending on whether I’m raiding the sales rack or not). It’s worth it, but that’s a lot of dough to spend on over-the-shoulder boulder holders. (As a side note, Jenette herself played Pvt. Vasquez in Aliens, so you know she’s hardcore).

5. They are considered community property

This is the most serious problem with having large breasts — or, rather, with the world’s reaction to one having large breasts. When you’ve got large tits, people act as if they are objects to be commented upon, stared at, and yes, touched. I remember being a teenager and getting groped from behind by a stranger at a concert (I kicked him in the nuts) and getting grabbed from the front by a stranger at a Yankees game (I kicked him in the shin). It was scary and creepy and illegal and not at all fun. This is definitely the worst part of having big boobs.


Believe it or not, after all the complaining I’ve been doing, I still love my giant boobs. They really fill out a t-shirt, and they’re useful for balancing various objects. I assume they would also provide ample sustenance to a human child, were I to actually birth one, so I guess that’s good, too, right?

Anyhoo, the next time you see a chick with big hoo-has, consider actually making eye contact with her for awhile before you steal a glance at her rack. She may really appreciate it, you gentleman, you.


Sara Benincasa is a comedian and the author of Great and Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom. She tweets @sarajbenincasa and is currently on tour: dates are at SaraBenincasa.com/shows.

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