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10/23/2013 09:30 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Man, I Don't Feel Like A Woman: Being a Grown-Up With Small Boobs

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By Amy Longworth
Originally posted on Literally, Darling

When I was (fun fact) a sex-ed tutor, we used to play a game with the younger students as a warm-up exercise before the "puberty lesson" called -- I hesitate to admit -- "the breast and penis game." It involved divvying the class up into two halves, and then having a race to see which half could think of the most slang terms for boobs and man-bits -- just to release a bit of the tension before we got to the nitty-gritty of how puberty works, what to expect, etc. I promise there were responsible adults present. Myself not included, of course.*

The "breasts" team always won. Once someone cried out "melons!", the dam would burst and a slew of fruit-based boob metaphors would rush out, ranging from satsumas to grapefruits (I have never heard of boobs being referred to as "grapefruits," but they still got a point).

And there I was, at the front of the class, ready to teach a lesson on puberty... despite the fact that, for muggins here, puberty kind of never really happened for me. The evidence is on my chest. You see, unlike my darling co-writers Katie and Kirstie, I have never had big-boob problems. In fact, I've never had boob problems at all... because I don't have any.

Well, OK: this is not strictly true. In fitting-room terms, I just about fill an A cup. In fruit terms, they'd be plums, at a push. Last Halloween, to sluttify my costume sufficiently, I had to stuff socks into a bra that was already a 'push-up bra' and then wear another bra on top of that (the Jenna Marbles double-bra trick -- ladies, I recommend it). I have re-used a photo from that Halloween as my Facebook profile picture several times since then because I'm so damn proud of the fact that there's a legitimate shadow between my tits.

Maybe it's karma biting me in the bum for all the times when my sister and I (as young children, mind) would amuse ourselves in department stores by trying to find the largest bra in the lingerie section... and then try them on as hats. Maybe I am like a Sim character, and used up too many points in the ass department to have any left for the chest area when I was created. Who knows.

My more well-endowed friends tell me I'm lucky because I have a wardrobe full of wispy, barely-there blouses which I can 'get away with' because I don't have to consider how I may or may not look like I'm advertising. My argument is, quite simply, that having nothing to advertise isn't a lot of fun. All the men who've had, shall we say, interactions with my boobs have hardly been thrilled by them, and any attention directed their way is more out of politeness than genuine desire. Yes, it's nice to wander around town with a big shirt and no bra on, but come on -- it barely takes two seconds to clip a bra on in the mornings, and the small thrill of feeling a little freer is a pretty cheap substitute for feeling like a woman.

That said, I can't bring myself to hate my boobs. Bless 'em: they're a cheerful pair, and they're pretty in their own way. Any woman who was bestowed with a pair of Kate Upton-alikes is a lucky lady indeed, but the rest of us just need to work with what we've been given -- and, y'know, learn to love them regardless of how big or small they are. Put it this way: If a bunch of giggling pre-teens are mature enough to know that boobs can resemble spherical fruits of all sizes, then why should we grow up to assume that melons are too big and plums are too small? Oranges, of course, are not the only fruit.

Top 10 Small-Boob Problems

  1. No matter how hard you try, you'll never actually fill any of your bras properly.
  2. Cleavage, or lack thereof.
  3. Your bras being mistaken for a child's bras if someone else does your laundry, resulting in their being sorted into your little sister's pile.
  4. Realizing you could actually just wear child bras. Sexy.
  5. When you lie down, your boobs disappear altogether.
  6. Sports bras just make you look like you have pecs.
  7. You know your boyfriend loves you just as you are... but also that he wouldn't be averse to you miraculously waking up with C-cup pups tomorrow morning.
  8. Certain sexual endeavors are automatically ruled out.
  9. Bandeau tops are also automatically ruled out -- because you haven't got any way to hold them up.
  10. Watching the rest of your body get bigger and bigger (thanks, college), while your little ladies remain small and completely disproportionate.

*Still weirded out? It's just how we roll in England.

Literally, Darling is an online magazine by and for twenty-something women, which features the personal, provocative, awkward, pop-filled and pressing issues of our gender and generation. This is an exact representation of our exaggerated selves.

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