“You’re so lucky! I wish my breasts were that big!”
That phrase has been directed at me many times, but the widespread enthusiasm for large breasts isn’t necessarily shared by the women who are destined to lug them around.
The reality is more #blessed in an ironic way — I can tell you from personal experience that big breasts aren’t always a blessing.
I didn’t get boobs until I was 16 years old…and then they totally took over my life.
It wasn’t until I reached the age of 25 that I discovered bras were available in sizes larger than DD. As it would turn out, my correct size was a G — or omG, as I used to refer to it.
These days I’m a solid GG, as in “Good Golly these are heavy.”
I’ve had so many issues with my boobs over the years, but I still love them because they’re a part of me.
Whether you refer to them as breasts, boobs, tits, knockers, hooters, a rack, or your girls, for some women, they’re literally a massive burden to carry.
For every young girl who prays for large breasts during puberty, there are plenty of large breasted women who wish their giant knockers would just disappear.
I always think back to that iconic scene in “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” where Margaret is chanting “I must, I must, I must increase my bust.”
She’s wishing for bigger boobs with all her might but has absolutely no idea what they might one day involve.
Pre-pubescent wishes aside, sometimes the burden of large breasts is just too much. Like the old expression says: “Be careful what you wish for.”
Despite the way society claps for larger busts, big breast problems are bursting at the seams — just like our bras.
7 Potential Problems With Having Large Breasts
They say with great power comes great responsibility, and large breasts can certainly be powerful.
Their weight alone can stretch out a perfectly good bra and shorten its lifespan until you’re left with a dead bra walking!
On the other hand, breasts are also great responsibilities you have to carry around all day — every day.
The same weight that stretches out a bra can wreak havoc on a curvy girl’s posture, among other things.
Big Boob Problem #1: Mental Health Considerations
The physical weight of large breasts isn’t the only problem women with large breasts contend with.
There’s a hefty psychological weight, too.
Large breasts take up a lot of space on your chest…and even more in your head.
The truth is that people fetishize big boobs. They just do.
Big breasted women get looked at more closely — and quite often in an unwanted way.
No matter how confident you are, hypersexualization feels gross.
A study in The Archives of Sexual Behavior found that “men’s preferences for larger female breasts were significantly associated with a greater tendency to be benevolently sexist, to objectify women, and to be hostile towards women.”
Those who are doing the scrutinizing and making you feel uncomfortable are basically not very nice people, statistically-speaking.
For a young girl who is still developing yet also has an ample bosom, dress code infractions at school can be particularly stressful, as Lee Beatrice explained:
“I used to get penalized in school a LOT for wearing outfits that were deemed inappropriate because my chest was very visible from a young age…I want to say around 12. I could be wearing a turtleneck and I’d still get pulled aside by teachers because my chest was too pronounced.
I think that truly started a deeply-seeded insecurity about them. I didn’t understand my body’s sudden development; I just knew that it wasn’t appropriate and this involuntary growth was offensive to others.”
But it isn’t only other people’s problematic opinions that weigh heavily.
Large breasts can affect the way women see themselves.
A study in Women’s Studies International Forum discusses the experiences of large-breasted women, specifically, “their experience of their breasts as visible objects which are appropriated and consumed by others, and their experience of their breasts as feminine, attractive and ‘sexy’.”
This is something I’ve experienced myself as the owner of a set of GG’s.
It’s not uncommon to consider shouting “My eyes are up here!” in an effort to move a man’s gaze to somewhere more appropriate.
Those long stares can make you second guess yourself, too.
“Am I being vain to think he’s looking at me?”
In fact, I’ve sometimes wondered if that’s where my value is — if the curve of my breasts is all that makes me special.
It’s also hard to know whether someone wants me for me, or for my boobs.
With a family history of breast cancer, I worry that without them, no man will want me if I need a mastectomy one day.
In the same vein, it’s also uncomfortable to feel like your boobs are just masses of pre-cancerous tissue silently waiting to blow up your entire life.
The experts I spoke with agree that big boobs can cause major problems in your head.
Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a neuropsychologist faculty member at Columbia University described the humiliation some large-chested women experience like wanting to “literally ‘cut them off’ and often carrying out that wish by seeking breast reduction surgery to feel normal and ‘blend in.’”
The flip side has its challenges, too.
Investing too much of your identity into your breast size brings its own set of problems, Dr. Hafeez explained:
“There is another category of women whose self-worth is literally tied to their breasts. Their identity has literally been molded by the size of their bra cup.”
They may purposely dress so that their breasts are always on display and fear that if they don’t, they will not get attention.”
The consequences of that can be dire, Dr. Hafeez added. “As a result, it is likely they have not fully realized or developed their talents, intellectual pursuits, or personality.”
The reality is that a lot of assumptions are made about women with large breasts that simply aren’t true.
According to Dr. Hafeez, BS myths of women with large breasts include:
- That life is “easier” for them
- That they use/abuse men for material gain
- That they will be better in bed
- That they use their breast size as bargaining chips
- That they are less than human. As if breasts remove emotions, thoughts, worth and demote them to mere objects for sexual gratification and comments
- That if they have larger breasts at a younger age they must be ready for men to make sexual advances towards them
- That if they wear anything that shows or highlights their breasts, it is an invitation to comment, grope or leer
Lea Grover shared the impact of assumptions made about her because of her breasts. She told me:
“I had two parents pull their daughters from my Girl Scout Troop because they objected to my big boobs. I only know that’s the reason because a friend overheard them discussing it (in front of the kids!) at Girl Scout camp.
I also had a coworker once who filed a complaint with HR about my cleavage, and it required a mediation. It was awful. I had a professor knock me down a grade for my boobs once.”
Laura C. can relate.
“Since the age of 12, I have been objectified for having a large chest,” she said. “Generally more by women than men. I have been accused of being overly sexy in just about any outfit, including my unflattering asexual uniform for my job.”
Julie C. has had similar experiences, as well. She told me:
“One of the worst problems I have had in my life is men thinking you are a bimbo because you’ve got big boobs. I am a smart girl, always have been, but it’s hard for people, especially men, to see past the boobs.”
For those walking through the world with giant boobs, the struggle is indeed real.
Big Boob Problem #2: Bad Posture Caused By Large Breasts
Shoulders rolled in, chest rolled outwards, the posture of a woman with large breasts can be problematic because those boobs are a lot of additional weight to carry.
Haul around a pair of bowling balls all day — every day — and let me know how that works out! (Kidding. Sort of.)
The bowling ball analogy isn’t actually all that far off from reality.
A pair of D-cup knockers can weigh between 15 and 23 pounds — that’s like carrying around two turkeys (or a whole lot of veggies for our vegan friends).
There is an audible sigh released into the air whenever a bra clasp is unbuckled at the end of a long day and it’s one heard around the world, my friends.
If you have large breasts yourself, you know exactly what I’m talking about — that heavenly feeling when your boobs are released from bra jail and you can finally breathe.
Until they stick to your belly and you’re uncomfortable again and maybe need to put the bra back on…or so I hear.
Large, heavy breasts can have a negative impact on a woman’s posture over time, leading to a host of subsequent problems.
“I have sustained shoulder pain for most of my life because of large boobs,” Emily M. David told me. “I don’t remember a time when my shoulders didn’t hurt me, but I never complained because I didn’t want something important to be wrong with me.
“In my 30s, I had a frozen shoulder and my chiropractor was shocked that I hadn’t complained of serious pain sooner!” she added.
Liz S. could relate to Emily’s struggle with large breast problems, symptoms that also included ongoing pain.
“Posture has been a huge issue,” she explained, adding that she is “super slouchy” and has dealt with a lot of neck problems.
“After a car accident a few years ago, I had a rib that constantly dislocated from my spine because it was being pulled out of place due to the weight on my chest,” Liz explained.
Science agrees with the experiences of both women.
Dr. Juan Michelle Martin, PT, DPT of JMM Health Solutions said, “Large breasts can inherently impact a woman’s posture and be a source of immense discomfort.”
It’s all about the gravity of the situation: large breasts and upper back pain often go hand-in-hand.
“When the breasts are larger/heavier, they have the tendency to create a more downward pull,” Dr. Martin explained.
“This can lead to more rounding of the shoulders and flexion of the upper trunk and neck. Over a long time, this can be a source of neck and upper back pain.”
But why does this happen?
“Because of the tendency to round the shoulders and upper back, there is increased stretching and therefore weakening of the muscles in this area,” Dr. Martin continued.
The other problem with breast heaviness correlates with spine curvatures.
“Women with breast cups size D and above (large brassiere cup size) tended to have greater curvatures of the spine than small-breasted women,” according to a study in Open Orthopaedics Journal.
That same study has the answer to the million-dollar sore muscle mystery.
“Breast-related shoulder-neck pain is thought to result from changes in the center of gravity, and large or heavy breasts may lead to continuous tension on the middle and lower fibers of the trapezius muscle and on associated muscle groups,” the study found.
So, what are women supposed to do when they’re experiencing problems with large breasts?
Dr. Martin offered some helpful ideas and they involve regular exercise.
”Exercises targeted to the upper back can help to counter the weight of heavier breasts and improve postural control,” she explained.
Big Boob Problem #3: Exercising With Large Breasts
It’s exhausting trying to haul giant boobs across the finish line.
That’s part of the reason why women with large breasts may find the idea of sports and fitness to be an uncomfortable prospect.
“Trying to play some sports can be a challenge. They get in the way!” Alison Baird Hampton told me.
An article in the New York Times talked about how big breasts can get in the way of sports, at least from a woman’s perspective:
“Women with larger breasts, whatever their B.M.I., exercised less on average than those with smaller ones and were more likely to feel that their breast size interfered with moving.”
It’s also creepy to workout while thinking that people are watching your boobs as you exercise.
When you’re lifting weights above your head or jogging along on a treadmill, you become fully aware of every movement your breasts are making in tandem.
Kathryn Dickson talked about her own experience working out with big boobs.
“Hardcore exercise with my boobs sucks,” she told me. “I normally double up on sports bra support to minimize the ‘bounce’ and pain.”
Sustained friction from long-distance running or extended physical activity can actually cause skin issues underneath those sports bras, however.
That’s a problem the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine looked at in a 2019 study. It said:
“Contact breast injuries were reported by significantly more athletes involved in contact or combat sports and by athletes with larger breasts or a higher body mass index. Frictional breast injuries were reported by significantly more older athletes or those with larger breasts.”
Fatigue can also set in faster for women with large breasts due to the sheer weight they are moving around as they exercise.
When you’re carrying the extra weight of big boobs, your workout is even harder — in more ways than one.
Big Boob Problem #4: The Additional Expense Of Speciality Intimate Apparel
Big boobs don’t just take a hit on your body — they can also leave a dent in your wallet.
Finding bras and swimwear that fit can feel like a huge financial investment when you find yourself at the till shelling out “dolla bills y’all!”
It’s not all in your head if you’ve ever felt that way, however.
Mic did an expose on this very issue and documented the disparity of pricing and the reasons behind the bra price gap.
This is what their pricing analysis showed:
“On the Nordstrom website, there are about 550 options for people who wear a 34A, with the cheapest option going for $11.98. For 34Gs, there are 195 options, with the cheapest option $32.98.
On the Macy’s website, the cheapest 34A bra is going for $7.98. Meanwhile, the cheapest 34G that isn’t a minimizer or nursing bra is in the $30 range.
On Asos, a haven for size-inclusive lingerie, the cheapest 34A bra sells (on sale) for $8.50, while the cheapest 34G is $23.”
Jill Herzberg Morgenstern laments the price of her lingerie.
“My bras all cost ten times as much because I have to buy them special at a lingerie store that does fittings,” she explained. “I’ll wear a $2 clearance t-shirt from Target, but only if I’m wearing an $85 bra underneath it.”
As a budding fitness enthusiast, Reeta Shandil also felt the pinch in her pocketbook when buying sports bras. It can take a lot of work to find the best sports bra for large breasts.
“I have to spend hundreds of dollars if I want to run without getting punched in the face with a boob!” she told me.
Bra shopping for large breasts is not just expensive, however. It can feel really unfair, time-wise.
Going to the mall and “grabbing” a bra is a luxury that ladies with big breasts can’t always enjoy.
When you’ve got a sizable rack, you can’t always buy off the rack very easily.
Susan McCallum described her challenges bra shopping:
“Shopping for a bra in my size is an impossible task! You should see the shop owner’s eyes bulge out of their head when I tell them what cup size I am. I am an M cup!
Can you believe they even go that big!? Neither did I, but if you find it, it’s like the holy grail! I long to be able to walk in La Senza or Victoria Secret and settle for a DD!”
A lot of women are being left out in the cold, so to speak.
The lack of bra availability means you end up making a pilgrimage to a specialty store just to find something in your size.
It’s inconvenient and expensive as far as errands go, making bra shopping even less fun.
Big Boob Problem #5: Finding Clothes That Accommodate Larger Breasts
The challenge with buying clothes when you have large breasts is that designers often assume that a woman who has big boobs will be big in other places, as well.
That’s just not true. Skinny people can have large chests, too.
If a blouse fits your boobs well, you might feel like you’re drowning in giant sleeves that are flapping around.
You can also end up with way too much fabric around your midsection.
Proportions are really hard, apparently.
“Fashion designers don’t seem to reflect the diversity of shapes among women with big boobs and that can lead to squeezing into things or feeling like you’re swimming in others,” complained Aneta Alei.
“Trying to find clothes that fit when you have big boobs is like trying to build a house when the Koolaid Man is on the loose,” Heather Van Mil told me.
Copywriter Lisa Clark agrees.
“Button-up blouses are impossible to find without being tailored. Either the buttons pop off or the rest of the shirt is like a tent,” she told me.
Rebecca S. dished about the reality of what happens to your clothes if you do happen to find some that fit.
“How about staining *every* top with dropped food because boobs form a drip-catching shelf? Asking for a friend…”
I can relate to that one so hard.
In my house, we say things like, “It’s not a bra, it’s a snack pack. Bras are safety nets for snacks.”
Big Boob Problem #6: Skin Issues With Large Breasts
Stretch marks can result from fluctuations in breast size. These can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, even though they’re a natural occurrence.
In addition to stretch marks, the wetness that comes from sweating can cause under-boob stickiness and all sorts of other embarrassing problems.
Heather Jones confided about her struggle with breast sweat.
“When you have very large breasts, ‘boob sweat’ becomes more than a nuisance. The lack of air under there makes for painful friction and moisture rashes. What they don’t show you in those fancy lingerie ads is the model going home, laying on their back with their boobs resting on their face, airing out their nether cleavage!”
Skincare expert Adina Mahalli of Maple Holistics explained the reason why this happens.
She said that the skin beneath a woman’s breasts can’t “breathe.” Skin-to-skin friction can cause a variety of problems that include intertrigo (rashes), skin tags, and even yeast infections.
Skin problems that arise due to large breasts can (and should) be treated, however.
Adina told me, “These skin issues often go untreated since it is not easily seen, and may need to be treated with an oral antibiotic if topical methods aren’t enough,” she added.
Dr. Sheel Desai Solomon, a Board Certified Dermatologist, has experience with treating patients who struggle with this.
“Armpits are not the only area of the body that can benefit from antiperspirant,” she said. “Consider using a spray, which is easiest to apply to the chest.”
“If you want to add an extra layer of protection, you can also try an anti-chafing powder.”
But what do you even look for in an anti-chafing powder?
“There are over-the-counter choices that contain the active ingredient miconazole, an anti-fungal that can help eliminate rashes caused by chafing,” she said.
Don’t have time to run to the drugstore? Dr. Solomon suggested home remedies like corn starch and alcohol wipes.
Modern pharmaceuticals can also provide a solution for big boob issues in some cases.
Big Boob Problem #7: Breastfeeding With Large Breasts
New moms with large breasts can face additional challenges to their already complicated breastfeeding journey.
Tara Jensen told me:
“I didn’t realize when I made the decision to breastfeed how unprepared my midwives would be with helping me navigate nursing with a large bust.
At a size 36J, the usual positions and holds didn’t work for us, I wasn’t able to lie down and nurse, and nursing in public was nearly impossible. For reference, my bust was bigger than my own head!”
Tara tried a lot of different possible solutions.
“Some positions were downright dangerous with a risk of suffocation and it took a lot of trial and error at the start. It took months before I was able to comfortably navigate how to nurse in a position that was comfortable and safe.”
Her wardrobe was a problem, too.
“Nursing bras, tank tops, and cute nursing sweaters? Forget it,” she told me. “None of that was available in my size and I found myself making my own options at home.”
Breasts that are already large can get even bigger when they’re full of milk.
Additionally, when your body already hurts from birthing a whole human, uncomfortable breasts are the last thing you need.
There Are Actually Some Benefits To Having Big Boobs
While having big breasts can be challenging in many ways, there actually are some benefits:
- Breasts are beautiful — in any size
- They can make your hips and waist look smaller for that “hourglass” appearance
- They provide easy cleavage whenever you want it
- There is no need for padded bras
- Large breasts can boost your confidence in the right setting
- They create a soft cushion for fantastic hugs
- They make it easy to tell when someone’s interested in your mind or your body (are they talking to your face, or to your boobs?)
- They provide ample shelf space for plates and bowls while you’re watching TV in bed
Personally, I like the way my large breasts distract from my midsection because I don’t feel pressure to have a perfectly flat stomach.
Ain’t nobody looking there, anyway.
Another reason why I don’t mind having big boobs is because they are hereditary; I look like the rest of my family.
It’s just how we roll through the world: big boobs, sassy mouths, and not much interest in who has a problem with any of it.
Truth be told, I love my body and my curves. While they can be impractical and inconvenient at times, they are part of who I am.
Aside from that, I breastfed my son for 18 months. Changing my breasts would feel like remodeling the kitchen my kid ate in for the beginning of his life.
My boobs are like formica countertops, you could say.
It’s just as well. Because I have joint hypermobility syndrome, I’m not eligible for a breast reduction due to the length of healing time and fragility of my skin.
I made peace with my shape long ago.
While I embrace my body in every way, large breasts can still be really annoying sometimes.
Large breasts are highly prized by men’s magazines and there is a belief that women who have been “blessed” with them are “lucky.”
While having large breasts can be a source of sexual pride for a woman, the amount of unwanted attention they receive can leave a woman feeling disempowered.
From dressing, bra shopping, breastfeeding, enduring the summer heat, participating in sports, and dealing with back and neck pain, large breasts bring a host of problems.
With the right life hacks, some large breast problems can be mitigated.
Still, every woman’s relationship with her breasts is highly personal and unique.
At the end of the day, there is a lot more to a woman than her bra size.
Big boobs are curves that deserve to be celebrated — not hidden away.