Kitty Fisher

Size-positivity, feminism, self-esteem crises, ginormous tits.

pain, metaphorical and not-so

Posted by Kitty on April 2, 2008

I was working on a post about body image and perfection and body parts and things, but I’ll have to finish that up later, as something’s come up.

As a large-busted woman since my early teenage years, I’ve had a troubled and conflicted relationship with that particular area of my body. I used to deal with it by wearing ill-fitting bras and trying to ignore the whole thing. Then I got a bra fitting at the age of 18, in a department store in Glasgow, Scotland, and realized that there was nothing to be ashamed of. But then I came back to the US, where my size doesn’t exist, and spent about ten miserable years combing through the sales racks at Penney’s trying to find something, anything over DDD, and failing, and sliding back into thinking there was something wrong with me. It wasn’t until my late twenties, close to a decade after that first bra fitting, that I finally put two and two together and started looking online for British bras.
Duhhhhhh! (Imagine that sung as if by a choir of angels.) Bravissimo.com. Figleaves.com (which, shortly before my first order, opened up a US shipping warehouse and a US page with prices in dollars). Trial and error, several emails to Bravissimo’s helpful customer service, and lots and lots of money in shipping for returns later, I finally had my size. (Me: “Well, I have a 38DDD right now, and it’s about, eh, maybe three cup sizes too small and two or three back sizes too big?” Customer service: “Er, wow.”) My size was 34G.
Then I gained a little weight. But not in my ribs. Only in my tits.
Oy.

Anyway. It’s been a long and troubled relationship. I currently don’t own any bras that properly fit (I have a few 34GGs but they’re not… quite… it), after a brief span of about 8 months during which I had a beautiful and varied perfectly-fitting bra wardrobe. But at least I’m not ashamed anymore. (But oy, $70-100 bucks a pop to last me under a year? Painful.)

(Before I get to the point of this post there’s another tangent to explain back story.)
Part of the revolution in my self-confidence that spawned this finding-my-real-size and stop-being-ashamed kick was joining a women’s amateur flat-track roller derby league. I’ll certainly get into this in more depth, but we’ll just say finding a sport I loved really helped me appreciate my body, which is chubby and clumsy and I’ve never really had a good relationship with, especially not since the Oh Now I Have Huge Tits betrayal.

So I participate in this rather insane sport. (But it is a real sport, and it does have real rules, and there really is a point to all of it. For a visual explanation of in bad Uncanny Valley CGI, you can’t beat Gem City’s Intro to Roller Derby.)

I was at practice last night and the opposing jammer went sprawling right in front of me. Even if I could jump (mama don’t jump) I couldn’t jump that far– she was laid flat out, right at the track boundary, and I had nowhere to go, with no time to take a knee or something. This girl was about half my size, so as I was going down, Hindenburg-like, I was terrified of hurting her. (Opponent or no, nobody really wants to hurt anybody. I’ve hurt someone and it really sucked and I felt bad about it for oh, I still feel bad about it, but I’ll let you know when I stop.) My pelvis landed on her head, pretty well-cushioned and not too forcefully, but the full force of my landing?
WHAMMO! On the floor. Right on my boobs.
I rolled off her, and she got up and sprinted off like some kind of mutant wheeled gazelle (curse those tiny girls and their easy relationship with gravity! But their very tininess makes them easier for us women of greater size to launch, so I shouldn’t complain so much). I staggered to my feet, both arms wrapped over my chest, and skated after her. Onlookers thought I’d hurt an arm or shoulder. No, man. The impact had squashed my rack, compressed my ribcage and forced all the air out of my lungs, and I was in so much pain I couldn’t see straight. But I finished the jam! I didn’t lay out any more big hits, but at least I kept up.

My boobs are so sore. It stabs in my right one whenever I breathe. I’ve tried wearing a really supportive bra, to take the weight off, and sometimes that hurts and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve tried wearing a less-supportive bra, and ditto. I’ve tried briefly wearing no bra, but that hurts a lot. I’m considering putting on a corset. I do own one really nice steel-boned one…

This isn’t my first breast injury, but it’s my worst. (The last time, well over a year ago, I bruised them on a front-first landing, but I wasn’t as good a skater so somehow my boobs hit, then my head whanged off the floor chin first, so I was a lot more concerned afterward about the concussion than I was about the boob bruises. Thank my mouthguard I still have all my perfect teeth. The time before that, I just got brushburns on my cleavage from using the wall to stop– I was a very new skater when that happened.)

Has anyone else ever hurt their boobs??? We talk metaphorically about them giving us pain all the time, but I’m seriously sitting here with an ice pack. I don’t even know how to tell if it’s serious.

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