Brava Lingerie works every day with women who are D cup and up. For many, it is a wonderful part of their body that they are comfortable with and they delight in how they look in their lingerie and clothes. Sometimes it isn’t like that, there can be neck and back pain, an inability to pursue sports or a dislike of the way the breast appears to others who often make embarrassing comments.
Women shouldn’t be defined by their breasts or feel judged and conflicted about having a health procedure that is about self-improvement and not vanity. Brava is centred around big breasts but our values of being supportive and respectful of women are what drives us. This decision is about women deciding to be happier, healthier and positive about their own bodies. At Brava, we embrace that.
Freya Bennett is currently a Brava customer; she is the Co-Founder and Director of Ramona Magazine for Girls. She is a writer and illustrator from Melbourne, Australia who has a passion for youth rights and mental health.
Growing up busty - Freya Bennett
“Can we see your portrait?”. I was sitting outside the photography studio having just developed my first photograph for year ten studio arts. I was feeling proud and quietly beautiful in my self-portrait as per our first assignment and I was pleased my classmates wanted to see my work. I gingerly pulled the photograph out of the envelope, my black and white head and shoulders appeared.
“No, show us the whole thing,” the boys persisted. Feeling a bit uncomfortable, I pulled my whole portrait out of the envelope. There was immediate laughter “Her boobs are as big as her head!!” The boys ran back inside guffawing and I sat on the step in shock, embarrassment and devastation. A friend came and sat next to me, putting her arm around my shoulders but the shame had implanted deep within me.
Growing up as a busty girl, my body became public property. I was punished for my large bust as if I could control the size of my body and men of all ages and walks of life felt they were entitled to comment on my body. By the time I was 13, my bra size was 10DD, a size that seems tiny to me now, but as a 13 year old, was way beyond what I could handle. “I like the way developing breasts look,” a male family member commented “So perky.” I ran inside to put two jumpers on. “You’re too sensitive!” was the response.
Being a woman in this patriarchal society, you learn from very early on that your body is something to be managed. Throughout my teens, I learnt how to dress to hide my body, to minimise the constant comments that followed me, in public, and at home.
Each year trying to find bathers that fit and would deflect attention was a nightmare. All I wanted to do was fit in with my peers, wear the same fashions they were wearing, but nothing was made for my body. “If you’ve got it, flaunt it,” A kind but misguided family member told me at age 14 when he noticed my embarrassment, further pointing out my difference.
“I’m going to lose weight,” I would wail to my friends. “I will run so much that my boobs will shrink". But at 32, I’ve realised, I am sick of feeling like I have to lose weight to fix my breasts. I love my body as it is, there is just that one aspect that troubles me and after so much self-work, I’ve decided it’s actually an act of self-love to follow my dream of getting a breast reduction.
During my teen years and all the way through to my early thirties, I have experienced back pain, neck issues and headaches which after seeing a professional, I have realised is due to my boobs. I knew that it was somewhat related but learning that it could be the cause of the majority of my issues was life-changing.
As a feminist and mother of a two-year-old girl, I was really struggling with the idea of plastic surgery to ‘fix’ a part of myself I don’t like. But I’ve realised it’s actually a really empowering move to take control of my body in the way that I want.
I am sick of people telling me to ‘embrace’ my body as if I haven’t. I love my boobs; they have been through a lot. They’ve fed and nourished my child for two years, and in fact, I feel like it’s my love for my boobs that has led me to the decision to have a breast reduction.
I can’t wait for the next phase of my relationship with my body and expect it will be just as rich, complex and rewarding as the first 32 years.
As mentioned earlier, Freya Bennett is the Co-Founder and Director of Ramona Magazine for Girls. She is a writer and illustrator from Melbourne, Australia who loves dreary grey days, libraries and coffee. With a passion for grassroots activism and creative community, Freya began Ramona Magazine as an alternative to boring, image-obsessed media. Ramona Magazine is founded upon Freya’s core values of creative expression, equality and kindness. You can follow her on @thecinnamonsociety and @ramonaforgirls