Double-D Listed

I knew my child modeling days were over the day my mother pulled me aside and told me I needed to start wearing a bra. I was ten.

Defeated, I looked to my best friend who was also a model, (who is now 5’9, 110 pounds, and does runway) frolicking joyously in cotton. I looked down at my chest, and it was then I knew that I was different. I would never frolic joyously in cotton, or run, or even go on the elliptical without living in constant fear of giving myself, or someone within a five foot radius, a black eye.

I shamefully wore a bra throughout sixth grade. I was a full C cup but attempted to shove them into an A, resulting in their jumping out when least expected. I thought I was hiding them well: I hunched, crossed my arms, wore eighty scarves, that is until one day when Henry, who ironically enough is the son of a very famous pornographic magazine editor, approached me in the hallway and announced:

“Damn, you have huge tits!”

I cried in the handicapped stall for the rest of the day.

I continued my flat-chested facade through out the year, but knew I wasn’t really fooling anyone. Boys stared, girls laughed, especially Lizzie, the most popular girl in the grade. She constantly pestered me about the size of my breasts, sometimes even asking if they were real, (I was 11) and would make bets with the girls about whether or not I had already gotten my period.

I ran into Lizzie last summer. She has now gotten both a nose and boob job. Mine are still bigger.

I was raised by a family of huge breasts. My mother is a histrionic, busty blonde Mexican, along with the rest of her side of the family. My father’s mother, a very tiny but feisty entrepreneur, is a Double D and only 5’1″. And my father’s most recent wife was also a Double D — post surgery, at least.

Basically, I’ve been surrounded by breasts my whole life. But that didn’t stop me from hating mine.

I was a full Double D by the age of 12, a size I had maintained and grown past (I was an F when I was my heaviest) until just a few months ago.

Being ‘the girl with big boobs’ has had its ups and downs (insert elliptical joke here) but mostly — it’s been downs.

No one takes a girl with a huge bust seriously. And turtlenecks actually make them look bigger.

I call it being “Double-D Listed.” People judge you for the size of your breasts and immediately assume you are promiscuous and/or question your competence and/or don’t deserve whatever job you’re interviewing for. Unless the interviewer is male.

I’ve come to terms with it. People, well, mainly other females, tend to be a bit less friendly toward you if you have large breasts.

But really? Why?! Its not like I’ve chosen to dangle these cantaloupe sized pouches of fat on my chest for the past 10 years.

The only woman who ever seemed to sympathize with me was a friend’s mother, who ironically enough, had implants.

“Yeah, big boobs are such a hassle,” she’d say, adjusting them because one of them was starting to deflate.

To give her some credit, she did get the implants taken out. Her then-husband divorced her a month later.

I know I’m supposed to “embrace” my body and whatnot, but sometimes, that’s just really hard. Buying bikinis? Impossible. I don’t exactly want to ‘strut my stuff’ in what might as well be a turquoise maternity scuba diving suit, but a small, stretchy piece of waterproof fabric doesn’t quite suffice, either — I need something a bit more supportive than Lindsay Lohan’s Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor.

P.E. was always a disaster. I’d either run the mile with my arms crossed, or blame period cramps for being unable to do so. On my cramp days, however, Coach Flowers, a very large frightening man who was later fired for being caught up in a porn scandal, insisted on making me do jumping jacks.

In the eleventh grade, I simply couldn’t take it anymore. I begged my family to let me get a breast reduction.

I was taken to Dr. Poletz, a man who smelled like soup and had a receding hairline. What started off as a conversation about what size I would like to go down to turned into his recommending a nose job, chin implant, and left (yes, only left) cheekbone implant.

I went home crying and offended that a man so ugly would dare insult me. Out of pride I rejected the offer and spent the time I would have spent recovering, living in Uruguay: a happy land full of voluptuous woman and very appreciative men.

Oh and for the record, that whole joke about not needing to worry about college because I can always work at Hooters or become a porn star? I’ve been hearing that for years. (An aside: Hooters has really great chicken wings.)

Speaking of chicken wings, it isn’t just having a huge bust that’s the issue, it’s the body type that comes along with it. I can’t eat gluten, dairy or sugar without gaining 10 pounds in a week. And no matter how many hours I spend at the gym or how many calories I count (which sometimes is a lot), I just don’t get “skinny” — at least the kind the LA and NYC crowd approve of. But for the record, my diet consists mainly of chicken wings.

When I do strictly monitor my diet however, my breasts don’t go away, nor do my hips or love handles. Its like God created me to look specifically like I am ready to bear children at any given moment.

Because of this, I have spent my whole life daydreaming of being a ‘skinny girl.’ And I may or may not keep a folder on my computer titled “Rest In Peace Scruffy” (just so no one opens it) containing pictures of women with what I consider to be an ideal body. You know, Adriana Lima, Megan Fox, every other flat chested skinny marketed idealized body type woman…

But I have to accept the fact that that just isn’t who I am. If I lost any more weight, I’d tip forward. And if I got liposuction (which certain rude people have insinuated I should), I would just gain weight in really strange places like underneath my armpits. This sounds odd, I know, but I grew up in Beverly Hills. I have seen it with my very own eyes. It happens.

So, I may be the always “slightly overweight” girl, but at least no one will ever ask me if I’m dying, and if I was for any reason stranded on a desert island, I would probably survive the longest.

I’ve always complained about how much I hated having big breasts, but in a way, marketed myself off of them. The older I got and the more getting a breast reduction truly became a reality, the more I feared the possibility I would no longer seem appealing to men if I did go through with it. My whole life had been spent being “Danielle, the girl with big boobs,” what would I be if they were gone?

But finally, this summer, I faced my fears and did what I had been dreaming of for years — I got a breast reduction. With a very kind doctor who told me I didn’t need any other types of surgery.

I went from being a 34F to a 34D, which yes, I still realize is quite large, but in comparison makes me look much more normal.

One of my fears did come true — about 50% of my potential future mates are no longer interested considering that after I uploaded an “after” photo to Facebook, certain males made sure to express their frustration with my decision by commenting endlessly with statements such as, “This is a slap in the face to God.” I mean, maybe it is. But I don’t really care. I can finally wear bikinis and tank tops without women gasping and shielding their children’s eyes!

It took me 10 years to finally rid myself of the best worst thing that ever happened to me. I can actually walk down the street without being screeched at, more people look me in the eyes (although men’s eyes will forever wander, I suppose), and I can even go without a bra without slaying the man across the street if I hop.

Large breasts are beautiful, curves on women are beautiful. Women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Just because you’re unhappy with your physical appearance, does not mean you should go change it. That isn’t what I’m saying. My situation was very specific: I really couldn’t take it anymore. Everything from the social implications to the fact that I literally could not stand up straight or sleep because it hurt so bad.

A few weeks ago, I was clearing out my computer in preparation for the next school year. I stumbled across “Rest In Peace Scruffy” and found myself disgusted. Rather than pining after these emaciated and airbrushed bodies, I couldn’t stand to look. I deleted the folder and cleared my trash. It was at that moment that I realized I am proud. I am proud of once being Double-D Listed, although grateful that I am no longer (just D-Listed this time,) I am proud of my body and of everything else I am. And yes, this includes my nose, left cheekbone, and chin, Dr. Poletz. TC mark

Image – Danielle Sinay


More From Thought Catalog

  • Chesty LaRue

    Am I the only one who thought this essay would be better served by including “before” and “after” pictures.

  • stacy

    um… are you me?

  • En

    From one bilateral reduction mammoplasty patient to another, I’m so glad to have read this. At first, I got the “slapping God in the face” comment more times than I could count — as if a guy knows what’s best for our bodies — and just shook my head at the insensitivity. Nobody knows what it’s like to wear a bra and two sports bras just to work out. Thank you again for this piece.

  • jen

    yes yes yes 1000 times yes. more boob, more problems.

  • Meg

    I love this so much.

  • Cierra


  • Jessica

    you couldnt have said it better, its been a year and 6 says since i had a breast reduction surgery. best.choice.i.ever.made

  • Anonymous

    Very insightful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  • Kevin

    As a guy, I guess I can’t say I’ve even really thought of this side before. Great piece, really eye-opening.

  • Only L<3Ve @

    […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment […]

  • Jeannie

    Even though I’ve never been through this specific experience (quite the opposite, I’m an A cup and probably always will be, which carries another stigma entirely) any girl can relate to the feeling of shame and helplessness that bubbles up when her body is openly criticized and judged, often by complete strangers. Thanks for sharing this.

  • titsh8er

    omg big tits bro, i totally feel you. beyond obnoxiously large breasts factored heavily into an eating disorder that basically ruined my life. like 75% of weight i gain goes to my breasts no matter what. i feel like the monstrous result of some painfully long breeding experiment done by the patriarchy–the long troll. it’s something i’ve always felt no one allows me to complain about, but it’s stupidly inconvenient, uncomfortable, and constantly reminds me (and obvs all those ‘awesome’ potential mates out there on the street) that i’m an animal. that sucks that someone actually ‘slap in the face to God’d you as if it didn’t occur to them that it’s the obvious shitty thing to say. glad everything besides that worked out for you!

  • Jade Thompson (@jadika)

    Entirely interesting. I’m on the other end of the spectrum–hardly any breasts to speak of–and it’s taken all of my teenage years to respect and like my body for what it is.

  • anon

    this article couldn’t have come at a better time! since middle school, my breasts were different sizes, and it only got worse as they grew. by high school graduation, i had one full C-cup, and the other was almost completely flat. i come from a family where are the women have perfect big boobs, so this was so hard for me to deal with. as i write this, i’m recovering from surgery that i just had yesterday to correct it. i had to reduce one and augment the other in order to even them out. i feel for you and everyone else who has had similar experiences! i hate the stigma that comes with cosmetic surgery. it’s beyond caring about my appearance; i simply want to be able to look at myself in the mirror naked and not hate what i see. i’m so glad it’s done with.

  • Sam

    thank you so, so much for this. seriously.

  • becky

    No matter how big or small your breasts are men will stare, mine are only in the b’s and men still look. It is sad. But I am glad you are happy and you got a breast reduction like you wanted. I personally met a woman with large breasts, her nicknames was juicy melons in high school.

    I used to pray for bigger boobs but finally got happy with my small ones because no matter what one is happy with their body all the time. You are beautiful no matter what and do not need to be like those air brushed celebs to be beautiful.

    I am so skinny and curveless I look like I am 12…so we all have our problems. But we all learn to love ourselves. I am glad you did this and wrote this, you are a good person :)

  • Jessica

    Guys just don’t seem to get it. When they say its like “slapping God in the face” I tell them to go pick up a 5 pound weight and imagine it was hanging from their neck…all the time. They tend to shut up after that :)

  • BustieMcphee

    Im not a size they make in shops, if it skims my waist perfectly trust me it will not do up up top. Its so infuriating not to have the choice and beable to wear everthing i want to wear, i feel exactly how you felt.

  • Anon

    from the perspective of someone who is currently the same size as you were “before”, you have perfectly articulated my fears of men losing interest if i “down-size”. I haven’t been a D cup since 6th grade so i wonder what that’s like…

  • Michelle

    Thank you for writing this.

  • AnnamariaPhilippeaux (@Amphx)

    No one ever understands how women with big breasts could ever hate them, but I’ve had a love/hate (emphasis on the hate) relationship with my breasts for a long time, and your story sounds a lot like mine. Thank you for clearing up that bigger does not always mean better!

  • 32DD

    this is great. so many people just don’t get it. BIKINI TOPS ARE THE WORST. no support at all–why are 99% of them two triangles of fabric tied together with string? how is anyone above a B cup supposed to wear that?

  • maefunke

    I was a late bloomer, so I got about 15 years of sweet, nearly flat chested, bliss. Nearly overnight (it seemed), I developed…a lot. A whole lot. I wore sports bras over my bra, flirted with an eating disorder (we never got along in the end), and felt continually uncomfortable in my own skin.

    I had my breast reduction one year and one month ago and couldn’t be happier. The scars, both literal and figurative, are still healing, but fading slowly.

    Glad you wrote this piece, thank you.

  • scintillatebrightly

    you go girl. never have boobs for men anyway, they have no idea. I use my boobs to my advantage sometimes, but I would have loved to have a smaller pair. Someday, maybe when I can afford it, I plan on going down to a C. I’m surprised in fact that you stuck with a D but to each their own.

  • wan

    My GF is on the same boat as you, she’s on the plump side and is so self conscious of her breast size (they’re the same size as yours I think), her back hurts all the time, I give her massages and she brought up the topic of reduction.
    As a guy I naturally said no, but a minute later I realized how stupid and selfish I was for saying that and I told her to do it if it helps her feel better physically.
    Right now we’re waiting for some doctors advice and another consultation.

    but don’t worry about your breasts, you sound very intelligent and will get far. btw guys love women with meat on them ;) lol

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