The Day You Realized You Were Getting Boobs

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For many young women, the realization that you're growing breasts is fraught with mixed emotions, including, terror, sadness, shame, anxiety, confusion and excitement. Misty watercolor memories all over the place!


Reader "thebuffster" suggested we tackle this topic, writing, "I distinctly remember getting made fun of by classmates for getting boobs before they did. My training bra was a great source of mockery."

A casual poll of the Jezebels revealed that most of us had fairly harrowing experiences. One of us said:

One of my boobs started growing before the other one and it ended up
being the bigger one.

The worst part was I thought I had breast cancer in the one that
started growing first.

Another agreed:

When I first started developing, I thought I had breast cancer too! I don't know how my mom delivered the news with a straight face.

Yet another confessed:

I was a relatively late developer, and when my boobs came in on the big side my mom (who is a AA) was really weird about it. She would make me get all these really, really big shirts to cover my "enormous" breasts. Gave me a total complex about it.


One of us shared:

I thought that I got [them] from hitting myself on the uneven bars and that it would go away. I was a super late bloomer and when I finally started developing beyond what I thought were bruises, I was a junior in high school, and my boobs kept growing and growing through my sophomore year of college. In college choir, they called me "Boobs Mc[Last Name]."

As a woman with DDD breasts, I can add to this collection of woeful tales. My flat-chested self read the "I must, I must, I must improve my bust" stuff in Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret with some interest. I remember wanting breasts really badly… until they actually started growing. And growing. And growing. I felt as though my body had betrayed me. My boobs came in fast and large. They were huge, attention-grabbing, and telegraphed my status as a "woman," although I was only 13 and very much a child. Suddenly I was subjected to lewd comments on the street, grotesque leering from creepy men on the bus, and merciless mocking by classmates. Kids I considered to be friends signed my yearbook with messages for "lefty" and "righty," which I found deeply embarrassing. When my mother asked about it, I lied and said it was an inside joke about boxing. Oversized shirts from my father's closet became my uniform. As the eldest child in the family, no one had warned me about the awkwardness or humiliation. My mother was (and is) a late-blooming B cup, and seemed mystified and incredulous at what was happening to me, which only made me feel more self-conscious. I felt myself transition, in the eyes of my peers, from smart, bookish girl into an object of a constant, unwanted, unsolicited sexualized gaze. Ever so slowly, my breasts and I got used to each other. I learned to live with the pain of underwire bras. But even in my early 20s, I stayed covered up, favored flowing tops and avoided anything tight or form-fitting that would involve showing my shape.


I'm finally in a place where I enjoy showing some cleavage, but the journey here was long and rough. And I know I'm not alone! Share your funny/sad/harrowing breast bud tales below, and check back here next week for a roundup of the best ones.



I remember the day that I was standing with a group of girlfriends in 6th grade and a teacher named Mrs. Nibbe (pronounced Nibby...seriously) came over and said loudly, "Courtney can I talk to you please?" I walked about three feet away from my friends (who were now eavesdropping intently) and Mrs. Nibbe said to me, "You know, you really need to start wearing a bra. Your breasts are too big to not wear a bra and you're going to start attracting attention". I was MORTIFIED in front of my friends by a teacher I despised. In my class no one had boobs and no one wore a bra, so it was the worst. I was traumatized and went home and told me mom. She did three things. 1) Talked to me about what I wanted to do. 2) Went bra shopping with me. 3) Marched right up to Mrs. Nibbe in the parking lot the next day and TORE her a new one about how inappropriate it was to address HER daughter's breasts in any way shape or form. SHE is my mother and SHE will decide when to discuss my breasts with me and how DARE she humiliate me that way. Mrs. Nibbe never talked to me again unless she had to and couldn't look my mother in the eye at events. My mom kicked ass.