My breasts are disproportionately large for my frame (34E/F, 5'2", upper-normal BMI). Because of this, my posture is terrible and my style has been decidedly cramped. Short of getting a breast reduction, how can I dress better, improve my posture, and keep my back from hurting all the time?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
The problem is that even great, well-made, well-fitted, expensive bras leave my breasts looking really, well, prominent. My breasts kind of swallow my whole torso, to be honest - I have an extremely short (though defined) waist, and to put it crudely, my body basically goes straight from tits to ass. Since this is anonymous, what the hell - I go from 42-30-42 within a vertical span of less than 1 foot. I know I should make the most of my curves, but they look so dramatic on my short body that I usually feel like I look either immodest or fat, with nothing in between. Is this a self-esteem issue, a physical issue, or a clothing issue? And more importantly, what can I do about it?
The back pain is my biggest concern. As I get older (turning 29 this year), I am experiencing more and more muscle pain and cramping in my mid-upper back and shoulders from having terrible posture, which I believe is a result of slouching to hide my breasts. I find that even when I'm relaxing at home with no one but my partner (and I am confident that he loves my body), I still feel strangely uncomfortable and almost ashamed to have good posture because it makes my breasts stick out so crazy far from my body. I've been wearing restrictive sports bras for the last year or so because they minimize my bust and make me look thinner - it was almost disturbing to me how much thinner people thought I was once I started doing this, I got constant commentary about losing weight even while I was actually gaining - but I am sick and tired of the squishing/uniboob effect and I'm ready to start wearing real, nice bras again.
For the back pain, the most effective treatment so far has been trigger point self-massage on my upper back, but every day it all tightens back up again and I can't seem to make any lasting progress. For my clothing, I dress very simply in black long-sleeve v-neck tees and dark jeans, but it would be nice to spice it up a little without looking like 50% of my body weight is comprised of boobs. I've tried wrap dresses, and one of them worked great but mostly they still make me feel really conspicuous and I don't wear dresses very often (maybe I should?). As far as self-esteem goes, I am much more accepting of my body than I used to be, but I still beat myself up about being a size 10/12 when I would look better at a size 8, stupid stuff like that. I'm pretty quiet, self-conscious, and modest as a general rule, but other than the boob issue I wouldn't say that my body image was a big problem or taking up a ton of space in my head. I have definitely thought about breast reduction surgery, but not very seriously because I can't afford it at all as a broke-ass student with no health insurance.
If it helps, I'm an hourglass/cello body type, I'm muscular and in reasonably good shape, and I walk around with a heavy backpack all the time because I walk to school every day. I don't plan on joining a gym, but I do try to walk at least 3 miles every day, including some decent elevation changes. I am open to exercises and stretches that I can do at home or outdoors.
Any advice on how to dress myself in more flattering clothes, treat or train my body, or mentally reframe my figure would be greatly appreciated. Thanks as always, hive mind!