Despite the American slogan “bigger is better”, women with large breasts either cannot find their bra size or claim bras are too expensive for them.
In the last two decades, women’s breast sizes have increased two full cups. Today, the average bra size is 14D, compared to size 12B in the late 1980s. Stores have not adapted to the changing trend and accommodated for it by selling larger cup sizes.
“I’m an 8J size… places like Myer, David Jones, Bras and Things, Cotton On Body, Target, Kmart, and Big W don’t have my size” university student Megan King says.
However, when King does find the right bra size she says it is very expensive.
“My everyday kind of bras, from the store Big Girls Don’t Cry, are about $90-$100, on sale for around $60, and the sports bra from the Sydney store is $185” King says.
When these prices are compared with the cost of an average bar size available in mainstream stores, the difference is significant.
“An average everyday bra from Bonds, for example, costs around $30-$45, and a sports bra from Bonds costs around $40-$45” King says.
The increase in breast size could be due to a number of external factors, notes Mamamia author, Maggie Kelly, in her article ‘Dear Australia, your boobs are getting bigger’.
High levels of oestrogen are found in various modern day products such as cosmetics, plastics, drink cans, etc. which could be causing “the leap in the average breast size” Kelly says.
Today, there are also far more women on the pill than there were in 1985.
“Women on the pill or hormone replacement therapy will see a spike in their oestrogen levels, and therefore grow a cup size or two” Kelly states.
As a result, many women today seek breast reduction surgeries.
Plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Paul Belt says that “functional problems, discomfort, neck ache, back pain, and bra straps digging into shoulders” are the main reasons women get breast reduction surgeries.
Dr. Belt has noticed breasts increase in size over the years, having done “45 cases last year” he says.
Ultimately, King believes stores should accommodate bras for all breast sizes.
“The brands that Kmart, Target, Big W, David Jones, and Myer sell should either extend their lines to cater for bigger cup sizes or these stores should carry a brand that specialises in bigger cup sizes, and at an affordable price” King says.
“We have come a long way to finally get plus size clothing, I think it’s about time we get bigger bra sizes” she says.