Why Are My Boobs So Small?
Experts explain what tiny tata-havers and enthusiasts should know about them.
Evie, 33, has done a 180 on her itty bitty titty committee membership. “I used to try to play up my small tits, wear things that make them look bigger — but I just spent the last year braless, not caring at all how they looked, and I’ve never felt sexier,” she tells Bustle. She’s not alone: Even Gillian Anderson is eschewing bras, post-pandemic. “I am currently very into wearing strappy tops or thin t-shirts and just letting my nipples show a little. It’s very cute, my headlights are always on.”
While there is not much difference between A cups and DD cups in terms of health and sexuality, there are some bonus perks to having small boobs. Never having to deal with the wrath that is under-boob sweat in a cotton t-shirt is reason enough to appreciate the hell out of your tiny boobs — even if you don’t understand why you have ‘em in the first place. And while society might make a big deal out of big boobs and sexuality, some studies show that small breasts turn people on just as much.
When it comes to sexy times, nursing, or even aging, large-chested and small chested people-alike have similar dangers and delights to navigate. Here’s seven myths about small boobs, and the truth about caring for your itty titties.
1. Not Wearing Bras Can Actually Be Really Good For You
Small boob-havers are familiar with the eternal question: to bra or not to bra? Comfort aside, you’ve probably heard the everlasting myth about the link between wearing a bra and developing breast cancer, though studies have since disproven the idea. According to nurse practitioner Isabel Gregg, a women’s health expert, bra-wearing is more of a personal comfort choice, not prescriptive medical advice. “A well-fitting and comfortable bra that doesn't cut into your skin or make your back hurt throughout the day can generally be safely worn as much or as little as you prefer,” she tells Bustle. Day, night, running, stationary, Gregg says that so long as your bra feels OK, you’re not jeopardizing the health or integrity of the breast.
2. Just Because They're Small Doesn't Mean They Won't Sag
Nothing is exempt from gravity, no matter the size. Dr. Deborah Axelrod, M.D., medical director of clinical breast services and breast programs of New York University Langone Medical Center, told Prevention that it's not so much the size of your boobs that leads to sagging, but rather what's inside of your boobs. She said, "Whether or not your breasts sag depends on the ratio of breast tissue to fat."
3. Small Boobs Don't Hold Any Less Breast Milk
Lest you had concerns about your future parenting prospects, breast size has nothing to do with how much breast milk you can produce. The size of your boobs is determined by how much fat tissue you have, not your mammary glands. “Breasts of all shapes and sizes can successfully produce milk,” Gregg tells Bustle. “A large breast does not mean that more milk will be produced or that breastfeeding will be easier, just as a small breast does not mean that less milk will be produced or breastfeeding will be a challenge.”
That said, Gregg adds that other factors, like the shape or size of your nipple may affect your breastfeeding technique (meaning, certain positions work better for certain breasts), but not your ability to feed.
4. People With Small Breasts May Have Better Posture
Having to carry around the extra weight of large breasts puts strain on a person’s back and can even cause headaches and neck tension. Without this added weight, small-chested people may have an easier time with their posture. Attention to posture allows for easy breathing, reduced stress hormones, a better range of motion (especially when working out), and more energy. A randomized trial of 74 people, published in 2015 in the journal Health Psychology, even found that people with good posture had higher self-esteem and more arousal than people who were slumped.
5. They May Not Be Small Forever
Your boobs are subject to change throughout your life, so don’t get too attached to their size. Pregnancy, nursing, changes in weight, and aging all cause perfectly normal changes in breast size. How much your small boobs grow or shrink will depend on your unique genetic makeup and how much fat tissue you happen to have in your breasts. Gregg adds that weight fluctuations, breastfeeding, and genetics will affect how full an individual's breasts look throughout their life. “While larger breasts may continue to stay full-looking over time and smaller breasts may become flatter, breast size can fluctuate over time.”
6. They Don’t Make You Less Likely To Get Breast Cancer
Just as small boobs don’t affect your ability to breastfeed, they also don’t leave you less likely to get breast cancer. “Individuals with any size and shape of breast can still develop breast cancer,” Gregg tells Bustle. To wit: about 1% of breast cancer diagnoses are found in men.
“Regardless of your breast size, it is important to keep up with appropriate cancer screening — breast exams can be done yearly at gynecology or primary care appointments,” she says, adding that she encourages her patients to do monthly self breast exams for individuals a week after their period starts, “as lumps or abnormalities are often noticed by an individual or their partner before they are picked up by your healthcare provider.”
7. Small Boobs Aren’t Any Less Erogenous
A 2019 study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that breast size had no bearing on the amount of estradiol or testosterone the person had, meaning the hormones affecting their reproductive health and sex drive were no different than for people with big breasts. Experts also note that small boobs can be more responsive to touch than large ones — another reason to love why your boobs are so small, but mighty.
Ultimately, your genes have a lot of say in determining the size of your breasts. Other factors, like whether you’ve been pregnant, nursed, are on birth control, or have had a change in body size, will continue to affect the size and appearance of your breasts over time. So while you might be the CEO of small boobs or the president of ginormous jugs now, maybe, you might need to update your résumé later.
Isabel Gregg, N.P., women's health nurse practitioner
Kościński, K., Makarewicz, R., & Bartoszewicz, Z. (2020). Stereotypical and Actual Associations of Breast Size with Mating-Relevant Traits. Archives of sexual behavior, 49(3), 821–836. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-019-1464-z
Nair S, Sagar M, Sollers J 3rd, Consedine N, Broadbent E. Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses? A randomized trial. Health Psychol. 2015 Jun;34(6):632-41. doi: 10.1037/hea0000146. Epub 2014 Sep 15. PMID: 25222091.
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