Breast size and self image.
Nature has sculpted us into a species that appreciates the physical form and so we should there is so much beauty in it. A friend of mine, a fellow ex-soldier recently started a company catering to women in the larger bust category DD+ and that got me thinking about women and their self-image issues. A previous post discussed the issues of self image in men and so this one will briefly address the same with regards to figure and particularly breast size in women.
For current image based psychological research see our research page
Evolution is a sort of predicator of what people find attractive, what a man will find attractive in a woman and also what a woman will envy about other women. Historically the young were married off for their ability to bear children and bigger hips and breasts were associated with the ability to bear and rear young successfully. Men today for example seem to think large breasts are an advantage as generally they seem to regard medium to larger breasts and a smaller hip to waist ratio as more attractive (Zelazniewicz & Pawlowski, 2011) although this does differ across cultures (Dixon et al 2011). The media also presents the opinion through many outlets that to have larger breasts is a benefit (Harrison 2003) although in my eyes Kiera Knightley is one of the most gorgeous women to ever live, is very successful in the eyes of the media and also very flat chested. It is also interesting to see that lots of women having a greater level of perceived breast development also had lower self-esteem and higher levels of depressive symptoms. This could suggest that the pop culture view for larger breasts and slimmer waist is correct or that it distorts women’s views of themselves or perhaps that women also identify with the same standards of what is attractive as men do and are less confident in themselves if they do not possess those attributes, increasingly opting for surgery as method of correction (Harcourt et al 2011). This is debatable though as everyone finds different people attractive to a greater or lesser extent.
The main point in this little post is that like it or not self-image plays a large part in the lives of women (and men) and breasts are an important factor in that image. Large or small they’re fine the way they are and for those women out there with larger breasts they might feel they’re a curse and a blessing. For those ladies I would recommend that you talk to my good friend of many years in and out of the Army Leonie Wooster, who is starting up the business mentioned previously that caters specifically for you at Leonie Loves.
Harcourt, D., Hughes, J., Diba, R., Simth, R., Nduka, C (2012). Looking ‘the same’: Experiences of women who have had corrective surgery for breast asymmetry. J Health Psychology. doi: 10.1177/1359105312436766
Harrison, K. (2003). Television viewers’ ideal body proportions: The case of the curvaceously thin woman. Sex Roles, 48, 255–264.
Dixson, B. J., Vasey, P. L., Sagato, K., Sibanda, N., Linklater,W. L., & Dixson,A. F. (2011). Male preferences for female breastmorphology in New Zealand, Samoa, and Papua New Guinea. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 1271–1279.
Zelazniewicz, A. M., & Pawlowski, B. (2011). Female breast size attractiveness formenas a function of sociosexual orientation (restricted vs. unrestricted). Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 1129–1135.