Make Peace With Your Breast Size

Chandra Czape

Because women, unlike say, KFC family meals ("I'd like a breast and two thighs, please"), are more than the sum of their parts, we'd like to offer the following suggestion: Instead of searching for a way to change your breasts, why not try to love yours for what they are? After all, beautiful boobs don't just come in one size or shape. Furthermore, there's no such thing as a perfect breast. It just seems that way from what's on display on TV and in the movies.

"The truth is that stretch marks, inverted nipples, and unevenly sized breasts are normal. What you see on TV and in the movies is not," says Meema Spadola, a filmmaker who interviewed hundreds of women for her book Breasts: Our Most Public Private Parts (Wildcat Canyon Press, 1998) and her HBO documentary on the same subject. "Besides, even Hollywood fakes it. The breasts you see are touched up, enhanced with plastic surgery, or supplemented with rolled-up pantyhose," she says. Fashion photographers have been known to resort to duct tape bustiers (ouch!) in an effort to turn flat-as-a-board models into cover girls with come-hither cleavage.

Don't Be a Boob
Before you invest in changing your chest, heed this advice from breast maven Susan Love, M.D., author of Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book (Perseus Press, 1995). What follows is her take on the products and tricks to alter the size of your bust:

The claim

The booby trap: "Your muscles behind your breasts will get stronger and may be more pronounced," says Love. "But your breast tissue will stay exactly the same."

And what if your goal is smaller breasts? Aerobic exercise and/or dieting can help reduce breast size, but any weight lost from the breast area is likely to be proportionate to the rest of your body. While you will end up with a more fit physique, your breasts will remain in proportion to the rest of you. The reverse is also true (see "Pills", below).

The claim
: If you listen to a few tapes while you sleep or drive to and from work, you're breasts will increase in size between one and four inches.

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