Cat Calls – No, I don’t have to be OK with them….

So with all of the body love posts, and the anti-breast bullying posts, I’ve had this kind of topic on my mind for a while. I experienced breast bullying a lot when I was growing up. Nothing entirely too hateful, but enough people made comments about the size for me to feel ashamed of the size of my breasts.

Fast forward to Halloween this year. For any of my Facebook fans, you’ve seen the pictures that I have posted from Saturday night when my husband and I dressed up and went out. I was a pirate wench, and he was my scurvy pirate dog 😀

Costume: “Vixen Pirate Wench” by Leg Avenue, size 3X-4X. Under garments include: Curvy Kate Emily bra, my own pantaloons, and SPANX tight-end high waisted opaque black tights (FTW love these tights).

As the night went on, and many drinks were had…..this is how I looked:

Beginning of the night; my bra is totally showing….

OMG Boobs! I actually kind of love the volume in my breasts here

And ended with me wearing my husband’s pirate wig, a sloppy smile, and lots of boobs.

There was quite a lot of feedback about a status I posted on my page, and there was a comment given that is one I have heard before: you have big boobs, you need to have confidence to go with it because people are going to say negative/positive things. That comment really bothered me, as it’s not something that’s new to my ears, and I think that it can really be viewed as hurtful.

I’ve thought about that comment, and thought about the reactions that I got from folks at the bar. Within 5 seconds of walking into the bar, a woman came up to me and said “OMG! Your boobs are huge! Can I motorboat you?” Me: “No, thanks…”, Her: “Can my husband look at your boobs? He’s totally a boobs guy!” Me: *walks away*

Ten minutes later, the owner of the bar comes over to talk to a friend of ours and says “Oh hi, boobs.”

Admittedly, I “broke the seal” way too early into the evening, so I kept making multiple trips to the restroom (side note: wearing high-waisted tights with every intention of drinking = bad idea). At one point, I came out of the bathroom and passed two young guys. As I was walking away from them, they said to each other “OMG! Did you see her! Her tits are huge!”. As my palm itched to turn around and slap them, I just kept walking and sat back down by my husband.

Let’s not add in the fact that there was a guy standing maybe 5 feet away from our table that stared at my chest all night long, and when I got up to sing (clearly, the only way to celebrate Halloween is by going to Karaoke 😀 ), he would grunt and make awkward noises towards me. Old Elvis also stared me down awkwardly…

He sang “Love Me Tender”

I tried to let the comments just kind of slide off my skin. And I was cool with it. Obviously, I wore something revealing, and my boobs are not tiny (something another girl talked with me about in the bathroom – she sympathized, being a HH and all – commiseration was nice). However, what got under my skin was the notion that because I have big boobs, I have to be okay with it.

Why do I have to be okay with it? Why do I have to be okay with men/women degrading me into a sex object? Why do I have to be okay with disrespectful comments? As someone else said on my FB page, when you see someone in a dress that has small boobs, you don’t go up to them and say “wow! your boobs are tiny! it’s too bad they don’t fill out that dress! you would look so much better with bigger boobs!”.

So, if we don’t say that to people who aren’t as endowed, then why is it okay to make comments like this to women who ARE full busted? It’s a double standard, and a wrong one at that.

Yes, it takes a lot of confidence to be comfortable with your body when you are full busted. But that confidence should not come at the price of having to listen to negative and snarky comments from other people. Confidence doesn’t make it okay. For me, it comes down to respect. Respect for other people’s bodies.

Now I know that I wasn’t at the bar to make friends or necessarily share my personality, my thoughts, my ideals….but at the end of the day, I – like many other people – want to be seen for who I am on the inside, versus the large sweater puppies I have on my chest. I don’t know that that’s too much to ask.

No, I don’t have to be okay with cat calls and remarks about my breast size. Kind of like sexual harassment is all about perspective – not intentions – to me, I felt as though I was being breast bullied. And that’s not okay. 

***Have you ever had a similar experience based on something that you wore in public? How did it make you feel? What did you do about it? Let me know in the comments below***

14 thoughts on “Cat Calls – No, I don’t have to be OK with them….

  1. I’ve had similar experiences my entire life. I am 22 and high school was a drag for me. The comments and remarks about my breast size have always gotten under my skin. I remember once in school a boy actually put a fifty dollar bill down the front of my shirt in between my breasts. Then he preceded to retrieve the money… As if this was completely acceptable. I refused to give it back to him and was sent to the office. I got detention for “stealing” and was practically told that I wanted it! My principal told me that if I didn’t want this kind of attention that I shouldn’t wear clothes that suggested such. But I wasn’t wearing anything different than all the other girls. I started wearing t-shirts predominantly throughout high school and continue to do so to avoid this type of attention. And yet the snide remarks and nicknames cease to diminish… Shame on the world for accepting this type of behavior. It should not be expected, accepted, nor condoned by anyone! End body snark and bullying! So we can love the skin we’re in.

    • Casandra,

      That story is so awful; I am so sorry that happened to you.

      And you are so right; these comments should not be expected, accepted or condoned. We are definitely in agreement there.

      Thank you for sharing your story!

      x Nicole

  2. Ugh. I have this problem ALL THE TIME. I am a short, skinny girl with a huge bust that just creates more and more problems as time goes on. I also have huge confidence issues so having guys (and girls) make cat calls at me is highly unnerving, unsettling, and just plain rude.

    I’ve had to deal with a large bust (now an I cup, US size) since about the age of eleven/twelve (I am now twenty) and ever since I suddenly developed, “OMG, BOOBS,” guys and girls have suddenly decided to mock and sexualize me for my large bust.

    Wearing anything form fitting or that was even close to being a low cut top–like a v-neck shirt–instantly had me labeled as a slut, whore, skank or just a sexual object for men. Over the years I would often get boys (ranging from ages 14-30 ish) coming up to me and saying a slew of things.

    “Holy shit! Your tit’s are f*cking huge! Can I stick my dick between them?”
    “Oh my god. Your boobs are ginormous. Will you fuck me?”
    “Your boobs are huge! CAN I TOUCH THEM?!”

    And a slew of other things were often said to me. These comments were coming from boys and men who I didn’t even know. Not only did I feel disgusted, but I also felt sexually harassed and threatened because I knew I wouldn’t be able to defend myself if something went down.

    I often ignored guys like this and even smacked a few on occasion, but it still made me very self-conscious and I have taken to wearing baggy clothing just to hide my figure so guys don’t sexually prey on me anymore. Even though I am married, I still have to be careful when I go out by myself.

    It’s just… Not a comfortable feeling in the world even though I just suck it up, get over it, and just try to brush it off.

    • Claire,

      I don’t know that you have to suck it up, get over it, and try to brush it off. As someone below states, just say “Wow, you’re so rude” and walk away. This might be more effective.

      x Nicole

  3. Preach on! The only thing that has helped in my case is getting older. I got harrassed constantly as a teen, quite a lot in my early to mid-twenties, a bit less in my late twenties and now that I am in my thirties, it has gone down quite a bit. In any case, I am never ok with it and I always feel better when I speak up about it.

    • Astrid,

      I have to wonder if it will get any better with age, for most of us. I wonder why this has happened. I think maybe it’s that when we are in our 20’s, we typically surround ourselves with men/women of the same age. And I swear, the filter must not be developed until we are all older, haha.

      xNicole

  4. Anyone tried just staring intently at the harasser’s crotch? Maybe if everyone felt equally unnerved and harassed the assholes would get the picture. Seriously, something learned in kindergarten, treat others the way that you’d want to be treated.

  5. I mentioned it on your facebook post, but yes I have experienced “breast bullying”, and no I don’t like it and don’t think it’s appropriate.

    Someone’s natural anatomy should not be up for public commentary. It’s rude.

    I would NEVER walk up to people and voice my opinion on their bodies (“You have a large, muscular butt!” “Dude, your package is TINY!” “Wow, you are really tall!”– it would NEVER HAPPEN) because it’s rude. I ask the same courtesy. Yes, I have boobs and they are not small. That doesn’t make it okay for you to stare, comment on, or insult me or them.

    I am thoroughly against body shaming. Human diversity is beautiful and we should embrace and enjoy it.

  6. I have to agree with almost everything you’ve said. Reading some of the comments you’ve gotten makes me lose faith in humanity. Really, when did it become acceptable to ask a random girl if you can motorboat her?

    The only thing I would disagree with is the showing off part and being okay with people’s reactions. When you are wearing a revealing top, people are going to notice–especially guys. Breasts are THE major secondary sex characteristic of women for men–men are fiercely attracted to them. If you are showing them off, it is assumed you are choosing to do so, and attention will be given to them.

    HOWEVER, that does not excuse the types of comments that were thrown at you. That you got reactions should be expected–the types of comments, though, should not.

    Think of it this way: if you do your hair up really fancily, people will notice–they may even comment. Of if you wear makeup that really brings out your natural glow and beauty, people will notice–they may even comment.

    Likewise, if a guy takes the time to shave his face and style his hair, people will notice–they may even comment. If he wears tight pants that boldly outline his butt or package, people will notice–they may even comment. We all do these things because we want to be noticed and because we want to look appealing.

    Breasts are the same way. If they are presented in ways that invite others to notice them, they will be noticed–people may even comment. Unfortunately, there is a deep seeded chauvinism in our culture that says that women must always dress like this for the pleasure of men, which I vehemently disagree with.

    HOWEVER, and I stress again, that does NOT excuse the comments you were getting, which were rude and inappropriate.

    I hope that came out clearly and without the sexist tones I was trying to avoid.

    • Ken, see Astrid’s response to you below.

      I love you dearly, and you always provide thoughtful insight to any situation. I’m glad you came and shared your thoughts 🙂 **I also miss seeing you; let’s change that**

      When I first read your comment (and re-read), I kept thinking “Obviously, this comment is from a man who doesn’t have big boobs.”. Like Astrid says in her comment below, for those of us that are EXTREMELY BUSTY, making sure that the boobs are covered up can be quite hard. For me, the costume was NOT about showing off. It happened to be a costume that I bought two years ago, but could not fit into because I weighed over 300 pounds. This was the first year that I could wear the costume. If nothing else, I was proud and excited at the fact that the costume finally fit. Unfortunately, in that two years, my boobs also changed (though they never really fit into the costume to begin with). The reality is is that costumes – and lots of other items of clothing – are not made to fit the above average bust size. So, with that comes the fact that bustier girls will be showing more. Does that mean that I’m only supposed to wear t-shirts, and sweatshirts, and turtlenecks? No. Does that make it okay for people to make comments about my boobs? Still not okay.

      As Astrid also points out, when we comment on makeup, or hair changes, or whatever….those are aesthetic changes that people CHOOSE to make. For those of us with *naturally* large breasts, we did not make the choice to have big boobs – and thus garner more attention. It’s something we have to live with.

      If nothing else, I hope that anyone who reads my post (and the comments that so many have shared), will see that girls with big boobs can’t help it, so a little sensitivity goes a long way.

      Much love,
      Nicole

  7. @Ken Ranos: What “reaction” should be expected if you don’t condone the nasty comments? Staring? “Your boobs look really good in that top” type of comments? Precisely because breasts are sexualised (including when they come attached to a 12 year old girl), this will never sound quite like “your eyes look beautifull with this eye shadow”. You also have to know that when you’re busty a lot of clothes will come across as “showing them off”. Clothes will cling more to this area and are going to look more low cut and show more cleavage. Most busty women go to great lengths to make their breasts more discreet at least at some point in their life.

    I’ve found that with some people (not the “can i stick my dick” type, more the “wow, thety are huge” type), just going “Wow, you’re so rude” can be pretty effective.

  8. I am continually saddened by how people nowadays feel they have the right to openly comment on women’s bodies, and some of what they say is beyond rude and even obscene. I truly cannot fathom how people can behave in such a manner, and it’s a shame that women are accosted frequently. Having said that, I do expect attention, including negative, if I show some cleavage. When I first started watching Modern Family, I was empowered by Sofia Vergara because she and I have a similar boob size, and she always wears lower cut tops that really show off her figure. I started skipping the camisoles sometimes, and I loved the way I looked. It was nice to wear a v-neck and not need to add a cami to make it “acceptable.” However, I noticed that I couldn’t seem to have a conversation without someone glancing at my boobs, and I felt uncomfortable. I felt like my intellect and personality were competing with my boobs . . . and losing! So, now I only break out the cleavage when I’m not concerned with the side effects. I also break out my acerbic, sarcastic tongue too in case someone decides to take the quick glance to the next level and comment.

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