The changing shape of women’s breasts
We know that since the 1960s women’s bodies have changed dramatically. You only have to look at the arguments surrounding Ms Monroe’s ‘true size’ to see that what was considered the average back then is vastly different to today. But how specifically? According to new statistics obtained via a report by Bluebella, women's breasts have been the most dramatic to change. Whilst 34B was considered the average back in the '50s, and is still widely regarded as being such today among the fashion world, in reality a woman’s average size of bust is closer to 36DD.
Why is that? Well according to the report, our lifestyle choices are largely the cause. In 1970 the level of health had improved rapidly due to balanced diets and a better understanding of medicine. This saw the bra size average rise slightly from a B cup to a C cup, but stay steadily at a 34 inch bust. With time British Women’s lifestyles have changed dramatically; with health and fitness becoming incredibly fashionable as well as obesity becoming an issue in the early 2000s the average size for a woman in the UK rose from a 34 to a 36D.
But this all seems quite a dramatic change if we’re just looking at the lifestyle choices of British women. In reality, the growth of breast enlargement surgery and it becoming more accessible is a large contributor to the growth of our boob size. In the 1980s, breast enlargement surgery was in its infancy and therefore becoming an option for those who could afford it. This is what brought the average up to a D cup from the 34B we had seen in the '50s and '60s. During the '90s plastic surgery then entered a boom period due to its medical advancements and idolisation of beauty icons such as Pamela Anderson and her coveted role in Baywatch. This is when a cup size DD became the average for women, not to mention what was considered the ‘best’ size for many societally.
"The way women's busts have changed over the last 50 years has been remarkable”, said Bluebella CEO Emily Bendell, on learning about the changing shape of women over this course of time. "Better health, diets, improved fitness and the trend towards bigger and often surgically enhanced busts make Miss Average from today barely recognisable from her 1967 counterpart when it comes to her figure.”
But with all these numbers and statistics, it can be quite hard to visualise what all these remarkable changes actually look like. Well, what was considered average back in the '60s was a young Jane Fonda at 34B, back when she was starring in Barefoot in the Park and other sixties smashes. Nowadays we’re much closer to the surgically enhanced breasts of everyone's favourite reality star Kim Kardashian, who is a 36DD.
1960s - Jane Fonda - 34B
2017 - Kim Kardashian - 36DD
But we didn’t just go from one to the other! Scarlett Johannsen’s 36D breasts and enviable figure are similar to the average from the Noughties, whereas Halle Berry’s 34DD boobs were standard of the Nineties. The slight changes from the '60s to the '80s moved from Barbara Streisand at the peak of her seventies career, with classics such as The Way We Were and A Star Is Born. And star of 1984 classic smash, lovable mermaid Hannah Daryl claimed the spot as national average with 34D breasts.
1970s - Barbara Streisand 34C
1980s - Daryl Hannah - 34D
1990s - Halle Berry - 34DD
With all these rapidly changing breast sizes, the lingerie industry has had a hard time keeping up, but nowadays “bras for bigger breasted women have never been more comfortable or looked better,” according to Bendell. To accompany the need for bigger, better and sexier bras for British women, lingerie has had to adapt. Bluebella’s MORE range does just that, encompassing 32-38 and DD-G, the range is filled with contemporary styling and exciting design elements but still maintains an effortlessly feminine feel.
2000s Scarlett Johansson - 36D