Boobs. Tits. Ta-tas. Jugs. Melons. Knockers; no matter what you call breasts, every woman has a pair. All throughout childhood, they were just one part of why you were so fascinated with adulthood. While the other parts like having a job or a boyfriend, for that matter, didn’t turn out to be what you expected, your breasts will always be by your side.
Truthfully, if you’re a woman, you’ve hit the jackpot. One of the best things about being born a woman, despite all the trials we face as sex, is our breasts. Why? There are numerous reasons why you should love and cherish them. Can you believe these heavenly globes attached to your body can produce up to 450 ml of milk a day? Or that they are one of the most erogenous zones on your body (hello, multiple orgasms)? They have also been, for centuries, a symbol of femininity and beauty. So, your breasts play a big role in you feeling empowered as a woman, and caring for them and investing in their health makes that possible. There are several different types of breasts - big and small, perky and free-willed. No matter which type of breasts you have, however, they’re lovable as they are and should be cared for.
Now, we know you know what breasts look like. I mean, you have them! You can look at them whenever you want to. Like Joey from F.R.I.E.N.D.S said “You know what blows my mind? Women can see breasts anytime they want. You just look down and there they are!”
So, all you have to do is look down and we suggest that you do it often. Pay attention to them. However, there is more to them than meets the eye. Here are a few things you should know about what breasts are made of and more:
- Both males and females have breasts. In females, they are essentially mammary glands, which produce milk to feed to infants. These glands grow and develop in females at puberty.
- Breasts are enveloped and made of, mostly subcutaneous fat. It accounts for over 4-6% of a woman’s total body weight.
- Superficially, the breast area consists of 3 prominent parts: the breast, the nipple, and the different coloured area circling the nipple, the areola.
Now that you know that there are various different types of breasts in the world, you should also know how, and when, they start to form as part of your body. This isn’t just so you can be better aware of how it works but this information is also useful for when, and if, you have a girl of your own. Read up:
If you thought all breasts have the same, basic shape, you thought wrong. So, if you think your breasts are not the same as the advertised ‘ideal’ shape, don’t beat yourself up about it. There’s no ‘ideal’ breast shape, anyway. From what we know, there are several different types of breasts women have across the world.
Big, small, medium-sized, hairless, with hair, medium hair - it’s all normal. Same with the different types of breast shapes and nipples. It doesn’t matter which type you have, they are normal.
Originally, there were 7 types of breasts that women identified with. Over the years, this list has gone up to 9. Here are all of them - which type are you?
You’d be surprised to know this a very common situation amongst girls. They describe it as one breast being bigger than the other. It is never a huge difference, so your bras will fit just fine. This is just for your information, so don’t freak out about having two different sized breasts.
So what if you don’t work out? Your boobs look like you do. Seriously, though. Having athletic breasts has nothing to do with if you are athletic or not. The term refers to this kind of breasts being more muscular, relatively. More muscle, less tissue. Since breasts are enveloped by fat on all sides, which add the cushioning, having athletic breasts means you have firmer breasts than most.
The name says it all. Bell-shaped breasts are significantly slimmer at the top and fuller at the bottom, just like, well, a bell.
If you have boobs that have a wider gap between them than usual, you’ve scored yourself some side set breasts. Also, the nipples point sideways rather than the front. Side set breasts have all their fullness on the sides, creating the gap between the two.
Girls, don’t misunderstand slender breasts to be small breasts. This typically translates into thin boobs, the nipples on which are placed towards the bottom and point slightly downwards. So, if your breasts don’t take up all of your chests, you have slender breasts.
If you have round breasts that are slightly slimmer on the top than at the bottom, you have yourself a tear-drop shaped pair.
Let me guess, you thought all boobs were round? Well, now you know. If you have breasts that are as full at the top as they are on the bottom, and aren’t wide set, you have a round-shaped pair.
These ones look just like they sound. They’re described as ones with lax tissue and the nipples pointing downward. Remember though, saggy breasts and relaxed breasts aren’t the same things.
If you’re wondering what east-west breasts look like, they’re the ones where both the nipples point away from each other, i.e. one towards the east and the other towards the west.
You’ve read about the different types of breasts but did you know there are almost just as many types of nipples? Yep. It’s possible to have a combination of two, as well. For instance, one can have inverted nipples that are hairy or bumpy. It’s news to us too, so you’re not the only one shocked. Take a look below and remember that it’s okay to have a different pair of nipples than most - they all do the same job.
These type of nipples are usually raised a few millimeters beyond the surface of your areolas and point outwards. If you have protruding nipples, they can get more pronounced when it’s cold or arousal than usual. So keep that in mind when you decide to go braless - unless you’re all about your nipples and want to own them as they are.
Unlike protruding nipples, flat ones completely blend into the areola. That doesn’t mean they don’t stick out or get hard with stimulation and temperature drop.
If you have puffy nipples, your areolas and nipples look like a small raised mound together. These type of nipples are common between women... who knew?
The exact opposite of protruding nipples, this type can be described as retracted inwards into your breast. You can use your fingers to pull them up but sometimes the muscles can be too tight for it.
This situation is a unique one, in which one nipple on your breasts is raised and the other, inverted. It’s okay if that has always been the case with your nipples but if it is a recent development, you should see the doctor since it could be a sign of breast cancer.
If you have bumps on your nipples and areolas, know that it is completely normal. Called Montgomery glands, these tiny bumps look like whiteheads. You might be able to pop them but don’t play with them too much.
Don’t worry if you have stray, dark hair growing out of your areola area. Whether coarse or normal, know that every woman has hair follicles on her nipples but some women are hairier than others. It is totally safe to pluck or shave.
Believe it or not, some people, not just women, have more than two nipples. For instance, Harry Styles (yes, the One Direction pop star) has a third nipple! These nipples either look like flat moles or they’re fully-formed protruding bumps.
After you have identified your breast shape it is time to conclude which bra fits best. Yes, there are different bras suited for different types of breasts. From asymmetric breasts to the east-west type, it is important to know which type of bra you should be wearing to give the ‘ladies’ adequate TLC.
P.S. You can skip a bra or wear any kind of bra you want, but if you want your breasts to look a certain way for specific occasions or clothing, this guide will help you:
So what if one of your breasts is differently sized than the other? Still, if you’re a bit conscious, pick a demi cup bra or a balconette bra to support both your breasts, and make them look equally luscious at the same time.
POPxo recommends: Maroon Self-Striped Underwired Heavily Padded T-shirt Bra (Rs 359) by Clovia
If you have symmetric round breasts, they might spill over the top of an underwired or demi-cup bra. You don’t want that to be apparent when you’re wearing something strapless or a piece with thin fabric, do you? We recommend non-wired full coverage bras.
Since your breasts are slimmer at the top and fuller at the bottom, they need proper support so as to avoid any sagging - especially during heavy activities.
POPxo recommends: Peach-Coloured Solid Underwired Lightly Padded T-shirt Bra (Rs 398) by Zivame
It’s okay to want to look curvier for some occasions, without going overboard, of course. A demi cup bra is perfect for a fuller look. If you want a slight lift too, pick an underwired demi cup bra.
Balconette bras give full coverage to your boobs and also have a fixed rounded structure. So if you’re wearing a top that requires your nipples to point in the same direction, a balconette bra is your best bet.
POPxo recommends: Mauve Embroidered Bra (Rs 849) by Bwitch
Balconette bras have a thick strap that pushes your breasts inwards. When you want some cleavage, demi-cup balconette bras come in handy.
You have firm and muscular breasts so it’s okay if you want to ditch uncomfortable underwired bras. Wear any bra you want but if you long for a seductive cleavage, you can wear padded or push-up bras for a slight lift.
POPxo recommends: White Printed Plunge Bra (Rs 400) by Soie
If you have teardrop-shaped breasts, we recommend the same bra like the one for a bell-shaped pair.
Relaxed breasts run a higher chance of sagging due to lack of tissue and muscle, so give them the needed support with underwired bras. Also, choose a demi cup underwired bra if you want to give your breasts a fuller look i.e. less relaxed look for those sensuous plunging necklines.
POPxo recommends: Black Solid Underwired Lightly Padded Demi Bra (Rs 576) by Pretty Secrets
Here is a quick way to calculate your ideal bra size according to the fit you want and the size of your breasts: Try It Before You Buy It
Believe it or not, even with awareness campaigns about body positivity and self-love, women are still conscious of the type of breasts they have, big or small, round or otherwise.
This is because of the constant outflow of media’s beauty ideals, the celebrity culture of surgical enhancement, and the rise of pornography.
Many young women think that any type of breasts that are not round - melon like or orange like or resembling a beach ball, for instance - are abnormal. When it comes to women’s dissatisfaction with their breasts, it is due to the popularisation of ‘perfect’ breasts by the beauty industry and the media.
We believe that every woman has the right to choose what is ideal according to her needs and desires, and not adhere to society’s idea of physical perfection.
It all starts with something as ‘harmless’ as the physical structure of Barbie dolls, with their perfectly shaped hourglass figures. Women have been conditioned to believe that breasts that are not round or of a certain minimum size are not normal when, in fact, it is really the other way round. Statistics show that most women have teardrop shaped breasts and not round ones - how then do ‘round’ breasts qualify as normal?
“While girls have always been encouraged to see self-decoration as a central part of their lives, today they are also exposed to a deluge of messages, even at an early age, about the importance of being sexually attractive,” says Natasha Walter in her book Living Dolls: The Return Of Sexism. She also says that “these dolls are just a fragment of a much wider culture in which young women are encouraged to see their sexual allure as their primary passport to success.”
So, breasts, become the weighing factor for most people to conclude if a girl is appropriately ‘feminine’, and if she is ‘sexy’ enough. And numerous plastic surgery websites classify perfectly normal conditions like small breasts or asymmetric breasts, large areola as ‘abnormalities’. By programming women into thinking that something is wrong with their appearance, they brainwash them into choosing boob jobs as a way out.
Not only is it unhealthy to give in to body dissatisfaction for all human beings, but it is particularly detrimental for women. Women are near minorities in most countries around the world, especially in a country like India, which is ridden with patriarchy and widespread sexism.
Even though breasts are considered a symbol of femininity and beauty, they are also considered offensive and ‘vulgar’ if let loose i.e. braless. So is a natural act of breastfeeding. Both these concepts that should be acts of self-empowerment for women are, in most countries, looked down on. But, there are campaigns such as #FreeTheNipple that aim at empowering women and promoting women’s rights and freedom in general.
#FreeTheNipple was a campaign that started in 2012, which fought the fact that men are allowed to be shirtless in public, but it would be public indecency if women did the same. Many international celebrities, such as Kendall Jenner and Miley Cyrus, stood in support of the same.
If women don’t embrace their bodies and the idea of self-love, in a man’s world, it goes without saying that there is little that will hinder society’s mistreatment of women. Therefore, it becomes crucial that women own their breasts no matter what shape or size they are. With all that is said about them, imagine what your breasts would say if they could talk!
1. How to lift saggy breasts?
Wanting to retain your natural breast shape is not wrong or unjustified. If you want to work on lifting sagging breasts or retaining their natural shape, you can try the following:
- Take multivitamins and eat wholesome meals to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
- Do exercises that focus on the chest and pectoral muscles, like push-ups, chest press, arm raises, and chest pulls
- Ice massages cause the tissue to contract to make them appear firmer and lifted.
- Regular massaging for 15 minutes every day generates heat and energy, improving blood circulation to your breasts, thereby preventing them from sagging.
- Apply a mixture of cucumber and egg yolk (they have high levels of vitamins and protein respectively, and have skin toning properties).
- Get a bra fitting done because wearing the wrong bra size can cause your breasts to sag.
2. Can you change breast shape with exercise?
Yes. Do exercises that focus on the chest and pectoral muscles, like push-ups, chest press, arm raises, and chest pulls.
3. Does breastfeeding change the shape of your nipples?
Breastfeeding can change the shape of your breasts and nipples, yes. It can lead to sagging, shrinking, lumps (you should get it checked nonetheless), and lightening of the nipples. However, working out and eating right can help you recover your natural breast shape and nipples.
4. How to reduce breast size?
Breasts can increase in size due to things like pregnancy, weight gain, medication, and genetics. It is not all about the appearance. Sometimes, big breasts can cause back problems. However, there are some home remedies that can help you reduce your breast size (check with your doctor before trying these):
- Nutrition and Diet
- Green Tea
- Flax Seeds
- Egg Whites
MUST READ: 10 Things You Should Never Do To Your Boobs