Embarrassed about her bust

The title pretty much says it all, folks.

The oldest Kunilou kid is getting ready to start college, and she and her mother were out shopping for clothes. My daughter has always leaned toward the sloppy look, preferably all black, and when Mrs. Kunilou suggested she expand her choices a little, my daughter confessed that she likes to draw attention away from her chest.

She’s a C cup, and Mrs. Kunilou is not, shall we say, amply endowed, so there was very little my wife could say to make her feel less self-conscious. As a father, I feel that anything I say will be completely wrong and probably traumatizing. But I really, really feel bad that she should be so self-conscious that she doesn’t even want to dress up.

So what does a middle-aged guy do to make his daughter feel better about her appearance?

Man, this is a tough one. C-cups aren’t exactly tremendous, unless she’s otherwise a very little girl. Does she have any other body-image issues? Could be she’s bought in to famine-chic and feels that large breasts mean she’s fat.

There’s probably nothing you can do as a father, unless you have a very open level of communication with your daughter and can make dirty joke types of comments without offending her or putting her in therapy. Even still, you’d probably have the opposite effect that you wanted, and I wouldn’t advise it.

Mrs. Kuni has a better chance of making progress. Get her to lie (or tell the truth, as the case may be) to your daughter about how she would have sold her own parents to the Arabs for larger knockers growing up.

Time will have the greatest effect on this situation. Her self-esteem is still evolving, and the process will hopefully be accelerated by going away to school. Her new friends (and boyfriends) will help to change her feelings about herself, probably for the better.

I’m not a parent (as far as I know), so please listen to anybody who’s been through this before lending any credence to my words.

Guess I should have described her in a little more detail. She’s only 5’ tall, and even in a family of not-tall people, she’s really short. She eats a healthy (and hearty diet), doesn’t appear to be concerned about her weight and is, in my somewhat clouded judgement, quite attractive. The missus and I agree that it’s not a weight issue, it’s a guys-staring-at-her-chest issue.

College itself may be enough to solve it. I guess you could say I was embarassed about my legs in High School (I’m 6’5") so every day I wore jeans and shoes (in Hawaii mind you). Once I got to college I realized that was just stupid and naturally expanded my wardrobe.

College can be a real liberating experiance. So the problem may just solve itself. Of course you may also find little ways to help the situation along which can work together with the basic experiance of college

kuni…I think there is not much you can do to help your daughter. Her mom can help, though. I have more or less the same problem as your daughter, and the only thing I want my father to do is just smile and say “I love you daughter” every once in a while. He has never tried to talk me about physical appereance(other than hygiene), and if he ever tried, I would have probably punched him.

In that case, I think she is right, and I don’t think you should be concerned at all. (Assuming that they actually are, and she is not imagining it).

My first thought was - how about wearing a sports bra - don’t they tend to hold everything snug? Wouldn’t that have a minimizing effect?? I’ve never worn one myself, being the sedentary soul I am, but it seems like it might work…

IzzyR’s right. If the issue is guy-staring-at-chest…consider this: Would you want total strangers to stare at you intently and with suspicious looks?

I’m another member of the “Got It But Don’t Care To Flaunt It” school.

There’s nothing wrong with keeping a leash on the ol’ mammaries. I usually prefer to wear looser clothing. When I wear a tight t-shirt or anything that displays cleavage, I notice guys staring. I’m not imagining it. It doesn’t please me–probably because it’s never the guys I’d like some attention from. Maybe I’d get used to it, but why would I want to? I’d rather just wear clothing that’s comfortable and unrevealing so men look me in the eye and pay attention to the frelling conversation.

She might come out of it and decide she wants the attention her breasts will attract, and she might not. I wouldn’t classify it as a problem, either way.

Young Miss Kuni does have a few fashion options beyond the potato sack look. There are button-down blouses that look nice without drawing the eye to the wearer’s bosom. She might also want to try layering with vests and blazers. Since many clothes designed for teen girls are quite skimpy, she would do well to avoid the junior miss department and head on over to the petite part of the women’s section.

You could also offer the thwack any guys who stare at her chest, but I’m not sure if that would really be helpful. :slight_smile:

My grandmother had a very bad hunched back, apparently dating from soon after the time she reached maturity, I understand (from what she told my mother and was passed on to me) that this was because, as a girl, she had a large bust and would constantly try to hide it by stooping, thus developing a bad posture.

I’m not a doctor though, so I can’t say whether or not that’s bunk.

About five years and 40 pounds ago, I was two cup sizes larger, and had the same problem. I normally wore moderately sized shirts with a vest over them; the detailing of the vest let me look “fun” without having to wonder if someone was staring at the slogan on my shirt or my chest itself. Blazers work well, too, in the autumn or winter. Besides, if your daughter is recently “blessed” she may go through a stage of dropping things on a chest that wasn’t there last year, and vests are great for hiding spotty shirts, too. (And they have pockets! Pockets are awesome!)

One thing that you as a father could suggest that would help her in feeling a little less vulnerable is a self-defense course or beginning martial arts, if she hasn’t had any experience in these already. A small woman, especially a young one with noticeable attributes, could do much worse than to convey self-confidence in her body language. I’m sure you’d feel better as well, knowing that your daughter had an idea what to do if any of those freaks* decided to do more than stare.

Corr
*My father still thinks of anyone he doesn’t approve of even LOOKING at me as a “freak.” I think it’s a dad thing. Heck, he’s even starting to agree that I might be old enough to date. (I’m 26 and a half)

I don’t have any suggestions on how you can help her overcome her awareness of (and the resultant embarrassment) men noticing her breasts. Anytime anyone mentioned the matter to me it only increased my embarrassment. I have yet to get over the awareness or uncomfortable feeling it brings.

I can however offer some clothing suggestions, which she might find acceptable and you might feel ad variety to her college wardrobe. There are “minimizer” bra’s on the market, some of them are very good. Sportsbra’s are supportive and effective minimizers as well. Button down shirts worn untucked with 3/4 sleeves are versitile, popular and while a little tailored, not necessarily snug or revealing around the bust. Another attractive style is the twin set. Sweaters bring the sort of attention that makes your daughter (any other women) uncomfortable. The twin set is a sweater but because it is a shell worn beneath a cardigan they tend to have a minimizing effect. Both the blouse and the twin set I mentioned can be worn with skirts or jeans tail out so as to minimize the hour glass effect and come a wide variety of attractive colors and styles.

Abby

If she can muster the confidence, saying ‘Hey, I’m up here’ to any guy staring at her bosom while she’s talking is good.

Lots of good ideas/answers so far, and it must be exhausting to have leches constantly oggling her breasts and making her feel alienated from her own body. That said, it’s entirely possible that your daughter’s breast fixation is rooted in a deeper issue, one that either she is not able to articulate or, more likely, even aware of. Regardless, she will find plenty of sloppy leches interested in one-night stands in college. It’s important that, in her quest for acceptance, she not sacrifice her dignity. Try to get her interested in something that helps define her in other ways–body or mind.

kunilou…I can SO relate to your daughter! In high school I was a real jock, but was a C cup by the time I was 15. I became so self conscious that I completely gave up all sports (I was my school’s best “all round athlete” at age 14) because I became so self conscious. And, I am not overweight or overly tall. By the time I went to college, I had developed a “f*** you” attitude towards anybody who made comments or stared at my chest. At 19 I started swimming. That rocked…my self esteem improved immeasurably.

By my late twenties (D cup) sports bras for larger women were invented. Yay! Champion makes the best ones.

Now at 43 I am a size 8 & D-DD. :eek: People (well, men) really look at you differently when you are ample bosomed, and it takes a lot of self confidence & attitude to get past that. I read of a study where men were showed digitally enhanced photos of women with different sized boobs. Overwhelmingly, they said the women with bigger boobs were more maternal, more sexually active, and less bright. Your daughter’s self consciousness is not unfounded. The key is attitude and physical confidence.

Or breast reduction. I could never afford it, but I really wanted one for years. Now I’m glad I didn’t do it.

If your daughter likes to wear black, steer her towards V necks. :slight_smile: And tell her she is beautiful. :slight_smile:

I would say that in college, clothing is usually very casual-think sweat shirts, tee shirts and pj pants to class.

I wouldn’t know what else to say, but good luck.

?? What did she get busted for, anyway?

I’ve always had B cups until I gained weight with Cranky Jr that I never took off. Now I’m a C. Even a B-cup, I never liked clothes that drew attention to my bust. I just never did. The only thing that changed it is that finally, when I was 30, Mr. Cranky said the right thing about how I looked in a shirt that was a clingy. I guess it was just hearing the right sort of appreciative, respectful comment from the right guy whom I trusted.

I still don’t tend to wear bust-enhancing clothes or bras, but it hasn’t ever been a real self-image handicap.

The human body is absolutely beautiful in just about any size, and I’m just now beginning to see it as an art form. I hope that happens for your daughter earlier than it did for me.

As others have said, there’s seems to be little or nothing a father can do to affect his daughter’s outlook toward her bust. But I do have an incident to relate which, while not exactly analogous, may help.

When I picked up my 14-year-old daughter after her middle-school graduation dance, I couldn’t help noticing that she seemed somewhat down (especially in view of how much she had been anticipating it). After getting her home, her mom and I got to the bottom line: no one had asked her to dance. Worse, one guy she had asked to dance turned her down–and when she asked why, told her “because you’re not pretty.” (Needless to say, she’s gorgeous. IMO, anyway.) Mom and I talked to her for a while about jerks, how he was the loser, and so on, and she brightened up a little; but you could tell it still bothered her. Anyway, when I got up to leave (her mom and I are divorced), I turned to my daughter, held out my arms, and said, “C’mere, Beautiful.” Well, that really opened the faucets, “I love you, Dad!,” etc., etc. And the next day, her mom told me that she (daughter) just about floated to bed.

The point (assuming you haven’t given up on this): even though you probably can’t influence how your daughter feels about her bust, you can influence how she feels about herself in general. From the fact that you cared enough to post the issue, I presume that you do. So keep it up. To paraphrase Cranky, all humans are beautiful; but some (especially girls) have trouble seeing their own beauty. And one of our jobs as parents is to help them do just that.

Good luck to you both (and apologies for running off at the keyboard).