Pi Attitude Zone: Self-Fulfilment

Why She Needs A Bigger Bra

Since the early 1990s, America’s average bra size has expanded  from 34B to 34DD. Does this mean that women’s bodies are mutating, and that there has been a 20-year trend towards the female form having more up front?

Not necessarily.  There seem to be four different ways of explaining the trend, and all of them can be counted as possible contributory factors.

The first undeniable trend has been in dietary habits, and overall weight gain by members of Western societies.  The second is the growing popularity of breast implants, a branch of cosmetic surgery that has expanded fast in recent years.

The third change is that the underwear industry has responded to shifting demand by introducing new bra sizes and variants, most of which have expanded available cup sizes.  Two decades ago, American retailers carried fewer than 20 sizes.  Now the average range has been greatly expanded, all the way up to G-cups.  More choice has meant more women opting for a bigger and more accommodating garment.

But perhaps the most interesting possibility is that bra-buyers are showing a declining propensity for putting what they’ve got into support garments that are frankly too small for them.  These days they are insisting more and more on something that actually fits properly.

Pi wonders if the real change here is something to do with the nature of wish-fulfillment and body-image.  Twenty years ago, more women liked the idea of fitting into modestly-sized clothing, and were accordingly prepared to undergo a certain amount of discomfort to fit into a smaller dress-size.  Now comfort seems increasingly important, along with a feeling of “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.  If you haven’t, implant it”.

Zone: Self-Fulfilment Country: Multiple Geographies Product – Consumer Products