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Speaking of bra size...

evilynnthales

Why do so many stories describe women with a bra size?

It is a personal pet peeve of mine. I've never looked at a woman and thought "She is an X." (where X is a bra size) Sure, I see the breasts. On the rare occasion I might even need to remind myself to keep my eyes on her face. But... I'd never think in bra sizes.

Thinking of breasts as "Small", "Average", "Medium", "Large", "Huge", or even "Enormous" is realistic... but a bra size? Never! Am I the odd one here?

Ross at Play

@evilynnthales

Why do so many stories describe women with a bra size?

It is a personal pet peeve of mine ... Am I the odd one here?

Nope!

I regard that as a sure-fire warning that the author's approach to writing is amateurish.

robberhands
Updated:

I think bra-sizes to describe breasts are mostly used by authors who are fascinated by big tits and size is actually all they feel the need to describe. That's at least my experience as a reader. If an author states bra-sizes it rarely is less than a C-cup. I wouldn't even mind that much if not for the many, many authors who apparently have no idea what they are talking about.

In other words, no, you're not that odd, or at least you're not the only odd one.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@robberhands

you're not the only odd one

I'm odd two.

robberhands

@Ross at Play

I'm odd two.

Even ignoring the obvious misspelling, that's hardly a surprising statement.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

misspelling

I thought we'd agreed that a smiley face isn't needed to show that a post contains an intentional error. :(

And in case you still can't see the "joke", two is an even number.

Replies:   robberhands
Joe_Bondi_Beach

@Ross at Play

@robberhands
you're not the only odd one

I'm odd two.


I'm odd three.
~ JBB

Replies:   richardshagrin
Bondi Beach

@evilynnthales

Why do so many stories describe women with a bra size?


You'd think "spilling out of her dress" or "overflowing her bra" or even "barely enough to need a bra" would serve equally well.
~ JBB

Replies:   evilynnthales
evilynnthales

@Bondi Beach

You'd think "spilling out of her dress" or "overflowing her bra" or even "barely enough to need a bra" would serve equally well.


I strongly disagree. NONE of those serve equally well.

All are at least two orders of magnitude better.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
robberhands

@Ross at Play

I thought we'd agreed that a smiley face isn't needed to show that a post contains an intentional error. :(

Of course, we do, but it seems you believe that only applies to your intentional mistakes.

Not_a_ID

@evilynnthales

You'd think "spilling out of her dress" or "overflowing her bra" or even "barely enough to need a bra" would serve equally well.



I strongly disagree. NONE of those serve equally well.

All are at least two orders of magnitude better.


"Overflowing her bra" is terrible for establishing anything besides her obviously being too big for a training bra.

"Barely enough for a bra" is decent. But the complaint was, rightfully, aimed at the stories that typically describe their characters by their bra size, which usually is C cup or larger. So it's N/A for that specific subset.

"Spilling out of her dress" could work for women with very large breasts, but it still leaves ambiguity as to "the extent of the spillage."

I'm not defending the practice, it usually is a warning that the author probably took other shortcuts as well. That said, those options aren't very good on the whole.

Replies:   evilynnthales
evilynnthales

@Not_a_ID

That said, those options aren't very good on the whole.


I'm just saying that even they are nearly infinitely better than...

"She ran into the room, 34DD breasts heaving"

Replies:   seanski1969
seanski1969

@evilynnthales

Next comes the fruit sized suggestions....

"The grapefruits on her chest bounced as she ran into the room"

awnlee jawking

@evilynnthales

Why do so many stories describe women with a bra size?


Because it's an objective measurement, just like 9" penis, 6' 8" basketball player, 250lb football player.

Whether it's the best approach to use depends on the context.

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
richardshagrin

@Joe_Bondi_Beach

I'm odd three.

One and three are odd numbers. Two is an even number. Even numbers are multiples of two. Odd numbers are not evenly divisible by two, there is a remainder left over. Three divided by two is 1.5 so it is an odd number.

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In mathematics, parity is the property of an integer's inclusion in one of two categories: even or odd. An integer is even if it is evenly divisible by two and odd if it is not even. For example, 6 is even because there is no remainder when dividing it by 2. By contrast, 3, 5, 7, 21 leave a remainder of 1 when divided by 2. Examples of even numbers include −4, 0, 82 and 178. In particular, zero is an even number. Some examples of odd numbers are −5, 3, 29, and 73."

REP

The Odd Couple was a sitcom. Now we have the Odd Threesome. :)

Bondi Beach

@seanski1969

"The grapefruits on her chest bounced as she ran into the room"


Or perhaps, "The apple on one side bounced so hard it almost collided with the orange on the other."
~ JBB

Dominions Son
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


Because it's an objective measurement, just like 9" penis, 6' 8" basketball player, 250lb football player.


Yes, it's technically an objective measurement, but 9", 6' 8" and 250lbs will be reasonably well understood by most reader, but that's not true with bra sizes.

If you wan't something objective for a female character, go with bust/waist/hip measurements. Throw in the under bust measurement and anyone who actually understands bra sizes can figure it out.

But, unless you are doing a scene where the woman is being measured by a seamstress/dressmaker or you want to portray the woman as obsessed with her own measurements for some reason (yes, there are people like that in the real world), I would do it in a way that's clear that it's a guess/estimate.

Bra sizes are complex (and not as well standardized across the industry as you might think*) and most authors and most readers don't understand what the fuck a given bra size actually means in terms of physical dimensions.

*The actual fit/size of a given nominal bra size can vary significantly from one manufacturer to another. From what I've read, this is a significant problem across the entire women's clothing industry. Where men's pant's are sized by waist circumference in inches and inseam length in inches, women's dresses come in numbered sizes which have no direct relationship to any physical measurements and are not industry wide standards.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  awnlee jawking
PrincelyGuy

Where men's pant's are sized by waist circumference in inches and inseam length in inches


While this statement is "correct", I have taken two pairs of pants to try on that are the same listed size and one I could not button while the other was so large that I would have needed suspenders to keep them on.

As for dress sizes, I gave up years ago and refuse to join the wife's hunt for the perfect dress. Stopped buying lingerie for her as it never fit properly and was always the wrong shade of whatever color the wife wanted. Just give her a couple of hundred bucks and let her shop while I read in Starbucks.

PrincelyGuy

Just realized I shoulda used "whilst I read in Starbucks."

Dominions Son
Updated:

@PrincelyGuy


I have taken two pairs of pants to try on that are the same listed size and one I could not button while the other was so large that I would have needed suspenders to keep them on.


Mislabeling will happen as a quality control issue, but it's not anywhere near the same issue as a given nominal size being consistently different in a consistent way between two different brands.

PrincelyGuy

Mislabeling will happen as a quality control issue, but it's not anywhere near the same issue as a given nominal size being consistently different in a consistent way between two different brands.


That is an excellent point.

StarFleet Carl

@evilynnthales

Why do so many stories describe women with a bra size?


Because more than a mouthful is a waste?

First two wives both had 36DD's. Other than the occasional tit fuck, they were typically more trouble than they really were worth - complaints about back pain, finding clothes that fit properly. Third wife has no breasts, other than some skin flaps molded around where she had them removed due to radical mastectomies.

It's not the boobs that make the woman. But men can be boobs about size.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Crumbly Writer
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

If you want something objective for a female character, go with bust/waist/hip measurements. Throw in the under bust measurement and anyone who actually understands bra sizes can figure it out.


Honestly, unless the author is very good about how they go about setting up to giving of those particular measurements. I'd just as soon have the MC go "she looked to be about a 'c' cup" instead.

They're both bad, but the "cup size thing" is probably the lesser evil in that specific case.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl

Because more than a mouthful is a waste?

First two wives both had 36DD's. Other than the occasional tit fuck, they were typically more trouble than they really were worth - complaints about back pain, finding clothes that fit properly. Third wife has no breasts, other than some skin flaps molded around where she had them removed due to radical mastectomies.

It's not the boobs that make the woman. But men can be boobs about size.


But they can be fun to look at?

Beyond that, generally agreed. I'm not going to say no to a chance to check out a nice set of boobs. But all the same, I kind of feel bad for the women I see sporting a large set of them. It also creates the odd situation where smaller can be better, at least if you like to see ALL of them as much as possible. Because of that whole support/sag + back pain issue with the big ones in particular.

If you want a female Significant Other who can wander around the house topless or naked without much concern about longer-term health impacts, they better not be particularly large up top.

Of course, when you're writing Fantasy, those concerns don't apply as well anymore. Although I'd still say once you start moving past DD cup sizes, they either begin looking ridiculous, or are morbidly obese. In either case, not appealing to my tastes.

evilynnthales
Updated:

@Not_a_ID

I agree.

I'm not saying it's a terrible way describe breast size... I'm saying it's a terribly unrealistic way for a character to think about another characters body.

How many people look at a beautiful woman and think...

"My 250 pound 6' 2" body attracted her attention. When her 5' 4" body with a 36DD bust, 24 inch waist, and 38 inch hips turned my way, my 9.5 inch penis jumped to attention."

Yup, I'm into the story now!


Because more than a mouthful is a waste?


Amen brother! (or sister) I prefer the itty-bitty through average range. I don't need more than fits into my mouth and hands.

If you want a female Significant Other who can wander around the house topless or naked without much concern about longer-term health impacts, they better not be particularly large up top.


Absolutely.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

I'd just as soon have the MC go "she looked to be about a 'c' cup" instead.


The point is that the bust/waist/hip measurements give a more complete view of a female charater's physical appearance than just bra size, if you are going to go there, which I don't really recommend.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

most authors and most readers don't understand what the fuck a given bra size actually means in terms of physical dimensions.


Sadly that's true because most of the authors and readers here are male. I'm pretty sure most women here would have a pretty good idea what a 36C looks like. On the other hand, they probably wouldn't have much clue what a 9" penis looks like.

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

On the other hand, they probably wouldn't have much clue what a 9" penis looks like.

Of course they do. It looks exactly the same as every penis they ever saw.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

I've never met or heard of anyone who can really tell the actual size of a woman's breasts or bra size just looking at her. Mind you, I know of many who can do it with a tape measure and appropriate contact to measure the person.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

I don't think accurate physical measurements have anything to with the famous gravity defying E-cup breasts I so often read about. The same as with penis sizes, the measurement is made in regards to mental greatness.

Replies:   sejintenej
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Of course they do. It looks exactly the same as every penis they ever saw.


I wish you'd use smileys :(

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

I wish you'd use smileys :(

I wish you won't.

Crumbly Writer

@seanski1969

"The grapefruits on her chest bounced as she ran into the room"

Her ripening grapefruit breasts caused my Chiquita banana to swell.

Laz should start a new SOL contest, where the entire point of the story is to come up with as many fruit metaphors in a single short story as possible. If nothing else, it would likely to humorous, as much for the many missteps as for the few on-target uses.

Crumbly Writer

@PrincelyGuy

As for dress sizes, I gave up years ago and refuse to join the wife's hunt for the perfect dress.

I learned a long time ago, I never purchase dresses without the woman being present. I'm great at matching patterns and design to a particular person, but you need to actually see how they respond to it, as well as they need to try in on before it's a worthwhile investment, even at $20.

Crumbly Writer

@StarFleet Carl

It's not the boobs that make the woman. But men can be boobs about size.

I've often found that large breasts can often be fairly non-sensitive. My ex had large projecting nipples, but she could barely feel anything with them, so they were like a pointless tease.

Besides, for stories I must prefer someone noticing the slight indents of erect nipples under a dress than someone quoting me obscure breast sizes. I want to know that the woman is interested, rather than knowing that the man is a boob himself.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Sadly that's true because most of the authors and readers here are male. I'm pretty sure most women here would have a pretty good idea what a 36C looks like.

They may think they do, but studies of shoppers consistently show that the vast majority of women are wearing the wrong size bra, always purchasing the size she was twenty years ago, rather than the size she is at the moment. If women can't figure out their own bra sizes correctly, what makes you think some dweeb guy can?

Replies:   helmut_meukel
helmut_meukel

@Crumbly Writer

If women can't figure out their own bra sizes correctly, what makes you think some dweeb guy can?


Right, but when modelling for Ads, at least someone on set should recognize that bra and model don't fit together.

HM.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@helmut_meukel

Right, but when modelling for Ads, at least someone on set should recognize that bra and model don't fit together.

The better quality stores used to have someone on staff who could determine that, but the stores soon discovered that pretty yet inexperienced young girls sold better than elderly matrons.

Then again, when trying out for the Miss America pageant, they had someone who'd measure your bra size by grabbing you by the p...y. And they let him get away with it, cause he ran the entire enterprise.

Replies:   PotomacBob
Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

I'm pretty sure most women here would have a pretty good idea what a 36C looks like.


Given that I've read from several different sources in the women's fashion industry that the vast majority of women are wearing the wrong size bra (mostly too small), I wouldn't bet on that either.

Centaur

https://pics.me.me/ladies-describe-your-breast-size-with-the-phrase-below-cranberries-25399938.png

Replies:   Wheezer  Crumbly Writer
Wheezer

@Centaur

https://pics.me.me/ladies-describe-your-breast-size-with-the-phrase-below-cranberries-25399938.png


I'm partial to sweet potatoes & pointers. But to be honest, if it has a nipple on the end, I'll probably like it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Centaur

https://pics.me.me/ladies-describe-your-breast-size-with-the-phrase-below-cranberries-25399938.png

I particularly like the fact that the 'oranges' are bigger than the grapefruits. Not only are these people horribly sexist in the age of #MeToo, but they've obviously never eaten much fruit in their lives. I'm guessing they've never visited Florida (as it's hard getting fresh grapefruit in Russia).

Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

I'm partial to sweet potatoes & pointers. But to be honest, if it has a nipple on the end, I'll probably like it.

If it's got an interesting person with a nice smile and an honest desire to be with me, that's enough for me. All the rest is just window dressing.

Replies:   Wheezer  evilynnthales
Wheezer

@Crumbly Writer

If it's got an interesting person with a nice smile and an honest desire to be with me, that's enough for me. All the rest is just window dressing.

Very true, but that goes beyond the scope of the examples in the link. ;) Kinda like discussing dessert instead of the whole meal.

evilynnthales

@Crumbly Writer

Absolutely...

There isn't a body in the world worth dealing with a shallow/spiteful/jealous/etc mind. A beautiful mind, on the other hand, makes any body type a pleasure.

PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

when trying out for the Miss America pageant, they had someone who'd measure your bra size by grabbing you by the p...y. And they let him get away with it, cause he ran the entire enterprise.


I thought it was Miss Universe, not Miss America.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

I thought it was Miss Universe, not Miss America.

I've never really kept up with it. You're probably right.

sejintenej

@robberhands

I don't think accurate physical measurements have anything to with the famous gravity defying E-cup breasts I so often read about.

What about Sue with those so big the man she is kissing cannot breathe

LOAnnie

@evilynnthales

It's definitely best to either not really address the issue other than words like small, or if it comes up in dialogue (someone asking female character their bra size), or if the story is being told from a female POV and she just outright says it (though most of the time I find that a bit tacky).

Replies:   AmigaClone
AmigaClone

@LOAnnie

Besides asking, I would also accept a male MC finding out the bra size used by a female character by checking out the label attached to the bra.

Replies:   madnige
madnige

@AmigaClone

...but of course this only gives the size of the bra she was wearing, which often does not correspond with the size of the breasts as many women are actually wearing the incorrect size.

Replies:   AmigaClone
AmigaClone

@madnige

True, but unless a female character knows her correct size and is intentionally wearing an incorrect size then checking out the label (when it exists) would get as accurate a response as asking her.

In the specific situation I mentioned, leading with something like "I later found out she wears a ..." just says what size she wears not what size she is.

pocketrocket
Updated:

In defense of using bra sizes, it's fast. Saying a character is barely a B is a quick way of saying small but not flat. It's not unlike posting a shoe size.

In conversation, women will refer to cup size fairly often. Band measurement, not so much. Of course, it is surprising how many women know very little about bra sizing. Strange but true.

awnlee jawking

@pocketrocket

Of course, it is surprising how many women know very little about bra sizing. Strange but true.


It's not so surprising how many men know very little about condom sizes. Condom manufacturers don't produce a 'small' for obvious reasons :(

AJ

Replies:   evilynnthales
evilynnthales

@pocketrocket

In conversation, women will refer to cup size fairly often. Band measurement, not so much. Of course, it is surprising how many women know very little about bra sizing. Strange but true.


I've never heard a woman refer to bra size except when specifically talking about clothes.

evilynnthales

@awnlee jawking

Where would you order a small? Umm, I'm asking for a friend...

In all seriousness, that's definitely true.

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@pocketrocket


In defense of using bra sizes, it's fast. Saying a character is barely a B is a quick way of saying small but not flat. It's not unlike posting a shoe size.


I'm trying and failing to think of any recent novel I've read where a character refers to shoe size.

But I do remember in 9th grade shop Mr. Costarella more than once said something along the lines of "Do that again and you'll get a number nine right between the slats." Or maybe it was a number eleven. I forget.
~ JBB

REP

@Bondi Beach

Do that again and you'll get a number nine right between the slats


I recall reading that line in a couple of stories. I also recall being told that certain women check the size of your shoes as part of their decision of going out with you. If you aren't at least a size X, no date.

awnlee jawking

@Bondi Beach

I'm trying and failing to think of any recent novel I've read where a character refers to shoe size.


It's not uncommon in crime fiction.

AJ

evilynnthales

@awnlee jawking

It's also used for a very different purpose. The actual size isn't important, it's the interesting threat wording that's important.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

It's not uncommon in crime fiction.

I have a pair of size 23 clown shoes I put on every time I go out intending to commit a burglary for that very reason.

StarFleet Carl

@Bondi Beach

you'll get a number nine


The surgeon who repaired my knees a few years back and also took a bone spur off my foot wondered why I didn't fall over. I wear a size 9 1/2 ... and I'm 6'2". That's a very small foot for someone my height. (And isn't the only thing that I have that's 9 1/2, much to the delight of both my ex-wives and wife, but that's for another topic.)

awnlee jawking

@evilynnthales

It's also extremely important in how the UK's judiciary is selected - the IQ of a judge has to be less than their shoe size.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

It's also extremely important in how the UK's judiciary is selected - the IQ of a judge has to be less than their shoe size.

And the ECJ justices you want to be rid of?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

... in some cases have no relevant experience, other than the certainty that comes from being a social justice warrior.

AJ

Replies:   AmigaClone
AmigaClone

@awnlee jawking

Different countries have different standards used for shoe sizes. This could be used by authors like Ernest Bywater - known to have characters moving from Australia to the USA, to provide an entertaining moment.

See some examples at
https://www.convertworld.com/en/shoe-size/

awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Bondi Beach

I'm trying and failing to think of any recent novel I've read where a character refers to shoe size.


They've just started showing superhero series 'The Flash' on UK Network TV. In the second episode, shown tonight, Barry diagnosed that the initial crime was committed by six people, each wearing size ten shoes with identical tread patterns.

And in tonight's episode of 'Grimm', the perp had a shoe size of 'at least 15'.

AJ

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