[The following is the INTRODUCTION chapter of my upcoming books, JUGS: A writer’s guide to realistic portrayals of busty women. ENJOY!]
“No matter what anyone says, having big boobs is totally worth it.”
-Christina Hendricks, 32H cup.
Let’s face it, a nice pair of melons are a sight to behold. Beautiful, hypnotizing, soothing, or exciting, breasts can be all these things. And the bigger they are, the more powerful the effect. Or as Mae West once said, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!” As infants, a mother’s swollen breasts are where we found our first comfort and nourishment. As adults, a lovely set of jugs will stop a room, slow traffic, and cause everyone to do a double take. And if she jumps, watch out! Fact is, our brains are hardwired to love breasts. Big ones! Huge ones! Enhanced ones! It doesn’t matter which you like best! Half a million years of evolution has encoded us to recognize a generous rack as a symbol of health, fertility, and of course, sexuality.
In today’s culture, big breasts are in, despite all of big media’s efforts to prove otherwise. Black Widow, Bayonetta, Cara Dune, Ivy Valentine, and of course, Noi from Dorohedoro...genre fiction, especially manga and gaming, is full of formidable heroines with generous busts. It’s no coincidence that in the current year the most talked about character is Uzaki-Chan, the loveable pint-sized tomboy from Uzaki-Chan Wants to Hang Out. Just punch the name into Google and you’ll get a flood of reviews, articles, and discussion threads expressing either love or furious outrage—which is always aimed squarely at Hana Uzank’s enormous chest.
“But where are her organs?!” the blue-haired prudes cry.
“Bet she has a ton of back problems!” the soyboys insist.
Then they make the most insidious accusation of all...
“That is not what REAL women look like!”
It’s all a bit much for what amounts to a very pedestrian romantic comedy with a dash of mild titillation. And I’m not kidding about it being mild. The sexual inuendo in the show is so wholesome it makes Steven’s Universe look absolutely pornographic by comparison. If Uzaki-Chan was drawn boyish or flat chested, nobody would care. As proof, here is Google’s own “commonly asked questions” entry for the show:
The controversy has only spread since then with one side saying that the fictional character has an unrealistic body type and perpetuates the objectification of women, and the other side saying that she’s a fictional character, so realism is not necessary and that they enjoy the character as written.
But wait! There’s more...
"Uzaki Chan Haters, And How This Anime Girl Is STILL Causing Controversy."
-Anime Motivation, Jan 2020
“Alright Guys, I’m Triggered. When Do We Cancel Uzaki-Chan?”
-Medium, July 2020
“How Uzaki-Chan Wants to Hang Out Became Controversial.”
-Comic Book Resources, Aug 2020
“Artist Depicts The Last of Us Part 2’s Abby Decapitating Uzaki-chan.”
-Bounding Into Comics, Aug 2020
“Twitter tried to cancel Uzaki.”
-NeohXO, Aug 2020
“Uzaki-Chan and the Hatred of Wholesome.”
-Bradley Poole, Aug 2020
“American journalists against Uzaki-Chan: ‘Immoral and sexist’, chaos breaks out on Twitter”
-Anime Sweet, Sept 2020
Ironically, for all the accusation of Uzaki-Chan’s figure being “harmfully unrealistic,” the character shares more than a passing resemblance to real-life Japanese AV actress and glamor model, Shibuya Kaho. According to the show’s animation bible, Hana Uzaki stands 4’9”, wears a 36GG bra (a Japanese J cup), and has a 46-22-34 chest-hip-waist ratio.
These are also Shibuya Kaho’s measurements.
Kaho herself, a fan of the show, is well aware of the likeness. In an interview with Grape Magazine Kaho commented on the Uzaki-Chan controversy, saying, “Uzaki is sexy, but she has never been victimized in the show as a sexual object. Just like the title says, she just really wants to hang out with senpai. She doesn’t even seduce him with her body...she follows him around, takes care of him when he’s sick in bed, and hypnotizes him to call her by her first name. How adorable is that?” Regarding the accusations about Uzaki’s body being harmful and unrealistic, Kaho stated, “There are short and stacked girls with a childish face, including myself. Criticizing Uzaki‘s body-type along with the face-type as ‘unrealistic’ offends women like me.” Later adding that the controversy had, "...reached stupidity when people on the internet tried to 'fix' her, since they think she needs to have a mature face to go with the mature bosom."
Yet, hatred of womanly curves is nothing new for either the media or the internet outrage mob. In the last decade hatred of breasts larger than an A cup has become something of a cottage industry. Unhinged rants about some aspect of pop culture being sexist, or harmful, or deeply offensive has become the bread and butter for publications such as Buzzfeed, Kotaku, and The Mary Sue...
“The 7 Most Sexist Costumes in Comics.”
-Buzzfeed, Dec 2016
“Inappropriate 3DS Game Gets Inappropriate Art.”
-Kotaku, March 2012
“Dear Marvel: Stop Sexualizing Female Teenage Characters Like Riri Williams. Love, Everyone.”
-The Mary Sue, Dec 2016
Once you get past all the buzzwords and rationalizing, these articles can all be distilled down to a single gripe: Big breasts exist. The Mary Sue article is particularly egregious in its complaints about the character Riri William, an athletic fifteen-year-old black girl with the body of, well...a fifteen-year-old black girl. For a longtime now the medical community has been well aware of the fact that American blacks tend to enter puberty much earlier than other ethnicities. On an episode of NPR's Fresh Air, back in 2014, Dr. Louise Greenspan explained to the host, "At age seven, 25 percent of black girls have breast development..." a statement that is backed by Ohio State University and the CDC. So depicting a black, fifteen-year-old girl as having a C cup bustline in a comic book isn’t at all unrealistic.
Later The Mary Sue article goes on to praise the portrayals of two other teen heroines, Kamala Khan and Lunella Lafayette, stating, “Clearly, Marvel is capable of hiring artists that draw teenage girls (particularly girls of color) accurately, and who aren’t in a huge rush to make them sexy.” So what makes these two so much more acceptable? Well, Khan is easy to explain. She’s got a petite build and dresses very modestly, which is in keeping with the character’s Muslim heritage. It’s the mention of Lunella Lafayette that’s baffling. She is nine-years-old, not a teenager. Is this a case of a journalist failing to do research? Or a window into the mind of an individual who believes high school girls shouldn’t be shown growing into women? Or both?
Yet the pop-culture press isn’t alone in their hatred of breasts. In the February 12th, 2019 edition of the New York Times movie critic Manohla Dargis penned, “Do Female Cyborgs Dream of Bigger Breasts?” Supposedly a review of the film, Alita: Battle Angel, the piece is nothing short of a 1000-word rant lambasting directors James Cameron & Robert Rodriguez about the title character’s breasts. Although one scene in particular upset Dargis the most. It’s when “...the cyborg heroine gets a new body. It’s a streamlined shoulder-to-foot job, one that makes her look like a sex doll with a chrome-plated musculoskeletal system...It also has larger breasts than the old model, a change that in a snort-out-loud line is pinned on Alita’s own ideas about how she should look.”
What the reviewer fails to mention about the scene in question is its presence in the story served as a coming of age metaphor. When we first meet Alita, she’s a disembodied head found amongst an enormous scrapyard. When revived, she has no memory and is given a machine body that had been intended for a young teen. As the character discovers herself and realizes who and what she is, events lead her to find the cybernetic body she was built for—a combat model. When she is installed into that body, it takes on the build of a young women approaching her twenties. For the reviewer to assert that Alita transforms into a “chrome plated sex doll” is as ludicrous as it is insulting. The combat model is a mere three inches taller, muscled like a gymnast, and has smallish C-cup breasts (one size larger than the first body).
Of course, the reviewer later questions why Alita, who was once a human woman, would have breasts at all with her machine body, implying that only “a sex bot or a wet nurse” would want or need them. I think this says more about Manohla Dargis’ view of womanhood than it does the film.
In a similar instance of mainstream outrage, The Guardian condemned the comics industry as a whole back in 2014, citing a single character’s breasts as proof of industry-wide sexism and misogyny. "It isn't hard to make the connection between Wonder Girl's head-sized breasts...and a publishing sector that's still got a chronic problem with women,” the editorial proclaimed, insisting that what the writer described as “bionic boobs” was explicitly anti-female. Quite tellingly, the “head-sized breasts” accusation was sourced from a now infamous article on Comic Book Resources, entitled, “Anatomy of a Bad Cover: DC's New Teen Titans #1.” Written by a then recently fired DC Comics employee, the piece was a blatant attack on former co-workers, masquerading as an art critique. And for those curious, yes Wonder Girl's breasts were drawn large. Were they as big as her head, though? Not even close.
With such disapproval coming from both the press and the outraged mob, it’s not a surprise that in today’s media landscape it’s nearly impossible for a busty actress to land a role that isn’t a bimbo, an airhead, or a foil for cheap jokes. A sad fact evidenced by “Modern Family” star Ariel Winter who went under the knife at age seventeen to retain her role on the show. The reason? The network had deemed a 32F cup was not an age-appropriate breast size for her character, who was also seventeen.
Hana Uzaki, Riri Williams, Alita, Ariel Winter. It’s not just the boobs that tie these four instances of outrage together. It’s the notion of breasts being a normal part of growing-up itself is somehow offensive. Although, this hatred of breasts is not limited to the young. On November 14th of 2020, the Star Wars-spinoff series, The Mandalorian, became the target of online ridicule when noted feminist and cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian mocked the costuming of character Bo-Katan. Played by former Battle Star Galactica star, Katee Sackhoff, Bo-Katan’s appearance was generally lauded by fans, but drew the ire of feminist circles and the woke Twitterati.
Sarkeesian, who has built a career around finding sexism in everything from Lego blocks to Ms. Pac-Man, attacked the show for putting actress Sackhoff in what is notoriously known as “boob armor.” For those not in the know, in pop-culture “boob armor” refers any breastplate sculpted to show off a woman’s bustline rather than protect it. While there’s no shortage of games and genre fiction guilty of this, The Mandalorian isn’t one of them. The armor worn by Sackoff doesn’t flaunt her curves or flash any skin. In fact, the breastplate in questions hugged her torso in a way that’s not all that different from real ballistic armor. Reading though the twitter insults lobbed at the show’s creators it becomes clear that the armor wasn’t really the issue. The real beef seemed to be that Katee Sackhoff had breasts at all.
And if Sackoff’s sporty build and 34B cup-size is enough to spark controversy, it’s easy to understand why an accomplished actress like Christina Hendricks is struggling to find work after her iconic role as Joan on the hit-series Mad Men. According to The Richest, a celebrity lifestyles magazine, Hendricks’ 42-30-39 bombshell figure is far from Hollywood’s “ideal body-type” and that her 32H bustline makes her “unsuitable” for family audiences. Back in 2017, Hendricks told The Times that her body shape was often a problem when auditioning for roles such as police officers or medics, recalling how a casting director had once insisted, “We just don't think that a doctor would look like that.” But it isn’t just casting directors who have taken issue with Hendricks’ curves. Finding a dress to walk down the red carpet in is, in her words, “downright annoying.” “All these designers are saying, ‘We love Mad Men, we love Christina, but no, we won’t make her a dress,” she told Glamor magazine. It’s an experience that’s been echoed by the likes of Ashley Graham, Megan Mullally, and Khloe Kardashian—all women who also have a classic hourglass build.
But it doesn’t end there.
Not even close.
The entertainment world isn’t alone in their dim view of full breasts. Over the last decade, the press has become increasingly obsessed with telling women that a big chest is not only ugly, but painful and dangerous...
“BREAST IS NOT BEST…Four women speak of their agony at having big boobs.”
-The Sun, Aug 2019
“All I Wanted Was Bigger Boobs — Until I Got Them”
-Seventeen, Apr 2016
“Woman Fired for Big 'Distracting' Breasts?”
-Fox News, May 2011
“25 reasons women hate big boobs.”
-Healthsite.com, July 2015.
“Men Who Idealize Large Breasts Are More Likely Hostile Toward Women?”
-The Atlantic, March 2013
“Emily Ratajkowski reveals people won't work with her because her ‘boobs are too big’”
-Sports Illustrated, 2018
“BOOBY TRAP. Our massive boobs are man magnets but make our lives hell – we’re terrified they’ll smother us while we sleep.”
-The Sun, 2013
“Why Reduction Surgery May Be Your New Breast Friend.”
-Natural Beauty, 2020
Anyone else find it hypocritical for a website called Natural Beauty to encourage girls to hack off their breasts? Or that The Atlantic, a journal which prides itself on being pro-women, would publish a “science article” seemingly intended to frighten busty women? Especially when “the science” was sourced from a non-peered reviewed study of 361 college men from one London community? Yet, if big boobs are truly as awful as they say, why do we love them so much? And just what is it about showing a busty woman as a doctor, or a cop, or even a superhero that makes an “acceptable” story suddenly subject to accusations of sexism or worse?
For this, I have no answers.
We live in a time in which social crusaders demand all shapes and sizes be represented in our fiction...all except one. Well, I call bullshit. I can tell you, though, that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with placing characters like Uzaki-Chan, Bayonetta, and Black Widow into your stories. What’s more, I’d say the world absolutely needs more brilliantly written characters like Mad Men’s Joan Holloway. There’s no logical justification for one body-type to be explicitly forbidden from being shown as a well-rounded and compelling character—be it a New York ad agency exec, a bad ass demon slayer, a spy, or even a pint-sized college student with a larger than life personality.
That is why I’ve penned this fun guide! I’m here to tell you the straight dope on all those outlandish claims. Do busty women hate their boobs? Are they in constant back pain? Is sleeping a problem? Are a pair of big cans a one-way ticket to the unemployment line? Are all women with big breasts sluts? And will those huge bazooms draw the attention of hostile men? Is life with a big rack truly agonizing as big media claims?
If you plan to put a busty woman into one of your stories, chances are you will want to know.
So why am I such an authority? Asides being an awesome writer, for fifteen years I’ve been married to a wonderful woman with a slim waist, round hips, and an impressive 32HH rack. She has all her organs, has zero back problems, and is undeniably a REAL woman. And in our fifteen years together she’s taught me a thing or two about the realities of packing a monstrous chest. In my own career as a writer it’s been my lovely wife’s input, editing, and life experience that has ensured my portrayals of large breasted women hold true.
Now, in this book, I will share all I’ve learned with you.
By the end of this you’re going to know more about huge boobs than you ever thought possible. Unless you’re weaving a tale told from the perspective of Dolly Parton’s left breast, or the planning to regale readers with the adventures of a middle-aged bra-fitter, odds are 90% of what’s in this book will never come-up in a stories. What it will do, though, is inform the way you write busty characters. For instance, if your busty character wears a strapless dress, did you know that dress needs to be custom tailored to her body? And if not, she'll use either tape or glued to avoid embarrassing wardrove malfunctions? Did you know that big breasts fluctuate in size almost constantly? Or that a punch to the tits can trigger what some ladies refer to as boob rage? As I said, you’ll probably never explicitly mention these details in a story, but it will inform how a busty character reacts and interacts in a given situation.
There’s also other tidbits of knowledge here that may come in useful. What if your crime story has an autopsy scene? Did you know all breast implants have serial numbers which can be used to identify a body? Or that certain types of implants will stop bullets? How about combat? Do awesome breasts get in the way of firing a gun and swinging a sword? Is there any truth Amazons cutting off a breast to better use a bow? Is that true? Or were they just needlessly mutilating themselves?
By the end of this book you will know all this and more!
[Like what you see? There's more to come!]
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