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Me, my breasts and I

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In honour of her late grandmother, Sophie Ellis-Bextor shares the story of her breasts in an exclusive extract from a new book by Dawn O’Porter.

“Boobs. In the words of the Bloodhound Gang, hooray for boobies.

I have two. They are not amazing, but not terrible. I have hoisted them in bras, fed three babies with them, wished they were bigger and felt them for lumps, because lumps are the serious side of boobs. My grandma died of breast cancer when I was 11. I still miss her.

Like most girls, I have not always reacted in a positive way to my boobs. When I was about 10 or 11, the first girls in my class began ‘developing’ and began needing to buy their first bras. I found the process mortifying. Cuddling my parents was harder as the new existence of a chest came between us figuratively and literally. I then started wearing training bras which my dad – probably mortified himself – called ‘bib tops’. This was pretty cringey.

As I entered my teens I began to embrace my new curves a little more. They weren’t going away so I knew I’d better get a handle on them. Aged 13, I asked my mum if I could go and buy a real bra. We finally went to get one and I was a 34D. I felt rather smug about that as she hadn’t thought I needed a bra yet. Suddenly I had a proper bra size and they sounded like they weren’t too small, either. This was what I wanted, right?

My friends and I spent most of our late teens wearing Wonderbras. All we wanted was a killer cleavage. God, they were uncomfy. Fortunately my 20s introduced me to getting properly measured, balconettes, comfort and a happier, less aggressive rack.

I think all sizes have pros and cons. I have experienced mine big and small. With my pregnancies I’ve got to try out having massive boobs. Quite fun and I always miss them a little when they go. That said, what I have now is fine. A handful but not out of hand.

So what’s round the corner? I hope we still have some fun times ahead. I will still be hoisting them in bras, possibly feeding another baby one day and checking them for lumps. When all is said and done, it’s the serious side of boobs it comes down to. I hope they stay healthy. I really do miss my grandma.”

From The Booby Trap And Other Bits And Boobs, edited by Dawn O’Porter (£7.99, Hot Key Books).

£1 from the sale of each book will go to Breast Cancer Care, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and CoppaFeel!

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