Australia’s War on Small Breasts

As if we small-breasted ladies didn’t have it hard enough.

We persevered through adolescences marred by a devastating lack of top-growth, endured comings-of-age minimized by the jabs of our bustier peers and, as adults, find ourselves woefully relegated to Victoria’s Secret’s young teen “Pink” section, from where we covetously eye the perfectly impractical lacy/strappy/barely-there/disgustingly-provocative underthings so accessibly sized for plumper patrons. Since childhood, men, magazines, and our mothers have ridiculed our relative lack of endowment, so maybe it was only a matter of time before whole governments made our bitty busts their business.

The first to do so: Australia, whose government censors are banning adult publications and films that feature women with small breasts in an effort to–get this –curb pedophilia. Now I’m no porn apologist, but I rather dislike having my body categorically likened to a child’s. (As I always say: It ain’t much, but it sure ain’t nothin’!) And it seems obvious to me that an industry founded on fake tits, fake orgasms and the general fictionalizing of women’s sexuality is only made worse by censors that further restrict it from realistically depicting women’s bodies, however flat-chested those bodies may be.   

Maureen O’Connor of Gawker sums up the ban’s implicit sexism pretty succinctly:

Obviously, the proposed ban would not reduce smut so much as codify an arbitrary set of female sexual ideals, which is a terrible idea for many reasons.

Moreover (and at the risk of re-hashing that age-old Asian fetish debate), I have to wonder how a country surrounded by Asia and with an Asian population larger than that in the U.S. gets off discriminating against the oh-so-petite. Perhaps a better way to discourage pedophilia would be to check IDs–or, I don’t know, find some way to prevent dirty old Aussie men from traveling to the Phils and Thailand to be pedophiles over there. (For the record: I used to live in Angeles City, the sex tour capital of the Philippines, so I know who you are!)

In closing, thank you, Australia, for letting me know that I’m not woman enough for you. Lest I become confused at a later date, perhaps you should also consider banning women under 5’3″ or with a shoe size below size 6 1/2.

In the meantime, I’ll be doing my part to curb American pedophilia by lobbying to have men with small penises banned from bars.

Originally written for Hyphen Magazine.

Images courtesy of Flickr user Noemi Manalang under Creative Commons License.


  1. How absurd! I mean seriously, wtf Australia!?! Never would have known about this ridiculous decision, thanks Catherine!

  2. hollytomlinson says:

    So after a decade of trying to reconcile womanhood with a lack of breast growth, the Australian government confirms that in order to be considered a real grown woman I’ll need breast implants. Good to know.

  3. You know, this is racist. People of some ethnic groups (like much of my ancestries) do not come with big breasts and actually look like little girls even at a much higher age. Is the Commonwealth of Australia biased against East Asians, for instance — or is it trying to reinforce the Anglo/white ideal of femininity through this objectification? Wow. Back to the good ol’ White Australia Policy…!!!

  4. Are women with larger breasts supposed to feel good because we’ve now been declared “real women” by the Australian government for pornographic purposes?

  5. Jeremy D Britton says:

    Wow,i never realized it was that big of an issue. I have always tried my best to find something beautiful about any woman I meet and talk too. I have always found women to be beautiful in many different ways. It is very upsetting to see there is a sterotype to the women that are not endowed. I have known many beautiful women that weren’t. They are all strong women, they do what it takes to be “woman” in there own individual way. I will be fascinated til I die, you all are so unique and beautiful in your own little quirky way. Women are truelly amazing.

  6. What about young girls who develop large(r) breasts fairly early? Is that also not a problem as well? Women and young girls come in shapes of all sizes. Beyond ridiculous.

  7. I'll admit I'm very late in joining this debate but it's been a while since I visited Ms. My first reaction to this article is that I'm enormously disappointed that such a sensational and "titillating" piece would be posted without the writer appearing to even read legislation involved. There is no reference to small breasts (or any other sort of breasts) within the legislation.

    Check out and read it for yourself.

    Basically – it says that publications which contain "descriptions of child sexual abuse or any other exploitative or offensive descriptions involving a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18" will be refused classification by the Australian Attorney General's department.

    Unless you had a chip on your shoulder about breast size, or thought that small breasts immediately infantilise you … there doesn't seem to be a big problem here. In depth discussions of censorship in general aside, who wants to see actors pretending to be kids being sexually abused???

    In a word – grow up!

    • Actually, for all intents and purposes, it *does* mention it:

      Right there it says “Or appears to be” a child. Then they make the conclusion that small breasts, as well as other features like short stature, are enough to make an adult woman appear to be a child. This happens over here in the US too. A man was charged with possessing child porn for having a DVD of Little Lupe, because the feds decided that the 4’9″, small breasted 19 year old model’s body too closely resembled a child. As a woman 4’10” and with no breast tissue myself, any law that discriminated against appearances like this is inherently unethical.

  8. Sarah Sioux says:

    Absurd!!! Boils my blood, cause you know I picked out my A cups all by myself. F$#%%ing Absurd.

  9. This law is misguided attempt to prevent underage girls in porn. It doesn’t work of course as you can’t accurately tell a womans age by their bodies. However it is ridiculous to think the government was trying to discriminate against small breasted women, this was a quick fix to a complex issue. The government should be taking action against and raising awareness then predatory tactics of sex/porn industry they basically slapped a sticker on the issue. You should be outraged at the ineffiecancy of the policy instead of worrying about the apparant small breast discrimination you’d be more efficient then.

  10. Jessica Metaneira says:

    So basically, they’ve decided that only women who look exaggeratedly sexualized are ‘real women’.

    Words fail me.

  11. Green Crayon says:

    Dude, I’m Austrailian and basicly our goverment is FUTA at the moment.They’re also trying to block the internet not just for schools, nation wide to try and stop people watching porn and pedophilial.

    Yeah, 16, flat chested, anyone who hasn’t hit puberty yet is bigger then me. Not good when a good majoraty of people notice, and not good for self confidence. Seriously, if my country is telling me if I want to go into Media I have to get five ponds of sillicon in my chest I’m moving.

  12. WhiteMaleTotemPole says:

    This is VERY racist. There are certain ethnic groups who are small-featured. America does this garbage too and as a small-breasted woman I HATE it.

    It makes women like me be viewed as obscene or disgusting because we don’t fit into this Hollywood acceptance circle of what the White Nation deems what ‘makes’ a female. Big breast and tall height does not make a female any more a woman than a smaller woman with smaller breast and shorter height.

    The media tries to pressure this stupid sultry image that only a big-breasted female is allowed to be sexy. Who are they, the majority who are making these stupid rules being MEN to deem what a woman’s body may or may not be? There are some prudent females out there that think the same way too but the entire symptom of having fuller, bigger breasts is sexual oppression and down-right degrading that grown women by legal age (18 and up) are being deemed nothing more than “pedophilia” because of their chest size and heights.

    “This is what men want, this is what other females view as okay. If your anything below it get a boob-job!”

    This screwed-up mentality has got to go. America the same nation will run with open arms to accept homosexuality now, but the moment a small-breasted lady comes up it’s deemed as filth, undesirable, or a “turn-off” and their not far behind Australia’s stupidity either.

    The only time I see problems with sexuality or women’s body-types are in mainly white-dominated descent of European nations(Australia, America). Other nations who are not white-dominated do not suffer these idiotic problems save for the very religious ones.

  13. We’re fighting in this war.

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