Australia’s War on Small Breasts

Australia's War on Small Breasts
Images courtesy of Flickr user Noemi Manalang under Creative Commons License.

As if we ladies with small breasts 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.   

Australia's War on Small Breasts
(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

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.

Read more from Ms. on body image.


Catherine is an assistant features editor at Hyphen magazine and a first year student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She interned at Ms. in the spring of 2010, and has since reported on the gendered impact of immigration enforcement in Arizona, the rights of health care workers in the Philippines and indigenous women's struggle against Big Oil in Canada. She has a B.A. in English and a minor in Women & Gender Studies from Arizona State University.