Of all the parts of the female anatomy, breasts have the honour of being among the most attention-grabbing and talked-about. These wonders of nature are captivating in so many ways, as evident in the following interesting, wonderful and downright quirky facts.
1. Perfect Imperfect
It’s perfectly normal to have asymmetrical breasts, in fact, there is usually a slight difference of up to 20 per cent between the right and left breasts, with the left more commonly bigger than the right. They’re also most symmetrical between days 14 and 16 of a woman’s monthly cycle, due to hormones released during ovulation.
2. Feeling Nippy
Nipples come in different shapes and sizes but can be essentially categorised as “protruding”, “flat”, “puffy”, “inverted” and “unilateral”. And like the asymmetry of your boobs, nipples may also not be identical. Some people even have an extra nipple that is called a “supernumerary nipple”.
3. Record Holder
The world’s largest natural breasts belong to Annie Hawkins-Turner of Atlanta in the US. They’re a size 48V (70 inches around and 43 inches under). The website entrepreneur and fetish model, who goes by the stage name “Norma Stitz” (a play on “Enormous Tits”), holds the Guinness World Record for the largest natural breasts.
4. Fat File
Breasts are more than just fat; they’re a complex system of glands and ducts, which also includes the nipple. Beneath each breast is the pectoral muscle, as well as fibrous tissue that separates it from your ribs. But as you age, the proportion of fatty tissue in breasts does increase.
5. Bra Studies
If bras are your passion, you can actually get a degree in Intimate Apparel Studies at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
6. Smoke Alarm
Smokers, take heed — chemicals in cigarettes break down the elastin in breasts and cause them to sag.
7. Star Power
In 2013, actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie announced in The New York Times that she was BRCA-positive (a positive test result for the gene mutation means a higher chance for developing breast cancer) and had undergone a double mastectomy to reduce her risk. While the news received mixed reactions, it led to more women getting tested for the genetic defect.
8. Moisture Must
Breasts are prone to dry skin, as the skin over a woman’s breasts is thinner than most areas of the body. So it’s best not to neglect them when moisturising.
9. Perk Up
Breasts don't contain muscle, so there’s no point in attempting to exercise them. To keep your breasts perky, exercise your pectoral muscles instead to tone the chest.
10. Busty Primates
Humans are the only primates with permanent breasts. We grow breasts before puberty starts, and they continue growing and changing throughout our lives. Other primates’ breasts grow only when they're breastfeeding and lose their fullness when they stop.
11. In the Genes
The size of your breasts is mostly linked to genetics and weight. When you lose or gain weight, your breasts are one of the first parts of the body to change.
12. Dare to Bare
Topfreedom is a cultural and political movement, mainly in the West, that seeks changes in laws to allow women to be topless in public places where men are permitted to do so, as part of gender equality. It is striving to repeal or overturn laws that restrict a woman's right to bare her chest in public.
13. Best Fed
In March this year, a photo of a mother breastfeeding her child with her top pulled down on the MRT train in Singapore went viral and sparked debate. The mother, Cheryl Lee, took a stand on her Facebook page to defend her right to breastfeed her child openly. While there were critics who felt that she should have covered up or breastfed privately, she received mostly support from the public.
14. Twin Peeks
According to studies, both women and men have a tendency to stare at a woman’s chest instead of her face but men do it for longer. It is thought that women do it mostly for the purpose of social comparison but men do it because they are attracted to curves, which imply better childbearing abilities.
15. Model Figure
To celebrate Kate Moss’s 40th birthday and 25 years in fashion in 2014, London’s 34 restaurant commissioned British artist Jane McAdam Freud to create a champagne cup from a mould of the model’s left breast. Named the 34 Kate Moss Coupe, the cup bears the model’s signature engraved on the base and is available for sale at the restaurant.