As winter draws in and the quest for a new cable knit jumper begins, I can't help but count my lucky stars. This time three years ago there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell I could even look at, let alone buy a woolly jumper.
Although now a small framed size 8, I was once a curvier size 12 with gigantic bosoms. I waited in limbo for over four years for an NHS breast reduction after my ample B cups rocketed to a HH.
From the age of 14, when my breasts started to rapidly develop overnight, shopping became more of a monthly chore than an addictive pleasure. I quickly realised I was no longer able to buy clothes for a girl my age as sixteen year olds aren't meant to have boobs as big as your buxom granny's.
This affected my self-esteem and hindered my confidence massively. Unlike most of my friends, I couldn't just walk into any old shop and find the perfect outfit for a Friday night. A shopping trip for me would involve hours of probing through clothes rails concluding with a pep talk from my mum, reminding me that I wasn't fat and it was just my boobs after not being able to find that perfect dress.
I would usually settle for an outfit that slightly disguised the two melon-like creatures attached to my chest. Luckily for me, on 23rd December 2011 my wish was finally granted, and after a rather painful five-hour procedure, my melons were transformed into perky grapefruits and I've never been so happy.
The operation changed my life entirely but although I got my happy ending, cosmetic surgery isn't for everyone. Thousands of women across the UK are still left with the daily struggles of having bigger breasts.
It's almost as though they're being punished by fashion. Knowing you can't shop somewhere is a huge blow to a girl's confidence. I surveyed 65 women and 75% of them admitted the size of their breasts affected their self-esteem when shopping.
Before my op, bra shopping was another nightmare. Despite the fact my bra's looked more like apparatus due to the sheer size of them, the only things I could buy were dull boulder holders with a lace trim, possibly cut from an old curtain out of the 50s. Over time, due to brands like Bravissamo and Curvy Kate, lingerie shopping became easier, but finding clothes remained a huge problem until the bitter end of my big breasted life.
Women with big boobs are constantly being told to celebrate their curves and to love their bodies, but how are they supposed to do that when the industry has been and continues to be so closed minded about the need for some decent clothes with a comfortable fit?
There is a new market that no one wants to cater for despite the fact that the average UK breast size has grown from a B to a DD in just two years. Young women with curves are left with no other choice than to squeeze into dresses far too small, making breasts look even bigger.
The problem is, people still see breasts as a very sexual object - they don't get taken seriously enough in the fashion world. There's also a huge stigma attached to big breasts because designers can't seem to grasp the concept that a 32F doesn't stand for 32 FAT.
As an industry, fashion could do with a few lessons in regards to women and their breasts, to make them learn that you can still look chic with big boobs.
Designers should realise that there is a huge market out there being ignored. Fashion should be celebrated because of its diversity and yet designers don't seem to know what to do with anybody between a 10-14.
Women need to show that there is a demand for a younger market. The fashion industry works on capitalism so until these women start speaking up, fashion for big busted ladies will remain as a niche.
I'll be the first to say I love not being a part of the busty 'fashion niche'. I have so much more confidence now, admittedly because my fashion horizons have broadened vastly. Still, the feelings of self-doubt and insecurity still remain within me, thanks to the limitations I faced with big breasts. To the women who are still fighting a daily battle with the high street, stand up and shout about it. Times they are a'changing ladies and the sooner you make fashion realise having bigger breasts does not make you plus size, the sooner we can make a change.Suggest a correction