How Kate Upton Made Me Love My Breasts

I love Kate Upton. Scratch that. I love Kate Upton's breasts. And no, I'm not a straight man, a lesbian, or a crying infant in search of my next meal (you're shocked, right?). But really: Loving Kate Upton's breasts has helped me love my own.
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Nora Crotty
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I love Kate Upton. Scratch that. I love Kate Upton's breasts. And no, I'm not a straight man, a lesbian, or a crying infant in search of my next meal (you're shocked, right?). But really: Loving Kate Upton's breasts has helped me love my own.
Photo: GQ

Photo: GQ

I love Kate Upton. Scratch that. I love Kate Upton's breasts. And no, I'm not a straight man, a lesbian, or a crying infant in search of my next meal (you're shocked, right?). But really: Loving Kate Upton's breasts has helped me love my own.

It's not often a model comes along who actually makes you feel better about yourself--trust me, I've worked out with the Victoria's Secret Angels on more than one occasion. On a purely physical basis, interacting with those lithe, small breasted women with matching tiny nipples is a recipe for BDD for anyone with the slightest lack of self confidence.

Granted, there's nothing about my own body that should actually warrant complaint. As a 5'4", 20-something white person with a baby face and double Ds, I haven't faced the type of discrimination you hear about on a daily basis in the news. But everyone has her insecurities, and the fashion industry has a special way of heightening them. What I once regarded as one (two?) of my most prized physical assets often feels like my biggest burden in this fashion world.

As prepubescent middle schoolers, my best friend and I experimented with ways to smush our skin together to achieve that Mariah Carey cleavage Judy Blume promised us we'd sprout overnight. (For the record, arms crossed with hands below the armpits is the most effective method). I remember going with my grandmother in our bathing suits down to the pool at her condo in Fort Lauderdale and falling into a fit of LOLs when, with zero hesitation, she tucked her ring of keys between her breasts for safekeeping—no pockets, no problem. “There are certain... perks! To being well-endowed!” she told me. Welp, Grammy never worked in fashion.

Breasts are a tender topic in this industry--and not just during that time of the month. In the 'real world,' having boobs is considered a blessing—but in fashion, it can be a career killer. This week, Jourdan Dunn, ranked the 28th model in the industry, was cut from walking in Raf Simons's Dior couture show because her breasts were too large. According to her agency, Storm, Dunn's cup size measures up to a paltry 32A.

And then there's Kate Upton, who stormed onto the scene, bosom first, three years ago. They were big--and they were glorious. They were falling out of swimsuits and popping out on roller coasters. And best of all, she really, really loved having them.

I'll admit, I didn't pay her much mind during the whole Dougie phase; as a girl who stressed over school instead of her social life from kindergarten onwards, that whole 'who, me?' eyelash batting bimbo thing has never held much appeal. But something clicked almost exactly a year ago when Upton landed the cover of GQ. Ok, so she was fellating a popsicle. I didn't care. I ran out to the corner store and bought myself a copy, carefully tearing out and piecing back together a double-page photo of the then 20-year-old lying topless on some grass.

"Erm... what's this about?" my roommate asked when she noticed the picture taped to our shared refrigerator. "I mean, don't you just think she's like, a really good role model, though? Just realistically? [crickets] ...No?"

So maybe not every girl shares my Kate Upton infatuation. But Anna Wintour does. A year after the model's first American Vogue profile (she's since had two others), Wintour put her on the cover of the fashion bible's June 2013 issue. I was elated. Her scoring that elusive cover--a near impossible feat for a model these days--felt like a small victory of sorts for those of us whose cups runneth over. She looked stunning. And for once, I got a glimpse at what some of those gorgeous designer clothes might actually look like on my body.

Upton just landed her first highly coveted September issue cover, for Elle Magazine--and in the absolutely least creepy way possible, I'm really hoping for some epic boob shots. See, I recently got a new fridge, and it's looking a bit, well, flat...