The era of the ass isn’t over. Maybe, though, we’re over talking about it. The ass has become commodified, with peach-emoji pool floats and butt-accentuating leggings on display at Target. This isn’t to say that breasts haven’t been commodified, as well — surely, there are posters of women in push-up bras hanging above whatever shelf said leggings are folded upon. But in the past, our cultural love of big boobs felt characterized by 60-year-old guys drinking Bud Light at the strip club and kitschy breast-shaped shot glasses you’d buy on the Jersey Shore. At this precise moment, though? We can all be open and proud about our complete obsession with big naturals.
The constant referencing of a nice pair of knockers as big naturals (though the phrase likely originated in porn) is an attempt to get to the very essence of our coveting, to strip away the marketing and the augmentations and the fetishism writ large in order to appreciate breasts for what they truly are — a normal, yet beloved, part of the body.
Of course, the descriptors of “big” and “natural” denote a love of a particular type of breast, but not one that is in any way uncommon. The average bra size in the U.S. is a 34DD, and the majority of breast-holders haven’t undergone any augmentation upon them. For all intents and purposes, your mom probably has big naturals. I have big naturals. A significant portion of the women I’ve met in my life have big naturals, and there is something deeply comforting about that.
When I think of big naturals, I think of being cared for and safe. It’s not about breastfeeding per se, though there is surely some psychoanalytic connection to be made. Instead I think mostly of my friends’ mothers while growing up, the ones who made us dinosaur chicken nuggets well into our teen years, or let us drink from their boxed white zinfandel on our winter breaks home from college freshman year. These women all had massive jugs, and they made me feel loved.
I imagine that most of us can relate similarly. Perhaps in retrospect, their boobs weren’t even that big. Maybe they weren’t even natural! But it’s like the concept of dad-dick — you imagine it to be much bigger than it actually is. The actual size or realness of the boobs is beside the point, anyway. Really, it’s just about leaning in to the visual splendor and symbolic power of breasts.
Now as an adult, my incessant need to refer to my own breasts as big naturals isn’t only a way of claiming ownership upon a sexualized feature, or a means of seeming self-aware about the fact that I’m basically always showing off my rack, but also a form of self-soothing. Big naturals are something simple and good in a moment when everything feels complicated and awful. Perhaps for a time it felt intellectual and hip to divert our attention toward gigantic asses, and I do pray our love of butts doesn’t cease. Right now, though, it seems only fair to allow ourselves permission to openly and honestly call large breasts big naturals, imagining for a moment that an ample bosom could save us.