You could argue that two trends are in a state of modern collision. Women are hitting puberty earlier than they used to, and their breasts are arriving in larger sizes. There's a complex matrix of factors making this happen.
Average bra size in the fifties was a B. A British bra manufacturer now makes an L cup. Meanwhile, we're watching an explosion in women's sports driven here in the U.S. at least partly by Title IX.
Why are these two things on a collision course?
Because large breasts are a detriment in just about any sport you can think of: from tennis to mixed martial arts. But nobody ever talked about this -- except in the most salacious terms -- until ESPN - The Magazine recently tackled it.
So today, a little on the history of breasts and breast size, and a lot about breasts and sports.
- Florence Williams - author of “Breasts: A Natural & Unnatural History”, which won a Los Angeles Times Book Prize earlier this year
- Amanda Hess - Freelance writer based in Los Angeles
- Megan Greenwell - Senior Editor at ESPN The Magazine