Feature Article

We Should Talk About How Bra Sizes Work

The Definitive Bra Size Guide For Gamers™

As any number of women's magazines will tell you, 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. That's probably because bra shopping is hell on earth and basically impossible unless you invite a total stranger into the fitting room to help measure you properly, but it might also be a result of our society's complete misunderstanding of what bra sizes even are. If the video game discourse is any indication, most people seem to think bra sizes stop at DD and that anything smaller than "huge badonkers" is in the A-to-B range.

I'm talking, of course, about Tifa Lockhart, who has been accused of having B-cup breasts--as her character model in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake looks different from her extra-busty appearance in the PS1 era--as well as the entire female cast of Mortal Kombat 11, for that matter. Now, these are fictional women who have top-of-the-line physics engines supporting them, so it's not like they really need the extra support from an $80 Lululemon sports bra. But if we're going to use bra sizes as shorthand to talk about fake women's bodies, we're going to do it right, goddammit.

No Caption Provided

Lucky for you, I know a thing or two about this. Bra sizes have two main components: the cup size and the band size. The cup size is denoted by letters, like B or DD, and refers to the actual breast part of the bra. The band size is a number based on the size of the person's ribcage area (right under the actual breasts), and it's secretly the more important size.

While most people tend to focus on the cup letter, it's band size that determines cup size. So if you have two people whose actual breasts are exactly the same size, but whose band sizes are different, they'll wear different cup sizes. A 36DD, for example, is the same as a 34DDD--those two people have the same size breasts, but one has a smaller ribcage, so the cup size scales up a bit. Why does Big Lingerie do this? Because the cup size represents the difference between your band measurement and your breast measurement, with one inch difference being an A, two being a B, and so on. The bigger the difference, the bigger the cup size.

Anyway, back to Tifa. Tifa is a Woman of Small Ribcage, so I'm going to guess and say she's a 28 band size. If you look at her for even two seconds, you can see that her chest is a lot bigger around than her ribcage. I'd say it's at least a six- or seven-inch difference, which puts her in the F or G range. Did you know bra sizes go up that far? They sure do!

On top of that, there's also been some discussion around Remake Tifa's bra--specifically that she's wearing a sports bra. Sports bras are generally a bit more constricting in terms of fit, and while some retailers do offer traditional bra sizing options, you'll often see sports bras sold in dress sizes (2, 4, 6, 8, etc.) or in the small-medium-large metric. Because of the design and further size confusion, sports bras often make chests look "flatter" than they are. In Tifa's case, however, it looks like she's wearing a $100-plus designer sports bra that imitates the look of a regular bra. I'd argue the type of bra she's allegedly wearing has little to no effect on the perceived size of her chest... or how hard she punches the hell out of things.

So while it may be true that Tifa's chest looks smaller than it used to be (or perhaps how you imagined it), it's by no means a small chest. Even if you did think she wears a B-cup bra, though, you can still look at her and see that it is not a small chest. Now that you know how bra sizes work, you can go back to the cast of MK 11, too, and observe that they have different bodies and thus fit a variety of bra sizes. And finally, consider that there's nothing at all wrong with small boobs to begin with.

In conclusion, if you think that video games are being censored because suddenly "every" female character has A- or B-cup boobs, you're just plain wrong. And if you must complain, you should maybe consider complaining about ribcage size instead.

[Image Credit: CestyMour]

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kallie

Kallie Plagge

Kallie Plagge is GameSpot's Reviews Editor. She loves Pokemon, anime, and Grunt Birthday Party.
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Yams1980

finally we are getting fascinating bra information on gamespot. this is why i subscribed here.

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G-Corleone

Wtf? Seriously?

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nintendians

bra size for fictional stuff doesn't matter.

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James_xeno

@nintendians:

Indeed.. Nor does the "need" for a sports bra. But this is where we are in the west when it comes to gaming and fiction/fantasy as a whole.. (OC for only very specific things/cases) -_-'

Avatar image for Tekarukite
Tekarukite

@nintendians: it doesn't? It's hard to suspend disbelief and get immersed in a video game if its blatantly defying the laws of physics just to appeal to adolescent hormones.

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Tony56723

@Tekarukite: Pretty sure most of FF defies the laws of physics. Funny how magic, talking lions, remote controlled play dolls, and a super soldier made strong through the injection of alien super cells that brainwash other to force a rejoining are fine but a large chest is too much.

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nintendians

@Tekarukite: some game either skip the bra or have it rip in some 3d fighting game (i mostly see this in recent soul calibur game series).

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chakan2

Wow this site went to hell. What is this drivel?

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carljohnsonCJ

Does bra size matters in video games? lol

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TEOL222

fake news

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sony1979

Totally gratuitous view from a feminist (not females, may I clarify) who seems to be so concerned about boobs more than any men.

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joke_man

@sony1979: These comments seem to paint a very different picture of who cares...lol

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Jag-T1000

I like Tifa cause she's gorgeous, not because of her dimensions.

Avatar image for id0ntkn0w7
ID0ntKn0w7

Can someone hire a semantics expert to explain to this "badonkers" expert how colloquialisms work? The writer took a really long route to tell us large breasts in video games bother her. Curiously, no word from her on Ryu's shirtless look in Streetfighter or the innumerable Swarzenegger-like Marines out there, or the many stupid pretty himbo roles that the likes of Chris Hemworth take.

Avatar image for Tekarukite
Tekarukite

@id0ntkn0w7: I don't think she was arguing about or against sexualization. I think if something exists in a video game, especially if the game is trying to be realistic, then go ahead and get the physics right.

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joke_man

@id0ntkn0w7: Are you saying that the point of toned male characters in video games is to be objectified by players in a sexual way?

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ID0ntKn0w7

@joke_man: it certainly depends upon the context. Do you believe that the point of toned female characters in video games is to be objectified by players in a sexual way?

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ID0ntKn0w7

A badonk is an ass.

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powerman2k

Meanwhile you have a dude with a gun for an arm shoot unlimited bullets, and a blonde guy, about the size of Andrew Garfield, carry around a sword about the size of Dwayne "the Rock' Johnson. And we are ok with this! But boobs...

A favorite American pastime is dealing with our repressed sexual selves. We overcompensate by making our arguments sound so important. As though we are saving humanity by explaining the physiques of made up characters. Yet we are really trying to save ourselves. I haven't seen much complain in the opposite direction (such as, her boobs r too small) But im sure they exits; to which i ask... do we need a whole article to address them? By in large, most FF fans Love tifas current designs as it looks most similar to her original concept art. A happy medium between advent children morfe modest touch, and the Tifa from the full on fluffy pillows of ps1 FF7 cut-scenes imo.

But then you bring up Mortal Kombat. A game so "realistic" that pretty much every female character has the same basic body frame. Which is suburban soccer mom who take yoga, and has nothing remarkable (read) or possibly offensive about their physique. But also, sadly, no real variation, or representation whatsoever! Such as women of a muscular shape like a WWE or MMA fighter; a female bodybuilder or heavier muscular physique (IFBB figure competitor & champion Monica Brant); a classic Violin shape of a women with a larger bottom or large thighs compared to her top (such as a number of gymnast, or certain number of women of color); women who are more heavy set or thick ( like a roller derbie girl) or yes... a top heavy girl ( i know they are evil these days).

And while i get the sports bra analogy, and actually appreciate the sentiment... i dont think that has to apply in every case. Because there comes a point where even sports bras dont cover immense cases of exceptionally large breast size (cup size) especially juxtaposed to a smaller framed women. In-fact, really large sports bras, like K-cups for example, make the chest look even bigger, not tighter!

Look to soleil moon frye (per-reduction) or meme worthy anna song and tell me any different. No amount of duct-tape is gonna hold them girls down!

Now, Is it practical for such a busty women jumpin around around, back-flippin, and kicking things with her girls flappin in the wind? Nah! But neither is a tockenized black-dude with big-gun arm, or a small blonde dude with a Huge Sword the size of Dwayne "THE ROCK" Johnson!

Improbable is not the same as impossible! And we are not only being told that certain things are impossible, when they are not, but that it even matters in game called Final Fantasy!

I dont think this is just about bra-sizes.

Just some food for thought!

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nikon133

I am only posting to say I have restrained myself from posting in this convo... doh!

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cetaepsilon

Next topic : Nessa's skin color

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James_xeno

@cetaepsilon:

Dear god.. just please no.. not now at least.. lol

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besighyawn

Thanks for the write-up!

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Wretch1d

Talk about games a few comments, talk about tits, 500+ comments

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guudgidga

@wretch1d: Best comment ever

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J-50-rose

@wretch1d: Are you actually surprised?

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Wretch1d

@j-50-rose: A Little tbh

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JusstaDrop

I was always under the impression that cup size basically is how low they hang? Like, if your band size read 40 inches and you had virtually no drooping or sagging in breasts you’d be a 40AA and look like Madonnas outfit from that one time she wore a cone bra. Like, measure at the top of where your boobs stop is band size and then measure at where your bust is it’s largest and the difference represents the cup size, and, I would imagine most of the time, also indicative of how low they hang.

I’ve always found the notion of others trying to determine the bra size of a woman while wearing clothes to be a joke because there are so many things that can push up or flatten out a chest so unless they stand in front of you naked it’s pretty much just chipping to say you know what they wear.

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squand3r

more of this please, Kallie :) And to all the grown-up critics out there: games are made by people who spend a great amount of time studying human anatomy - so whats the problem with a lighthearted, funny article that is actually informative and well-researched. plus: spend a minute or two and share your new insights with your girlfriend - she will love you for that!

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bruta

it saddens me that people mock Kallie's in-depth analysis.

personally, I think this article is simply the breast

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Chipp

A whole article about women's bra size on a game site. Why is this even a discussion? Its a game and Tifa isn't real.

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powerman2k

@Chipp: Amen

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wildhoney66

that's true and you are right but you know there are people out there who care about why their not bigger in this game than the past game? i don't give a shit either way, i could care less what the lead looks like in a game as long as it's a great game. Kratos is one ugly bastard in the god of war games but they are great games.

i've played the Tomb Raider games plenty of times and have heard friends say she's hot i say to them dude it's a fucking video game who gives a shit what she looks like

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James_xeno

@wildhoney66:

What they are really upset about is WHY they seem to be smaller now than other versions of her.. And it's not just the breasts but her ridiculous censored outfit redesign as a whole! Leggings, shorts under her skirt, sports bra and literal butt guard now too it seems!

As for the second part.. To each his own... to each his own.

What I find funny though about people who have meltdowns over censorship being talked about a/o fought against etc.. Where are they when nitwits whine about petty things like fictional breasts in the first place? When the gaming media and "press" enable, amplify and defend their tantrums over silly non issues to begin with?! A whole lot of people need to take a good hard critical look at their conditioned biases and attitudes on stuff like this..

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wildhoney66

i agree, i hate censorship at all, at times i get why they have it but they really can get carried away with it. i'm a movie fan and i see it when it comes to films. as a gamer, i see it to, but here's the thing these assholes forget, and i don't mean the fans either, i mean these **** heads that want to censor games, in certain countries i get that cause we can get away with more in the states i get that part.

but here's the thing when it comes to the older god of war games, with the sex and nudity and the blood in it those are great games and are fun ass games but those aren't games that i'd let my 7 year old nephew to play at all for those reasons. that's

why a rating's system was created i can bitch and complain about a lot of things, but they created that system and they were smart to do so i think. if the game is meant to be rated M than fucking make it that. Arkham Knight i think was rated that and it wasn't because of sex, nudity or gore it was cause of language and the dark ass storyline it was them being cautious on having to censor the story they wanted to tell so they i think to cover their bases rated it M even though T would be a better rating to be honest. that is a game i'd let my nephew play cause it's a hell of a lot cleaner than say God of war.

as for the latter i'm a straight guy and i love women but when it comes to video games i don't really give a shit what they look like. when it comes to comic books i don't give a shit either, and really when it comes to hollywood i don't either, i just look for a good story and hope for the best. it's just a bonus if you see a good looking woman in a role in tv, or a movie that's all.

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JusstaDrop

@Chipp: yeah, that’s the truth. I’m a 300lb 5’11” male with basically no muscle tone yet I’m not really offended by the “unrealistic” portrayal of male characters in say Gears of War or whatever. It’s fantasy with CGI characters. Why shouldn’t they look like molded shining examples of Hollywood beauty especially if the game is as shallow as a Hollywood movie. Now if a game like Senua or Detroit Being Human had characters like that where we are expected to bond with them and take the characters serious, that would be different. FFVII is sort of on the hinge of that I reckon, but given the male characters look like J/K-Pop idols who probably would die if they got a severe flu from how malnourished they seem to be, I’d say it’s a wash lol

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James_xeno

@Chipp:

Sadly.. many today can't seem to understand the difference between fiction/fantasy and reality.. or at the very least can't seem to comprehend the fundamental night-day difference between doing/thinking/liking something in fiction and doing/thinking/liking something in reality. Choosing instead to imagine all kinds of tinfoil hat implicative "connections" between them. So basically it's the old long debunked and defeated "fictional violence causes real violence" argument all over again, only with "sexy" (to straight males) now.. because sexy > ??? > "sexualization" > ??? > "objectification" > ??? > ??? > sexism > ??? > "rape culture" or something.. It's hard to know for sure since it's all pretty much pure ideological pseudo hypothesis (i.e. pseudoscience) made up as they go/as needed and wishful thinking to begin with. I say wishful because it's very much one of the only things allowing such drivel and drivelers, to remain seemingly relevant. While also forming the bases of their arguments as to why everyone and everything, fictional or real, has to conform to their standards.

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joke_man

@James_xeno:

You're talker. Listening to talkers makes me thirsty. And hungry.

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DecadentDescent

@joke_man: You're a*

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joke_man

@decadentdescent: Your feedback is duly noted and now near immediately disregarded. Cheers

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DecadentDescent

@joke_man: Good for you. Now back to what I was doing.

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TiringPillow

Not my proudest boner

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pedal2metal214

in my experience, a healthy dose of mystery regarding bra sizes of all varieties, is loads more fun... ;)

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tyruduvu

Useless article.

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BDRTFM

I find it funny that this article has more comments than Gamespot's entire coverage of E3 articles combined.

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aross2004

@bdrtfm: Because bewbs...

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James_xeno

@aross2004:

and censorship.

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aross2004

@James_xeno: But mostly bewbs.