Byline: Natasha Courtenay-Smith
WITH their dark hair, strong noses and refined chins, it is immediatelyapparent that women of the Clark family are related. Each is a feature that hasbeen passed through the generations, and will no doubt appear in their childrenand children's children for years to come.
But there is one part of their bodies that does not appear to have been handeddown the family line: their breasts. The matriarch of the family, 69-year-oldYvonne Clark is a 36B, while her daughter Angela Stanton, 51, grew into aC-cup. And the pattern of increasing breast size continues into the nextgeneration: Angela's daughter Tracey's breasts are a 32G.
'I got my first bra when I was 11I was a 32A and one of the first girls at school to need a bra,' says Tracey,who lives in Buckinghamshire with her mother. 'After that, I developed at anunbelievable rate. At 15, I wore a 32E. It seemed unusual considering my motherand grandmother had never been that big, and most of my school friends werestill wearing B-cups.
I'm now a 32G and have been this size since I was 20.
'I love having big breasts. When I get dressed up to go out in the evenings, Imake the most of it. It makes for a great neckline and my friends associate mewith my big chest. I wouldn't want to be known any other way.' Some might callTracey lucky, but, in fact, she is part of a quantifiable scientific reality:British women's breasts are getting bigger with each generation. The averagebra size in the UK is now 36C, whereas just a decade ago it was 34B.
This week, it was announced that in response to demand, Marks & Spencer's is tostock J-cup bras for the first time. Previously, its lingerie department wentup to G, but it will now offer GG, H, HH and J.
Earlier this year, Bravissimo, a bra company that specialises in larger sizes,introduced three different K-cup brasin response to customer demand. At this rate, we'll all reach the nextmillennium with figures like Jordan's, except our breasts will be natural, notsilicone.
'Since the first Bravissimo shop opened in 1999, we have seen a steady flow ofwomen throughout the UK who need a K-cup bra,' says Jacqui Geraghty, ofBravissimo. 'There is nothing unusual in this bra size any more.' Looking ather family line, 67-year-old grandmother Barbara Haywood, a ballroom dancinginstructor, is a little taken aback by the increasing size of breasts througheach generation. Her 22-year-old granddaughter Miranda's 30G breasts swamp herown 36B bosom.
'In my day it was only old, stout ladies who had big bosomsthe sort who might lean over the garden fence and talk to the neighbours,' saysBarbara, who lives in Nottingham. 'But today it's young women, such as mygranddaughter Miranda, who seem to wear the biggest bra sizes.
'My friends and I still had the underdeveloped bodies of children when we were18. I wore ankle socks and plimsolls until I left school at 15, and wore myfirst bra some time after that.
'Diet and lifestyle are so different these days. When I was growing up we ate abasic diet of meat, game and vegetables.
Chocolates, sweets and puddings were a treat and we'd spend our time riding ourbikes and playing outdoor gamesnot sitting in front of computers. I'm not surprised the young generation arebigger all overI probably would have been if I'd consumed all that they do.' ContrastBarbara's experience with that of her daughter Denise, 42, who is a 34FF andher granddaughter Miranda, a bra-fitting consultant, who is a 30G and wore herfirst bra a B-cup at the age of 11.
'I really notice the difference when I look back at old photos of generationsof our family,' says Miranda. 'The women of my gran and great-gran's generationhad very slender figures with small busts and minuscule waists. That couldn'tbe further removed from the figure I've landed up with.
'I love my big breasts now, but I hated them when I was at school. …