For Better or For Worse by Lynn Johnston

For Better or For Worse

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  1. howtheduck

    howtheduck said, over 1 year ago

    It is “We must, we must, we must increase our bust… the bigger the better, the tighter the sweater, the boys depend on us.” and it’s from Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret (1970) by Judy Blume. For Elly Patterson back in 1984 (the original publication date of the comic strip), it would not have been a high school chant. According to the For Better or For Worse canon, Elly would have gone to high school from 1961 – 65. This was one of the catch phrases for which the book is well-known, which I suppose Lynn Johnston believed did not originate with Judy Blume.

  2. mdcdjg2008

    mdcdjg2008 said, over 1 year ago

    wasn’t there some “as seen on TV” exercise thing that used that as it slogan in the 80s? I seem to remember something like that but not completely sure.

  3. legaleagle48

    legaleagle48 GoComics PRO Member said, over 1 year ago

    @howtheduck

    Actually, howtheduck, that mantra dates back much farther than Judy Bloom (and yes, I’ve actually read the book you’re talking about, as well as a couple of Judy’s others). It goes back to at least the 1950s, if not earlier, so Lynn was right, and Elly would have said this in back in her high school days (which, as you correctly note, would have been somewhere between 1961 and 1965). Nice try, though — thanks for playing!

  4. kfccanada

    kfccanada said, over 1 year ago

    Yep, I have a feeling that women have been singing that ‘anthem’ since time began….myself included. Alas and alack, the chant doesn’t seem to work that well no matter how often you say it. Lol. If it did, we wouldn’t see such a continual rise in the use of implants.

  5. Night-Gaunt49

    Night-Gaunt49 said, over 1 year ago

    It would behoove women, and men to strengthen their pectoral muscles on which there hangs their breasts. Less fat smaller breasts less droop. Stronger muscles, less droop.

  6. Night-Gaunt49

    Night-Gaunt49 said, over 1 year ago

    Lynn’s Notes:
    When I was a kid, a travelling salesman came to the door selling piano accordions. I’m not kidding. With every purchase, they threw in a year’s worth of lessons. My mother, wanting me to play something (that wouldn’t swallow half the living room and take ten years to pay off), actually considered buying one. Here was a piano-like instrument that was almost portable! I liked polkas and accordion music in general, but the cool factor was lacking. I declined. A real piano would have been great, but this was not the same! In desperation, she promised me that playing the accordion would increase my bust size. As a “budding” teen, this argument had merit, but the piano accordion still wasn’t my thing.


    Years later, when I was living in southern Ontario, I met some musicians from Newfoundland. Caught up in my love for east coast music, I bought myself a button accordion. This I learned to play not too badly and after awhile, it showed. I was indeed building up bulges where none had been – on my arms. I actually had pipes! I knew then that the old arm-pumping exercise to the cry of, “We must, we must, we must improve our bust!” was hogwash. The only sure way to enhance the unenhanceable, is through surgery! I still play my accordion, but only for sympathetic friends, and I don’t really care about the bust line. I do have a word of advice, however, “Ladies, it’s a fine instrument, +but…never play an accordion in the nude!”+

  7. curmudgeon68

    curmudgeon68 said, over 1 year ago

    I was in High School ’62 to ’66, and I heard the this. Well before Judy Blume.

  8. Ghille

    Ghille GoComics PRO Member said, over 1 year ago

    Yes Howtheduck …this is a very old rhyme. And there is a second part! Supposedly to be used in “old age”..it went "One, two, three, four..over the shoulder, hit the floor!

    I just cannot understand why so many folks come to this comic to, apparently, try their darndest to pick on the lady who wrote them! WHATS UP WITH THAT??

    If you dislike her so much..don’t come here…it as simple as that! Why show everyone what mean little minds you have?

  9. gmartin997

    gmartin997 GoComics PRO Member said, over 1 year ago

    “The bigger the better,
    The tighter the sweater.
    The boys depend on us.

    Yeah, I know. I have a sister who’s 8 years younger and used to chant that all the time when she was in junior high (middle school). She was obsessed with her small bosom, and later in life she had a implants done, only to discover two years later she had breast cancer and had to have a double mastectomy. People should be content with their DNA.

  10. DaBoogadie

    DaBoogadie said, over 1 year ago

    My mother went to high school in the late 1940’s in northern California and remembered those chants.

  11. Jean

    Jean said, over 1 year ago

    I was one of the “lucky” girls that didn’t need the enhancement and I HATED it. I never wore tight sweaters and tried to hide it as much as possible. Never have been able to see the point in wanting big bust lines. Nothing fits right, you get odd looks, and most guys just want to get their hands on them and do not care about you as a real person. I finally found a man that cared about me as a person and learned to use them correctly. lol Stick with what God gave you and stop trying to improve on his creation.

  12. Dr Dave

    Dr Dave GoComics PRO Member said, over 1 year ago

    “The bigger the better
    the tighter the sweater
    We MUST…”

  13. BarBaraPrz

    BarBaraPrz GoComics PRO Member said, over 1 year ago

    @howtheduck

    It was in use long before that book. Where do you think Blume got it from, anyway? She didn’t make it up.

  14. BarBaraPrz

    BarBaraPrz GoComics PRO Member said, over 1 year ago

    @BarBaraPrz

    But what I’d really like to know, is, Why is Elly wearing bowling shoes?!?

  15. ewondra

    ewondra GoComics PRO Member said, over 1 year ago

    We used this slogan in junior high and high school in the 1960s—well before it appeared in Judy Blume’s book. I think it falls in the category of “folk medicine.” Didn’t work, either.

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