Hello folks 🙂
It’s part two of this body positive collaboration headed by Rebequita Rose and it was supposed to get done by the 18th of Feb – obviously, I am super delayed. Will leave my explanation for a separate email.
Just a forewarning. Some of the images in this post are NSFW so read this at your own discretion.
I wasn’t very bothered with my female anatomy as a child because of the tomboyish nature of my growing up years.
Breasts seemed like a hindrance – girls after a certain age couldn’t just take their shirts off when they were perspiring, they had to confine those lady lumps by wearing bras and if you didn’t, then you were in for way too much attention.
So I wasn’t ecstatic when Mom bought me my first pair of training bras. I was athletic and this contraption made me itch when I was done with a few rounds on the basketball court. I think I was born with a hippie la di dah brain, because undergarments were just not my thing. I understood that they were a necessary evil but wearing clothes inside and outside just seemed like a waste of space. I liked being free of restrictions, in all manners of that term, lol!
I couldn’t be bothered listening to my girlfriends in secondary school comparing bra sizes. I wasn’t even aware of mine until I was 16. Mom bought my ‘under-thingies’ and she would take my measurements before shopping and then I would wear my new sets of bras.
Wearing a bra at home wasn’t even an option. Since I had to wear them when I was outside, I felt no need to constrict them when I was in the comforts of my home.
I was painfully shy when it came to changing in school after P.E, so while the rest of the changed nonchalantly in front of each other, I ran into a cubicle and wrestled with my outfit change.
They didn’t seem to get in my way until I began to develop my curvature at 15. That’s when my girlfriends would poke fun at how everything jiggled when I ran. That annoyed me a fair bit because I did Not want that kind of attention. I was in the know with contemporary fashion but there was a modesty with the fashion choices I made.
At 16, I did notice that my breasts were kind of odd. They were set pretty far apart, not with that natural dip in the middle seen so often. Was that normal, I wondered? They were gem shaped and sagged, so I didn’t like how they looked in revealing tops. It felt like I was trapped in a woman’s body for the longest time, until I began to appreciate my femininity..which happened a lot later in life.
I think part of the reason why it took me so long to write this was because I am still (to a certain extent), not comfortable talking about this part of my female anatomy. I acknowledge its presence (how can I not?) but I don’t talk about it much. When a girlfriend complements me on how nice I look in a V neck top or low cut blouse, I don’t know what to say.
As an Indian girl, I was so shy and embarrassed to show my body off. It has taken years to get over that anxiety and insecurity. When male attention was directed at my breasts, it made me very uncomfortable. It does not help that Indian men have a tendency to stare a little too much and too long at women. Since the average bust size in Asia isn’t very large, my rack was considered decent sized but it really was quite modest at a B cup in my adolescence. I only came into full bloom in that region in my 30s..I kid you not.
Thankfully, my mother has always been very modern with her fashion choices and it rubbed off on me. When I used to complain in my adolescence about the lack of a well endowed bosom, she laughed and told me how lucky I was because there were so many clothing choices I could wear that busty girls could not. So that changed my mind a little about the inadequacy in that department.
In my 20s, it felt odd looking at the beautifully well rounded Indian women in my midst and then staring at myself in the mirror. I felt like I had gotten cheated somehow. Why was my chest so flat in comparison to the rest of my curvaceous form?
My mother once again came to my rescue and soothed my frustrations. “You have a swimmer’s body, a dancer’s body. Don’t fret over these things. The important thing is that you are healthy and happy. You are not any less of a lady. You have a voluptuous figure and it is beautiful”.
The Hubster was also really sweet on this matter. I remember going shopping for bras and buying tons of push up ones..he would just shake his head and tell me I was beautiful in his eyes and there was nothing wrong with my breasts. He loved them, lol!
Shopping for the wedding was undoubtedly the highlight of the wedding year and I think it was during that year that I decided I was quite content with my bust. Women had much bigger problems with their bodies like breast cancer, ovarian cancer and I had witnessed a lady recovering post-double mastectomy during my hospital stay for the tonsillectomy. That was when I decided : My breasts do not make me any more or less of a woman.
Breast Cancer Warriors
Life is nothing but ironic in my case. When I suspected being pregnant before the first miscarriage, my bosom swelled up and felt tender. I thought they would dissipate after the mishap. They did not. How odd. It happened again with the second pregnancy. That was a sure tell-tale sign for me of the possibility that I was with child. Once again, they did not reduce after miscarriage number two.
So by age 30, I was saddled with DDcup breasts and then laughed at how right my mom was in the past! Bra shopping was limited to the boring or super lacy bra section, button down blouses were gap-happy and I had to be careful with my outfits’ neckline.
In a body positive sense, how do I view matters of the bust? I’m comfortable with them now after years of discomfort. Their size, shape do not matter to me. I still have the same philosophy that I adopted in my mid-20s about them. Fashion does not have to be limiting. I am not bashful of their existence nor am I embarrassed.
In this oversexualised world, women get so obsessed with their bodies and go under the knife to enhance their perceived inadequacies. Women who breastfeed in public are seen as brazen and yet a celebrity’s nip-slip makes for good entertainment news.
I was made to feel so self conscious as a girl thanks to my traditional, messed up culture that is riddled with double standards. Women get raped because they are ‘asking for it’ when they dare to flaunt their bodies. This mindset is so wrong and needs to change. Flat chested women are not any less womanly and the body shaming there needs to stop. Larger chested women are not public property for the viewing pleasure of others. A man can bare his chest and show his nipples but all hell breaks loose if a woman tries to do the same. She is called derogatory names and slut shamed.
Time to reclaim the female body, one body part at a time. Don’t you think?
My fellow bloggers for this group have written some entertaining, some compelling, really honest posts on this topic so be sure to read them. Check out their links Here: