This article was originally featured in Influentza Independent Press‘ Outbreak: Dysmorphia. Published in 2013. Originally titled: Beauty and the Breasts
When I was 8, I got God’s gift to women – breasts. I was the only girl in school to actually wear a bra because I needed it. The rest of the girls wore bras because they wanted to look older and more mature; they wanted to look like their mothers. Even at that age, I knew I was not my mother and did not aspire to be like her; her boobs were funny to me. Before I developed, my mother said my boobs would be bigger than hers because I made fun of her for it, she knew that my breasts were on their way and they were coming fast. One morning, she drove me to Target and we stood in the women’s underwear section. At 8 we skipped the training bras and headed towards the woman’s section. “I think you might be an A,” she said, then quickly took it back and said, “Actually, you look like a B.” I was so nervous and ashamed standing there, fearing I would run into someone I knew. I was jealous that my younger sister didn’t have to go through this and I was angry that I had to go through this first. My insecurities as a teenager started from the point that I stood in the underwear section that day.
Quickly after developing breasts came lower back problems and a lot of insecurities, I felt so ugly, I felt alone, I felt like no one would ever want me, and from then on I referred to them as my curse. I started receiving attention from all the boys in my class, and even at 8 they noticed my growing bust. The constant staring would make me feel uncomfortable, and my mom took it as an opportunity to point out that boys weren’t interested in my personality, just my chest, and from grade school on I was influenced by that mentality. I couldn’t develop relationships with boys because I just assumed that was only thing they wanted. Girls made fun of me because of my breasts and I found it hard to form friendships with my peers, especially in high school. I thought people were just always redirected to my chest when having a conversation with me.
Shopping was horrible. When we would go shopping, my mother never let me buy low cut shirts because she was convinced people were always looking. I knew that if I even dared to look at a small or a medium shirt, it wouldn’t fit me because my boobs were just too big; I wasn’t even going to try. In reality, I was still very small, and I was so frustrated in my own body that I was so unhappy for such a long time. Then I started seeing a double standard with my parents; whenever I would want to wear things that would accentuate some body parts, my mom would come up and cover me right away. Then, when my younger sister, much skinnier, would wear almost the same thing, my mother would compliment her.
I eventually learned that my boobs weren’t a curse. I still have issues with them, from not fitting into certain dresses because it won’t zip up all the way to fearing exposing myself when wearing low cut shirts, but in the end I learned to work with what I have and embrace that I am in fact a curvy woman. If I ever got rid of them, I don’t think I would feel like myself.