Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Love Every Body #3: Chest Area

This Love Every Body's topic is the chest/boobs. Fortunately for you lot I am not getting my top off just yet, you perverts!
TW: Boobs (I guess?), menstruation mention, body talk, fat talk, body hate, fatphobia.

I am really not sure the age of most people who read my blog, I sort of assume from my age, 23 all the way up to some rather lovely ladies in their 40s and 50s. I've never considered the fact that younger people might be reading my rambling.

So if you are (and even if you're not) gather round, my loves, time for Auntie Sian to share her wisdom.

Things I Have Learned About Having Boobs:

  • Not all boobs are made equally.

    This includes on your own body. I remember being freaked out when one boob grew in a few sizes bigger than the other, this is completely normal. Your boobs are growing, unfortunately puberty makes things grow all askew, even your legs will be slightly different lengths. In fact your breasts keep growing into your twenties. Nearly all women have one breast larger than the other, sometimes this is barely noticeable and other times there will a few cup size difference. So know you are not weird, you are in fact, wonderfully beautiful just like everyone else.

    Equally not all breasts are shaped the same, we see so much through sexualised images of women in magazines and on tv, that we think there is a set mould of what boobs look like, but that is balderdash! Here (NSFW because boobs) is a great website which shows in non sexualised pictures how every pair of breasts is totally unique. Shape, size, colour, nipple size, nipple colour, its all different for everyone and they are all gorgeous!
  •  Spots can occur wherever you have skin.
Yep, even there and there and all over there! In fact chest acne is common enough that you can buy body washes with spot fighting elements. As someone with bad skin I will admit to having bad skin on my boobs and back too. Oh the glory of the human form, eh? Once again, totally normal! Everyday even. You can fight this off with acne body washes or using your cleanser on your body too. No need to be embarrassed at all!

  • Where there is skin there is hair!

    I know this will shock you, but human beings are mammals and mammals are hairy beasts! Modern humans are pretty backwards about body hair in my personal opinion. I wish I'd been given a proper talk about body hair as a young one as when I noticed hairs on my chin and boobs I thought I was turning into a werewolf! Blame too much watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and not enough concentration in Biology class, but I think this is far too taboo a subject. I have hair on my chest and so do you, I bet! I do believe thicker hair growth can be a symptom of PCOS. Whatever your hair condition, thick, black, blonde and pale, its natural. Do not worry a second more about what is by definition the natural state of your body.

    Hear this, people with boobs, if you take your top of in front of another person, if they go "eeeeeeeew boob hair!" they are far too immature to be seeing your without your top on. Pop it back on, tell them to bog off and find yourself someone who will appreciate you.
  • Boobs exist in a state of flux.

    Nearly everyone who has periods owns a pair of period pants, that's just a fact. But believe me, my dove, when I say you will need a period bra. Boobs change, they swell and shrink with your cycle, if you have one and becoming pregnant, having a child and breastfeeding can also change your boobs. Your breasts are amazing, there primary, biological reason for existing is to nourish children, they are magical! They will change and age just as you will, they will sag and wrinkle, accept the way your body gains experiences.
  •  Exposure or modesty?
Neither of these states mean anything. If you cover up your chest or you wear nothing at all on top, this does not affect who you are. You may take pride in either states, fluctuate or exist between the two, maybe you never even think about it. A common trope thrown at people with breasts is that we are slutty if we expose them or frigid if we don't, its a lose/lose situation. I implore any young people reading this to stop judging each other based on the area of skin you cover, but on who that person really is. Next time you feel a nasty comment bubble acidically up your throat question why you are about to say it, ask yourself if its to tear that person down or to lift yourself up. If you need lifting up, do not do it by hurting another person, move away from that situation, look after yourself, look after your sisters.

  • Monitor those puppies!

    God that is an awful subtitle, but it belies a serious message. Breast cancer is something that can be lethal, but the earlier it is caught the better the chances of survival. I know you're young and therefore invincble, but a check every now and again could save your life.

    Here is a great website about how to check your breasts, what changes to look for and a very informative video to boot.

My personal experience:

I have quite a weird relationship with my chest. I grew up thinking I'd be 6 foot 5 like my brothers and with huge, great boobs like my mum, but neither of these things happened. So I've always felt disappointingly short and lacking in the boob department. In fact I wore a 38C from 13 until 22 because I was so embarrassed to go get fitted. Recently I tried some online fitting and trying different bras on and I'm wearing a 42D/40DD depending what brand I get. This sounds big, but I still see myself as being part of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee because relative to my frame and stomach my boobs do look small.

Among the incredibly common fatphobic things said to fat women "At least you have big boobs." has to be in a top ten and I realise that most women who hear this will hate it with a passion, but as a young girl this is all I wanted! I was a fat child and a fatter teen, so when this fat person didn't even have the one body part society finds redeeming about fat women, well.... I was rather miffed. I wasn't the fat girl with the pretty face or the fat girl with the big boobs. I was just fat girl.

I had a very good friend as a teen who was a dancer, so she was very fit and active. She once said "As long as my boobs are bigger than my stomach then I feel ok." We were both very young, so hadn't finished developing and she was tiny compared me, so being the over sensitive lump that I reacted rather badly. I didn't say a word to her, but I realised my boobs were only slightly bigger than my stomach and I felt dreadful. Nowadays my stomach beats my boobs unless they're corralled into a truly pushy, push up bra and I don't give a fig.


I hope anyone who has got this far found this interesting and may have even learned something. I would love some comments adding to my "Things I Have Learned About Boobs" list, I'm sure we've all learned a lot by now!

(I also tried to keep the language in this section as gender neutral as possible because lbgtqia! If any problematic language remains please tell me.)

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