A few weeks ago I was driving in my car and the radio station brought on a morning guest. The guest was a plastic surgeon and she was on to talk about boobs. She informed all of us listeners that there were a few easy at home analyses that we could do to determine if we needed (1) a breast lift or (2) a breast implant. Or (in my case apparently) both.
Apparently, if I could hold 1 pencil underneath my boob, then I was a great candidate for a breast lift. Apparently, if the top half of my breast was less full than the bottom half, then I was an ideal candidate for an implant.
Apparently, I need plastic surgery.
I burst out laughing. Unfortunately I had a mouth full of coffee and that is coffee I will never get back.
I instantly started texting with a friend, telling her about the story and asking her what she thought the plastic surgeon would say about me if I could hold an entire binder underneath my boobs.
If this had been 8 or 10 years ago, I would have felt SO much shame around my body. I would have raced to the internet to find out how much it would cost me to get implants and a lift and started budgeting to fix my body. I wouldn’t have texted a friend, because I would have felt too embarrassed about my body that was apparently in need of medical attention. But this is the kind of culture we live in. A culture that creates shame around certain bodies (normal, natural bodies). That shame silences people from saying “this is what it’s like for me… you too?” and makes these same people feel like they MUST change or fix what very well could be normal and natural for them.
I think talking about the things that we all experience — the normal and natural things — whether it is boobs or emotions or fear is essential. It’s essential for us to feel at home in our own skin. It’s essential for us to feel connected to one another. It’s essential for us to cope in healthy, constructive ways in real life. It’s essential for us to feel accepted for who we are — not only by others but, most importantly, by ourselves.
If getting a breast lift is an empowered choice that you want to make in your own life, that is 100% great. If it’s not for you, great, too. If it’s not right for you today but is in 10 years, awesome. I just want you to know that if your body looks different than some airbrushed cultural “ideal” or than it did when you were 12 years old, it doesn’t mean you’re broken.
Boob job or no boob job, you’re worthy of love.
Zero pencils under your boobs or a handful of them, you don’t deserve to be shamed or punished for your proportions.
Removed breasts or perky breasts or saggy breasts or As or DDs or nursing breasts or three breasts or WHATEVER, your body is a real body. Real exists. Perfect doesn’t.
The more we work to accept ourselves, the more we talk about real things (even when they aren’t “perfect”), the more we are true with ourselves and others, the more we will be able to notice the voices that try to take advantage of our normal and natural differences.
This applies outside of the boob context, too.