When I was 15 I saw a picture of a girl on social media. She was a bikini model, perfect curves, soft skin, beautiful face, voluminous breast in symmetrical appearance and simply that what society describes as the perfect woman. Because I was at home I crossed a mirror minutes after I went through all her pictures on Instagram and because I had a shower before I was wearing nothing but a bath robe. The belt was loose so I dropped it and looked at my naked body. I saw many things I hated that day, so many marks and asymmetrical body parts. But the focus was on my boobs – I compared them to the perfect body I’ve seen minutes before.
- My boobs are clearly asymmetrical – one is almost a cup smaller than the other
- My boobs are big and with weak connective tissue gravity shows it’s effect so I considered them as saggy, dropping and ugly
- My boobs are full of stretch marks
In one millisecond everything I was so proud of before got destroyed. I remember how I started to cry and put on one bra after the other just to see how I can make them look ‘normal’. I pulled bra straps super tight and pressed my boobs into shapes they are not made for. When I jumped back on social media I started going through all these pictures of models and every single one decreased my self-esteem immensely. This was nothing that just lasted for a day or a week – that was something that influenced and almost ruled my life for the next 4 years. At any party, every weekend at the swimming pool and almost every social situation I tried to look different and I was ashamed of the shape of my breast. My negative self image got fed with every commercial on TV or any magazines. I tried to look like the girls on Instagram, in the Cosmopolitan or on any shopping website while wearing push up bras that stopped my blood from flowing into right direction, pushed my boobs up and in the supposedly wanted shape. What I didn’t notice back then were the marks on the skin and the sore spots when I got rid of my bra right before I went to bed. I didn’t notice the bruises all around my breast. When I had my first boyfriend the lights were absolutely always switched off while having sex. Over the years the conviction grew that something is wrong with my body that I have to be ashamed of and that I have to hide. Something that is inappropriate, not normal and what must be changed. I spent hundreds and hundreds of euros on bras, tissue strengthening cremes and all kind of beauty products that promised to lift up the breast. I kept on comparing my body to others, I kept on googling about how to lift boobs and stumbled over one thing again and again: beauty surgeries. I remember that one website where I really started to believe I have to get into one of those clinics. What they basically said was that when the areola is on the same level than the skin fold where boob meets thorax you have a serious sagging boob that needs to be fixed as fast as possible. I believed that. So everybody out there who is feeling the same right now please listen: This is bullshit.
After 4 years of doubting, spending money on beauty products and hiding behind push up bras I found a woman from the UK who was photographing 100 women of all age and origin, naked. And the first time in my life (after a quarter a lifetime) I saw the truth. I saw all the different shapes, all the different sizes and volumes. I saw saggy boobs, small an big ones, a pair with different cup sizes, stretch marks, silicon and sometimes not much more than nipples. I was fascinated by the beauty of the female body. I saw diversity and I saw how we really look like. She gave me the push I needed to move in the right direction – creating a positive body image and rising in self love. I started to look a things differently, I started to go to the sauna and (don’t judge me please) look at peoples body shapes there. What was right in front of me the whole time got so clear now: We all are different and unique. Every pair of boobs is so uniquely beautiful and so incredibly fascinating. The human body is a miracle, a gift and a blessing. Step by step I felt more comfortable in my body. You might not believe this but for me its a big step staying away from push ups and cup bras. I am wearing sport bras now who are spreading the weight of my boobs equally on my shoulders. Which are giving my boobs the space to appear in their natural shape. Yes, sometimes you see my nipples. Yes, sometimes my boobs are way lower than I want them to be. And yes, sometimes they move around too much (see, society speaking here) but it’s okay. I feel comfortable and the most important thing: I am not in pain. It took me years of working on my body image to be less attached to what I still see on Instagram everyday and I have to admit that it still influences me. Looking at social media, looking at models pretending to be in their natural state, watching porns with girls of perfect (but synthetic) shape teaches young girls to hide. Before they even get the chance to rise in authenticity the perfect body image created by industries / society takes away all positive outlook on their just awakening female bodies. It teaches them from the beginning to crave something so unnatural (perfection) what they consider as normal. Then body shaming starts: body shaming for everything that’s different to sizes we see in magazines and Instagram. Body shaming for breast that are not round and nipples that are not pointy. Body shaming for every single stretch mark and weak tissue. We are wearing the shame as a second coat when we leave the house, when we go to school, university, work and this needs to stop. The archetypical breast, round with small pointy nipples, is considered as normal. But there is so much more: Asymmetrical, bell shaped, close set, slender, tear drop, conical, athletic. A few breast do have unequal amount of fullness at the top + bottom, some have a very small gap and other a big one in between. Your areolae (the darker area surrounding the nipples) can be light, dark and from 1 to 8 cm diameter. The nipples show up in even more variations: bumpy, inverted, hairy, puffy, everted, protruding, supernumerary. Sometimes nipples are pointing up, sometimes down. Size, color, shape, sensitivity and directions are unique as the whole breast is. Your breast changes during your life and even in your menstrual cycle. Our boobs are saggy, solid, big, small, round, pointy or relaxed. You see: There is no normal. There is just you. So remember:
- All boobs are unique -> don’t compare!!!
- Stretch marks are normal
- Gravity does its part
- A pair of boobs ALWAYS has different sizes
- Your lover loves them anyway 😉
Today I know that what looks like a D cup of the model on my screen is actually an A or B which is perfectly staged with lighting, push up and photoshop. It’s their job to look perfect so they do. With a lot of support. This is a professional business that cannot be measured against. This desperate need to be like this models isn’t helping anyone except beauty industry. It hurts our bodies, the only ones we have. So why the hell should we wear something that keeps our blood from flowing, hurts our shoulders and pushes our boobs in shapes they are not made for? I give you a task: Step in front of the mirror (maybe even naked) and smile at you once per day while you’re brushing your teeth and get ready for the day. Focus on what you like. Pick one tiny thing every day and just see how it goes. Self love is the key to any doubts you have about your body. They will naturally fade away the more you accept yourself the way you are. Please, you beautiful woman out there: remember to be grateful, remember to be authentic and remember your beauty in everything you do.
Star normalizing human bodies. Start looking at men and women in their natural shape. Start embracing the unbelievable diversity of our skins, weight, boobs, bums, penises, hips, fingers, sizes and faces. Start to look at your body as a piece of art. Isn’t it fascinating that we are all of the same species and so different? Why do I look at social media and it feels like the main goal of humanity is to look exactly the same? Where is our individuality? Why can’t we just accept that everybody is so different? So again: Stop comparing your body to what you see on social media. This is not the truth. This A cup looks like a C cup, the lightening is perfect so you don’t see any cellulite but these girls have that too, I promise. It’s their job to look good, it’s their job to pose perfectly and look awesome. But it’s just a facade, it’s just business. Noticed one thing? All these girls look the same, are standing for one movement in beauty and fashion industry. Why should you give up what you are to join them? Women’s bodies are seen as contested terrain on social media and you really don’t have to do the same. You might think of your body as something you have to change but what you actually have to change is the way you think about your body. It’s not your cup size, your hips or your body marks that make you unhappy is your mind creating negative stories around what makes you you. Your imperfections are your personality! Your imperfections are your perfections! Let’s rise in authenticity instead of hiding what we are. There is nothing more sexy than an authentic woman standing in her female power. Knowing about her body features, her hotness, her vibe and attitude and who is just so much in love with herself that she accepts her body in the exact way it is today without needing to be affirmed by society.
So please, girls: Be proud of what you have. Embrace all your imperfections, stretch marks, cellulite, kilos and scars then they are you, and you are uniquely beautiful.