THE ONE THING I DID THAT MADE ME FALL IN LOVE WITH MY (SMALL) BOOBS
I never thought I would be able to write these words without resorting to plastic surgery first. Ever since it was pretty clear that I wouldn’t have big boobs, I remember hating them. And according to the statistics that say roughly 300 000 women get breast implants every year, it appears that I’m far from being the only one who’s struggled with my breast size. And that’s why I wanted to share my story, or rather this part of my story. Because I really went from hating my breasts to loving them, just by changing a tiny little thing that allowed me to completely rewire my mindset.
It took me a long time to get here. Here being the comfortable, warm and fuzzy place where I’m able to look at my own breasts and love them for what they are. And I know how mind-numbing it is to look at yourself in the mirror and feel a mix of rage, disgust and sadness. I remember how it feels to look at your body and get the feeling that it doesn’t look like how you’re feeling on the inside.
What do I mean by that? Well, I’ve always been told that I had a very feminine energy, and that’s always how I felt as well. I love to be pretty, to take care of myself… I love to wear clothes that make me look good, that flatter my body and I love to be desired. I also believe that anyone who says they don’t is blatantly lying to you. But when you’re a woman… Actually, scratch that. Before you’re a woman, when you’re still a girl, society shows you that to be feminine, to be beautiful and especially to be sexually desired, you have to have boobs. Big boobs.
Up until very recently in history, this used to be true mostly in America. Because that’s how America is and was: The bigger, the better. Americans want bigger cars, bigger houses, bigger burgers, and bigger boobs. In America, young blondes with big boobs were the beauty standard.
Meanwhile, from my understanding after consuming my fair share of vintage pop culture, in Europe, things were a little bit different. I don’t remember who said it, but I very clearly remember hearing an older woman on the radio a few years ago, giving an interview after coming back from France… And she said something along the lines of “It felt so different and so good to go to Europe, and I was startled to realize that men still looked at me and desired me. For European men, women can still be very sexy after 40, while here in America, it gets increasingly harder for a woman to get a movie role after 40.”
It’s a well-known fact (and the subject of many weird dieting books) that women in Europe are usually a little smaller in size, which is probably also why it used to not be such a determining factor to have huge breasts, because usually, women with smaller waists, stomachs, hips and legs also have smaller breasts. Obviously, there are exceptions, but that’s true for the majority.
But then, the internet happened, and while that’s fantastic , the internet also had one major side effects: It made it so much easier to compare yourself and your peers to a much, much larger pool of people. And not only people from your area, people from around the globe, people you might have never gotten to know existed if it wasn’t for the internet. And so it became that men around the world starting wanting women with European type bodies, but with American supersized breasts.
That ideal started being represented in the adult entertainment industry, starting with Playboy, porn and strip clubs, to end up being totally mainstream, and today, it’s pretty much still the main collective ideal for female beauty: tiny waist, huge tits, and a big ole butt.
Now, as a grown woman, I understand that this is an unnatural standard, and one that is simply impossible to attain for the vast majority of women without the help of a plastic surgeon. I’m also in a place in my life where I understand that the collective beauty standards don’t apply to everyone, and while it might be currently trendy to have a big ass and inflated lips, there are still a lot of men out there who prefer a small butt and a more natural lip shape. When it comes to beauty and tastes, it all comes down to subjectivity.
But trust me when I say that’s not how it went in my 12 year old mind. As soon as I realized that my boobs weren’t really growing like some of my friends, I felt cursed and trapped. To be fair, I started getting boobs when I was in college (I know, weird AF). And when I looked at my mom, who also has small breasts, I realized it would have been a genetic miracle for me to look like Pamela Anderson. Actually, that’s a bad example, because I don’t know anyone who looks like Pamela Anderson thanks to genetics. But you get the idea.
The moment my step-mom took me shopping for my first bra, I asked if I could get 2. And yes, you might have guessed it, I used all my pre-teen ingenuity to create the first homemade push-up bra for 12 year olds. Obviously they didn’t have any padding, but I discovered that if I wore them both at the same time, on top of each other, it kind of looked like I had a little something going on there.
For years, I kept wearing 2 bras juxtaposed under my t-shirts and tank tops, which probably looked weird with all those straps, but no one ever noticed or at least no one ever said anything. I wore 2 bras 24 hours a day except when I showered. If you’ve ever felt the intense relief of taking your bra off at the ned of the day, that should be enough to understand how much I hated not having boobs. In hindsight, I realize that me sleeping with 2 bras on (!!) really only meant that I was so uncomfortable in my own body that I didn’t want anyone to see it the way it was, not even myself.
Then, a little later in life, I discovered push-up bras, and started wearing them religiously, although only one at a time - Great progress, right?! Not really. I literally did not have a bra that wasn’t the maximum level of push-up I could get my hands on. When I started getting sexually active, my biggest fear was the moment that bra had to come off, because I was always afraid the guy would be like “Oh, really? Never mind, not into it”.
But with time, I realized that that didn’t happen. I never had a man take off my bra and look disappointed. If anything, it was quite the opposite. And that’s when I started realizing that men (or at least the handful I had been with) didn’t care about the fact that I didn’t have a watermelon freak show on my chest (to quote Samantha Jones). Because truth is, men that were (and are) attracted to me are into skinny girls with small features. And some guys are into curvy girls with big boobs, and some guys are into skinny girls with huge fake tits. And that’s OK. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.
That realization really helped me build my self-confidence, along with my role models… Which at this point were mostly famous models with similar body types, and were all considered incredibly sexy, even though they didn’t have massive boobs. (On a side note, there’s a lot about that in my post called How Fashion Saved My Self-Esteem, if you’re into that).
I finally felt like I was on the right path towards being comfortable in my own body, and even traded my super padded bras for a more natural level of push-up. For the first time in my life, I felt like money wasn’t the only thing standing in the way of me getting a boob job. I actually felt like maybe I didn’t have to in order to be desired and love myself.
And then I was told that no man would ever want me if they had the option of picking a girl with implants, and that every guy that ever told me otherwise was obviously lying to protect my feelings. Can’t make that shit up. Normally, I would have called that person a loser and moved on without thinking about it twice. I’m usually not someone who gets bothered by people’s hateful comments (on the internet or irl), because I know that people who feel the need to be mean like that are often just overcompensating for their own shortcomings and insecurities.
But for some reason, that comment destroyed me. It took 3 seconds to destroy years of working on myself just to be able to accept my small breasts and feel worthy with what I had. And I know (and knew) that the only reason I took it to heart was because it hit right home, right on my biggest insecurity, like a sniper with a mission. I was devastated.
For months, I cried almost every time I saw myself naked in the mirror. And I’m really not a cryer, so this says a lot about how shattered I felt. That day, I started crossing the street when I saw a girl with implants walking my way. I started feeling like a rock was falling down my stomach every time I saw a girl with big boobs on Instagram. I started hating the pool, the beach, or any activity I normally loved that involved me (and other women) wearing a bikini. It didn’t matter if I was out by myself, if I saw a girl with bigger boobs, I would automatically tell myself “I bet my boyfriend would rather be with her”.
In the following months, I booked an appointment with a plastic surgeon and got ready to save the $14k I would need to finally be able to love my boobs. Or so I thought. I was also worse off financially than I had ever been in my life at that point, so this really wasn’t a smart, thought-out decision. It was something I was doing out of despair, which is usually a recipe for disaster. Around that time, I also changed the way I dressed. I threw out a lot of my tops with higher necklines, and would only wear the most revealing tops I could find. The fact that I was more obsessed with a deep V-neck than any of those dudes from Jersey Shore only shows how much I needed the validation. Like me walking around everywhere with my tits out would inspire someone to scream at me “You don’t need fake tits to be loved”.
That emotional disaster lasted for an entire year, which is an incredibly long time to feel the insane amount of negativity and sadness I was feeling every single day. And if you’ve ever been through a long period of emotional distress bordering on depression, you know how exhausting it is. At the end of that year, I was drained. I had no energy, no motivation, no desire for anything, and I just wanted to sleep, because then I didn’t have to think. I was at a really low point, probably the lowest I’ve ever felt in my life… And if you think that’s ridiculous, then I can only be happy for you. Because it means you don’t know how destructive self-hate can be, and I really don’t wish that on anyone.
So after a year or so of just not seeing the end of this, I was really tired, defeated and just sick of it all. And that’s actually what saved me. You know how they say sometimes it has to get really bad before it gets good? Well that’s basically what happened. I was so sick of pretending I was OK, so sick of acting like I was proud of my body and just wanted to show it off in all that revealing clothing, and I just wanted to give up.
So I “gave up” and I did something I never thought I could do: I stopped wearing a bra. At first only when I was home alone by myself. And then to walk my dog, when I knew I wouldn’t meet anyone. And then to go to the coffee shop next to my building. More and more, I felt comfortable not wearing a bra in public, and I started feeling like I didn’t need to hide or to pretend I had bigger boobs than I actually do. Not wearing a bra, as insignificant as it might seem, allowed me to discovered that no one actually gives a shit. No one looked at me and laughed, no one said I wasn’t attractive, and occasionally some random dude still hits on me just as much, even though Im not wearing a push-up bra and a plunging neckline. Not gonna lie, my man is also a big fan, ha!
A few weeks ago, I went to a photoshoot and completely forgot to put on a bra. A few months ago, I would have cancelled the whole thing, but this time, I just decided to roll with it. When I posted the photos on Instagram, no one told me I didn’t look good, or that I looked like a 12 year old boy. The photos you’re looking at right now are some of the shots we took on that day, and I actually LOVE them. I love them even more because they actually look like me. This is me, without any additives or retouching. Just me and my small boobs that my friend Melissa and I refer to as “the walnuts” because they’re small but perky. And she’s a lingerie blogger, so she knows a thing or two about boobs.
And if you asked me now to describe my boobs in one word, I wouldn’t even say “small” anymore. Because that’s not the only thing I can see at this point. Now I see them as “perky”, “round” and “beautiful”. I’m happiest when I wear a bikini or sexy lingerie, because it finally feels like I don’t need to hide, like I can be me for what I really am, and be proud of my body.
And in case you’re wondering, I’m not sharing this because I wanted to throw myself a pity party, or because I’m fishing for compliments about my tits (which, let’s be honest, would be weird as f*ck). I’m sharing this because I know a lot of girls and women who don’t feel comfortable with their small breasts, and I felt like this could help. And also because it’s not only about breasts, or even about women. People are insecure about a lot of things. If you don’t like your nose, try to stop contouring it so heavily for a week and see if it changes something. If you feel like you’re ugly, try to stop wearing makeup altogether (like I did) and maybe then you’ll be able to see how beautiful you actually are. If you hate your arms or your cellulite, then please make the conscious effort not to wear long sleeved tops and pants even in the Summer. Wear those cute tank tops and those short shorts, and enjoy yourself. Because life is too damn short to spend it hiding your “flaws” and you don’t deserve to be put down by yourself, every time you tell yourself you’re not beautiful.
Oh, and one last thing. This is not a commentary on plastic surgery. And I’m not saying people who choose to get plastic surgery are wrong to do so. Everyone is the master of their own body. All I’m saying is: Plastic surgery is not the only way you can feel beautiful, there are other options. And it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t/will never get plastic surgery. Who knows, maybe I’ll even get breast implants after I have kids. But if I get anything done, it for sure won’t be because I need it to love myself. Because now I understand that self-love doesn’t come from Botox or silicone, or even from other people’s validation… It come from within.