As I embark on my second breastfeeding journey, I find myself musing about my breasts, these miraculous milk making mammaries and my relationship with them. As women, for better or worse, our boobies are something we are stuck with. Be they itti bitty titties, or bountiful bosoms, our breasts can shape our self perception as women and at times can seem both a blessing, and a curse. There was once upon a time a much younger girl version of me, who wished so desperately for breasts. Breasts of course being that magical bridge between being a girl, and becoming a woman … and I wanted some, damnit! Fast forward to now – when as a 33 year old woman, I can look down at you, my boobs, where you have been hanging out (literally) for the best part of 20 years. How we have changed, and the roads we have travelled!
This is my letter to you, my tatas, boobies, titties, hooters, hoo-has, chesticles, fun bags, jugs ….
You were late to come to the party. Way later than fashionable late. Terribly, painfully late – my teenage self was utterly traumatised at her boob-less existence. Thanks genetics! At aged 12, I had that certain awkward conversation with my mother about purchasing your first ever bras… although you didn’t even exist yet. I just wanted to fit in, and make changing for PE less fraught with pre-teen anxiety. If I couldn’t have boobs, I was determined to at least have a bra! In retrospect, knowing the lifelong sentence of expense and discomfort of said over the shoulder boulder holders, I might have rejoiced a little more in my pre-bra days of freedom. I confess, at this point I also I may have supplemented your non existence with tissues, I apologize for the misrepresentation.
When you did indeed arrive…finally… at around age 15 or so, I was so so ready. Your perky roundness I showcased under tight tops and I loved to show you off, to anyone and everyone. Look at my beautiful boobies! No really, LOOK AT THEM! I’m afraid I have never grown out of this….
I discovered that other people liked to look at you too, and as a poor yet enterprising university student, I found a way to turn this general fascination of men with you into cash dollars . Naked, body painted, wet t-shirted, tequila covered… we had some adventures together to be sure. Although you were already a pert C cup, I yearned to surgically enhance you to be BIGGER and MORE BOOBIE. I stuffed you into ill-fitting push up bras and never truly appreciated your natural beauty.
My first pregnancy in my mid twenties gave you a new purpose. You became functional and essential, rather than purely decorative. You grew to new (gigantic) proportions, to say the least. Your cleavage was magnificent, You nourished our daughter, until gradually she didn’t need your sustenance, warmth and soft comfort any longer. We suffered together through cracked nipples, painful blocked ducts and bouts of mastitis, If we were a cow, we would have been humanely out out of our misery but we soldiered on, for a whole two and a half years. I felt so proud of you!
But then I felt sad, as I gazed at the aftermath of just doing what you were made to do. Your stretch mark battle scars horrified me, and so did your new shape, which I likened to sagging, deflated balloons.You were no longer my favourite body part and I missed and longed for your younger incarnation. I fell out of love with you.
Now, we are older still, and (somewhat) wiser…. I hope. I have seen you grow to your biggest proportions yet during our latest pregnancy. I once again have marvelled at your magnificence! As you feed our daughter, I feel thankful. What an amazing thing it is, to provide sole sustenance to a whole other human being. When our daughter gives a cheeky grin mid feed, ducking down under your rosy nipple, I feel like a life giving goddess. I look at you in the mirror – my bountiful breasts – unsupported and full, and admire you. You might not look like you did a decade ago… but who does!? I am learning to embrace and appreciate your natural shape and beauty, without always covering, lifting, disguising.
So I thank you, my boobs. I raise a glass to your awesomeness and look forward to many more breast-alicious years. Gravity might be a bitch, but there is always Thailand….
Ladies and your bosoms – be they big, small and everything in between … give your lady lumps some love. They are beautiful, and so are you! And please, check them for lumps and bumps!
My lovely friend Miss Lily Kate created this piece, which couldn’t be more perfect for boob appreciation! You can get yourself a print, click on the pic for the link!