(Editor’s Note: Google apparently has difficulty telling the difference between content that is actually lewd, and content designed to have a helpful/healthy discussion on body image. Because of a warning we received for this post, we’ve gone through and edited a word repeatedly used that I’m sure you’ll still recognize.)
“Hi Mara, I would love to hear the WHY and HOW behind your decision to not care about having the extra “help” (with your br–sts). I’m small busted and of course feel the pressure not to be. It seems it is only acceptable to be small if you’re a six-foot runway model or a twelve-year-old (yes, I live in LA). This mindset has affected me to varying degrees throughout my life. When I worry about it, I feel like I don’t really qualify as a woman and intimacy becomes a psychological trial. When I can forget about the pressure, of course I feel great and life (and sex) is so much better.
The problem is how often the pressure and worry resurface. A boob job is so not me. It feels like a betrayal of myself, something I’d never want my own daughter to feel like she needed. But I completely understand why women do it. And I find myself thinking about it a lot.
Basically, I want someone to talk me out of it; some support (no pun intended. ha!) from the small chested crowd; some advice as to how you learned to drown out the relentless “expectations” and still feel like a real, acceptable, complete woman. Thanks.”
Thanks for asking this and putting yourself out there like this. I am sure there are MANY that feel just the way you do. It’s so awful to feel pressure regarding your appearance and I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this. Your questions definitely made me think and ponder about how I’ve been cured of worrying or thinking negatively about my smaller br–st size. OK, here goes…
I learned this the very hard way, but I learned that I AM IN CHARGE OF THE SCRIPT IN MY HEAD. I do not need to adopt the script that another person or my spouse or a culture might have for me (whether it be the culture of family, religion, neighborhood, marriage, region, workplace, school, city, country, etc.) I KNOW THAT I GET TO DECIDE FOR MYSELF WHAT I WANT TO TELL MYSELF OR BELIEVE. And I do my best to live by that. To me, this is perhaps the most important/hardest thing we need to learn in life! At times in my adulthood, living by my own script has been easier to do just because I’m quite independent by nature and don’t worry what people think most of the time. BUT, in my former marriage, somehow I became a victim to my husband’s script related to my appearance. At the time I did not have enough self worth to resist it. And eventually it was as though I had to learn FROM SCRATCH how to create my own script again and think of myself in a more positive way. And let me tell you, I had to hold onto that script for dear life. But it worked. Changing my script changed my life and helped me to take back my own worth, confidence and light again. If you’d like to start down this path, I recommend watching the film, “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay.
Deep down, I certainly know that physical beauty – or just our body parts – don’t define us. And so I DO MY BEST TO ACT LIKE IT. So yes, I practice, practice, and practice. And in this case regarding the size of my br–sts, I PRACTICE FEELING GOOD IN MY OWN SKIN. So instead of being embarrassed of myself or ashamed or hating myself or comparing myself to others or wishing I looked different, it’s more like, “I am so thankful for this healthy/functioning body. And not only that, I think I look pretty dang good!” It’s also no secret that a woman’s br–sts play an important role in intimacy and sensuality. And certainly those intimate moments could be tainted by negative thoughts and self criticism. So instead I often think to myself, “I’m so dang lucky that I enjoy that part of myself, and that my husband does, too!” And because it can be an important expression of a healthy sexual connection, I think, “How nice that there is just one very thin piece of fabric between us instead of a bunch of padding.” 🙂 Haha. There you have it (yes, all of it. haha). I share this to show that your thoughts change things, trust me. They change the way you feel. They change the way you act. So, put into practice feeling beautiful and enough as you are.
Not Waiting for People or Circumstances to Change.
It helps that I don’t have a husband who oogles and gawks at large br–sted women or makes it clear that he prefers women of a certain size. He’s extremely respectful that way. This gives me the space to practice feeling like I’m ENOUGH because I don’t have his expectations breathing down my back. HOWEVER, I’d say that a pressure-free environment like this is NOT a requirement for you tapping into your own power. I know that from experience. I didn’t learn how to do this with Danny. And I can say it’s possible to change your script and learn to feel like enough on the inside, no matter what circumstance you are in, no matter what expectations people or your spouse have for you, no matter what cultural pressure you feel, no matter if your husband is addicted to porn or is unkind enough to let you know that he is especially attracted to women who don’t look like you. As women, we cannot rely on others for our worth. We MUST cultivate it ourselves. Even if we have a loving environment, it is not enough. We must still do the work for ourselves. For loads of my posts about self worth, please see the side bar.
WHY I’m OK with smaller br–sts.
For me, I’m guessing culture is a big reason. While many may feel cultural pressure to get a surgery, I would say I feel zero cultural pressure to do so. Like I mentioned, after 14 years, I don’t know one single woman on the east coast that has had br–st surgery. Not one! In my experience, it just doesn’t seem like people really care. AND I LOVE THAT. (In my experiences abroad in Europe and South America, I also haven’t encountered an overall feeling that people really value large br–sted women – enough that women are getting br–st enlargements in droves. Though I’d love for other readers to chime in here, too, as I know there are different pockets of sub cultures pretty much every where you go.)
It is worth noting that while there may be less pressure in Brooklyn to get br–st surgery, certainly there are other unique expectations which have the potential to cause just as much comparison, self doubt, and anxiety as anything else (for example, uniqueness is valued, independent thinking is valued, creativity is valued, accomplishments and professions are valued.) And giving into those expectations can be just as expensive and just as superficial and shortsighted of a solution to the quest for personal worth as anything else.
One cultural type of pressure is not inherently better or worse than any other kind. All of them represent an external influence suggesting to you how you should judge yourself and others, or what parts of your body or personality or intellect are acceptable or not. In the end, I say we have to rise above that and choose for ourselves what we want to value- whatever it may be.
So why do I think small br–sts can be sexy and beautiful? Because br–st size is not a determinant of beauty or sex appeal for me. I value women spending their time and thoughts DOING smart, creative, innovative, charitable things – it doesn’t matter to me how one looks or how big their br–sts are or how “attractive” they are as they do them.
In my book, Smart is beautiful. Natural is beautiful. Creativity is beautiful. Confidence is beautiful. Hard work is beautiful. Healthy living is beautiful. Happiness is beautiful. Caring for others is beautiful. Wisdom is beautiful. Function is beautiful. Being a mother is beautiful. Minimalism is beautiful. Ambition is beautiful. Changing the world is beautiful. And perhaps most importantly, Owning Your Inherent Worth is beautiful.
I think the key is to just find out what truly feels beautiful to you and embrace it. And if your culture tells you something different, tell them to pound sand (this was Danny’s suggestion for nicer language. 🙂
With lots of love to all of you – no matter what shape or size you are -with real or fake br–sts. You are all amazing women with SO MUCH BEAUTY to offer the world. And it is a great hope of mine that we as women can tap into our greatest power and gifts and worth- regardless of what we look like.
P.S. In case it might seem I am perfect at this at all times, I am not.
These photos were taken while Danny and I backpacked Europe. I took one pair of tennis shoes for 5 weeks. They were so, so ugly. I had no hair products or make up at all. We brought very few clothes and I was so sick of wearing them. I specifically remember not feeling so cute while Danny took these photos there on the Champ de Mars. I clearly needed this post on that day.
As always, please chime in with your thoughts! Your comments and discussions here are what make this blog. Any other advice for someone feeling cultural pressure to get a br–st enlargement (when she prefers not to)?