“Your boobs are too big to not have any support,” my mom angrily whispered while I tried to run out of the dressing room.
“None of my friends wear a bra!” I hissed back and distinctively remember throwing the stark white, cotton thing at her head.
I’ll never forget my first day at our new school. Out of nowhere, my friend Jenny snuck up behind me and screamed out, “Lauren! Are you wearing a bra!?” Without missing a beat, she reached behind me and snapped my bra right at the hook. It hurt and I was sure she made a mark but I just pretended like it didn’t happen. All of my other friends were flat as pancakes. The bra outline in my clothes was like this signal to the world that screamed, “Check this girl out! She’s going through puberty at lightning speed!” At lunchtime, I slipped into the bathroom, unhooked my bra, slipped it out through my sleeve and threw it in the garbage.In the years after that, my boobs got way bigger. I’ve never really been able to get away with halter tops or those cute little bikini tops you see celebs wearing on the beach. There were days when I wondered if I lost a few pounds if my boobs would get a little smaller and then there were times that I thought about getting a push-up bra to make them look perkier. I even tried to hide my boobs with minimizer bras (not so comfy!).
A few years after high school graduation, I had a bunch of girls over to my apartment to order in dinner and watch TV. Someone commented on how they thought Katie Holmes had the perfect face and body and that triggered a body image bitch fest. Everyone started wishing they looked like Katie and complaining about one of their own features that they weren’t happy with. One complained of being too hairy, another of having thunder thighs and someone else couldn’t stand the bump on the bridge of her nose. The funny thing was every complaint was met with a chorus of responses like “Are you serious? I would kill for your full eyebrows” or “Lucky! You have the best nose.”The same happened when I complained about my big boobs. Everyone else groaned and told me I was lucky that I could hold up strapless dresses and that I didn’t look like a little boy. I’d never even thought about what it might like to be on the other side of the situation and was really surprised to hear those things.
I started to realize that the things we dislike about ourselves are often the things that others would love to have. I started to make a more conscious effort not to be hard on myself about my looks—especially my boobs—around my friends. I didn’t want us getting in the habit of using our time together to break ourselves down. And I made looking at myself in the mirror a time to build myself up—not pick myself apart. It was then that I could begin to look at my boobs as an asset—not a curse.
Instead of uncomfortable minimizer bras, I started treating myself to sexier styles. Instead of oversize shirts, I learned to shop for clothes that accentuated my boobs (in a classy way). Today my boobs don’t define me, they don’t embarrass me, they don’t bother me—they’re simply a part of me that I couldn’t imagine looking any other way.
Do you wish your boobs were a different size? Smaller or bigger? Tell us in the comments!