I don’t have big boobs, not by any stretch of the imagination. My boobs aren’t just not big, they are small. I have more push up bras than any other type of bras – with the exception of sports bras with great padding. This is probably more information than you wanted to know, but as poet Sonya Renee once acclaimed, the body is not an apology.
My boobs have always been the one thing I’d want to change about my body if I could. I know – you’re not supposed to say things like that out loud. You might think it to yourself from time to time when you stand in front of a mirror or you whisper it among your closest friends. But actually expressing something real about an insecurity that you may have – only creatures with feelings do that.
Ever so often, I research the different kinds of breast enhancements available – the process, the cost, etc. I read the stories of women who have undergone it – their fears, their joys, their in-between judgments of whether they would or wouldn’t do it again. Above all, I always pay attention to their whys – their real reason for altering their bodies for a lifetime.
Everything from wanting more confidence to never feeling secure in their bodies to their significant others thinking they would look better if they have them – are the whys given. The decision to alter one’s body – which is such an individual act – is never discussed as a desire that is constructed by a society that polices and disciplines bodies. No one ever says, “I want bigger boobs because that is what I’ve been told to want.” Or, “I want big boobs because that’s what the patriarchy wants.” Everyone wants to believe their choices are theirs alone.
But choices do not exist in a vacuum – they do not exist without context. And that’s not just what you think about boobs – whether you have them or not. It’s about everything from the politics of our body to the politics of government. Society participates in the constructions that make up the choices that we can choose. Of course you might want to have big boobs simply because you want them. But believing your choice is removed from the societal constructions that have been inflicted on us all since birth is naive at best, and disingenuous at worst.
Of course the women who might fall on the side of having bigger boobs may consider reducing them – sometimes even for health reasons. However, in a society where having small boobs can make one feel inadequate, having boobs that are deemed “too big” can lead to insecurities too. It’s hard to win when people expect perfection from each other. But in the words of a John Legend song, we’re just ordinary people.
Big boobs, tiny waists, big butts, full lips, flat stomachs, and yet thinness – does the list ever end? And all of this for what? So that men and women can applaud a body – objectify it, envy it, and ultimately continue to police it? And even when we think it will make us more confident and even if it does, then what?
The then what?, I think, is what has always held me back from doing anything permanent to my body. That and when I look at my body, when I really see myself in the light I think I was meant to see it as a creature made from love, I think my boobs are just fine the way they are – maybe even beautiful. And if someone doesn’t find them adequate, well, that’s okay too. I don’t need to be everyone’s cup of tea – everyone certainly isn’t mine.
So make changes to your body or don’t. Tell yourself it’ll make you feel more comfortable or don’t. But recognize too that as long as you are taking care of the body you’re in, and in all the ways you must, your body was not created to be the site of society’s conflict with itself.
Your body was created to be the entity in which you exist, a form that embodies love, a temple, and even in all these spectacular things, it is still not going to be the most important thing about you. Remember that the next time you want bigger boobs.