Just now, I posted a question to my sassy sisters in a whatsapp group asking if I should continue using weights in my arms and shoulders workout, even though I have noticed a decrease in my naturally limited resources upstairs. Yes, sisters talk about these things, along with ‘how much sex in a marriage is normal,’ and, my all-time favorite, ‘the best method to remove nipple hair.’ I am genuinely concerned that my boobs are beginning to look smaller after implementing weights into my routine as I am seriously trying to shed major baby weight. As this concern adds extra mileage to my personal beauty race, I question the validity of the concern itself. Why is breast size so important to me and countless other flat-chested girls out there? Why do we feel the need to resort to padded bras (Victoria’s bombshell line is no secret)? Why aren’t we comfortable with pointy triangles poking through our shirts?
It doesn’t help that DD’s, and the like (real and pseudo) gawk at you from reality tv stars every time you turn your flat-screen on, bump into you from countless rows of magazine covers at the grocery checkout lane, jump at you from billboards and transit advertising, and bounce all around you when you’re at the gym desperately trying to stay alive and breathing on the treadmill. Voluptuous boobs are everywhere and they are coveted, emphasized, defined, and desired. I just want to say out loud (in all caps and bold), I AM ENVIOUS OF YOUR CUP SIZE, It’s the simple damn truth. As much as I tell myself it doesn’t matter, or reassure myself that I am still woman enough to roar and rule, its been a personal boobless struggle for me since age 12- as female classmates were filling in and boys wanted to sit closer to them at lunchtime, run beside them in P.E., and show them how to correctly butterfly stroke in swim. I was not approached, was not asked to the Snowcoming, and once there alone, was not asked to dance. High school was much better, considering the fact that I attended one of the best gifted, magnet, and selective high schools in Chicago, Whitney Young (woot woot)! What I may lack in physical goods, boy oh boy, do I make up in mental goods, lets just say DDD’s equivalence ;). By the way, intelligence is super sexy, speaking from experience! Nevertheless, I still yearned for a bigger cup size, even contemplating implants as an undergrad. I didn’t have the money then, but I honestly believe I would’ve decided to go under the knife for a more “bulgy eye-pleasing” version of myself if I had the finances.
The fact that I continue to have this very real thought cross my mind now and again scares me and is a bit appalling especially after having my baby girl. I look at her and know she’s beyond perfect, I want her to feel this perfection and rise and continue to rise. I want her to be confident in her own skin, and not size herself up against any ridiculous societal ideal. Fervidly hoping this strength and esteem infiltrates my babydoll’s mind and heart is simultaneously causing me to reevaluate my self-image. How can I teach her all encompassing self-love when I feel physically inadequate at times? This daunting thought is helping me. I am at least beginning to rewire my mind’s implication of a beautiful woman. Although this rewiring is difficult, it is necessary and commendable. I know I am not alone in this struggle and I am not entirely sure what I will decide to do in the end. My heavily endowed older sister replied, “lose the weights, keep the boobs.” My gorgeous, fitness enthusiast younger sister, with the body of an athletic 15 year old boy, if you catch my drift, replied “use weights, who cares about boobs.” I am considering replacing the 10-lb dumbbell with a 24 oz water bottle in hopes to remain neutral. However, I am doubtful that my neutrality is actually a guised passivity in efforts to sustain my dwindling A cup. In the end, its all relative, but what matters most is that I am apperceptive of my superficial notion of being ‘ladylike’ and am actively thinking of ways to free myself of such shallow self-inflicted chains.
Written by NAZHAH KHAWAJA
Women Editor for THE DEMUREIST. A city gal, born and raised in Chicago. She enjoys reading, writing, and listening to your story. Nazhah is currently working on a novel, she has written essays and poems and enjoys sharing her work at various writers’ collectives.