Am I even a woman without visible breasts?
It feels like I have been waiting forever for this unveiling…coming to terms with my truth. I never knew where I should start, but I guess I’m here now; there is no going back.
Welcome to my truth. Please prepare yourself, as I’m not holding back.
I haven’t always loved my breasts and the exact moment I started loving them (as I do right now), I couldn’t tell you. Growing up, I was a late bloomer and I had what I like to call a serious case of ‘pancake chest syndrome’ and believe me, I still do now. Don’t be fooled by how full they look in a carnival costume! Don’t get me wrong, I do have breasts, but they take up more surface area than they do airspace and when I lay down… I am almost mandem.
Almost, so don’t @ me!
I played football when I was younger and I was still able to control the ball with my chest at age 12. When most of my friends wore actual bras, real bras, with cups and all…I was still wearing Winnie The Pooh (judge me not) vest-bras. It wasn’t even a training bra! Most of Form 1 (St.Lucian for year 7) I wore my Winnie The Pooh cropped vest and wore my special AAA bras on days I felt extra as there was no need for them.
I catfished my way into the world of womanhood
I remember always feeling inadequate…like I didn’t belong to the league of women as I had no breasts to prove it. I remember always thinking ‘REAL WOMEN HAVE BOOBIES, THE ONES YOU CAN SEE FORMING PERFECT GROS PITON & PETIT PITON THROUGH THEIR VEST’ & I carried this sentiment with me all the way through adolescence. **Little side note in case you didn’t understand the gros piton & petit piton reference, they are the most photographed landmark in St.Lucia, the most glorious volcanic twin peaks you will ever encounter.**
I hadn’t realised the extent of my insecurity and discomfort until I was way into secondary school. One day whilst I was in Year 9/10 just as I was leaving home for school my mother called me into the kitchen where she was standing. *she looked down at my chest* ‘SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT !’ is all I remember thinking. She noticed I had more chest than usual..because I was wearing two bras. She scolded me to the heavens and back and I may have even received a slap or two (yes I got beaten, my mum is as St.Lucian as they come.) My mother pays very close attention to my sister and I thus she notices almost every minuscule change. It wasn’t the first time I had worn my double bra combination to make my breasts “visible”, to prove I was a woman but it was surely my last.
My mother’s fuss and disappointment over my double bra combination surely sent a message home. She had always instilled so much confidence and teachings of self-love in us. She had always taught us to be happy with what we had, so to whom did I need to prove my femininity to? Perhaps it was the boys or the simple fact that I wanted to fit in with all the girls conquering womanhood with proof. Maybe it was just my sheer appreciation for breasts. Who knows?!
From lack of tatas to appreciation
I love Instagram and Snapchat for allowing me to interact so closely with my followers, as I get so many questions and comments from young girls/women surrounding confidence in all forms.. from body confidence to having confidence on the runway/streets (they are now one in the same for me.) I especially always receive questions or praise about my disregard for bras especially when I go on one of my rants.
Truthfully, it wasn’t until I started modelling carnival costumes consistently that I realised that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my breasts. I love that every woman doesn’t have the same ones and they all vary. There is so much diversity in breast shapes and areola sizes. Once I began fashion modelling, constantly being braless to model made me realise how comfortable it was to just let em hang loose! It was so liberating.
I remember thinking “Why had I not done this sooner?”
My mum always rang this one sentence in my head ‘If I had your breasts I would never wear a bra’ and truthfully I have finally accepted my breasts and almost refuse to wear a bra, despite the stares and how people may look at me sometimes, I couldn’t care less. They are simply breasts.
If it wasn’t for the respect I had for my parents I’d be one of those women who wore sheer tops without a bra to make it somewhat more modest. Being raised in a small community in St.Lucia, respect was always a key part of my upbringing and I still hold the highest regards for my parents and their values.
I’m here to say that…
I am at a point in life where I no longer need to please the masses. I believe that we have come a long way and society ought to be able to see a woman who chooses not to wear a bra without making comments. Personally, I have small breasts and I often found that the underwire hurt more than they did any good. As of the last two years, I can perhaps count the number of bras I have worn on both my hands. Despite the comments I often received at the beginning of my journey, I can truly say that they no longer affect me. I often play no mind to the indecent comments because I am far too comfortable in my own breasts.
Boo, no matter your bra size, do not succumb to the pressures of society. Do not allow anyone to tell you, that you need a bra, cause you do not. If you find ‘em uncomfortable, believe in your breasts and say no to bras.