(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.”
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. 🙂
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)?