Breasts are everywhere. Media and advertisements depict breasts as sexualized world wonders setting the standard for what a perfect pair ought to look like. As a result, many women are lead to believe that perfect means firm, supple, overflowing C cups made exclusively for enticing free drinks at the bar, filling-out frilly Victoria Secret bras, and providing levity for motor boating men. Unfortunately, men also ascribe to media’s standards of women’s breast and become self-imposed rack experts on boob banality—a difficult task since they do not walk around with their packages out for women to judge freely, nor are their peckers being publicized for comparison and critique.
The other day my boss, who is still nursing her son, argued how breasts were made to feed our off springs and provide the miracle of life. Instead they’ve been made-out to be accessories of sexualization, and ironically have become discounted for their intended use—breastfeeding. Not that there is anything wrong with a great pair of boobs. In fact, I have even teetered around with the idea of going under the knife to enhance my own. However, there is a lot to be said, or rather, a lot that goes unsaid about how we view our breasts apart from what the media shoves in our faces.
From an early age girls are being told what their bodies should look like, and when they don’t develop fast enough or not at all, some develop poor self-esteem. When I was a child, my friends and I would prance around stuffing our bras with socks and compare our new-found femininity in the mirror. Luckily, we quickly bore of it, tossed those suckers out, and ran to play outside. As a teenager, my mother jokingly bought me a boob jar, a savings bank for breast implants. While I laughed it off and retaliated by buying my mother denture cream, other girls sometimes don’t have as thick skin. Yet even in my young security, the idea of having bigger boobs never really left my mind.
A childhood friend of mine has also tinkered around with the idea of breast augmentation for years. Her own mother even encouraged her to get them because she was a part of the itty bitty titty committee and thought that having bigger boobs would enhance her daughter’s looks. However, my friend says having bigger boobs is just not that important to her now. “I feel like I’d be like POW everywhere; I wouldn’t look right,” she says. Having smaller breasts never affected her self-confidence, nor should it have. However, the fact that women who are comfortable with their body image, like my friend and I, would still consider altering themselves to fit-into societal molds seems unnatural.
Many simply just want larger breasts and to appear more feminine. Yet, does having larger breasts make women more feminine, especially when breasts of all sizes are made for the same reason?
While breasts are seen everywhere in the media and admired by men and women alike, when it comes to seeing breasts in their most natural state, many are against it. Breast feeding in public is a women’s right, by law. However, there has been controversy over breastfeeding in public and how women should be more private. Recently in the news, the mayor of Richmond, VA, Dwight Howard Jones says that “breastfeeding is a public health priority.” He is urging for more young and disadvantaged mothers to breastfeed their babies since studies have shown that fewer black women are breastfeeding their children than white women. Jones has created Virginia’s first breastfeeding commission which has initiated the use of lactating rooms for mothers to pump with hopes of increasing the number of breastfed babies in the city. The benefits of breast milk are numerous, yet many black women still opt out of providing it to their babies. Some find breastfeeding to take too much time, while others feel as if it is old fashion and unnecessary. This is unfortunate especially since breastfeeding has proven to reduce the rates of type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and diseases as well as infant mortality. What’s even more unfortunate is when women feel ashamed or embarrassed to breastfeed their babies in public.
My breastfeeding boss found it comical how people seem less offended of a magazine exposing bare breasts, for example, than a woman breast feeding her child at the mall. “I can’t believe people get so worked up over breasts. They’re just breasts!” She said.
We admire breasts in even their most unnatural states: airbrushed cleavage in magazines, padded lingerie, and breast implants, but when it comes to our own natural breasts, we often suffer reproach. Whether it’s breast size or breast usage, sadly women deal with far more scrutiny than men. With all the stories I’ve heard about my friends’ and other women’s disappointment about lovers’ penis size, for example, it’s a wonder how a man’s body image isn’t targeted the same way as a woman’s. Men didn’t go around as children comparing their part sizes, and they certainly don’t get as much open criticism about size during adulthood.
After a fling, we’ll quickly poke-fun with our friends about Peter’s little peter, complain about the wasted notch on our belt, and vow to never see him again. Peter, however, will never suffer identity repercussions of having a small dick. While he may be aware of his size, or lack-thereof, he will continue on in this world cocky and unlabeled as a man with an insignificant dick. Imagine media that depicted ten-by-four penises as the ideal package. Would men then be so quick to judge a woman by her breast size if he knew that his own manhood was equal to half the norm? Would women then be more comfortable with their own natural breasts and exposing themselves in public for the sake of her baby’s health?
What do you think about breasts? Do you love your boobs? Speak on it!