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I am a downright flat-chested girl who really has zero blessing in her chest department. You know those kinds of girls who call themselves flat just because they are an A cup? Well, I can’t even remember that last time I could fully fill up an A cup bra. On top of that, I can confidently assure you that there are less than five people who are flatter than or as flat as I am among all the people that I know.
That, my friend, is how flat-chested I am. (Pardon the lurid details, just feeling the need to put things into perspective over here.)
I know I sound super nonchalant and indeed, I am completely at ease with my flat-chestedness now. On the days of soaring self-esteem, I even don tops and dresses that accentuate my flat chest.
But it wasn’t always the case. It took me my entire teenager years and a few more of my early adult years (and a lot of mocking, late-night crying, and hiding) to truly come to terms with my boobs. Or lack thereof.
Ironically, I was the first among my friends to start developing some boobs when puberty hit us in our adolescent days. So yea, I was actually “the girl with boobs” for a short period of time. Can you believe that, my goodness?! But of course, the girls quickly got their turn and before long, everyone was filling out the front of their tops while mine was still barely emerging at all.
For the next few years, it was the most difficult period for me to accept my body. Just thinking back makes me want to go bear hug my younger self tight. Being a teenager is about trying to find our own skin, and other people’s affirmation or mockery often find their way into the foundation of one’s self-esteem. I had a fair share of mean girls and boys teasing and mocking me about my small boobs throughout the years. Sometimes it’s a blatantly rude remark thrown in my face. Sometimes it’s a quick mention under the disguise of a “harmless joke.” Regardless of which, it all hurt me the same. I felt inferior to be around girls with nice boobs; and I felt undesired in front of the guys I liked.
I tried all sorts of “boobs-enhancing” remedies—from food, to supplements, to massages, and when all failed me, I turned to those heavily-padded pushup bras. And if anyone has tried them, you would know they are uncomfortable as hell. But the bras could only disguise so much. I felt extremely conscious of my small boobs during sex, and most of the time, I could only focus and think about how “ugly” I looked from my lover’s point of view. It was all super tense and stressful for me and for a while, I hated sex because of it.
I don’t think there is any specific incident that flipped my perception of my body and made me accept my small boobs. But I think the start of the whole change was ignited by me witnessing a close friend undergoing a boob job. Before the operation, she had shared on many occasions how her esteem was utterly wrecked because of her flat-chest and really couldn’t carry on living like that anymore. She had a successful operation, and I really see her esteem blossomed after that. Maybe for some, witnessing something like that might propel them to follow suit, but for reasons I can’t really pinpoint, it did the opposite for me.
Maybe I saw my reflection in her—how we both had based our self-esteem solely on a superficial standard that society has imposed onto us, and how we thought only by inching ourselves closer to that standard could we attain happiness and satisfaction with our own bodies. In fact, I do think my friend became happier with herself after the breast enhancement operation (at least it seems so to me). But exactly by seeing this change in her made me ponder what was the point of all these. Why did I beat myself up so bad through all these years just over an arbitrary standard? And the standard is not even absolute—one can undergo a boob job to get a B cup, but there is always C/D/E/F cups out there making her feel inadequate again. How can this beauty judgment on woman’s boob size be valid when if, the same is apply to skin color—say from now on, only brown skin is considered beautiful—it is just be downright absurd?
From then on, I consciously start to see my body in a new light and with the kind of ease and insight that can only come from age, I have learnt to accept my flat-chestedness. It was a long journey for me. I just hope girls out there could find the ease in their bodies. Because really, it’s solely entirely yours and no one else should have a say in how it should look to please themselves.