Got your attention? Great 🙂
I got the idea for this blog post a number of weeks ago while I was headed to Toronto via train for a girl’s weekend. I forget how the topic came up, but I made the comment about how lately, I have had moments where I look at myself naked in the mirror, and actually really loved the way my boobs look. But that for the longest time, I hated how small they were. So my friend said “You should write a blog about it!!!”. And here we are 🙂
Brené Brown talks about how the single biggest shame trigger for women around the world is body image. Now that is significant! So I’d like to write about my experience with shame surrounding my body image, while I still have the courage to share these thoughts and feelings with you.
My small breasts have been a significant source of negative self-talk and shame since my teenage years. I always envied my friends who had bigger, more voluptuous breasts than I. I would look in the mirror and feel completely embarassed about how small and disproportionate my boobs looked in relation to the rest of my body. I was often scared to expose my naked breasts with men, scared that they would judge or reject me for my scarcity in breast tissue.
I thought for a number of years about breast augmentation. As a teenager, I looked at ways to increase my breast size. I once found this supplement that promised fuller breasts, and even brought it up to my family doctor. But I never committed to the idea, as if some part of me knew that the problem wasn’t truly the size of my breasts. And so, the answer wasn’t to change my physical body.
Yet I was still plagued with self-defeating thoughts about my breasts. And honestly, I am talking about my breasts because I think it’s taboo to talk about them in this way. And I am trying to make waves, to grab your attention, so I can make my point.
But in reality, the rejection of my small breasts is only a superficial representation of the rejection of parts of my self. It represents only a glimpse into the hateful chatter that has dominated my daily thoughts for years and years.
This year, I have put a lot of work towards getting to know my authentic self so that I could align my life with my true heart. The process this involved has not been easy. It has required that I look at my self honestly and objectively. That I look at the “ugly” parts of me.
Doing that was so hard. It seemed so counter-intuitive, especially when I was trying to “love myself”, as so many positive-psychology enthusiasts suggested we do. I often felt disgusted, repulsed and ashamed at what I discovered when I started to look in the mirror (physically and metaphorically).
Yet with the help of my therapist, friends in the spiritual community and tools such as journaling and meditation, I slowly began to develop compassion for myself. Little by little, I have been able to look at parts of me that I hate, and accept them instead. Acceptance morphed into embracing. And embracing is slowly growing into love and compassion.
Something that has helped me foster self-compassion has been to think of myself as a little child. To picture my five year old self, and to speak to myself with as much love and compassion as I would that little girl.
To hold that little girl in unconditional love, to soothe her frantic mind, and to remind her of her inherent worth.
I find it easier to think of myself as an innocent, pure little girl. Because somehow I think that 28 year old Michèle should know better. Should stop being so naive and stupid. Should stop repeating the same mistakes, over and over.
The truth is, we will continue to live the same patterns, to make the same mistakes, to attract the same bullshit, to even hate parts of ourselves, until we are ready to honestly look in the mirror, accept our imperfections, and grow from them.
So to my dear, little boobs, I say I love you.
I embrace your imperfections and your small, perky nature.
I show you compassion, gratitude and dress you in beautiful bralettes.
I accept the love that others show you.
I apologize for the years I rejected you.
And am thankful that I never physically altered you.
I thank you for teaching me about imperfections, and how much of a gift they truly are.
Dear little boobs, I love you.