Why Should You Love Your Breasts?
When it comes to body image, we are almost always our harshest critics. And for females, breast size is often a sensitive subject. However, normal, healthy breasts come in all different shapes and sizes. The media’s portrayal of the female body often makes people feel inadequate in comparison. It is easy to aspire to have breasts that resemble those of a model or famous celebrity when you are not content with your own. Although it can be a battle at times, loving your breasts is a step towards becoming more confident and body positive!
The Media’s Impact on Body Image
The global media industry seems fixated on breasts. As consumers, we are bombarded by depictions of breasts every single day. Contemporary culture is rooted in a fixation on beautiful bodies and as a result it is used to push products.1 Large breasts are often considered sexy in mass media and are used in numerous advertisements and commercials to entice potential customers. Sex appeal is a marketing technique frequently used by the food, automotive, and fashion industries as well as just about every other product or service provider that exists. Fast food giant Carl’s Jr. is famous for racy commercials like their 2015 Super Bowl commercial where a model walks completely naked through a farmer’s market, earning longing stares from all of the men she passes by.
This is a trend for Carls Jr., as most of their advertisements display stereotypically gorgeous women with large breasts suggestively consuming their products. These women are often the center of attention, either desired or envied by those around them. These representations of the female body are harmful for two reasons. First, they promote the fetishism of large breasts and objectify women’s bodies as a whole.2 And second, they contribute to the belief that there is a right way that a female’s breasts should look in order for her to be desired, successful, or confident. These images can make viewers and readers feel uncomfortable with their own breast size if they feel that they cannot attain that standard of beauty. However, large breasts are not the only type of breasts that are made desirable by the media.
Small breasts are also portrayed in the media, usually in athletic wear commercials or when promoting other fitness-related products. These images can be incredibly discouraging to those with naturally large breasts because it leads them to believe that they cannot be athletic. Contrary to popular belief, large-breasted women can also be envious of smaller-breasted women. It seems as though the grass is always greener no matter which side women find themselves on, which is why it is crucial to try and disregard the standards of beauty that the media forces upon women.
Various cultures around the world have beauty norms that differ from those of Western civilizations such as the United States. For example, in the United States, the ideal female body is one with a lean athletic build, large breasts, and a curvy bottom, whereas in China, more petite and slender female bodies with sizable breasts are praised. We construct ideologies about beauty, femininity, and fertility through literature, films, narratives, and some argue, biology. These standards of beauty3 promote self-assessment and criticism. They are damaging to one’s body image because societal standards of beauty make it seem as though there is only one way to be beautiful. Consequently, women from all around the world may be self-conscious about their breast size, symmetry, nipple orientation and size, and breast texture. Cultural aesthetics are a matter of taste. While it may be tempting to conform, remember that every body type is deserving of love and praise.
Reassess Your Surroundings
As consumers of media, we are susceptible to developing low self-esteem when constantly exposed to “ideal” bodies. Try to remember that many actresses, models, and performers employ personal trainers, dieticians, and even plastic surgeons to help them create and maintain their bodies. High-profile individuals are often under constant scrutiny for their looks, which can be mentally damaging and tiresome—nothing to be jealous of. The superficial nature of the entertainment industry creates a toxic environment for those in the spotlight. Almost every single image of women you see in magazines and on billboards are photoshopped. Digital artists can easily airbrush a photo to create cleavage lines, move nipples, and adjust skin color. Even the models in the photos do not look as perfect as they are made to appear, so it is unfair to compare yourself to them. These images are unrealistic for everyone, even the models posing in the pictures, and it is okay and normal if your body differs from the altered images that the media publishes.
Surrounding yourself with friends and family who support you can also be helpful. Having loved ones who provide affirming messages about your body can help you develop a more positive body image and love the skin your are in! Remember that your friends and partner if you have one should provide support and make you feel good about yourself. This contrasts friendships that are competitive and judgmental and partners who criticize and want to change their partner’s body.4 Try to keep in mind that your breast size and shape do not determine your value. There are countless other facets to a woman’s identity. They are just breasts. They do not define you or your worth.
For both males and females, competition for socially valued goals (like romantic partners) drives dissatisfaction with how your body looks.5 With constant outside pressures telling females to look a certain way, it is common to feel as though you need to change how you look to attract or keep a partner. Some women feel compelled to stuff their bras while others buy padded push-up bras in order to make their breasts look larger.
Instead of trying to change your body to satisfy your partner, look for a partner who will love you for who you are. Your breast size and appearance are something superficial and the right person will not make your breasts a deal breaker. Instead they should love and appreciate them as they are. Try not to feel pressured to alter the appearance of your breasts with bras. Own the breasts you were blessed with! It feels good to be confident, and it is extremely sexy to both men and women. All breasts are good breasts, and learning to love your own is a step towards a more positive perception of yourself. This will give you the confidence that will allow you to move forward in life and relationships a more self-assured person.
Boosting Your Self Esteem
Try not to talk down to yourself and do not speak badly of your breasts. Doing so is counter productive and does not help boost your self-esteem. Ignore or combat comments from others that make you feel diminished and unappreciated. If you have one, let your partner love your breasts even if you do not love them yet. Seeing your partner react positively your breasts may help you begin to like them more as well. Do not reject compliments because you are uncomfortable with your breasts. Instead, try and be receptive to these affirmations and recognize the positives that others see in you.
Another easy way to love your breasts is through the clothes you wear. There are a variety of things that you can wear to feel more comfortable with the breasts you have, no matter their shape, size, or color. For example, you could try styles of tops where you do not always have to wear a bra! This can be incredibly freeing and will allow you to own your breasts in their most natural form. Another suggestion would be to experiment with different cuts and fits of tops to figure out which you find the most flattering and comfortable. Some popular examples are V-necks, lace ups, and either tighter or looser fitting shirts. It does not have to be low cut or revealing if you are not comfortable with that. Particularly for those with larger breasts, you may feel more comfortable in something that is loose fitting. Eventually, you may enjoy wearing tighter tops that are more revealing. Wear whatever makes you feel confident! Clothing is such a fun and valuable tool to utilize for not only self-expression but also to promote a healthy self-image.
Surgical Body Modification
When discussing the topic of loving your breasts, breast augmentation and reduction are often brought up either as a joke or with sincerity. Remembering that there is a lot of natural variation when it comes to breast size, shape, and appearance is absolutely crucial. Most females have breasts that are unequal in size. There is no such thing as “perfect” breasts. The most important thing to think about when considering surgery is whether or not you want to alter your body for you or for the approval of others. If you are getting surgical breast modification done to please a partner or loved one, you may want to reconsider. Your value as a person should not be rooted in your appearance, and you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect no matter the shape and size of your breasts. Some females may want surgery for their own physical comfort. Large breasts can cause back problems and can present challenges during high intensity sports. Getting surgery for these reasons is valid. If after serious self-evaluation you still feel as though you desire surgical intervention, always speak to a medical professional. An expert in that plastic surgery is the ideal person to consult you on what option is best, and the safest way to execute it.
If you are choosing surgery for the right reasons, a breast lift, augmentation, or reduction could be exactly what you need to finally be at peace with your breasts. Plastic surgery can provide immense satisfaction and a confidence boost for those who need it. It also may give you the physical freedom to participate in things you could not comfortably do before, especially within the realm of athletics if you are getting a breast reduction. However, like any surgery, there are risks. Curious women should research cosmetic surgery heavily before they make this life-altering decision. Ensure that you are prepared for the financial commitment and physical strain of recovery before you decide. Keep in mind that there are always other, less drastic options.
The Grass is Always Greener
We often want what we do not have, breasts included. As with most things, there are positive and negative aspects to both large and small breasts. Large breasts, for example, are often heavy and can cause a female serious back pain and difficulty exercising. This physical strain also can lead to poor posture. It may be hard for a woman with large breasts to be taken seriously when people are more focused on her chest than on what she is saying and doing. Large breasts are frequently hyper-sexualized in the media, and this unwanted attention is an unfortunate but frequent occurrence. Clothes shopping can also be a challenge for women who do not want to show cleavage but still want to wear current trends. This is because many cuts are either more flattering or less revealing on those with smaller chests. In addition, women with large breasts often have difficulty finding bras that fit correctly and provide support.
On the other hand, smaller breasts may not fill out shirts and dresses that are cut for a larger bosom. Women with small breasts may feel uncomfortable at public beaches or in jacuzzis where their breasts are on display if they feel inadequate compared to large-breasted women. It is common for women with small chests, especially as adolescents, to feel less womanly because of their breast size. This is because modern society places such a heavy emphasis on large breasts as a sign of womanhood and femininity. While it can be discouraging to be bombarded with images of women with ample bosoms as the poster girls for the female form, remember that having small breasts does not make you any less of a woman. There is no wrong way for your breasts to look.
Make a conscious effort to love the breasts you were born with, and realize everyone—yes, even the models you see in magazines—is insecure about something in their life. You only have one body, and growing to love and accept it is such a rewarding experience. Learning to love your breasts can be difficult, but it is possible. Try and find the things you appreciate about them and use those positives as affirmations. Although it is a challenge, try to disregard the oppressive standards of beauty that the media tries to impose and remember that there is a wide variation of sizes, colors, and shapes that breasts come in. Combat the culture of comparison that we all tend to give into. Focus on loving you for you versus constantly wanting to look like someone else. When it comes down to it, breasts are just breasts. They are a minute part of what makes you YOU.
1. Bieger, Laura. “‘Freedom, Equality, Beauty for Everyone’—Notes on Fantasizing the Modern Body.” Amerikastudien / American Studies, vol. 57, no. 4, 2012, pp. 663–688. JSTOR, JSTOR, 14 Oct. 2017.
2. Prahlad, Anand. “The Proverb and Fetishism in American Advertisements.” What Goes Around Comes Around, edited by Kimberly J. Lau et al., University Press of Colorado, 2004, pp. 127–151. JSTOR, JSTOR, 14 Oct. 2017.
3. Berleant, Arnold. “Reconsidering Scenic Beauty.” Environmental Values, vol. 19, no. 3, 2010, pp. 335–350. JSTOR, JSTOR, 14 Oct. 2017.
4. Choate, Laura Hensley. “Counseling Adolescent Girls for Body Image Resilience: Strategies for School Counselors.” Professional School Counseling, vol. 10, no. 3, 2007, pp. 317–326. JSTOR, JSTOR, 14 Oct. 2017.
5. Feingold, Alan, and Ronald Mazzella. “Gender Differences in Body Image Are Increasing.” Psychological Science, vol. 9, no. 3, 1998, pp. 190–195. JSTOR, JSTOR, 14 Oct. 2017.
Last Updated: 28 October 2017.