When you see breasts in the mainstream media, it is common to only see an over-sensationalized, picturesque representation of the female body. The reality is, boobs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are almost always uneven, some are small, some sag, some are pierced, and some have been removed for medical or personal reasons. The fact is, boobs are awesome! They are actually a powerful part of the female body and it is time to normalize their functionality and unique beauty. So, let’s talk about boobs!
Are My Boobs Normal?
Absolutely. Society’s representation of the female body can at times, be really harmful. Seeing perfection normalized and over-represented can be detrimental to your mental health and confidence. For a long time, the world has taught you that your breasts are an object of desire and that they need to be properly covered when you are out in the world. This can leave you feeling like your body is abnormal, unattractive, needs improvement, or is something that fuels the feeling of shame when in reality, it is perfection!
Maybe you would feel better if you knew that there are at least 8 different and commonly recognized “types” of nipples. That’s right, 8! (and most doctors would argue that there are way more.) Nipples can be bumpy, inverted, smooth, pointed, and inconsistent. Yep, some people have different nipples on each breast and having a unique nipple shape, color, and size is normal and should be celebrated. The reality is that your boobs are straight up magical! No one else has boobs or nipples like yours and that is both normal and pretty cool.
A Few Fun Facts About Your Boobs
Okay so we understand that no two boobs are alike, but what makes them “so cool”? Did you know that your breasts are actually glands? I grew up thinking they were just little sacs of fat hanging out on my chest. As it turns out, underneath it all, the breast is full of mammary glands. This is the complex network of fat cells and tubes that produce the milk that can feed babies! And, while we are on this topic, did you know that breastfeeding can actually help you lose weight, can change your breast size permanently, and has no impact on breast sag despite this common misconception? Smoking however, is a major contributor to saggy boob syndrome because it is a direct antagonist to elastin which impacts the elasticity of your skin. Yet another reason to avoid smoking!
Another really interesting fact about your boobs is that we are the only primate with permanent breasts. Yep, that is right...primates that nurse their young lose their breasts when they are done breastfeeding. You might also think that everyone has two nipples but that isn’t exactly true. At least 6% of the population has a third nipple!
Finally, do you ever feel like your breast size changes? A lot? That is because it does. Many women experience a fluctuation in size and comfort when they are undergoing a change in their hormone levels. This could be when you are starting your period, going through puberty or menopause, and when you are pregnant or nursing. If you are looking for a way to help regulate your hormone levels and other side effects of the ups and downs of trying to balance your hormones - Hormone Harmony could be your best friend!
Cancer Does Not Discriminate
You may have been told to perform routine breast cancer self exams by your OBGYN. Taking a moment to feel your own breasts monthly, could save your life. I bet you didn’t know that you are equally as likely to discover a cancerous lump as your doctor! This is because you are familiar with your body. Unfortunately breast cancer does not discriminate. It does not care about your race, sexual orientation, gender, breast size, or how much money you make.
Make sure that you take the time to get to know your boobs - self exam is your greatest tool for early cancer detection. If you aren’t sure how to check for lumps and bumps, you can learn more here.
Your Boobs ROCK
So remember, your boobs are unique just like you. Not all boobs are picture perfect but that doesn’t make them any less appealing or awesome.
Navigating uncertainties around your body can be intimidating and difficult but know that you are not alone. Many women are working together to reclaim their bodies, the space they occupy, their right to be physically unique, and properly represented in the mainstream media and advertising. A number of brands have even started to rebrand around the idea of displaying “real female” bodies, like Dove and ModCloth who even went so far as to sign an “Anti-photoshop agreement”.
At the end of the day, remember to look around and notice that no two bodies are identical. Take a moment and thank your body for all of the hard work and amazing things it does for you every single day. You are likely surrounded by beautiful people. All of whom you admire, not because they have picturesque breasts or bodies, but because underneath all that skin, they are a unique, multifaceted, empowering, rockstar human...just like you.