The exact moment I started feeling terrible about my breasts was when a young male acquaintance casually described his disappointment at seeing bare breasts for the first time. Dude was a big comic book fan, see, and had been expecting something more along the lines of buoyant spheres than… you know, the average human rack.
I swallowed nervously, crossed my arms across my chest, and panicked.
Surely everyone knows which breasts are considered The Best. Generally, they’re something like anti-gravity grapefruits— allowing for anti-gravity clementines in the fashion industry, and anti-gravity melons in porn.
But many of us have draping, non-fruity breasts. Or pointy ones, a mismatched set, inverted nipples, or some other variable that we’ve never, ever seen on anyone else, which might make a girl feel like a mutant. Especially when that girl goes bra-shopping and nothing fits.
Enter the Normal Breast Gallery. I don’t remember who introduced me to the Normal Breast Gallery (speak up if it was you!), but it’s a treasure; dozens of photos of bare breasts (and commentary) from anonymous women of various ages, sizes, ethnicities, and presumably creeds. Completely NSFW, lots of naked breasts. You’ll come away amazed that anyone has EVER found a bra that fit properly.
Being young and ultra-conservative about bodies when I saw the gallery for the first time, I didn’t tell anyone about the site. I feared that someone might masturbate, and then I would have indirectly caused them to sin.
Now I say, hell! If normal breasts get you off, more power to you for appreciating the real human form. Your life is going to be awesome.
I want people everywhere to know how vastly different real breasts can look— the range of breasts seen in mainstream media are almost always variations on The Current Ideal, and in no way represent the possibilities that exist. We style breasts with padding, minimizers, push-up bras, implants, surgical hoisting or reductions, fake nipples, nipple makeup, and so on. While there are arguments for all of the above, all this styling and sculpting can leave regular folks in the dark. I’ve spoken to two different adults who didn’t know nipples can be pink! Adults!
I’d defend anyone’s right to tinker with the way they look, but I rarely see anyone breaking ground or venturing boldly into new breast presentation territory. I only see people fighting toward a small set of aesthetic ideals. When so, so few breasts are considered “satisfactory,” it pushes many of us to feel “unsatisfactory.” If we ALL hide any “unsatisfactory” parts, then other “unsatisfactory” part-havers may continue to feel like lonely mutants and the cycle continues.
Tell a friend, unless that friend is at work. Tell a friend after work. Talk to your kids about breasts…
… and then talk to me and your fellow readers, down in the comments. What do you think of the Normal Breast Gallery idea? When did you first find out not all breasts are levitating spheres, or were you always in the know? Has anyone ever made you feel rotten about your own breasts?