Relationships

Breasts: The Odd Couple

Bjork (Cup of Jo breast series)

We’re happy to kickstart a series of personal essays from contributing writers. Every few weeks we’ll announce a new theme. The first theme is breasts! And here’s the first essay, by author Una LaMarche


I think it’s safe to say that nothing good has ever taken place in a communal shower. Private showers (Bates Motel Room #1 excepted for obvious reasons) tend to be safe havens of suds and self-reflection. Worst-case scenario, the hot water will run out or you’ll forget to shave your knees; best case you’ll actually climax while shampooing like in an Herbal Essences ad. Group situations, on the other hand, are awkward, vulnerable, and confusing.

My first communal showering experience took place at a Quaker sleep-away camp in the summer of 1992. It was there, in a steamy room full of naked girls I’d only just met, away from home for the first time in my life, that I looked down to discover that I had grown breast.

That’s right: breast. Singular.

There was only one. It had sprung up seemingly overnight, like a bud on one of those Johnny Appleseed trees we were always singing about in the mess hall. It was puffy and tender and utterly out of context without its sister. That was the first moment I realized that my “twins” were destined to be fraternal.

I was only twelve, but already understood that a mismatched set put me at a cultural disadvantage. We girls pick things up along the path to puberty, collecting whispers like wildflowers and poring over teen magazines as if reading sacred texts. You can’t lose your virginity to a tampon, we assure each other. Bleach your upper lip but never shave it or it’ll grow in darker! This is what your body should look like. This is unacceptable.

That’s how I came to know that “perfect” breasts existed, and how they were defined. They were big (but not too big), perky enough not to hold a pencil in place if you stuck it underneath but full enough to bounce enticingly while jogging in slow-motion. They had tidy little nipples — neither too dark nor too light — that somehow managed to constantly stand at attention while never showing through clothing. Above all, they were as symmetrical as an R-rated Rorschach test. They were not supposed to resemble a mountain and its neighboring valley.

My bashful right side eventually sprouted later that year, but the interim months were a confusing time. I remember going shopping with my mom for my first bra, a flat, cotton Jockey AA that sagged forlornly on one side. I stuffed crumpled-up toilet paper in the pocket of air between my chest and the fabric, telling myself that it looked normal, and that, if worse came to worst, and it tumbled out at an inopportune moment, at least I would have a tissue to sob into.

Even once they were comparably sized, “Lefty” — as I took to calling my less pageant-worthy mammary — remained the Danny DeVito to my right side’s Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was less buoyant, more tube sock than teardrop, with a shell-pink aureole far larger than the size of a quarter, which is what I had heard (via the whisper chain, naturally) was the ideal diameter.

As I grew — taller and wider-hipped, my double-As blossoming into solid Bs — so did my angst. It was bad enough I had to deal with my lackluster bust, but what would happen when someone else — preferably of the opposite sex, preferably outside of Quaker campgrounds — saw them? There was no danger of my sprinting towards second base, as it had taken me sixteen years just to tip-toe up to first, on a dare, but still — it haunted me. I wore a lot of turtlenecks in high school. Finally, at age 20, when I felt ready to doff my demi-cups in front of my first real boyfriend, I remember thinking, This is it, and proceeding to unhook the straps with the resigned dread of someone removing their bandages after a terrible accident.

Luckily, as it turned out — and is so often the case with superficial measures of self-esteem — I had nothing to worry about. My boyfriend registered no horror, no judgment, not even the slightest flicker of disappointment at the sight of my breasts. Where I saw a litany of imperfections, he saw objects of desire. In dim lighting, in bright lighting — there was no difference. I repeated the experiment with several more test subjects and came to the same conclusion: Sure, I might never get chosen for a Calvin Klein ad, but the boys I chose for more private viewings were so eager and grateful for the access that I doubt they would have noticed if my breasts had been completely different colors. I didn’t stop self-flagellating completely, but I reached a tolerant plateau. This is unacceptable shrugged into, Eh, these’ll do.

It wasn’t until years later, after I got married and had my son and spent countless hours feeding him from the magic biological vending machines I had spent so many years maligning, that I finally stopped wishing for perfection. Overwhelmed by a powerful cocktail of love and sleep-deprivation that nearly brought tears to my eyes, I watched him latch and realized that my while my boobs might not ever be able to sell beer, or walk a runway, they could still do something pretty great. These days I’m back to my old 34Bs — which, after breastfeeding, can definitely hold a few pencils comfortably — but even though they’re less beautiful than they were in my youth, I like them more now. I even think they’re kind of sexy.

This is what a body should look like, my brain tells me, on my better days. This is more than acceptable.

This is you.

Una LaMarche (Cup of Jo breast series

The author, on her thirteenth birthday, wishing for better breasts.


Una LaMarche is the author of the memoir Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer, as well as three novels. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or at unalamarche.com.

Thank you, Una. More breast-y essays to come!

P.S. On boobs, and breastfeeding in public.

(Top photo of Bjork by Jane Bown for the Observer, 1995, via Hither & Thither; bottom photo courtesy of the author)

  1. SaTaNhAtEsJeWz says...

    Who cares about your flat boobs?, which are probably like a boring old breakfast these day anyhow, I mean, are they flap-jacks, runny eggs, or two busted stockings filled with over-boiled oatmeal that only squirt powdered milk nowadays?
    I’m just surprised you wished for BOOBS and not a pair of tweezers to rid that hideous Jewnibrow off the top of your horseface!
    Nice parents you must have had to have ever let you out in public looking like “Moishe Ginsburg”~ (he was an old neighborhood jewish jeweler who had a jewnibrow so thick it looked like he grew a giant Sam Elliot sized second mustache up on his big forehead!)

  2. Jackie says...

    Love this! I would always wish for bigger breast but after reading this essay and all the comments, it’s really something amazing to know I’m not the only one thinking the girlys were late bloomers.Size doesn’t matter it’s what they do. Nurture.

  3. Insightful, beautiful essay delivered with humour. Loved it, and really looking forward to this series.

  4. Allyson says...

    Great essay! I started developing breasts at the tender age of 8, and have been busty all my life. Despite the fact that I find I have quite nice, pretty breasts (perky, round with natural cleavage), they are also overwhelmingly large (D’s to DD’s) on my 5″0 body, making me insecure, feel pain while doing everyday activities and caused me scoliosis and lordosis. I’m happy and nervous to say tomorrow I will undergo breast reduction to beautiful B cups. If you have small, medium or large breasts that make you happy, don’t cause discomfort or pain, embrace them! <3

  5. alyssa says...

    I relate to this so hard! Lefty is just enough bigger than righty to be noticeable/overflow bra cups significantly, they’ve always been more tube sock than tear drop, and my nipples are much larger than the “social norm.” But you’re right – I’ve never ever had complaints or even comments from intimate partners and I’m learning to love my girls :)

    • Heather says...

      I have the same ‘problem’ with size difference and, I read recently that, it’s usually the breast that sits above the heart, that is bigger – it has something to do with the blood flow. I.e. It’s utterly normal. Once I read this, I found that I cared a lot less about it.

  6. Emily says...

    This made me laugh so hard that I cried: “feeding him from the magic biological vending machines .” Way to turn a phrase – well done. :)

  7. Hannah S says...

    I can 110% relate to this essay and I have loved reading all the comments too. How wonderful our bodies and breast(s) are!

    As a teenager my breasts were two completely different sizes (think cup sizes AA and C). AA never caught up and after feeling ashamed throughout high-school (and even having teenage boys pointing out their difference!) I ended up getting a one-sided boob-job at the age of 17! I know that we need to embrace our bodies as they come, but as a confused and embarrassed teen, that boob-job was the best thing that every happened to me. Now, they definitely still look different, (the left natural and soft, the right perkier and firm) but I love them more than ever!

  8. Kelleen says...

    The photo caption brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for this post!

  9. Such a wonderful essay. I’m so fascinated by breasts and how many different shapes and sizes they come in and how they transform or not over time. My aunt is in her late 60’s and her breasts haven’t aged since she was 20. Mine sure have post nursing. This brought me back to being 13 and thinking about when mine would grow.

  10. Jessica says...

    I remember wishing for mine to be bigger when I was 12. I remember looking at Stephanie in Full House and wishing I had the same bust. Well, my wish came true. I’m now a 36DD, and having breastfed mine can also hold a few pencils, teehee. My left is bigger than my right, and I hate wearing bras. I could really care less what others think of them. I mean, I don’t even wear cupped bras. I wear sports bras for comfort.

  11. I love reading stories about overcoming self-consciousness! In the words of Roald Dahl ‘if you think good thoughts, they will shine out of you like sunbeams and you will always look lovely’. Beauty starts inside!

    Nat Lewis
    http://www.rockymountaindecals.ca
    Wall Decals for Kids, and Kids at Heart!

  12. Esther says...

    Hilarious. I can totally relate. Heading on over to buy her book! Keep up this series – it’s brilliant! Never disappoint Jo & friends!

  13. Loved this! My self-consciousness came from being the first in my year (and a very early bloomer) to develop with one friend particularly enjoying commenting in the changing rooms when getting ready for games, that I was definitely growing…both upwards and outwards…cue red cheeks. An awkward time for many but now I’m very happy in my body :)

    xx

  14. Maggie says...

    This is my favorite.

  15. Kristin says...

    Beautiful essay! I have a 12 year old daughter who has a “lefty” too and every now and then she’ll walk by a mirror in the house, lift her shirt and proclaim, “lefty is still winning the race!”

  16. Julie says...

    I absolutely loved this essay. I totally relate. This is the kind that should be published in Seventeen magazine.

  17. Anna says...

    Oh, I love this! Didn’t we all have a hard time with our boobs as teens?! I was a late bloomer and was totally flat chested until I was about 16. The horror!

  18. Fernanda de Abreu says...

    Oh My God. I love it! This is so pretty. All about self love e self acceptance. I´m from Brazil and here the women are supposed to be Goddess-like. I think it´s so wonderful and beautiful when we realized that our own unique self is not just good enough. It´s fantastic -not despite but because of our “flaws”. I love your blog, its content and its energy. Kisses from a huge fan :) (sorry for my English)

  19. Sophie says...

    What a fantastic writer! Looking forward to more to come in the series.

  20. Melissa Tedesco says...

    Love this! Can’t wait for more! Creative nonfiction is the best!

  21. Caitlin says...

    So great, and so funny – I went to that same camp, I knew immediately at the mention of communal showers. I have that same memory of being 8 and all of a sudden being surrounded by naked girls I just met, as well as naked counselors, who seemed like grown women to me. Such a weird experience but so validating to hear someone else’s reflection on it!

  22. Absolutely LOVE this. I think if we saw breasts more for their amazing biological function instead of only sexual, we would all feel a lot more comfortable about them in general. I’m extremely proud of my milk making mammaries and the resulting strapping baby boy.

  23. M says...

    Great essay. So sweet and funny at the same time.

  24. I distinctly remember one breast bud sprouting before the other in 4th grade, and how terrified I was of the debilitating embarrassment that was certain to follow if anyone noticed. (No one did.) I was not religious, but I still prayed every day for the other one to appear. (It eventually did.) Another moment branded in my memory was when I confused the words “lesbian” and “virgin” around age 8 and declared to a mean/popular girl: “I am not a virgin, and I am a lesbian!” When I realized my mistake I was mortified. Fortunately that one blew over rather quickly and I didn’t have to relive my shame. Childhood is hard, man.

    Love this essay, and I love the idea of contributing writers.

  25. Ali says...

    I loved this! Thank you :)

  26. stasha says...

    Loved this one. Can’t wait to read your book!

  27. Jillian says...

    That was alarmingly good and fun to read. AWESOME!!!! xx

  28. Laura says...

    I love this essay and all the comments! It makes me further realize that pretty much no women are happy with their bodies. I grew breasts seemingly overnight in 7th grade and was in a D cup by age 13. I remember my mom laughing while bra shopping with me because before high school, I had outpaced her in cup size. Now I lug my 32 GGs around with me wherever I go and I think of them as the curmudgeonly friend I love to hate. Always sagging and sweating and scoffing at button down shirts. One of the many reasons I look forward to having a baby is to make these girls earn their keep after all these years!

    • Sarah D. says...

      Love!

  29. Magic biological vending machines! Hilarious and true! Breastfeeding has changed the way I view my body so profoundly – and pregnancy in general. After 2 beautiful children, my body does not look as perfect as I had hoped I would still look in my late 20’s, but it has done incredible things! I loved this story, self acceptance is what makes us truly beautiful!

    xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  30. Jenny says...

    Love this! Looking forward to the rest of the series! As a fellow lopsider, I was hanging on every word.

  31. Grace says...

    Loved this essay!

  32. C says...

    I never grew enough milk ducts so my breasts have always looked like floppy triangles: my nipple is the bottom most part of the breast and faces the floor. I never even knew that my breasts were different until I was in college. Imagine how confused I was seeing the breast tissue posters at the doctors office and wondering why the aereola/nipple was buoying up!

    I was trying to breastfeed my second child when I realized I didn’t have enough milk ducts. It seemed like another slap in the face from a body I felt had consistently failed me: always “the fat girl” and now my lactation consultant was telling my 29 yr old self that I had the breasts of a 50 year old woman. Ugh! But, you know, my breasts still look the same as they did pre-pregnancy except my aereolas are a shade darker. And also, that face-slapping body easily produced two healthy babies. So moral of the story: you can’t win at all the body parts/functions, etc., and I’m sure that every person’s body does something exceptional for them if they let it!

  33. Oh man…it’s a journey with out breasts, isn’t it? ;) I’ve always been flat-chested and hated it in high school but came to love the low-maintenance flat-chested life. Now I have a 5-week-old baby and boobs like whoa! Kind of fun for a while, but I miss my old ones…

    Love the idea for this series! I’d also love to submit an essay, if you are open to it! Will you be announcing future topics for submission?

  34. Brettne Bloom says...

    What a fantastic piece. Hysterical (“I had grown breast.”) and heartwarming. So excited about this new essay series.

  35. Rachel says...

    I love the idea behind your new series! Thank you for showcasing the work of such talented, funny, and honest women.

  36. Such an excellent essay! So fun to read and reminiscent of all of our budding experiences. Mine were with my “really strange” hips that curved then dove into a valley and curved out again, further. Oh, and the pointy breast phase where they looked like Madonna cones. Bravo, Una!

  37. Sarah says...

    Just wanted to say that you have the best blog for women on the internet, hands down. Your decision to bring in other contributors (and Caroline, Lexi, etc.) was totally brilliant. Your content is always fresh and interesting — love, love, love it.

    • Brittany says...

      YES. Joanna + Co, you never cease to keep it fresh & interesting.

    • Anitra says...

      I totally agree! If your blog became a magazine I would buy a subscription for sure!

    • I couldn’t agree more.

  38. Kimberly says...

    I cried when I read this because it is *almost* my story, with the exception of the smaller breast catching up. I was a D on one side, an A on the other, and it wasn’t until a regular pediatric appointment that my mom realized just how bad the situation was. I wore a prosthesis for years, then went through an augmentation and reduction twice to try to correct the issue. I will always have scars, but am happy that I could get the help I needed. If I could tell women anything, it is not to judge other women who have plastic surgery. I hear women mock “boob jobs” and I want to scream because unless you have experienced this, YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE. The shame of being different, being scared of what boyfriends will think, the need to explain that, yes, I had plastic surgery. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Andreea says...

      I went through exactly the same thing. Kimberly, and cried when reading this article. My 16 year old self would have been hugely comforted by this. X

  39. Laura says...

    I may have had that same Blossom hat! To the best of my knowledge though, no photos of it exist :)

    • gk says...

      seriously, that blossom hat is awesome and brings me back. my bff and i would bust out our hats for sleepovers at each others houses. i love the picture, and great essay :)

  40. Isabella says...

    Great essay! Breastfeeding has completely changed the way I feel about my breasts — it’s like I get the whole *point* of them, finally — and I find I don’t even mind the stretch marks that arrived like red lightning bolts on the day my milk came in. They’re just lightning bolts of love. ;)

    • Ana says...

      Love the image! Well-said.

  41. Chelsea says...

    Thanks for sharing. A few tears of compassion (due to how fully I can relate) fell while reading this. At times the “research” via college boyfriends was enough to quell the dissatisfaction with my AAs (I’m 29 – and still waiting for something – anything – to grow), but it has actually gotten harder as I’ve gotten older. The current trend of 20-something men sending each other pictures of topless women as a means of connection has made me feel even more inadequate and less desirable. They spend time on websites with names like perfectbreasts.com, ha! How could I ever compete with this ideals? Hearing a story of eventual acceptance provides hope that I may someday feel the same!

    • Emily says...

      Wait, that’s a thing?? Ugh.

  42. Self acceptance is an ongoing journey I think. My breasts came from a long line of stocky, heavy-bosom ladies and I developed scoliosis at a young age. Making the best choice at 18 (breast reduction yes!!) ended up not serving me as well at 31, when I tried to breastfeed my newborn daughter only to discover I had no milk. I could handle the scars (I was even proud of them for a while), but feeling as though I had been selfish with my choice for surgery as a teenager was a massive hurdle to overcome. Awesome essay. Awesome topic. Awesome website content.

  43. Gem says...

    What a beautiful writer!

  44. Nora says...

    What a great article! I’m 27 and it took me years to accept my 32As. I felt beautiful when I was pregnant because they grew into full Bs and now that I nurse my 6 month old I wonder what they’ll be like when she finally weans off. I remember the 6th grade whispers and feeling as if my body had totally failed me. Agh teen angst is the worst haha

  45. Elaine says...

    Around my time of the month, my breasts swell to a AAA. In my teen years, I used to toy with the idea of someday having an augmentation. Now, when I look at myself in the mirror, my boobs are an afterthought. I don’t need boobs to wear my clothes well, nor do I need them to feel sexy and confident. I guess I’m lucky to have come to an appreciation for my body the way it is and to have met men who did so as well :)

  46. Kendra says...

    I love, love, love, LOVE, LOVE this! Breasts are pretty magical, a realization I too only came to make after breastfeeding. Bravo Una!

  47. Haylie says...

    This was basically my favorite thing to ever appear on this, my very favorite of sites. Two thumbs way, way up.

  48. i had boob issues as well- not from asymmetrical ones, but just from being a late bloomer. i always felt a little behind on the chest-front, but i feel like they’re proportionate to my body and i’m not wishing for them to get any bigger anymore! love them the way they are

    hammyta.wordpress.com

  49. Emily says...

    This was awesome, thank you for sharing.

    As far back as I can remember being aware of my mom’s body (as something other than a hugging machine and vehicle for playtime), she has been flat. Like, *flat.* But apparently she was a full 32B, verging on C, before three years of nursing my little sister literally sucked her dry.

    I’ve developed from a 34AA to sort of almost 32B, and have mostly come to accept my small breasts. I definitely internalized my mom’s frustration (esp. after once finding a cassette tape in her nightstand that promised bigger breasts through meditation…) and it wasn’t until I was in my 20s and a long-term committed relationship that I really felt confident. Most days I feel grateful for my perky breasts, but I’m definitely pretty terrified of going flat like my mom.

    Meanwhile, my cousin/bff is a successful professional dancer (goes on tours with big name Latin musicians), and after 5 years of this she’s decided to get implants next week. I trust that she’s done her research/thought this through/etc. but, having worked so hard on accepting myself as I am, it’s definitely really hard to see someone I love paying for surgery to alter her natural assets. She’s already one of the most beautiful sensual people I’ve ever met in real life—it’s hard to know that her work environment has (at her own admission) colored how she perceives herself.

    Joanna—can’t wait to see more of these essays, on this topic and others!

  50. Meredith says...

    This was beautiful but a little bittersweet for me. I tried really hard to breastfeed but wasn’t able to produce nearly enough milk. I still feel like my body let me down…

    • Awads says...

      Ditto, sister, ditto. I hope you can forgive your body and move on. It’s really just a small snippet in time when it even matters. Enjoy your kid(s) and get on with it! xoxo

    • Meredith says...

      Thanks! I’m working on it – I was actually just thinking last night that I’m finally past feeling emotional about it, but then this caught me off guard. Your kind and insightful words are helping me refocus :)

    • anna says...

      I was in the same boat four years ago, and if I could give my past self any gift I would say/believe what AWADS said. When your baby is a year old and you don’t have to worry about formula and bottles, this will really recede into the background. Forgive yourself! You are awesome for trying, and as my daughter’s pediatrician said – your baby is still breastfed even if it’s just a drop or an ounce, a day or years. xxxxx

  51. AJ says...

    So beautiful. Really touched me as a mother currently breastfeeding and analyzing every bump and sag :) Thank you!

  52. JennP says...

    Personal essays for the win!! Thank you, Joanna and team, for starting this series. I’m excited to read them all.

  53. nohatnogloves says...

    Oh, yes. The unacceptable world of the asymmetrical chest. And how sad that we learn of all this via gossip, rumour and plain nonsense. Just when we need all the help we can get, we find out just how wrong we can be. But this is funny. And true.

  54. Lauren E. says...

    What a fantastic essay! And ooooh, that picture. You and I, with our matching unibrows and sunflower hats, would’ve been 13-year-old best friends.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes the blossom hat!! ;)

  55. Wow! I’m in love with this post! What an honest, relatable, all around great read. When I was little I had flat nipples. I was so terrified they would never pop and I’d have “ugly” boobs forever. Thankfully in my teens my boobs figured themselves out. It seems so silly now but it caused me so much anxiety when I was little.

  56. Becca says...

    Me, Junior and Big Mama (guess who they are ;-) totally feel you Una. Also – your Mayim Bialik/Blossom hat is the best!

  57. Lauren says...

    THIS IS AMAZING.

  58. Ivy says...

    Pretty sure I had that hat when I was 13, too.

  59. Jennifer says...

    This is so cute and true. I love the positivity and self love. Ive always had bigger boobs and I acturally had to grow into them. And yes it’s hard to find a lot of bras , swimsuits and comfortable nighties in my size ; but I love them. I think you grow up and realize that you either love the skin you are in or change to fit in. I don’t want them reduced. They are part of me and it’s a love hate relationship.

  60. Angela says...

    Loved this piece! Can’t wait to read more from this series.

  61. Lisa says...

    Oh, una, I loved this! It is funny and poignant and strikes all the right notes.

  62. Dottie Louise says...

    Wonderful essay! Thank you Una for sharing your insight and experience! When I was younger it was said that drinking the TAB energy drink would make your breasts grow bigger. After that rumor spread all the girls were drinking TAB for a while with no affect. lol

  63. Sarah says...

    Love!! Wonderful essay with such a fun sense of humor. Excited for this series!

  64. Natalie says...

    I am so excited about your new series and what a delightful way to start it off! I laughed and I cried! xo

  65. Ashley says...

    What a fun read! I appreciate how relatable this is. I am nursing my third now and marvel at my body’s abilities. Looking forward to the series.

  66. Maire says...

    This was great! I remember having a lot of the same feelings because I have Poland’s Syndrome, which meant that my right breast never really formed while my other one was completely normal. I ended up having an implant and an augmentation when I was 18 because the difference was very, glaringly obvious.

    • Sarah B says...

      I, too, had a breast aug a few years ago, due to asymmetrical breasts. My right has always been significantly smaller, an A cup, compared to my C cup left boob. I had to have surgery to put an expander in my right side, to stretch the skin (similar to women with breast cancer having reconstruction). Then, after receiving multiple “injections” of air to stretch my skin (OUCH), they removed the expander and put in an implant, and a smaller implant on my left side. Two surgeries later and I’m still not 100% even, but no one ever is. Also, the nipple on the smaller side is higher. The doctor asked if I wanted to remove the nipple and move it lower, but I didn’t want to risk losing sensation…as I’ve already lost sensation where my incisions are. I’m still not in love with my boobs….wearing swimsuits is still uncomfortable, but getting dressed on a daily basis is so much better. I do not regret my decision to have surgery, but I really don’t enjoy knowing I have foreign objects in my body. Eventually, I will have to get my implants taken out or redone…it’s something I try not to think about yet. I can’t believe I ever had surgery in the first place. Having children will change things, as well. It’s comforting to hear stories of others who have gone through something similar.

    • Tiffany says...

      I also developed uneven breasts (A cup on the right, C on the left) in middle-school. I had Breast Aug and a lift on the larger side when I was 21. It took me years to pay off the medical loan, but I didn’t regret it. I totally relate to cringing at the easy, offhand “boob job” comments people so easily make. I got surgery because I just wanted to be someone that didn’t think about their boobs constantly. And it mostly worked! I was happy with them for a few years. Then one of the implants slowly but surely contracted into a ball of sad scar tissue and the other collapsed (saline thankfully). I had them both removed when I was 24. I had already done a lot of work to love my (now, again) lopsided body and treat it well by that point. It was really hard the first week or so after the removal (during which I was awake!) when my boobs looked like a wrinkly, deflated, floppy sock mess. But then…I healed! I’m still not perfectly symmetrical, I have scars and I’m definitely not perky, but watching my breasts heal from the removal surgery and fill out again over the next year felt really powerful. My girls and me have been through a lot and so I try to give them love. Men like ’em. I like ’em. I learned a lot through the whole experience. I wish I could have gotten to where I am now without the surgeries, but I’m not sure I would have.

  67. Ana Sofia says...

    I absolutely adore this post! I’m also breastfeeding now and I find that is pretty awesome what our body can do! I also feel an immense amount of love and sleep deprivation, that sometimes in the middle of the night makes me wish to wean. But then the sun comes up and that idea goes away. Thanks again for this post! It makes me feel accompanied!

  68. What a great essay and I’m so excited about this series! I love boobs. I think there’s such a wonderful life-giving mechanism. They’re perfectly imperfect. At 22, I have one boob bigger than the other and I (especially in THOSE days) like to point that out to my boyfriend in disdain. Boys love boobs of all shapes, sizes, and colors–imagine my surprise when all that I thought was wrong about my physical image, is exactly what my boyfriend loves about me.

    Not that I’m saying we need someone’s validation or approval, but it’s nice to look at an outside perspective and get out of our heads a little. We can be so mean to ourselves sometimes!

  69. Lauren M says...

    Loved reading this!

  70. Great essay! Loved the ending.

  71. What a great essay! Love this new series and love her positive attitude and self-acceptance. Brava!