An awareness of shame has been circling my system for a while.
In the past week, I’ve unpacked shame—mainly the shame that has been injected into my body.
It’s everywhere—every part of my body holds a moment of shame; I have stories for all parts.
Being at home during the lockdown gave my body an opportunity it has never experienced—to not wear a bra for many days in a row. Unaware of the imprisonment of the bra experience, I was liberated. Why was I not living like this more often?
My mind circled back to shame and how much of it I carry on my chest (boobs). I dialed back to when I first got them and how shameful it was to now be the bearer of these two growths of flesh.
My childhood had ended, and there was a new reason why I was a bad person—I grew boobs.
I was bad for other things before, but now I was bad because of a new body part. It was a new weight I carried on my body and a new place for shame to enter.
It was confusing being a child and still being sexualized because I had boobs. Even worse, having nipples. I would squeeze them inward, so they would not poke out. I would be in trouble if they were shown. I folded my arms over them to hide them from the disgust their presence stirred.
I had many moments when male family members would come to my house, and I would be forcefully instructed to put on a bra in their presence.
Why? I am in my own home. My home is supposed to be a safe place for me to be comfortable.
Why must I go and change because the slight shape of my boobs and the tiny protrusion of my nipples through my already thick tee shirt stirs disgust and discomfort in them?
It makes me wonder why the women in my house did this to me:
Who the f*ck did they allow to be in my presence and then make me feel shame for it? Why was having boobs something I had to apologize (to society) for?
Who the f*ck were these men who were coming into my house and why the f*ck did my boobs, as a young adolescent girl, make them uncomfortable?
These questions scream at me. At so many points in my life, I was made to feel that my slightly large boobs carried the same value as a curse.
It was as if I should be punished for walking around with them:
Your nipples are disgusting. I wore a bra.
Do not show cleavage. I covered them up.
The shapes are pointing out too much on your chest. I wore bigger tops.
I cover and hide them so that I could live up to the standards of being a good person. A good person has modest size boobs that do not stick out to the world.
F*ck that. A person’s body part should never determine if they are good or bad.
My boobs did not deserve the shame injected into them in the last 20 years.
Syringes are pulling the shame out of my boobs and giving them freedom, but not the freedom from never wearing a bra again.
There are moments when it is fun to wear a bra—I will keep those.
I am giving my boobs the freedom to occupy space on my body and in the world without shame.
I will no longer be responsible for holding anyone’s disgust for my boobs. If the presence of my unholstered breast and nipples stir a potion of disgust in you, you can go drink your own poison.
Sit with it, unpack your disgust. It might clear up some space for you.
I will no longer be available for the policing of my boobs—they are free now.