I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with my breasts. They were always too small. I remember going through puberty and my breasts starting to grow and my aunt looking at my chest and replying, “Girl, your breasts are too small, I don’t think you will ever need a bra.” I was crushed. Embarrassed to say the least. I felt body shamed. I didn’t know how to put it in words, but I made sure to tell my mother how I felt.
My mom was sweet in her reply. She said, “Tell them, that when God was giving out breasts, I thought he said, brains so I got more than enough.” Sweet and to the point, but that didn’t stop me from realizing one fundamental fact…I was somehow flawed. I never thought about it until someone pointed it out. My body was not perfect. Something was wrong with me. I was abnormal. Over the years, I was ridiculed about the size of my breasts. I learned to ignore a lot of it, but it became difficult to deny that I was simply not bountiful in the breast category.
My breasts grew as I aged and gained weight. Not much though. But, I learned to make peace with my imperfect breasts because they became perfect to me. They are a part of me. These same breasts that caused people to call me “flat chested” or say that “my chest looked like a 9 year old boy” underwent their first mammogram a couple of weeks ago. In that changing room, I came to an agreement with my breasts: I promise to love and accept you for the size you are and never try to change you as long as you keep me healthy. No cancer.
It may have seemed stupid, but it was the only thing that I felt I could do in light of my fear of cancer. Cancer had already claimed two of my first cousins and I didn’t want any bad news so I did the only thing I could think of: smile and barter. It was in that bartering moment that I realized one fundamental fact: No matter the size, the health of my breasts was important. So, I stood in the changing room snapping selfies to remind myself that my breast health was important but that I loved my “girls”. I learned that my breasts are not flawed. They may be imperfect to some, but they are perfect to me because they allowed me to do the most important job in the world. They allowed me the opportunity to nurse my son.
They served their purpose.