Did you know that October is Breast Cancer awareness month? We tend to see a lot of pink this month, reminders to get mammograms (do it) and a time to celebrate those you have fought and beat breast cancer. But Courtney, of Fry Sauce and Grits, wants it to be more. A month where we accept and embrace what we have and recognize how unique and beautiful we all are, no matter what our boobs size is. Love your Boobs, Love Yourself!
Courtney is a bra fitter, bra educator, blogger, and is passionate about women issues. She invited a few of us who are more… willing to be outrageous???, to participate in creating a video where she interviewed us about our relationship with our breasts! How we feel about them, experiences we’ve had with shape, how we feel about how media and society depicts breasts and how we can come to love and accept and love our breasts.
I, like so many of you, have SO many stories from my life that revolve around my breasts? Why is that? I was a late bloomer, probably because of my years of dance, The 13 year old boys at church started calling me “skipper-with-a-chain-saw-taken-to-her-chest” (cause I was even to flat to be called “Skipper” aka Barbies younger sister). Thankfully when I finally started to grow we moved so when I started high school I was pretty normal and accepted.
When I was a child My Grandma had breast cancer, twice, and both times had one of her breasts removed. As she grew older she loved to show off her not flat chest and her fake boob inserts. It was funny at the time (not so funny when she flashed our husbands) but looking back I’m so glad she was quirky and confident enough not to CARE, and just accept her body!
No one (but my family of flat chested women) would have said “she has huge boobs”. THEN I got pregnant… dun dun DUN! They started growing again and just didn’t stop! By the time I was 4 months along and in line at my sisters wedding I was hovering around a 34G (thankfully they hovered there the rest of the pregnancy, letting my belly catch up). With barely a tell tale bump at the time I felt like every person who came through the line was nose in boob all night (yes I’m tall). My mom had people asking her why I would get a boob job… REALLY?
BUT it was nothing compared to when my milk came in. I spent a few weeks at a 34K (yes K, and no I couldn’t just buy them, I had to special order them, and yes they were VERY expensive). My boob’s were each so big it took both hands just to hold ONE while nursing so I wouldn’t suffocate the baby. They were far and away bigger than my babies heads (and mine, I could wear one cup as a hat… with earflaps). After the first month it went down a cup size (cause 34J is WAY better) and I stayed there for a few months. Finally they went down to a more manageable 34I and after the first year, when nursing went down, I got down to a 34H. After weaning I’d get down to a 34F… until I got pregnant again.
It was horrific. With my first baby I pretty much didn’t leave the house until she was 4 months old! I felt trapped, trapped and lonely (I THRIVE on social encounters). It was rough. I was just so embarrassed to go out, NOTHING fit and EVERYONE stared. If I had the baby with me, and was holding her, it wasn’t quite so bad, but the second I put her down or went someplace WITHOUT HER? GAH. I wasn’t managing being so isolated well, so by the time I had my second baby I got over it and went out anyway! Thankfully I discovered baby wearing and let’s just say it hid my “condition” well (not that I could ever nurse discreetly while baby wearing though)
Now I’m just me, 5 kid’s later, with boobs that droop down to my knees and a bra that is so well engineered (to make my boobs APPEAR boob shaped) that I still spend a buttload on them (worth it). BUT I accept me, I accept my body, droops, stretchmarks, wrinkles and all. My boob’s are amazing, they survived back to back pregnancies, nursing and pregnancy again (with just a month off inbetween most of the time) over a 12 year span. Of course they look a little rough after all of that, but it’s not like I’m trying to get out of a speeding ticket, they are for me (okay and my husband) and I accept the good and the bad!
Courtney says “I find that most women have a hate relationship with their breasts and that makes me really sad. They’re either small, large, lopsided, saggy, or too wide, and it made me realize that we need to stop this breast and body shaming because our bodies are beautiful and powerful. I hope to inspire women with this Love Your Boobs, Love Yourself video that to completely love ourselves as women, we need to love and accept our boobs. There’s a direct relationship between our self image of and the relationship we have with our breasts. Breasts don’t define us but they are definitely a part of us. I want to bring awareness that this dysfunctional relationship we as women have with our breasts and with our bodies are directly stemmed from what the media portrays to be what is perfect and the ideal of beauty. I want to push the message that we aren’t defined by our breast size and how we as women are defined by something greater.”
Bloggers different backgrounds, religions, ethnicity, ages, shapes and (of course) breast sizes have decided to come together and to love ourselves and our breasts! You can join in this movement too by sharing a picture of yourself and type what you love about your breasts and what defines you as a woman! You don’t need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #LoveYourBoobsLoveYourself on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in.
Here are some of the other brave and beautiful women who are sharing their stories of breast shame, breast love, what they’ve learned from their breasts, what they mean to them, and how we as women we can learn to love our breasts and ourselves more! I hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of women loving themselves, the empowering effect sharing each of our voices will inspire others in some way.
6. Feel Great in 8 7. Tara Made It 8. Dreaming About Someday 9. MOMentity
10. Dana Ohlsen Photography 11. Life in My Heels 12. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl
13. Utah Mom Connection 14. Lionesses at the Gate 15. Laura’s Crafty Life
Are you ready to share? Make sure to tag your picture with the hashtag #LoveYourBoobsLoveYourself and @courtney_frysauceandgrits to participate in this powerful movement to inspire women to completely love themselves!