RAMONA WORKSHOPS: PERIOD WITCHES

ADVICE FORUM: Feeling Self-Conscious About Your Boobs

Photograph by Tiziana Gualano 

I’m 14 and I feel like my boobs are weird. They are uneven and they look ugly. Will they ever look normal and what can I do about them?

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Hello!

Thank you so much for writing in to us, we love hearing from you and will do our best to give you some advice.

Ahhhh boobs. They are wonderful things but our relationship with them can be so fraught and complicated. I (Freya) have always had issues with my boobs. I’ve never liked them, and the fact that they are big and people comment on them makes it all the worse. I’ve always been so self-conscious about them (even at 29) that I forget to give them love. Something I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older however is that all women have, at some stage in their life, not loved their boobs, or have thought theirs were weird! One of my friends who I think has perfect perky boobs wishes she had bigger ones; another friend was convinced everyone could see how lopsided her boobs were despite everyone telling her they had never noticed. The point is: you certainly aren’t alone. Loving our bodies can be incredibly hard, especially in a world where women are taught to always compare ourselves to each other, and more often than not, to unfair, unrealistic standards.

Another thing I have noticed is that the representation of different body shapes, sizes, and colours has begun to expand. In mainstream media, it certainly is still the norm to show just one “ideal body type”, which for women happens to include perky, round, even boobs, but it’s becoming less acceptable to just show that one unrealistic ideal. I know it has absolutely helped me see that there are other people out there who look like me in alternative media sources and art. It was a huge revelation for me to realise that other girls and women had lumpy bits and uneven bits and splotchy bits and wobbly bits. Up until that point, I really thought something was wrong with me because I didn’t look like the models in magazines.

It might help if you start by asking yourself what you think of as “normal” boobs. And then ask yourself, why? Where did you get this idea of what was normal? Was it the pictures of women you see in mainstream media? Or maybe it’s what you see in your school textbooks from health class? If it’s the former, remind yourself that mainstream media typically features only one representation of women, and more often than not, those women are Photoshopped! If it’s the latter, remind yourself that those diagrams also only show one representation of women, and the images probably aren’t even Photoshopped pictures, but straight-up illustrations!! In reality, no boobs are as symmetrical, smooth, even-toned, or generally perfect as the pictures you see, so don’t compare yourself to those images. If we all walked around baring our naked bodies, we’d all realize that our concept of “normal” is pretty damn skewed, and also kind of irrelevant…because the range is so wide, there really is no good “average.”

In terms of what you can do about them–learn to love ‘em. Yep, it’s easier said than done, and it might be a life-long journey and process. I (Sophie) like the feminist sentiment of self love as an act of rebellion, and it feels pretty relevant here! Rebel against the stinky mainstream media and patriarchy that’s holding you down, and love your boobies for the uneven, imperfect things they are! I have never had any particular angst in regards to the way my boobs look–as far as being self-conscious about my body, other things kinda take precedent. That being said, I’ve never thought boobs were particularly beautiful, and in fact think they’re kinda weird! But I remember having a realization as a teen when I first saw a woman breast feeding, and for the first time I really, truly thought about the fact that these weird jiggly things on my chest would give life sustenance to a child some day. That’s pretty weird, but pretty amazing. I don’t anticipate having kids for a while (and I would imagine at 14, you don’t either), but I guess it just gives me some comfort in the meantime to remember how amazing my body’s capabilities are, and it can be a good way to develop some love for your body to focus on the amazing function/s each part of your body is there for.

With self-booby-love-solidarity,

Freya & Sophie

PS: Check out these other Ramona articles that you might enjoy/find helpful: Assymetrical Breast by Imogen Woods, Being Nude by Freya Bennett, Happy, Health Boobies by Zoe O’Brien, and Things You Should’ve Learned in Sex-Ed (But Probably Didn’t) by Sophie Pellegrini.

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Tiziana Gualano

Tiziana Gualano is a 23-year-old italian photographer who started photography when she was 16. She was born and raised in a town called Foggia, in the south of Italy. What fascinates Tiziana the most about photography is that with it she can be whomever she wants to be. Find her on Tumblr.

Sophie Pellegrini

Sophie Pellegrini is the Co-Founder and Artistic & Creative Director of Ramona Magazine for Girls. She is a 25-year-old photographer and wilderness therapy field guide in Colorado. She loves crafting, playing acoustic guitar, 90s music, the smell of summer, making lists, a good nap, cuddly animals, and the cold side of the pillow. Follow Sophie on her website and on Instagram.

Freya Bennett

Freya Bennett is the co-founder and director of Ramona Magazine for Girls. Freya is a musician, artist and writer from Melbourne, Australia. Peek into this green, caffeinated city and you will find her writing and playing music, making colourful art, and discussing the virtues of feminism. Freya has a passion for youth issues and has been studying Youth Work during 2017 with the hope to be a mentor and help youth (especially teen girls) to overcome any obstacles they are faced with. To combat her own obstacles of anxiety and hypochondria, you can find Freya boxing, practicing yoga and swimming in the ocean. She believes in opening up about mental health struggles and shining a light on what is not spoken about. Freya welcomed her first daughter, Aurora into the world on the 21st of November, 2017 and is smitten! She hopes the Ramona community will surround Rory and give her so much strength as she grows! With a passion for grassroots activism and creative community, Freya began Ramona Magazine as an alternative to boring, image-obsessed teen media. The magazine is founded upon Freya’s core values of creative expression, equality and kindness. Visit Freya’s Soundcloud and follow her on Instagram @freyasadventures.

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