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Getting Comfortable with Inadequacy

Writing by Maria Emirades // Photograph by Andriy // I’ve been thinking about this little problem lately, and realising that this sense of ‘not enough’ has less to do with my own approval of my body parts, and everything to do with how someone else feels about them.

Writing by Maria Emirades // Photograph by Andriy

I’m someone who comes from a family of large breasted women, and for whatever reason missed that gene pool entirely.

I’ve never hated these things on my chest, it’s just that I’ve never really loved them a great deal either. They always just seemed too small and my nipples seemed entirely too pronounced, and so being naked, whether in front of a mirror or in front of a guy, I just feel inadequate.

This concept of full breastedness equating sex appeal, has been around a long time before Kim K made it a business, and you only need to look at film stars like Sophia Loren to see where this seed might have been planted.

Being rather fond of Latin culture and an admirer of this kind of ‘sensual’ beauty myself, I’ve always loved the idea of having dangerous curves. Even on my travels in Brazil, just witnessing the hypnotic powers women had in their dental floss bikinis on the beach, was enough to make a girl highly enviable. More than igniting a head-turning affliction, they just owned every inch of their body and paraded it proudly. That to me represented a true sense of power and declaration of self-love.

And so when I think of that comparison, I can’t help but feel short changed as though my femininity is less than because I can only really pull off cute bandeus at the very most.

Throughout the years, I have found ways to make it work for me, like gravitating towards high neck tops and placing an emphasis on my butt. It’s actually the asset (no pun intended), I bring to the table the most when I’m in the middle of an intimate moment.

Because I dread the moment when they finally get around to unclipping my bra, as though the big reveal will be a bitter disappointment in some way. I cringe thinking about how they barely equal a whole handful, and my inner dialogue goes something like this..

‘Yep, he’s squeezing them and this really doesn’t feel can he think this is sexy..should I just move this part right along?’

What’s crazier and more neurotic still, is that I’m even more self-conscious about my nipples being visible in clothing. I can’t tell you the amount of band-aids I’ve used to make sure there was absolutely no sign of a nipple being attached to my breast in outfits that didn’t permit a bra. And no matter how many fashion-esque photos I see on Instagram and admire how bad-ass freeing he nipple can be, I’m just way to self conscious to pull it off.

Surgery has never been something that I’ve toyed with and the main reasons is, I feel like I would be getting bigger boobs for the pleasure of someone else moreso than for myself. I can’t quite justify the risk of complications and on going recovery period, for an aesthetic result that I don’t know I entirely vibe with.

And so I’ve been thinking about this little problem lately, and realising that this sense of ‘not enough’ has less to do with my own approval of my body parts, and everything to do with how someone else feels about them.

Do my visible nipples offend you?

Am I not turning you on enough?

Questions that really shouldn’t be in the forefront of my mind, but here we are.

This isn’t a hangup I think about in every waking moment, it’s simply one of those things we as woman, have on our list of ‘If I could change something about myself it would be’, fill in the blanks. And the irony of it is, that I know there are women with huge breasts out there, that would kill to be able to go bra-less and not have to think twice before going clothing shopping. So maybe this thing that I feel I lack is someone else’s body ideal, how crazy of a concept would that be?

Loving this type of inadequacy, whether it be boobs or a big nose, is a simple as not giving it power over you and also as hard as finding out where your power really lies.

My powers, I realise every year I get older, really have nothing to do with what’s attached to me. Maybe I could get a few head turns on the beach if I could lead with my chest first, but I don’t actually crave that kind of attention anyway.

The person I most want on side, is just me and while I still don’t adore these breasts of mine, I can start to get more comfortable in them.

I can wear more bralettes and not be so concerned that my nipples are showing.

I can take off my top in front of a man and not immediately shy away.

I can accept that I have this body, my one and only, and that there is nothing more holy.


Maria Ermides

Maria is a work in progress who one day hopes to be an inspiration to young girls who are trying to work it all out too. She lives in Brisbane and loves to write, dance and create things.


Andriy is a 21 year old Japanese fashion college student.


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