My Awesome, Saggy Breasts
My breasts sag. It’s a fact I’m slowly starting to come to terms with, but sometimes it’s still a hard thing to admit. A while ago I mentioned accidentally losing some weight and my breasts have definitely begun to show the results of that weight loss. What remains are two saggy little lumps on my chest with stretch marks all around them. But this has happened before, and I’m sure it will happen again.
My body changes all the time and when my weight fluctuates, it changes my shape and drastically affects my breasts. I used to obsess over the way my breasts sagged and the stretch marks on them and I even bought a special cream that was supposed to be, “breast firming and stretch mark healing.” Yeah right. When I gain weight, they puff up and change shape and when I lose weight, they shrink down and hang there inside of skin that’s now too big for them. The challenge I face is to not view this as “bad,” but simply as “what my body does,” and a natural part of my life.
Sometimes I get stuck in the mentality of comparing them to all of the other breasts of women my age and shape and I let discontent and unhappiness creep in. I start thinking they’re not normal, they’re too saggy, other women don’t have to deal with this, and so on. There’s actually an awesome Tumblr blog I found that is all user submissions of breasts and sometimes viewing the diversity on there is a much needed wake up call for me. - http://ourbreasts.tumblr.com/
So what if my breasts sag, or if they’ve got stretch marks? They’re mine and they’re part of who I am and I need to love them and be happy with them in whatever shape they take on. Saggy breasts, perky breasts or no breasts, I’m still me and I can’t let their shape and size get in the way of how I feel about myself. My body is awesome and dynamic. It’s a living, breathing organism that changes and shows signs of wear and evolves and grows and shrinks. It’s fucking cool. And watching my breasts change shouldn’t be a bad thing, but rather just a thing that happens that’s part of who I am. Today my breasts are smaller and saggier than they were 6 months ago, but that does not for one second mean that they are any less awesome.
Today it hit me that I have a penchant for framing all of my images in the dead center of the frame. I don’t know why, but there’s just something so satisfying about seeing my crotch all up in the middle of an image. I’m sure there is some deep psychology behind that, but I’m not sure I’d want to know what that says about me as a person.
Remember how I made this big fuss about finally deciding to pluck the little stray hairs on my tummy? Well, apparently I have some seriously overachieving hair follicles, because they’re coming back! And they’re in almost exactly the same spots. It’s like my body said, “Oh no! The hair fell out! Hurry, team, grow a few more so her skin isn’t so lonely!”
A while back, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about my leg hair, so I made a post about my confusion and got a ton of responses both in praise of keeping and of removing the hair. I realized today I never actually decided what to do with my leg hair, but that the lack of a decision is actually a decision all in itself (did I just blow your mind?). I thought about shaving it, and even bought some shaving cream, but then I got distracted and forgot about it and before I knew it, I stopped thinking about it at all. Someone asked me today in a message what I’d decided to do with it and it prompted me to realize, “Holy shit, I have leg hair! Right! I forgot!” Somehow I’ve just become so used to it now that it doesn’t bother me. I don’t feel weird about it, I don’t feel anything about it. It’s the same as knowing I have veins on the backs of my hands or what I ate for breakfast. It’s just a fact of life and I have let go of whatever lingering hangup I had about it. Pretty cool, huh?
Also as a fun side note: I finally broke down and sheepishly asked a friend to show me how to use their “real” camera for today’s picture. After freaking out because it had so many buttons and I was terrified to break it, I realized that the results kind of blew my mind. Turns out, using a nice camera actually DOES produce a nicer image. Who knew?! Ok, maybe everyone knew that, but somehow I have always just been too stubborn to admit it.
A month or so ago I did a text-chat interview for the Naturist Living Show podcast. They, in turn (and at my request), got a different woman to read the role of “Bare to Bush” for the recording, because I didn’t want my real voice out in the world for everyone to hear and possibly recognize. So please note that the woman you’re hearing is not me, she’s just reading the role of me.
Anyhow, it’s a fun little interview and the part about me starts around minute 29:00 on the podcast for you antsy people who don’t want to sit through the whole thing. You can either click, “Play Now” on their website or go find it on iTunes!
Sexual Gratification and My Pictures
There is a common question I get that goes something like this:
"Don’t you find it disturbing that there are people out there who masturbate to your pictures?"
And the short answer is no, no I don’t. I do not create my images for the purpose of being used for sexual gratification, that is true. But does that mean I am offended, hurt, disgusted, or creeped out when they are used as such? Absolutely not. There is a simple truth to the release and distribution of creative work and that is that once you put it out there, it’s out there and you have essentially given up your creative control. When I give you a picture of my body, it doesn’t come with a legal contract saying that you will use it only and entirely for educational purposes and never pursue any sort of sexual arousal from it. Though I may give it to you because I want to tell you something - I want to share a story about something - what you choose to do with it is ultimately your choice alone and it’s out of my hands. Put it on the fridge next to a picture of your childhood best friend or jack off to it before you go to work. Once I give my creation to the world I relinquish my control and regardless of my purpose or intent, your interpretation is yours and yours alone.
I am fully aware that my pictures can be perceived as sexual. I’m sharing intimate, graphic pictures of my body with the internet into a community already teeming with sex. I also don’t feel that it’s necessarily a bad thing if they’re perceived as such. Sex and education are not mutually exclusive. Arousal and appreciation can go hand in hand. An appreciation for what I say tangled with an inexplicable desire to fuck me do not have to be at odds with each other. Sexual arousal is not a sin or a threat or a slap in the face of my purpose. Sexual arousal is human, it’s natural, it’s going to happen no matter what I do and I don’t view that as a bad thing. The world of human perception and interpretation are so wonderful, incredible and complicated that there are undoubtedly people out there who fantasize about licking the period blood from my legs while others fantasize about being my best friend and having a chat over coffee from viewing the same exact image.
Sexuality isn’t evil. Seeing sex within something does not mean that thing is dirty, compromised, wrong or distasteful. Sexuality can live within things, it doesn’t have to be an either/or. Because I share my body with you for the purpose of sharing my stories and my views does not mean that I am upset if your view of my creation becomes saturated with sexual gratification. I don’t feel upset or dirty or disgusted. I don’t feel that compromises or cheapens my intent. The idea that sexuality is so demonized and that people need to remove all of those thoughts from their head to appreciate what I’m saying is simply bizarre. I’m a beautiful woman sharing intimate and naked photos of myself on the internet and to assume that people won’t find arousal and sexual appeal in that is simply naive.
I am comfortable with the knowledge that there are people out there who masturbate to my images in the same way that I’m comfortable with the knowledge that there are people out there who cry when they read the story that accompanies them. There are people out there who are upset by what I do, who love what I do, who don’t give a damn about what I do and who are aroused by what I do. In my humble opinion, not one of those reactions is evil, wrong, disgusting, immoral or a reflection on me having done a poor job on my end. They are all valid, complicated, intertwined human emotions and I feel no shame in being a catalyst for their release.
Accidentally Skinny (and why I hate the bathroom scale)
Recently something completely unplanned has begun to happen to my body and it’s washed up a tangle of old, forgotten demons that I have worked pretty hard to cut out of my life. I’ve been losing weight. Before you roll your eyes at this and say, “Bitch, pleeeease, you’re fucking skinny and you have always been skinny and just shut up because no one wants to hear the pity party of a skinny chick.” I implore you to just hold off on your eye rolling for a couple of paragraphs and read what I have to say.
I hadn’t weighed myself in about a year, and then the other day I found myself in a room with a scale. Not weighing myself is a very conscious decision, because there is nothing that number will ever tell me that will benefit me, my happiness or my love for my body. Less than I expected? Ok, cool, maybe I shouldn’t eat that extra handful of M&M’s and try to keep it here. More than I expected? Err, maybe I shouldn’t eat that extra handful of M&M’s and try to drop it a little bit. Either way, when I see that number flash between my feet, nothing good comes of it. Whatever the result, I start second guessing that handful of M&M’s and let’s face it, that just sucks.
So when I stepped onto the scale and realized that somehow I’d lost a significant amount of weight between what my brain-number told me I was and what the bright red number at my feet yelled back at me, I was kind of in shock. I knew that my clothing had seemed a little loose, but I blamed that on the whole, “clothing stretches out and all of my shit is pretty old,” school of thought and ignored it when my jeans didn’t fit.
And then, shortly after the realization that I was no longer weighed “blank”, but rather “other blank”, I got stomach flu and could hardly eat for a week straight. That, coupled with some personal stress and hard shit at the moment left my pants not simply loose, but falling-off-my-now-nonexistent-ass loose. And at this point you may be thinking, “Um, ok, no offense but how does losing weight make you start hating your body?” Let me elaborate on that right about now.
There’s this thought that creeps into the back of my mind when I perceive myself as “skinny” that starts whispering things to me. It tells me that if I stay skinny, I’ll be prettier. If I stay skinny, I’ll be happier. If I even get a little bit skinnier, I’ll be so beautiful that everyone in the world will adore me. I can buy new clothes. I can be a new size with a smaller number and my pelvic bone will stick out from underneath my dress instead of my tummy being the bulge against the fabric. My fingers will look long and delicate and strangers will look at me as I pass by in the street and think, “That woman is so beautiful, so fragile, so lovely. That woman is perfection.”
And though I know those voices aren’t true, they make me look at my world differently. I begin to subconsciously do things like decide I don’t need breakfast that day, coffee is good enough. Or a few small spoonfuls of ice cream is a perfect lunch, because I’m fragile and thin and don’t need to eat a real meal anymore. These things in my brain, they twist and grow and wrap themselves around other thoughts until they become so intertwined with my self-image, I start looking at myself in the mirror and disliking the girl staring back at me.
And that, my friends, is total and complete bullshit. I was fucking gorgeous before I lost weight, and I’m fucking gorgeous right now. I have been beautiful, wonderful and perfect at any and every weight I’ve watched my body transition through. There wasn’t a thing in the world wrong with me before I lost weight, and stress, sickness and lack of self-care have somehow wrapped themselves up in my brain to try to convince me that they are good things, that their result is a better version of me. I don’t want a better version of me. I want my squishy tummy back.
I don’t want to second guess that handful of M&M’s, I don’t want my pelvis to jut out against my clothes, and I don’t want strangers to use the circumference of my waist as a metric on which to judge my importance, desirability or worth as a human being. I want to love the girl in the mirror and smile at the rolls on her tummy and fit happily into whatever clothing size fits that day regardless of the number that’s printed on the tag. I don’t want to let those voices tell me that anything in my life will be better because there is less of me. My life is awesome, and it has been for a long time. My size and my weight should have nothing in the world to do with who I am, what I do or how much I love myself.
So maybe I’ll gain it back. So what? Maybe I won’t. So what to that too! I am determined to love the hell out of myself regardless of that bright red number glaring up at me from a bathroom scale and treat my body with love, respect and adoration no matter what size or shape is takes on that month. I will not let those voices convince me that I am better right now than I was a year ago because of a superfluous thing like a bathroom scale. I will not let those thoughts ruin the confidence and stability I’ve built within myself throughout my life. I am determined to love that girl in the mirror no matter what she looks like that day and I’ll feed her breakfast if she’s hungry and buy her clothing she likes no matter what size it represents. I have made a promise to myself to love that girl, and no matter what my brain dredges up to use against me, I will not stop.