I have never been what you might call ‘busty’ and am in fact the opposite. From a young age I have had small breasts and it always bothered me. I remember a Year Six PE class, where I was being teased for hiding my breasts. My own friends would laugh and tell me that I didn’t need to hide my chest ‘because I was as flat as an ironing board’. It used to bother me immensely and when I saw my friends with larger breasts and curvier bodies I would get upset. I grew up in an era where being ‘slim’ and not ‘curvy’ would typecast me as a ‘boy’ instead of a ‘woman’ or girl. It really (excuse the pun) got on my tits when I was told that I was not ‘womanly’ enough to be considered as ‘feminine’. I thought to myself why is it that our genitalia defines how ‘womanly’ or not we are? Isn’t that just a means of segregating women into camps and making them feel as though they can never be attractive to the other sex?
For a long time I saw myself as unattractive; being told daily that you are not beautiful or curvy enough has an effect on your self esteem and mine dipped. I would be envious of anyone who had large boobs and would stand in front of the mirror naked, often in tears because I despised the way I looked. When I first started wearing a bra at the age of 13 my so called friends and peers laughed, told me I should stuff my bra to appear more feminine. Even guys would get in on the act and throw balls at my chest during PE because [and I quote] I wouldn’t be able to feel a thing as I have ‘no tits’. I tried to pretend I didn’t care but gradually the bullying about my physical appearance made me loathe the woman in the mirror. I had an unhealthy obsession with self-harm and not in the physical sense either. I never cut myself but I would list all the reasons why I was ‘never attractive’ enough and relish in fantasies where people would ridicule the way I looked. I didn’t know it at the time but I had [ and still do to a lesser extent] Body Dysmorphic Disorder, an anxiety disorder that causes you to have a distorted view of how you look. For me it would be particularly bad when I was being bullied because I believed every word that they said. I was too slim, too flat chested, didn’t have a bum and worst of all according to them was ‘ugly’.
I grew up thinking I was ugly and when I fell into fashion almost by accident something changed. I realized you didn’t need to be beautiful or a particular body shape to wear ‘stylish clothes’. Gradually over the years I began embracing my slim figure and realized that if we are all made the same, it would be a very boring world indeed. But still the destructive thoughts crept in and it was difficult to overcome this anxiety, especially when I met new people. Seeing other people with curvier bodies and larger chests made me feel anxious about my own body and I believed that they saw me in the same light. When I saw people whispering in corners it made me think that they were talking about me. When I saw people laugh I was convinced that they were laughing at me and when people looked at me I would never think that people were actually interested in me romantically. Male attention often makes me feel uncomfortable and even when they compliment me and are sincere I believe that they are lying. Its the paranoia talking but in the moment I feel anxious and believe they could not possibly ever see me as attractive.
Its taken a long time but largely due to fashion and writing I have learnt to deal with Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I no longer fixate on unhealthy fantasies concerning my image and have started wearing clothes that I could never wear five years ago. I hated drawing attention to my small chest and would avoid wearing low cut tops because I thought I could not wear them as I was not ‘busty enough’. But isn’t that the point of fashion? That fashion has no limits and no matter what shape or size you are you can wear whatever you want? I am sick and tired of being told that I can’t wear a certain dress because I am not curvy enough or to stuff my bra with socks because there is nothing there. In fact when I saw this plunge slit maxi dress from River Island my heart stopped; for the first time I would wear a dress without a bra and not give a flying f**k about people looking at my nipples. Sure I have small boobs but does it matter? If I had all the money in the world and was told to get a ‘boob job’ I wouldn’t do it. Do you know why? Because now, for the first time in 23 years, I feel comfortable in my own skin.
When someone commented on one of my Instagram pictures ‘small nipples’ with a laughing face I clapped back ‘ does my womanhood offend you’? Is it really that funny to make fun of someones chest size when I could retaliate with far harsher criticism? Oh I am sorry that I have small boobs but you don’t see me making fun of your small dick do you? But I digress, living with BDD often made it hard for me to go outside of my comfort zone and embrace clothing that would accentuate my petite features . Now though, thanks to brands like River Island I am happy and in fact proud that I have this body. Sure I might not be entirely comfortable with the way I look without makeup or still have days where I dislike my shape but for the most part I’m happy. I might not have perfect breasts or have a fuller figure but I know there is one thing that I do have and that is style.
Remember style doesn’t define you, you define style. If you have small boobs shout it from the rooftops. Have big boobs? Feel blessed, because remember no matter now tall or short, how thin or curvy you are no one is perfect and it is our imperfections that make us beautiful.
Are You Comfortable In Your Own Skin?
Please note I am writing a post on ‘dealing with body dysmorphic disorder’ and would love submissions if this is something you have dealt with personally. Remember I am always here if you need someone to talk to, no matter what time of night it is. Truth be told I have 3-5 hours sleep a night and will most likely be awake even at four in the morning. You are not alone and neither am I, if you have BDD I would love to talk x
Shop The Look