Caitlin Cannon
July 29, 2016 6:38 pm
Chirs Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

I’ve never once met someone that was happy with their breasts.

You know, BOOBS, the girls, bra buddies, wahwahs…your mammaries. Yikes. Not a fan of that last one.

But whatever name we use to make ourselves slightly more comfortable talking about them, it seems that there is one common theme: they could always be “better.”

Warner Bros. Pictures

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some tirade against women who decide that breast augmentation is right for them. I personally have no ill opinions if that is something you ultimately decide for yourself.

This is me being frustrated that dissatisfaction with our bodies is standard.

This is me being frustrated that it is considered “weird” to like what you got goin’ on. Admit it — how many times have you seen someone so confident that it made you feel that slight spark of jealousy or annoyance? It’s OK, me too.

And while we all wish we could harness our inner Rihannas, it’s not that easy.

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It isn’t as simple as one day deciding that you’re perfect. But it is possible to try and change that negative idea of what you think you should look like little by little; it’s an ongoing practice — just like jogging everyday to get ready to run that 5k sitting ominously on your calendar…getting ever nearer…

Anyway.

I— like many women — spent much of my teenage years hating my chest. I spent long bouts of time looking in the mirror; stretching and pulling at my skin — telling myself over and over again that if “only they were a little more like this, I’d be beautiful.”

I became genuinely terrified of the moment when a dude goes for the ol’ unhooking-bra-mid-makeout move. It felt like, by unleashing my dynamic duo, he’d also discover what I thought to be a deal breaker.

I worried that my boobs didn’t look like the boobs you see in movies and Google search results.

It got to the point where I felt deformed or that there was something wrong with me. It sucked.

But there wasn’t anything wrong with me. And there’s nothing wrong with you, my fellow sufferer of boob fear (or areolanxiety as I’ve come to call it).

See, I had — or have, I guess — “weird” boobs. Boom. Secret’s out. Someone start up the presses. They’re far from symmetrical, they’re not particularly perky, and my areola aren’t exactly up to pornography’s standard. They’ve been called “interesting,” “unique,” and “different.”

In other words, they’re normal.

Just like every set of tatas this side of the Mississippi — and the other side too! It was me that chose to listen to subjective comments about my body instead of celebrating when they were called hot or beautiful. I don’t need to tell you that we live in a society fueled by unrealistic beauty expectations. You know that, and I’m sure you also feel its effects just as much as I do. But what I can tell you is there are ways to cut through the blather of media and feel supported and comfortable in your skin – just like you do in your favorite bra.

These are the techniques that have worked for me, and I went from actively saving up for a boob job to feeling borderline flirty when I decide to go braless in public — which I highly recommend, by the way (almost no one notices but you, and the girls will def thank you).

I’m sure a very small part of my change of heart has to do with my age — but then again, I’m 24, so I’m not exactly full of wisdom when it comes to self love, yet. Instead, I implemented a few new rituals that have transformed the way that I look at myself in the mirror, and less importantly, how I feel when I’m with a new bedroom friend.

Ricardo Funari/Brazil Photos/LightRocket via Getty Images

First, invest in a pretty bra or two.

I ended up finding the right one for me on sale at Journelle. It’s silky smooth with no padding and a mesh edge detail that makes me feel like a total badass. I like that it lets my boobs be themselves. There’s little to no sculpting going on, so I don’t feel like there is some epic change in my body when I take my bra off at home.

Further, there’s an undeniable level of confidence that comes with navigating the world when you know that you’re wearing cute underwear.

And if you’re on a budget — TJ Maxx carries designer bras in a zillion styles and sizes, so go explore what works for you! Once I found a bra that didn’t dig into my sides, or do strange lumpy things to my back, or raise my boobs to the high heavens, I didn’t think about them as much.

Second, choose one day a week (or whatever you can swing) to not even wear a bra.

Whether it’s when you stay in your pajamas all day on a Sunday, or if you throw caution to the wind and decide to go to work tits-out, try and pencil some braless time in every now and again. The more you are used to their natural movement, bounce, and sag, the less likely your boobs will even be at the front of your mind.

I work in an office and the few times I’ve gone to work without a bra on, literally no one but me has noticed. And I don’t have small boobs either. To me, this step is sort of the exposure therapy of the process. When you can see that people don’t notice your boobs as much as you notice them, I feel like they’ll end up being less of an issue overall.

Comedy Central

Third and most important step: hang out naked!

Crank some tunes and go hang out in your bathroom. (I try to do this when my roommates aren’t home, but sometimes you just have to be a little bit of a bathroom hog). Familiarize yourself with how your body moves and celebrate it. Actively fight those negging voices in your head by dancing to copious amounts of top 40 hits.

Telling yourself you aren’t good enough is a habit, just like cracking your knuckles or biting your fingernails. And it can be changed.

When your mind asks you to hop aboard the sad train, ignore it and listen to Beyoncé instead. Again, it won’t change all at once, but the more you actively refuse beauty standards and say “Hey I’m beautiful,” you’ll feel it for real.

In short, boobs are boobs. In all their asymmetrical, saggy, bouncy glory. And that’s it.

They should look different. Imagine if they all looked the same; they’d end up being as attractive as elbows. Or ankles. And that would be super weird! Remember, above everything else: no matter what your body looks like or how you may feel about it on any given day, that will never take away the other things that make you, you. Your boobs don’t reflect your laugh or the way you may tuck your hair behind one ear as you listen to a friend’s problem. They don’t define you. Naked or not.

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