At age fourteen (circa 2008) I walked into Victoria's Secret for the first time, and my world was forever changed. The first time I was properly measured for a bra, I was already a solid C cup, and somehow, up until that point, I had gotten away with only using target sports bras and t-shirts to conceal myself. But when I got that Body By Victoria my universe shifted in ways in which I am still feeling the effects from. It wasn't even a push-up bra, and yet it pushed them up and put them on display in a way that I had never experienced.
Sadly, I was not the only one who noticed this
subtle massive life change. My (more flat-chested) friends were sure to comment and make me feel inferior for the way that I was built, and the men hormonally-imbalanced boys around me took notice, as well. I, however, was practically clueless. I had been wearing v-necks and graphic tees all of freshman year thus far, but suddenly, those simple Aeropostalé tees were gaining a tremendous amount of attention. (It was 2008, Aeropostalé was still relevant back then).
It did not make any sense. They were merely lumps of fat on my body that happen to be pushed up and held them into place. They were not sexual to me. Honestly, as a straight women, breasts still don't seem sexual to me. But to various other social groups, they mean something entirely different. A subtle adolescent v-neck turned into a gaping scoop-neck over night, and the phrases on my graphic tees were chopped and screwed by the large melons hanging from my small frame. The stares in the school hallways got longer and the awkward pick-up lines became all the more invasive and uncomfortable. Friends shamed me, men degraded me and even my own family made me feel uncomfortable in my own body... all at the age of fourteen.
Fast forward a year, and I am now a D cup at age fifteen, and the attention is not any easier to live with. I have a "serious" boyfriend now (or as serious as you can get at fifteen), and he continually brags about my "assets" to his friends. I find this comforting and flattering, (as if it somehow makes me superior to the lesser-developed high school girls around me). All the while failing to realize that his love for my body did not equate love for just me.
A year later, I am sixteen years old, and I have grown yet again. Not in stature, of course, I am still a solid 4'10" and an adorable 32 inches around in the waist, but I am now a DD cup size, and the universe has shifted again. The "serious" boyfriend who I was so in love with has traded me in for a newer model, and I am left alone as a junior in high school to fend for myself against the wild animals (who are often referred to as teenage boys). The idiot I once "loved" has unapologetically tarnished my reputation to the point that I now get called names in the school hallways. The friends who I once cherished now call me trash because I "gave it up" before marriage. And now that I am known for my cleavage, I have automatically become the high school whore. The girls with small chests hate me out of envy, and the boys with small minds hate me out of spite (because I won't say yes to them, too).
It is a rocky time for me, and inevitably, I begin to believe the lies that they tell. Instead of just being called the whore, I become the whore and I embody every single bit of it. If I am going to be shamed for my body, I might as well live up to the hype. Clearly, I am going to be treated unfairly regardless of how I act, so what do I have to lose at this point, right?
So I gave in, I became everything that they called me, and by the end of that year, I hated everything about myself. I barely recognized my own reflection in the mirror anymore. I let the opinions of others shape who I was, and I lost every good part of myself in the process.
Senior year, I was measured again, and I discovered that I was a DDD cup size. But I also discovered something else, Jesus Christ. I met a youth pastor (and now life-time mentor) who changed my whole world. He was one of the first men I had met since puberty that did not judge me for my body nor the reputation that preceded it. This was a Godly man by every obtainable definition, a man who saw the good in everyone. A man who showed me value and self-love by leading the church with his actions (sometimes more so than his words). I began to go to church more and more, and I realized that God created me to be a beautiful (and very curvy) woman, and that there was absolutely nothing wrong with that.
However, the boob-discrimination did not stop there. I am saddened to say that I experienced hatefulness and shaming from both men and women in the church from "Christians" of all ages. I relentlessly tried to cover myself up and remove any evidence of cleavage from my life (both in church and in school). Yet, the discrimination persisted and surpassed all of my efforts to be "pure".
For years, I tried to gain the church's approval regarding my body and all of it's unique features. Yet none of my attempts were successful. I tried over-sized shirts, shapeless bras and larger dresses that went past my knees. I wore sports bras to disguise my body, attempting to convince the world that I was flat, but somehow they still showed up underneath all of the layers and all the self-hatred. No matter what church I went to there was always somebody somewhere screaming "modest is hottest" while giving me a passive aggressive stare from the corner of the room. I loved Jesus, but I still hated myself.
After high school, I worked at a sports bar (go ahead and judge), and obviously the attention I received turned from flattering to assaulting very quickly. You might be thinking, "oh she worked at a bar, she wore that tight tank top, she knew what she was doing, she deserved every bit of criticism that was thrown her way, she asked for it," etc. Well if any of those thoughts entered your mind, let me just say that you might be a little bit closer to crazy Westboro Bapist than you care to admit. Despite popular belief, working at a bar, wearing a two-piece bathing suit, wearing a form-fitting dress, loving my curves and embracing my sexuality does not somehow mean that I deserve hatred, shaming or discrimination. But that is exactly what the church taught me for so many years as an impressionable young woman. They preached hatred and called it "purity" or "modesty", making girls like me believe that I would never be worthy of an honest, Christian man.
For years, I avoided certain clothes or styles (that I loved) all to appease the people around me and to make other Christians feel more comfortable. Thankfully, that ridiculous people-pleasing mindset was left in my past long ago.
Over time, I have gone through stages of being overtly modest and then plunging back into the glorious life of cleavage. It was not until recently that I felt ultimate peace about my body and all of the blessings that it carries.
I have learned many things through the years of simultaneously hating and loving myself, but one of my most valuable lessons as a Christ follower is to never look to the church, the people in the church or even the leaders of the church for approval or acceptance. There is only ONE way to the Father, and that is through Christ Jesus (John 14:6). The moment that you place somebody else in the crossfire between you and Jesus is the moment that you begin to lose Christ entirely. Nobody else can control your destiny or the path that God has ordained for you. Nobody can shame you into believing that you aren't good enough for the life that you desire (unless you allow them to). Keep people in their rightful place and keep God in His place (at the forefront of it all).
As I've matured (physically, mentally and spiritually), I have learned that aside from God, my husband will also have a rightful opinion on the decisions that I make. In my eyes, a marriage is a balanced partnership. It is a formal union, but above all, it is a friendship that requires a mutual respect for each other.
While I was on the "modest train", I was taught to believe that my at the time *future* husband would be impressed with one-piece grandma bathing suits and big t-shirts until the day that we die. I genuinely thought that being myself and embracing my assets would disqualify me from potentially sharing my life with a Godly man. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that this was not the case at all.
I miraculously found an incredible God-fearing man who LOVES my body, and doesn't shame me for it! Maybe some Christian men are intimidated by the idea of having a wife with abundant cleavage, but my husband certainly is NOT. He celebrates every intricate part of my body every single day. He loves me for me, not because of my assets, but because of who I am. I had no idea that such an eclectic man existed, but I am so glad that he does.
Now, I am a 34G cup size and it appears as though I am still growing. (WTF, am I right?!)
I recently married the most handsome, kind, respectful, charming, patient and gracious man that has ever walked the earth (aside from my daddy and Jesus Christ), and I could not be happier.
In past years, I struggled with my identity and if I should hate or embrace the large
melons watermelons hanging from my disproportional frame. Through Christ's love and through the love of my fiancé, I now know with certainty that I should embrace every bit of them. There are days where I find more comfort in covering up, but there are also days where I find absolute freedom in my cleavage and the body that God has so graciously blessed me with.
My large breasts will bring actual life and nourishment to my (future) children due to the incredible miracle of breast-feeding. They will also bring pleasure in many unmentionable NSFW ways in my newly-budding marriage. But above all, they are an asset God gave me, therefore they are good, for ALL of His works are good. So whether you have larger breasts, smaller ones or something in between, take comfort in the fact that God gave you what He gave you in good judgement. He makes no mistakes.
Your identity is not tied to a set of breasts, however, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of the body that you were blessed with, for every good and perfect thing comes from above (James 1:17). Do not give anyone the power to take this beautiful truth away from you like I did for so many years in my youth. You are beautiful. You are made in His image. And you are NOT a mistake.
He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. -Deuteronomy 32:4