Does boob size really matter?
Not too small, not too big, not too round, not too uneven: achieving the perfect boob size can prove to be an elusive task. But the bigger question is: should we care?
Fact: Most women aren’t happy with their boob size when they look in the mirror. Some wish for larger, others wish for more rounded while yet others wish theirs looked more even. If you’ve ever felt unhappy with the breasts you have, don’t blame yourself – instead, blame the potent cocktail of pop culture stereotypes and societal conditioning that has convinced us that bigger is always better. You won’t have to look far and long for proof. After all, it’s a scene that we’ve seen played out a million times on our screens, from the hitchhiker sticking out her chest prominently to pick up a ride by the roadside to the wallflower protagonist getting a miraculous makeover and showing up at school in something appropriately low-cut to catch the attention of the jocks. Such is our obsession with size that a billion-dollar industry revolves around anatomically impossible Barbie dolls with rounded curves and barely-there waists. Against this context, is it any wonder that most women have a love-hate relationship with their bodies?
The connection between boob size and mental health
Yes, the two are connected and not usually in a positive association. Research has discovered that women who are unhappy with their boob size rank lower for emotional well-being, starting as early as the teens. The concerns don’t end there, though. A problematic relationship with one’s body image can further spiral into a negative stance on eating behaviours, social functioning and self-esteem.
Though often perceived as a cosmetic issue, boob size dissatisfaction can have a far-reaching impact on the psychological well-being of women, starting from adolescence and extending till the later years of life. It comes as little surprise then that breast augmentation is the most commonly requested procedure in countries like the United States, with an estimated number of 300,000 women opting for the surgical procedure every single year. While every woman has the power to choose how she wants her body to look and feel, the fact that society has convinced us that opting for extreme measures is the key to feeling confident in our own skin needs to be addressed.
How the size of your boobs can affect your relationships
Needless to say, a problematic relationship with one’s body can spill over into other areas of our life – and this isn’t helped by pop culture’s insistence that men prefer voluptuous breasts over those with a smaller cup size. Down the years, the famed cleavage has been at the receiving end of the male gaze consistently enough for women to believe that size is all that matters in a happy relationship. It isn’t uncommon to hear smaller-sized women worry that they won’t find a man even while women with a larger cup size complain that they attract all the wrong men.
But while boob size remains a large concern among women, research has discovered that it isn’t a dealbreaker for men. Though often considered as the highest token of womanhood, studies have discovered that 91% men believe that love and compatibility makes a difference in a relationship, not bust size. Psychologists believe that several factors are involved in a man’s individual breast preferences, including their familial background, cultural conditioning and personal views and lifestyle. So, if you’ve ever been made to feel less-than by a member of the opposite gender, remember that it is the result of their background, not the unanimous consensus among men everywhere.
4 ways to love your boobs (regardless of their size)
We now know that a negative body image can open the door to mental health concerns, such as eating disorders and depression, while a positive body image can help you observe high levels of happiness and confidence in all areas of life. If you’re looking for a little nudge to help you love the boobs you are in, here are some minor tweaks that can go a long way towards restoring your confidence in your self-image.
Monitor your self-talk
If you are looking to make peace with your boob size, the first place to weed out any negativity is in the way you talk to yourself. Constantly critiquing your appearance everytime you walk by a mirror or focusing on your flaws, even if it’s just in your head, can combine together to build a negative body image. Instead, take conscious note of how you talk to yourself and show appearance over your body instead of nitpicking every minor perceived imperfection.
If you need help with reminding yourself to be kinder towards your body, go about it the old-fashioned way: put pen to paper and write down what you like about your breasts, what all you appreciate them for and reminders to not let external factors influence your perception of your breasts or your self-worth.
Feel good in your skin
While words can go a long way, actions can speak even better than words. If you want to convince yourself to love your body, start acting like it. Instead of worrying about all the things you are missing out on, start consciously focusing on things that make you feel good, just the way you are. Perhaps it is a specific dressing style or silhouette that makes you feel more confident and walk taller: stock your wardrobe with these confidence-boosting styles and you will feel the difference.
C is for contentment, not comparison
The easiest road to slashing your self-esteem in half is to compare your body to other people’s. Maybe it is a waif-thin supermodel on social media or maybe it is a well-endowed friend in your social circle who seems to have all the right curves and attract all the guys. Remember that comparison is the biggest thief of joy, so instead pay attention to the qualities you love about yourself. As for those friends whose physical appearance you have been secretly coveting, why not pay them a compliment that will make both of you feel good?
It can be difficult to love yourself when pop culture and society’s standards keep trying to convince you that your life won’t be perfect until you have reached an arbitrary, unachievable size. In a world that profits from your self-doubt, the most revolutionary act of all is to love yourself just the way you are!