Over to T
“When I first reached puberty, my mother introduced me to sports bras. My teeny tiny breasts became bigger than the size of other teenagers and friends around me. Girls with heavy breast are often asked to cover themselves up, not allowed to run with their friends — all the attention is on the bouncing, blooming breasts of a teenage girl battling with her sexuality and sense of identity. I was indifferent, but I slowly started to care and pay closer attention. I would wear a spaghetti top underneath my shirt to compress my breasts. I was a fat teenager with huge breasts, each the size of a musk melon. I didn’t know what to do so I started running, doing cardio work out and something else that I’m not really proud of. I visited my doctor and asked her for breast reduction pills. She counseled me against it, but I was determined to take the pills. I was on Ayurvedic medication which led to some side effects — nausea, breast pain and itchy nipples. I was scared and I stopped taking these medicines immediately.
Resigned to my fate, I focused on losing weight that would fluctuate all too often. My breast size reduced with considerable weight loss but not enough to wear short sleeve dress, plunging necklines and tightly fitted T-shirts. In hostel, I would sigh at all the fancy, padded bras on the frail drying line outside the hostel rooms, which fit the ideal standards of beauty according to the bra makers. All I had were granny bras — only in black, beige and white. One day I was determined to pamper my big breasts and decided to go bra shopping. I bought lace and colourful bras in D cup size, of course with much difficulty.
When I started teaching, I realised how so many girls like me are asked to ‘cover up’ and wrap towels around themselves on school trips if they are big busted. They are not allowed to run and often looked down upon by other female teachers as dirty, loose and attention seeking. It brought back stinging memories of my own childhood. Did my teachers also think the same way about me? The only time I felt emboldened to try out a dress with a plunging neckline was when I traveled to Europe for a conference. No one made me feel uncomfortable, adjusted my bra strap or suggested methods to compress my breasts or hide my plunging neckline. I don’t need a sisterhood of bra keepers. I need friends and people who care to realise that they cannot make me feel bad about my body. But most importantly, I’m starting to understand that I cannot let criticism, big boob joke, and silent gestures of breast censorship get to me. I no longer allow people to adjust my bra straps. I wear red and blue bras in silk under transparent shirts. If people see it, so be it. I have come to appreciate my breasts. Women with big breasts have it hard, but its a sign of youth in its full bloom. It reminds me of pink cherry blossoms in all its glory standing tall and radiating the vibrant colours of spring. And there is more of me to love and caress. Now why would I not want that? “