“‘Istri maarke’ was the most familiar phrase that I heard as a teenager.I studied in a co-ed school, where the phrase put in an appearance around 8th or 9th standard when other girls around me were most definitely wearing some kind of device that made them pull at their pinnafores. I still wore soft cotton sports bras, one size fits all types from Linking Road. It was during the 10th standard farewell preparations that I was faced with a bra.
At 28, I’m a 32B on a broadish frame. It sucked growing up like that because I didn’t figure out I had any boobs till about 6 years back. Or at least that’s what I was led to believe. I have a genetically mallu back side and generically south indian thunder thighs. Growing up, in a family of fairly rounded female figures, I felt imbalanced, physically.
Most of my partner’s have expressed some form of disappointment while undressing. Quite a few merely avoided that area. It felt strange to ask most of them to focus on the boobs for a change. A few of the later ones were different – one really liked that they were small enough to be cupped while falling asleep together, one found the perky nipples cute, one genuinely preferred the South Indian bit.
Strangely, what changed the relationship with myself was finding padded bras without underwire. It felt adult, and comforting. I unlearned how it felt to be “ironed flat” and began to see them as breasts. Started noticing the good things – about them, and how they fitted in with the rest of my body – not being obtrusive, but just right enough that a padded bra can give the oh-so-perfect curve.
But it is my current FWB who pushed me into really looking at them. He likes the occasional photograph, and eventually conversations turn to boudoir selfies.
After a lifetime, I finally feel like I own my boobelettes – in and out of adulating padded bras and in front of phone cameras, sometimes with makeup on too.”