How having two "bee stings" led to a sweeter life
Let’s talk boobs!I have none – and normally, that’s where the conversation would end for me; but, not today! This time, I have a lot to say about having very little.
I’ve often joked about the lack of weight on my chest; saying things like, “the Lord gave me sandbags, he just forgot to fill them,” or, “perhaps my phobia of bees is due to the permanent ‘stings’ on each side of my sternum.” The truth was - having small boobs never actually bothered me. It just bothered people around me so much I got the impression it should bother me, as well. Ever since I can remember, people have been throwing out their unsolicited advice by recommending I get a boob job. I was confused why people felt it was acceptable to comment on anyone else’s body – let alone recommend someone change things, surgically, with the sole intent being to superficially please others. Like most girls uninterested in being the target of easy scrutiny, I learned from a young age to beat everyone else to the punch. I made fun of my own body as a way to ward off criticism from others and to show them if it didn’t bother me, it shouldn’t bother them! Obviously, if I could make a joke about it, I had come to terms with things and they should, too – right? Wrong.
Apparently, not everyone thinks the same way as I. My self-deprecating sense of humor regarding this society created situation only made things worse. People assumed I was deflecting and facing very real insecurities with regard to my body. So, again the question kept coming, “Why not just get that boob job and feel better about yourself?" My belief has always been that working on self-acceptance is cheaper, healthier, less invasive (maybe), and far less likely to get botched than silicone implants. And, until men start getting testicular implants to feel better or look better in front of women, I really don’t see the point. It’s just not fair, and I’m all about equality - even though, let’s be honest, things will NEVER be equal because women have babies. Men, literally, join in the fun, and we’re left with having to house a human – sometimes more than one human – for nine months. Let’s not forget we also have to shock stress our lady bits in order to get said human(s) out of our bodies. That’s a card – a platinum card, thank you, which will never expire in my book, friends. Anyhow, back to boobs...
Despite my best efforts, the outside world eventually crept in, and I started to wonder if I really should be concerned with my chest size as much as the rest of the world seemed to be. Perhaps bigger breasts were the answer to the smaller problems in my life, and I had just been refusing to give them the consideration they deserved. Perhaps I would work more if they were bigger, or I’d look more my age, or attract more guys and Twitter followers... well, certainly not the kind of guys or Twitter followers I’d want anyway.
The insecurity I had started to feel began to exacerbate whenever I put on a bra. Every time I clasped a hook and eye behind me, I felt a harsher eye on me. Nothing makes you feel less sexy about your rack than looking down to see there’s still plenty of room in the A-sized oven for about two more. Oh, wait...there is – when the people you work with notice, too. It grew increasingly embarrassing every time I had a wardrobe fitting on a set. The Costumes Department would frantically search for ways to make me look more “attractive” and “developed”, while I would search for ways to disappear. They’d buy bras too big and then bring in three different kinds of stuffing to fill every bra in which they tried to fit me. Fashion tape became a part of my dressing routine, as it was used to fasten the extra fabric that had nothing upon which to naturally lie. I had always wondered why they initially didn’t just buy the proper cup size, but it was simply due to the fact mine weren’t big enough as is. One time, I was told I could avoid the embarrassment in the future by “getting the job done once and for all.” A quick fix to make someone else’s profession easier, at the expense of how I’d have to live my entire life.
I became so frustrated that something as insignificant as the size of a woman’s breasts could be cause for such concern and attention, I did the only thing I knew how. In true Aquarian fashion, I rebelled. If everyone was going to give me a problem, I was going to give them a bigger one right back. My mother had done an incredible job raising a girl who had never questioned her body or build, and I wasn’t going to let that all go to waste – especially after thirty years! Fed up with the fussing, the comments, and the t-shirts constantly finding a resting place in the gap between whatever cup I was wearing and my skin, I decided to do something which would end up changing my life completely.
Wearing a bra seemed to be the only time I was truly uncomfortable with what I was missing, so, I decided it was time to turn the focus and accentuate what wasn’t. If I couldn’t have a full cup of cleavage and ensuing boob sweat, I was gonna rock it with what I did have – nothing. If the sexiness of big boobs lays in the cleavage, then the sexiness of small boobs must lay in the nipple... er, nipples. So... out went the bras. And, not because I’m a feminist (I am), but because I figured if it’s not doing anything anyway, beside making me question my self worth, what’s the point in having an underwire poke and prod at my ribs all day? I’m not volunteering to be in a modern day version of a corset if I don’t have a need. It was a little sad, knowing how much money I’d virtually wasted at Victoria’s Secret over the years, but it was incredibly uplifting (for my soul, at least) to know how much money I’ll be saving being more comfortable without one. I decided, while I can get away with foregoing a bra on most occasions and with most outfits, there were sure to be a few times when it would be somewhat inappropriate. For instance, when you’re wearing something sheer and going to have dinner with your parents, or your boyfriend’s parents, or just anyone’s parents, in general. So, I bought a few “in case of emergency” bralettes from Aerie.com. And, that was my defining moment.
It’s funny, isn’t it? Bras are supposed to be invisible, yet the purpose of a bralette, seemingly, is to be visible? It’s a convenience to be taken advantage of in this new life choice of mine. I started looking for new shirts to go with my new undergarments. You know the ones – long arm holes, where normally you’d go straight past side boob into full boob – unless a bralette was in the way? They’re always flowy and made to feel like you’re wearing nothing other than a hippie’s attitude. Needless to say, I started to wear them – often. And, when I did, I started to feel differently. I felt more comfortable, not just in my second skin, but in my actual skin, as well. I felt: cool, confident, fearless. It started to feel like whenever I wore one, “Clare Kent” disappeared and “Super Hippie” emerged – and Super Hippie was fucking awesome. She was decisive, independent, in control, proactive. She never apologized for things she shouldn’t; she never lost her cool, and nothing ever bothered her. She entertained herself, enjoyed life, and sought out fun things to do, “outdoorsy” things, and actually found the people with whom to do them – you can’t make people do anything in LA! She was everything I have always wanted to be, and yet, ironically, it felt like she was someone else entirely.
Knowing the only way to put on that outfit, so to speak, was to actually put on an outfit, I started changing things up at home and in my closet. I knew I needed to shed the dead skin of the past in order to take on this new layer for the future. So, I decided on a Sunshine Cleaning – which I have deemed is a way to get happy by getting rid of things which are weighing you down or holding you back. I tossed garments I never imagined I would. There was zero hesitation. I determined those clothes were the old me, and the new me was going to have a closet full of Superhero costumes which made me feel invincible. I traded in my old stuff for new old stuff, gravitating toward flowy, soft, relaxed, and effortless – anything and everything I could wear with either a bralette or nothing at all.
The next thing I knew, a lot more was changing than just my clothing and attitude. At home, my entire aesthetic had begun to evolve, as well. Succulents and Cacti took the places Audrey Hepburn artwork and crystal candelabras once held. I wanted everything in my life from this point forward to be of minimalistic nature. In the bathroom, chemical and fragrance-free beauty products slowly began to replace previous brands I had, which are made of entirely opposite ingredients. Although I’ve already been eating organic for some time, I started a Pescetarian diet, which turned out to be much easier than I ever imagined. One thing continued to flow seamlessly to the next, like a domino effect; changing the course of a life into one I always visualized actually living. I felt happier, more centered, more clear, and more in control. The rebellion of embracing and celebrating something as small as my boobs had resulted in a massive purge, which changed my life entirely. For someone with nothing on my chest, it would appear I had a lot to get off my chest – for a while.
After getting out of my first shower of the week on a Wednesday, I pulled a tube of toothpaste from the medicine cabinet and went to brush. It was then I realized it. I looked at the Tom’s Whole Care with Fluoride I was still holding in my hand and back up in the mirror. In the medicine cabinet behind it, I had coconut oil to remove eye makeup I hadn’t worn in days, and Argan Oil sat on another shelf waiting to be applied to a head of hair not washed in three. When I did lather it up, it was with Wen.
I couldn’t deny what had happened in a few short months; amazingly, I had become an actual hippie. With chemical-free products surrounding me, grooming habits somewhat neglected, bras metaphorically burned, my new vinyl player on my upcycled dresser... I was no longer wearing a costume to feel like myself – I just was. For the first time in my adult life, I was free. Nothing anyone said mattered anymore because for me, the only voice worth listening to was my own. No one could get in. And, wouldn’t you know it? – no one tried anymore! I like to think it was because of an unshakeable confidence radiating out of me, but, it’s probably just because people like nipples. Well, they either like ‘em enough not to complain, or nipples make them so uncomfortable, they just don’t know what to say. Either way, it’s nice the solicitors have been silenced.
They say you are what you are “if the shoe fits,” but to me, you are what you are if the bra fits. For me, it didn’t, so I’m free. I’m a happier, healthier, stronger, and more confident person for it. A lifetime of boob struggle lead to my greatest victory – that of self-discovery. So, raise your white flag, whatever that garment may be and accept what you, or others, might not love about your body. Don’t change it. Embrace it. Stick it to them. My two “bee stings“ led to a sweeter life; a life I may not have discovered had I not been challenged by people’s opinions, or had I been persuaded by them to succumb to plastic surgery. You can always enhance what you have; in return, it will enhance your life, organically. Be your authentic self – be your authentic you. And, if you need any more inspiration to accomplish it, watch this video I shot with a friend: