Opinion Piece: Is Society Over-Sexualising The Female Body?

On my usual scroll through my Facebook page a couple of days ago, I stumbled across an article posted on ‘Mamamia’ labelled,”Baby Woman: The Painful Reality of Being a 12-Year-Old With Breasts” (you can read the full article here). The article deals with the over-sexualisation of the female body, or in this case teenage girls. Supermodel Emily Ratajkowski wrote an essay penned from actress and author, Lena Dunham’s newsletter about early development and societal pressure to mask the female body.

emily rata

Supermodel, Emily Ratajkowski. Image courtesy of Elle.com

The article hit me hard, and a wave of memories from my teenage years that I had so desperately pushed to the back of my mind, came flooding back. Like Emily and so many other women, teenager girls or children (yes it happens), I developed breasts quite early on. Eleven years old to be exact! At thirteen I was forced to go get fitted by a bra specialist after my mother had noticed my increasingly large bust size. Well wasn’t that just fun! On that day I went from wearing a training bra, to a 10 DD. I also like to think of this day as the ‘day my life changed forever’. Or is that just being dramatic? No but really, from that day onward things were very different.

No longer was bikini shopping fun, it kind of became a nightmare. Finding a bikini to cover large breasts can be difficult now as an adult, you can only imagine what it would have been like as a tween. Damn insecurities! Oh, and let’s not forget swimming with friends. Well that became awkward when everyone else was flat chested, and there I was with my DD’s. Australia is bloody hot, and getting through Summer as an insecure, and embarrassed teenager with big boobs was not easy. Then there’s bra shopping, not fun when you can’t have the ‘cute’ bra’s like all your other friends. Instead I was stuck with the ‘flesh toned’ ‘granny bras’, as I liked to call them. They were freaking expensive, if I might add! As a fashion blogger having larger breasts has also been difficult at times. There are certain trends and styles that I’ve desperately wanted to try, but unfortunately they just don’t work for my body. It is what it is.

 

 

A cheeky selfie with my fiancé and a bikini top that is slightly too small. 

All that aside, what frustrates me is the over-sexualisation of the female body. Societal institutions and the media have exploited the female body, particularly sexualising our breasts. You only have to go onto any current news site to witness the social argument of ‘breastfeeding in public’.

On a smaller scale going through puberty and dealing with large breasts in a private high school was incredibly challenging. Most principles and teachers didn’t lighten the situation, and in my opinion exploited it. There were so many uniform restrictions. Girls couldn’t wear there skirts above their knee as that was deemed ‘sexual’. Shirts couldn’t be unbuttoned and we would even get in trouble for wearing the wrong colour bra. A coloured bra underneath our white shirts was unspeakable. In other words, teenage girls were asked to ‘mask’ their bodies, because they were inappropriate especially at a co-op school. Our teenage bodies were deemed ‘inappropriate’ and ‘distracting’.

Ultimately women are put on this earth to re-produce, although society has advanced and as women we now have a choice to not pro-create; we have to acknowledge that we have been given breasts and hips as a means of nature. Why then are we made to feel ashamed of our bodies? Uncomfortable to wear certain clothing that shows our breasts a little too much. Or embarrassed about their size?

As I have gotten older I have become extremely accepting of my body. Yes even my big boobs. Hey!  A DD isn’t even that big, compared to that time I outgrew my 10 E bra. I’m learning to love my body, its not perfect and that’s okay. Some people might think my outfit is too revealing or that it makes my boobs look huge. But you know what? I don’t give a fuck.

Love and Light

Ash xx

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