By Mariette Reineke.
Have you ever taken a moment and asked yourself the question: what is the relationship I have with my breasts? Or actually there is a question before this question: do I have a relationship with my breasts?
Well, my relationship with my breasts was non-existing. It was like the relationship I had with my left leg: I know it is there, it is part of my body and it functions. For a long time, my breasts were something that you put in a bra in the morning and are part of being a woman, but that was about it.
Having breasts did not mean I actually felt like a woman and lived as one, from inside out. I knew I was a woman, but it always needed something from outside to actually confirm it. I did not give my breasts any attention. I did not like them nor did I dislike them. They existed, and that was it. Later on in life, when I started dating and I had my first boyfriend, they started to have a new function. Breasts became sexual objects, part of love making, and for men to touch. It all felt very mechanical and not very gentle. But back then I did not express a single word.
When I am not in connection with my breasts, how can a man be? I also started to become aware how breasts were presented in the media and how they played an important role in music clips, commercials, advertisements and magazines. They were and still are being used as objects that attract attention. Under the belief that sex sells, we as women, but mostly our breasts, are being used as marketing tools to sell a product and to cash money. It seems that the deeper the cleavage, the more profit at the end of the year a company will have.
This brings me to the topic of size. When we talk about breasts, we always seem to talk about their size. Size does matter, and not only for men, but also for women. We complain when they are too small and when they are (too) big. Either way, we have issues with accepting how our breasts look like and the size that they have. When they are too small, we don’t feel like a woman, we don’t feel complete. When they are too big, we might feel insecure because they get all the attention. In both cases, we have an acceptance issue. There is always something that needs to change. The focus is on how they look, but hardly ever on how they feel and how we relate to them.
When I wanted to become a mother, I was day dreaming about breastfeeding. It felt that my breasts were going to have a purpose. I had this ideal picture in how this would be, but mostly in how this should be. I carried a lot of beliefs about breastfeeding and all of a sudden my breasts became an important part of my body. Yet, another functionality was born.
And then we have breast cancer, not something I am worried about or busy with on a daily basis, but when people close to me were diagnosed with this type of cancer, I did become aware of it. We all know women who have or have had breast cancer and we will know many more, as 1 out of 8 women will get it. It shows that there is so much more going on when it comes to our breasts.
Could it be that there is more to our breasts then sex, bra’s, breastfeeding, the media and breast cancer?
Could it be that with the rise in breast cancer, we as women are being asked to have a stop moment and become honest about what is going on? Over the last years I have come to realize that I did not truly take care of myself, let alone nurture myself. Self-love was something foreign for me. I have re-connected, opened up to and experienced that breasts are so much more than what I have allowed them to be. And what we all allow them to be. Could it be that we don’t have a true relationship with our breast and because of that, lack a connection with the true woman that we are?
1/2: Stay tuned for the following post which continues this blog conversation.
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