A half-moon shaped incision was made and my nipple was flipped open. Then a slice of my breast was cut out, containing a tumor. It had to happen. The tumor was uncomfortable, at times painful, and without taking the whole thing out and analyzing it, cancer couldn’t completely be ruled out.
I still think it’s weird that I had breast surgery, but more troubling is that I was worried just as much about how my breast looked after surgery, as I was worried about having cancer.
After having boobs on my mind for months, I started seeing them on everyone else’s minds. I realized I was obsessing over them because society is obsessed with them, cheered along by the media. From a really young age, my breasts are put in the category of either loved or hated. More importantly, they’re being analyzed and judged by someone else, more than any other body parts I have.
Sasha has already wondered if breasts are scandalous. What have boobs done wrong? Why the obsession? The way media treats female breasts supports the notion that women’s bodies do not belong to ourselves, but to the public. If an actor shows her breasts in a movie, she’ll be asked a million questions about it. If a guy is half-naked, it’s not a big deal, it’s funny, it might not even be brought up.
Thank heavens that this is trending right now! For me it was the perfect timing with a fresh scar on my boob. Free the Nipple, feminists standing up to female celebrities having nude photos spreads, and articles written about being braless, reclaiming our breasts, and foreseeing a boob breakthrough, breasts are being talked about in a different way.
So far, Free the Nipple is my favorite message. It’s so simple and powerful. Changing the way female breasts are perceived does more for women than any bra could. If our boobs could have the status of the male boobs in media, they would be just another body part. Instead of being either sexy or inappropriate, they could also be: funny, sweaty, boring, sick, feeding a child, cold, warm, or uninteresting. Most importantly, they’re only sexy when the person they’re attached to is feeling sexy.
I say we take our boobs back, keep this trend going, and practice some activism. Boobtivism to the people! Let’s free the nipple, experiment with what bras WE enjoy using, and practice thinking about our boobs as just another body part, but most importantly – OUR body parts.
People will keep staring and judging, and if I get a new tumor I’m sure I’ll worry about the scar and shape again. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. Let’s build our new breast-friendly world, one boob at a time.
Siri Nybakk is a Norwegian journalist currently working with enormous amounts of media, doing quality control of movies and TV for a tech company. As a feminist, she is especially passionate about how female sexuality is represented and the awesomeness of Swedish feminist cartoons.