Beauty and the Breast part 2
The Secret Life of the Female Breast..... Part 2
Continued from Part 1
Let's just get real and get over it. Ageing is not a disease. It can be a graceful acceptance of change, and an expansion of the mind and spirit towards wisdom and self-knowledge. The mass media is financially dependent on women being continually unhappy with their bodies. What would happen to the multi-billion dollar cosmetic and weight loss industries without our neuroses! The magazines whose livelihood depends on the advertising dollars spent by these industries keep churning out images and information, which remind us every day that we're not good enough.
The reality is that no bra is ever going to prevent your breasts from sagging. Breast tissue is soft, and with time, will continue to soften. This is one of the reasons why mammograms are more effective in older women. Combine the decrease in density with gravity, and you get a softening of the breast. This is what is meant to happen. It is one of the many vital changes our body offers us. Chemical and physical changes continue throughout puberty, pregnancy, menopause and beyond. The maturation of the breast is a lifelong process.
We all need to rid ourselves of the expectation that our bodies will stay the same for all of our lives. If you really want to avoid the effects of ageing, move to the moon, everything floats up there! It is only through knowledge that you will achieve maturity with pride and grace, and most importantly, without fear. There is a curse used in New Guinea that states, "may you always have the breasts of a young girl", which means that you will ever achieve the wisdom that comes with age.
For some women, the actual definition of 'comfort' has shifted to allow those restrictions. I have seen women with calluses under their breasts, who still insist that their bras are comfortable - is this comfort or conditioning? "Suffering for glamour" has gone too far. We view the Chinese tradition of foot binding with horror, when in reality we need to turn that objective lens back on ourselves. We need to have a good long hard look at ourselves, rather than in those hideous Hollywood mirrors of fashion. We need to see ourselves in the true light of well being.
We all want to dress up and be a love goddess occasionally. A dramatic cleavage can be lots of fun, but it is not good for your body or soul if you feel you have to create this image all the time. Fashion needs to be seen as a joyful option, instead of compulsory one. Your sense of self worth should not be dependent on wearing a tight restrictive bra. Ask yourself, who benefits from your discomfort?
Becoming aware of the choices you make and why you make them is the first step towards self-knowledge. Underwear is one of the many small choices we make every day, which reflect larger beliefs about ourselves, the smaller pieces of the jigsaw we call our self-esteem. Imagine a world in which women acknowledge and accept their bodies for what they are, and nurtured themselves in a kind and conscious way. They say knowledge is power. I say self-knowledge is power.
By Emily Simpson
Emily Simpson is the founder and Managing Director of Bodywise Underwear, which promotes dynamic self acceptance. Bodywise has now closed.