Are You Real?

A few months ago, while surrounded by many unfamiliar faces, I was asked if my breasts were real. Without missing a beat, I responded by proudly stating that “they are 500cc of silicone.” Then I was quickly asked why. Why did I get breast implants? Without hesitation, I found myself explaining that because of my small voice and petite frame, my relatively new breasts helped make me feel more womanly. The group then went on to ask another person a round of questions, on any topic, for 2 minutes. It was actually a fun game!

That day I was excited to be wearing a new and quite revealing romper from fashion nova. It has two wide fabric straps that make up the top, attached to the romper shorts, that I pulled up into a halter top, crisscrossed in the back and then tied into a bow. Despite another, more modest, foreigner, a few months earlier, suggesting I wear more respectful clothing in order to make new friends here, despite having to fidget with this top all throughout breakfast to prevent a nip slip, and despite how out of place I felt while sitting with these natural, organic, vegan-esq people- I was and am proud of my breasts.

While being with this interesting group of strangers all day, I was overthinking and questioning myself. I wasn’t enough like them. I felt all wrong. Our outward appearances and values seemed disjointed. But after I answered this question I gained some clarity…

I don’t remember who asked me about my breasts, but I do remember the girl that asked if I was vegan- “No”, I answered. Followed up by, “Do you eat meat?” “Yes.”

“We Don’t See Things As They Are, We See Them As We Are.” –Anaïs Nin

The answers to these two sets of questions I think should have made me feel bad based on my assumptions of who they are as a collective group, how they might view me, and also how I think many strangers may see me. You altered your natural, healthy body?! You don’t care about the lives of animals? My perception is that many would define a happy, healthy lifestyle filled with self-love and care through embodying what it means to live naturally, being as harmless as possible, and free of synthetic products and lifestyles. Based on my appearance, me and my “fake” silicone may not fit that mold, but, like many people, I’m not living my life exactly by the book; I’m taking what I find to be the goodness or essence of it, and applying it to my daily life, when and if it fits. Even still, at first glance, I find that by altering my body, some may want to keep their distance and can easily assume that I don’t have a love of self, or a happy, healthy and balanced outlook on life. And it bothers me. But it’s good to be bothered sometimes, by the things you care about.

Does self-love, have to mean accepting the things you love and dislike about yourself absolutely? Where does that leave room for growth and improvement? Does harmlessness, represented as veganism, and praising victimhood, create a strong, virtuous society? We then seek purity through organic juice cleanses, hot yoga, and trips to Bali. These are broad observations and critiques of the niche I am at times surrounded by. At times I fear I may seem to endorse them, and they often appear to be the lens through which many people may judge me. But based on these values, I think I should be made to feel: fake, plastic, and cruel.

But, my breasts actually make me feel more real. Focusing on what many would call my vanity led me to start an internal, and now external, narrative that has allowed me to not simply live a life, but explore the possibilities in building one I love!

This stream of thoughts all came to me because someone asked me, “why?” And I answered. After all, Nietzsche said “he who has a why can bear any how” … but so can she.

My response showed me the importance of thought, the importance of understanding your own narrative, and the importance of diversity. And not the kind diversity that shows up as a person of every race and gender on a brochure. The kind of diversity and freedom of differences in ideas that can elevate us. We each have our individual ways of telling the same story and becoming our best individual selves. Many times, this is how we come to understand the extent of our values. That is the beauty of expression. In a world that tells us that natural is better, my catalyst was artificial.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. — Rudyard Kipling

Why I wanted them

When I was much younger I did think it would be nice to have perfectly full breasts after realizing how beautiful they were to me… but mother nature had other plans. When I met my husband, I started to fantasize more and more about having them. After a couple of years, I was starting to plan my own future as an adult and deciding what my life as a woman, not a young daughter or little sister would look like. The only person I had now had to answer to was myself and the man I choose to spend my life with. After working for a while, and settling into our marriage and careers, we realized I could now have the surgery! We had the money, we definitely had the desire, and every step along the way was filled with excitement! For the first time since hitting puberty in elementary school, my body was going to change and have some womanly curves.

After the surgery was all done and I was healed, I fell in love with how my body felt. It was a physical and mental change. The way that people responded to me was about the same. Still, I didn’t feel as hidden as before and I had more of a reason not to hide- in part because it’s hard to hide 500cc breasts! This change was helping me share a little bit of what I found beautiful about myself with the world. It gave me a reason to start The J Curve. Portraying what I find beautiful and feminine helps give me a creative outlet and voice that I think can speak to other people as much as it speaks to me. I have slowly gained the confidence to believe that my thoughts and ideas are worth spreading.

It’s now possible for me to put into words, although not always perfectly, what it is that I value. With the way I dress, I can choose to express confidence, instead of worrying about the comfort of others. With The J Curve, I can grab your attention and share ideas and thoughts that are aimed to encourage anyone that chooses to see me, to live a life filled with desire, and a life worth living through the appreciation and embodiment of femininity. This is a message that speaks to me. My breasts help me embrace that.

Not to long ago I listened to a favorite song from my childhood, one that I had not heard in awhile named Video by India.arie. This song used to be comforting, empowering, and just happy! It made me feel all those old emotions up until this line-

Keep your crystal and your pistol
I’d rather have a pretty piece of crystal
Don’t need you silicone, I prefer my own
What God gave me is just fine…

According to these lyrics what once made me feel like a quiet little girl learning to love herself, now makes me feel like the antagonist in her story because now, I have silicone. Is this song that used to empower me not meant to make me feel small?

But I think no, it’s not. Our society goes through many changes based on generations, politics, and trends that signal to us what is good, bad, moral and immoral. I don’t ever wish for it to be a normal occurrence that people get breast implants, but I do wish and encourage people to seek out the ways in which they can be their best selves. Their authentic selves. And although my breasts were not naturally bestowed upon me through mother nature, they feel right for me. In the song she also says

But I’ve drawn the conclusion, it’s all an illusion
Confusion’s the name of the game
A misconception, a vast deception,
Something got to change

From wherever you may sit, may it be from a feminine or masculine, conservative or liberal, or any perspective over and under and in between, it can be confusing to try and fit yourself into a world that is constantly changing and at times contradicting itself. We shouldn’t be too afraid to challenge ideas in a world that tries to tell us what life should be like without first having a chance to know what could be. We each have our individual ways of telling the same story.

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