I Like My Breasts. But I Like My Partner To Like ME, Too

470_2580418By Hannah Muric

I got breasts in fourth grade. And they have been the center of attention, ever since.

Now, all grown up, I have blossomed into a 32DDD. And since I am short and slim — 5’2″ and 115 lbs — they’re hard to hide.

I have no problem with my breasts. I like them. Yet from a young age I have worn baggy tops to minimize “the girls.” 

And I’ve had some success. My current partner did not realize how big they were until two weeks into our relationship. For me, that was a nice surprise. It’s nice to know that he loves me, as a person, and not just my breasts.

Throughout my life people have talked about — or rather, talked TO — them, as if they were their own entity. It can be really uncomfortable. Once when I was out with some girlfriends one of them — right in front of a potential partner — exclaimed “Oooooo look how squishy and fun these are! You would like them!” as she proceeded to feel them up.

Until then I had never thought that my breasts were that big a deal. But from then on, it all changed.

Some people think that breasts are natural sex objects because they feel good when they are touched. So I must endure every stare and comment and grope. I don’t see it that way.

I do like the feeling of having them played with during sex. But I also enjoy having fingers run up my leg and stomach, and neither of those are considered sex objects.

I think that “breasts as sex object” is a social construct, since not every culture sexualizes them.

I also think that there is a clear line between what is appropriate and what is degrading.

The over-sexualization of breasts that is used to sell things in our society needs to change. Along with the idea that breasts have to be a certain size or shape or whatever.

However your breasts look, they are fine, and they are beautiful, because they are a part of you.

This was written by one of my students, who asked me to use a pseudonym

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on June 1, 2016, in body image, objectification, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 52 Comments.

  1. I agree with her, she is so right!

  2. Great essay. I think your student needs some better friends, though.

  3. I really agree with everything she is says! The fact that breasts are so overly sexualized is really sad because people literally build (other) peoples identities based on the size of their breasts. Boobs like all things are just surface level, they don’t say anything about the persons character. They don’t actually carry any “real” meaning. I think people need to chill and just see them for what they are, A WAY TO FEED BABIES!!!!

  4. How physical features are so important for true love ??

  5. A while back I was reading an article about an actress named April Nardini. She discussed how she hates it whenever people point out her breasts. Similar to your student she said it makes her feel like an object and not an actual individual. Before I read that article I never thought of it that way.
    Now I would never point out one of my big breasted friends boobs and ostracize them. But every once in awhile I would tell my bigger boob sized friend how lucky she was and how I wouldn’t mind moving up from “A” size. I am on the smaller size, but I do have a bigger sized butt and I can relate to how uncomfortable it can feel whenever you feel a man’s eye not on you as a whole, but on one particular part of your body. I have also had my friends point out my butt and I do not mind all the times, but at times it can feel like that person is not including me in the conversation, just my butt.

  6. So this happened to me and my ex many times. When I first got Ina relationship with her I also didn’t notice how big her breast where and honestly I didn’t even care. It’s not till it was summer like two weeks as well that I noticed her breast were big. Ideally in American society from what I’ve seen a lot of people value sexual objects such as breast or buts or curves and so forth. And in this article they are right that it’s a sexually social construct toon because yes in other parts of the world people value different things. As time passed my ex asked me what did I think of her breast and I said they are breast and I like them, but I will not glorify them on a perverted daily bases to the point where it’s uncomfortable. I made sure it was clear that I valued them only in sex simply because I felt it was the proper time to really express that scenario. I wanted to assure her that I respected her and her body. Thought the hard part was when she was in public and with other people, in perticular men. She and I would catch people staring , some talking as we passed and at one point an altercation when we went to a club. Sexual objects such as boobs or even women to me is wrong , and this sort of ideals are produced from media and spread by people . Media has a huge roll in making women look as object and their body parts as symbols, and I feel like if we think of women like that then we are demoralizing them as humans and treating them with disrespect on all levels. Since I was raised in a salvadorian/ Mayan cultures style life the values differ from the American one. I was thought that women are to be treated on full extreme equality and that the woman and her body are to be treated as if a real goddess was at our presence . Yet of course other small details lie with my values I was raised but these are the top concrete ones I know as the main ones.

  7. Hello, I can definitely agree with you on how breast shouldn’t be objects. I grew up insecure and I always wondered why do people need to or want big boobs or butt to make them feel sexy? Or the idea of having these parts make you confident to attract men attention? Your partner should want to be interested in you and not what your appearance is. I’ve always told myself, if a guy wants to be with me for my boobs then he isn’t someone I consider as a partner. I always believed if someone like you for your personality and not your looks then he is the one. Looks change as we get older and I tell my nieces don’t change your looks for a guy because a guy should be interested in you, for who you are and not what you look like. Love your body and yourself.

  8. I really love this story for so many different reasons. As a woman, I have had many conversations about breasts/boobies/jugs/girls/watermelons/whatever you’d like to call them. For the most part the conversations I’ve been apart of most women are lamenting about how their breasts aren’t big enough. It’s a shame that not only are we highly sexualized because we have breasts and this fetish has been socially constructed, but also that women have a hunger to be sexualized in a way. Also, because the idealization of breasts has not always been around we know for a fact that it is a construct. Back in the 1920’s it was preferred to have small breasts and a more slender body. And I think what it comes down to and how I personally deal with the issue is that I like whatever the hell feels comfortable on my own body. I like my breasts because I have never had to deal with the issue of them hurting while I run, or that fact that most days I don’t even wear the common “bra” and wear bralettes because they’re small enough to have the ability to do that. Obviously, it sucks we have to endure so much from men and they’re expectations and that effects us, but we have so much power in choosing how to feel about our own bodies. And hey, isn’t this whole feminism thing about having a voice? If some dude is being shitty about your boobs then tell him off, in a respectful, intelligent manner of course.

  9. i believe that tits are considered a “sex object” in most cases to guys, it seems that men tend to look at breast specially if the female is wearing a low cut shirt. In most cases i think women do this on purpose when they are looking for a little more attention than usual. On another note like in the article above said the women was short and had big breast some women just can’t help to have big breast and do what they can to hide them because they may cause to much attention for them and may feel more uncomfortable than attractive. But i agree that women come in all shapes and sizes and should be happy and accept what they are born with.

    • Well, I would say that they are seen as sexy and fetishized by most men in our culture. Which is actually different from objectification. Objectification is when the woman is all about someone else’s pleasure and she doesn’t matter. A guy could be turned on and still care about her can’t say enough to care about her feelings and emotions and not want to hurt her. A lot of people get sexualization and sexual objectification confused.

      Otherwise, thanks for your thoughts.

  10. Yes! I agree with this post wholeheartedly. I especially like the part where she mentions that breast becoming a sex object is a result of social construction. This has been a result of what we choose to hide and reveal in the media. Often times, we see billboards and magazines filled with images of young women who are close to being naked, with just a piece of cloth covering their breasts. As if we do not know what is under there, but that has caused our culture to deem breasts as sex objects.

  11. From a male perspective, I can see many influences of how sexualization of female body parts emerged. From a voyeuristic perspective of watching pornography geared towards men, to advertisements, album covers, magazines, and movies. It’s well known that there is money in self-doubt… if you create ideals — even unrealistic ones — that creates room for insecurity in individuals who then become less rational… and more open to spending money to counteract that insecurity. Essentially, it’s a dirty way to get people to spend money on things they otherwise would not. The byproduct? Who cares.. right?

    Overall, the focus on parts of people rather than people themselves.. mixed with our deeper connectedness with technology rather than the intimate world is a bad combination. It’s becoming more important now than before to stay well-grounded on earth… to think for yourself and form your own opinions based on what you see in the real world.

    I’m glad your student is mature enough to understand this, and that she found a way to mask that trait to garner focus on herself as a person. It is a shame that she needs to do that in the first place though…

    • If more people realized how harmful the narrow beauty ideals are I wonder if things would change? I’m hoping so.

      • Well sometimes trends can get women going. I read something how singer Alicia Keyes said she’s not wearing make up anymore. And has been in pictures without make up and you’re seeing it now more often with female celebrities going without make up and such. Some might argue, well they are celebrities so it doesn’t count. Usually that’s true, but for women celebrities, hollywood is known to be superficial about looks, especially toward women. So as much image scrutiny average women may feel, it’s magnified much more because paparazzi taking pictures constantly, and on tabloids and their looks talked about constantly because they are a public figure. I’ve noticed more girls I know who go to work sometimes without make up.

        So I’m seeing some women being more bold and feeling more confident that they don’t have to wear make up to be pretty or attractive. So it could be changing slowly. When I saw that article about Alicia Keyes, I was thinking how Revlon and all those cosmetic companies must be not too pleased ha. Oh well, screw them. Knowing such corportations, they’ll probably nit pick harder if losing female customers. But yes, more confident women is the fear of such companies, but that’s great, we want more confident women and hopefully that will continue on more.

  12. I love this blog even though it was a very short read. Its disgusting that women are looked at by their body parts a lot of the time and not for their personalities. Breasts are extremely sexualized in today’s society and it can be very degrading to only be seen for body parts. Yes, breasts are part of sexual interaction most of the time, but they are also used for feeding babies and not just for sex. It’s crazy that a lot of people just see breasts as being sexual when they actually have a huge purpose to life. “I also think that there is a clear line between what is appropriate and what is degrading”; this quote perfectly describes how society degrades women by making all of their body parts sexualized. We as a society are teaching young girls that their bodies have to be perfect and teaching young men that women are basically objects.

  13. I absolutely agree. Growing up, my friends and I would talk about our bra sizes and talk about how lucky one of us was for bumping up a bra size. In middle school, I knew girls who bought those bombshell push-up bras from Victoria’s Secret because it made their boobs look bigger. I honestly had no idea why we thought it was so important that our boobs were big and we sure as hell weren’t sexually active then. It was kind of like a contest for us because everybody else was doing it but going into high school, I realized that boobs are a huge deal to guys. The only reason why I think boobs are glorified is because of the media. This is why women believe that our figure is the only thing that attracts whoever we want to attract sexually. They see women with big boobs in advertisements and magazines and they notice that men are attracted to them and glorify them for their nice bodies, boobs, and butt and we want to be glorified, too. Like you said, our breasts are beautiful and they’re apart of us. So, we should love them whether or not they are glorified in the media.

    • Yeah, some companies make a lot of money from making women feel bad about themselves, And find something to solve the so-called problem, like push-up bras and plastic surgery. Companies even insist on tie-in content to make people want what they’re selling.

  14. Now a days girls going on to there teenage years go through body changes which can be very strange and need guide more than anything in these times, many girls tend to develop big boobs or even a big butt everyone is very different and everything develops differently and sometimes we start at a very young age and can cause embarrassment because you feel like the on one going through it at the time, sadly men sometimes people in general take these as sex symbols so main attention would be directed to only these parts when you meet someone you will have to see the difference between them long you as a person or just your physic features. People should not have to change like add or take a way something you are born with its there it makes you much unique people should learn not to change for the liking of other, simply now the difference between attraction and connection.

  15. I never struggled with feeling the need to hide my own breast since mine are very small. But I’ve always found it difficult to step out of the house without a bra underneath my sweater or shirt. I always get self conscience when it’s breezy outside then I subconsciously cover my breasts with my hair or cross my arms across my chest. Out of comfort, I enjoy letting “the girls” breathe and hang out while I do some errands or go to school. I do strongly support that society needs to stop over-sexualizing female anatomy.

  16. I’ve never seen something so relatable. I’ve lived every moment she’s reminiscing on. Growing up with big breast is such a struggle, because people automatically look at them rather than you is 100%. Sometimes in the summer when I would wear a low cut shirt, I would catch people staring at them and it would make me so uncomfortable that I had to wear bulky loose shirts in the heat. The line “I think that “breasts as sex object” is a social construct, since not every culture sexualizes them.” is agreeable, even in our culture because I’ve heard men say they prefer boobs over butt or butt over boobs, which both seem like a joke, because they’re just parts on our bodies. I loved this piece, great ending too. We should love our bodies the way they were made.

  17. I believe that our society does view breasts as a sex object. Some of my guy friends from high school would joke around with me and tell me to look at another girl’s breasts and tell me if they seem big to me. They would make “hoot hoot” sounds when a girl with big breasts that were popping out of her shirt was walking over. I always felt really uncomfortable when guys would make unnecessary comments about my breasts as well. I think that no matter what size your breasts are every woman needs to learn to embrace it. It is something that we have been gifted with in this life and it is not something that we need to be ashamed of. As woman of this broken world we live in today, we need to learn to turn those negative comments or “looks” and turn them into something that will motivate us to embrace who we are as individuals. We come in all shapes and sizes and it is a true privilege to be a woman and to even have breasts, no matter what size they are.

  18. I agree with her as well, I am not on the fortunate side of having large breast but I do have a large butt. I also have to put of with groping and staring and inappropriate comments. I believe that women have been imaged as a sex icon, you don’t look at men and think wow i’d really like to touch his chest or butt. My little sister also has large breast which she has given her self bad posture trying to hide them. I don’t think women should be ashamed of their bodies for we are something of a miracle being able to carry and sustain life.
    Also another topic is how women must cover up to not distract the male alumni in schools, I think this has a play in how women get their tendency to hide their bodies because we are told to do so from very young.

  19. Growing up, my breast really never were fully developed until I was around 13. I have just been always flat chested. Starting from elementary school, literally all my friends had big boobs, and their boobs just grew more and more up into high school. Even my cousins were getting bigger boobs than me, and I was just waiting for my day to come. Personally, I always felt unattractive due to not have any breasts, or just wearing a bra, but having the cup not hold anything. It also didn’t help that everywhere you went, wether the mall, the movies, or even music videos, big boobs were the thing have. If you didn’t have them, I felt that you would never be sexually attractive to any boys, because you will never satisfy them. Which is terribly sad and so not true! I am glad, that I see things very differently, and love my body with boobs or not. I hope every girl feels the same way, we are all beautiful! Boobies or not!

  20. I agree with her that society has made breast seem like a sex object when they’re really just a part of a women’s body and are meant to breastfeed babies but some women do use them as sex objects or to get attention. I believe breast are sex objects to men because society has make it seem that way for example in magazines it even says that the “ideal women ” has to have nice big breast and buts which is not true in reality but its sad how society makes women feel about their breast… you don’t need big breast to look or feel beautiful or sexy as long as you don’t make them seem as sex objects to men then you should be good. personal I have okay size breast but when I was younger I would watch on tv that a girl needed to have big breast to be liked by guys and I would always dreamed of getting my breast done when I get older but as the years passed by and I got older I realized that wasn’t true and I just over came that. I also realized that you don’t need big breast to have guys attention.

  21. I agree with her, you should love your breast no matter what size they are and not make them seem like sex objects

  22. Love this! it’s very encouraging and she is right of course. I’ve always felt a bit awkward about my breasts and actually will be writing a post sort of about a situation with them soon. Haha

  23. Tuyet jasmine

    Great essay! I like how detailed she is. Breasts are overly sexualized. Growing up, it was clear how the bigger Breasts you had the more you were liked and highly admired. I always had small Breasts and back then, soke kids would always say how I’m so “flat chested”. All women should love their bodies but it’s so hard when society praises nice Breasts.

  24. I can relate, for the most part the men that seemed interested in me were really interested in the “girls”. It made it difficult to weed out the good ones from the bad ones. I am married now however to a very loving man who told me that the first thing he noticed about me were my eyes and followed by my heart. The bad ones always had a way of reducing me to my physical assets and somehow expected me to be some sort of bimbo and conversations were always steered towards sex. Now that I have a little girl, it is so crazy to think if she looks anything like me when she grows up, she might go through the same things and similar people. It is sad I guess also to know that the thing that fed my daughter is so sexualized by society that breastfeeding in public is generally frowned upon.

    • There our upsides and downsides regardless of what breast size woman has. I think it’s unfortunate that we put so much focus on something that really isn’t terribly significant.

  25. Hannah started out by saying that she got breasts in fourth grade. This is an uncomfortable time for young girls and it is early to start getting larger breasts if other girls haven’t started maturing yet. It is great that she has self confidence in herself, but I am glad she brought some points to light, so that we could all take into consideration the realities she faces. It is very casual for women to point out each other’s breasts because we think we are complimenting them, but as she noted, this can be embarrassing. It is good that she brought up that people talk “TO” her breasts, because this is violating and they are a part of her, not their own separate entity. I am happy that her partner loves her for her personality and not just her body, it is important to have a relationship based on this rather than physical attributes.

  26. I absolutely love everything about this post. As a girl of a similar figure, it gets incredible frustrating sometimes when my friends point out the size of my breasts, and what is even more uncomfortable is when people I don’t even know decide to stare. For me personally, one of the most frustrating part about having larger breasts, is when people immediately decide that I’m being overly sexual when I wear a low-cut top. Yes, I have cleavage, and no, i can’t always help it. I also love how she pointed out how her partner likes her for more than just her breast size, it’s a really good feeling when the one person who should find you the most sexy, also finds other amazing attributes about you, as opposed to just looks. I also like how she pointed out how there is no specific shape or size a woman’s breasts should be. Each woman is beautiful in her own way, and the shape and size of her body should not be the main factor in the way she not only sees herself, but also the way others see her. I wonder how much more confident girls would be if beauty standards such as the size of breasts were to suddenly just disappear…

    • I think it’s really helpful for people, women and men alike, to hear this. Thanks for adding your perspective.

      And in one of the few societies where women aren’t judge by some sort of standard, and their bodies aren’t objectified –the African Kung — their self-esteem is very high.

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