Do you love your breasts?
She has a close friend, a very young womon, taking chemo to kill the breast cancer in her body. I share about my mom and sister.
At some point, she tells me her mom will be visiting in a couple weeks because she's scheduled to have surgery. I am alarmed but she reassures me it is not major surgery.
She explains how she binds her breasts - and has been binding them for so long - that now parts of her body are hurting.
Her solution is to have "breast reduction" surgery.
I am so deeply saddened.
A little later I mention to her the study I recently read: 47% of girls, by the time they are 10 or 11, HATE their bodies. She nods solemnly.
That number jumps to 77% by the time girls are 17. She tells me she's not surprised.
I am wanting to find out why she is not surprised. Does she attribute this horrific hatred of our female bodies to misogyny or sexism? Or does she share the horror of feeling her body is ugly?
Instead I focus on my feelings and tell her that is why I am so very sad she is opting to cut off her breasts.
She immediately reassures me she is not one who hates her body. Her eyes dart away to the sky as she tells me her decision has to do with feeling more aligned with her gender then hatred of her body.
I get her eyes focused back on me momentarily when I ask her "So, you love your breasts?"
She at least has the honesty to not answer rather then claim to love them.
I ask her again, "do you love your breasts? Do you value them, treasure them, honor them, love them? Will you do anything to protect them from violence, from harm, from abuse - which is what you do when you love something, yes?"
I grasp my so very soft, fully drooping, large breasts in both my hands and proclaim my immense love for my breasts - now. I tell her how hard a journey - what a revolutionary journey - it has been for me to come to the point of first accepting and then loving my breasts.
I hope more then anything that she is on the journey to loving her breasts, to accepting her body, to treasuring her amazingly wonderful miraculous body - a body she is trained very carefully to hate, to reject, to alter.