#Personal Stories

Dear Society, What’s The Big Deal In Being Flat Chested?

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Flat Chested: We live in a society where women are taught that they are their bodies. As teenagers, girls are taught that the development of breasts into a certain shape and size is a sign of becoming a woman. As adults, women place their bodies under deep, despairing and dispiriting scrutiny. 

Women are always too much or too little. A woman with large breasts is in the fear of receiving the attention she does not want, and women with small breasts become the target of dehumanising jokes. What is the deal with society body shaming women with flat chests? Here are some reasons why society should give up the “bigger the better” conjunction completely. 

Recently Ananya Pandey revealed she that people used to say she “looked like a boy, flat screen.” The actor, who was seen in xxxx, says it hurt her the most in the years she was “forming self-confidence.” What happened to Pandey isn’t new and such shaming isn’t reserve for public figures. In fact it happens very routinely to young girls from the time they are in school to when they are growing in the careers.

Low Self Confidence And Low Self Esteem

As a 14-year-old girl, I continuously waited for my breasts to grow bigger. With each passing birthday, came an undeviating feeling of disappointment when they did not grow as per society’s expectations. I was told that men only find women with large breasts desirable, reducing my personality, intelligence and emotional capabilities to ignored traits no one cared about. Friends told me I had nothing to “offer a man”, Indian aunties told me that I should be worried about finding a man, and boys tried to see if I even wore a bra. Naturally, I was concerned. And women who are made to feel like a caricature, have a reason to be concerned. 

Jokes And Memes Are Dehumanising

It was not long before celebrities like Pandey mentioned above, Sonam Kapoor and Chhavi Mittal were subjected to breast shaming memes and trolling. Body positivity activists often overlook the conversation about small breasts. Unfeminine, Unsexy, Boyish, Immature are the adjectives people use to describe a flat-chested woman who consequently feels unseen, ignored, and unheard. 

It is narrow-minded when people go through lengths to impose a single standard of beauty on another woman, bigoted to make women feel inferior because of their breast size, and cruel to treat her like a mere caricature. 

Patriarchy facilitated influential institutions like media, advertising, fitness and the fashion industry to promote an unreal body image so that women’s bodies become profitable sources of income. In a patriarchal setup, a large chested woman will always feel unsafe and a flat-chested woman always insecure –both desperately finding ways to alter their appearances to fit the conventional and conservative notions put forth by the limiting society. 

Why Does Body Shaming happen?

Body shaming is unethical, and it is not limited to celebrities. Perhaps those that engage in body shaming are insecure and are doing it to make themselves feel better. Perhaps they are also empowered by the anonymity of the Internet; most body-shamers would not say harsh things if they were speaking to the individual in person. Nonetheless, whatever the reason, the medium, the platform, or the way is, body shaming is unacceptable. 

It is high time that society rises above the standardised single body image of a woman’s body. We as women must rise above the pervasive sense that there is something wrong with us. Men must rise above the unreal portrayal of women in media.