My roommate and I were hanging out in the living room when she started adjusting her implants. I have never seen anybody adjust implants before and it really caught be off guard. I must have been staring really hard because she said “would you like to see” I said “yes” and she opened up her shirt. Now I should have been looking at her boobs but I got so distracted by her areolas, the darker skin surrounding the nipple in a circular fashion.
Her boobs and areolas look nothing like mine. They were tiny, like the size of a penny, and a peachy pink color. Mine are the size of two half dollar coins put together and dark brown in color. I haven’t seen many boobs but the difference between her boobs and my boobs was so drastic I was mind blown. Is mine normal? Is hers normal? For some reason it never occurred to me that both of us could be normal. I began questioning if there was something wrong with my boobs and it prompted me to take a trip to the health center just to ask general questions about boobs.
The appointment involved a breast cancer examination which took less than 10 minutes however, I was instructed it is best to get the examination a week after a woman’s menstrual cycle because it allows the glands and other things to get back to normal.
Areolas vary in size but typically range from the size of a half dollar coin to half the size of your boob. The color tends to be darker than ones skin tone, often times much darker. My areolas are darker than the rest of my body and it always made me a little insecure. Some women have hair and or bumps around their areolas and nipples. A couple of facts I learned were that areolas tend to be darker than the boob and some of them have hair and some of them have little bumps around them. The doctor told me that I have nothing to worry about because my boobs are perfectly normal.
The media portrayals of women are often different than how the average woman looks. With all the makeup, the retouching, and photo shopping it is hard for women to know to what is and isn’t normal. I know my boobs don’t look like any of the girls in Hustler magazine, Playboy or any of the music videos. Women’s body are often under intense scrutiny to be perfect but what is perfect? To know what is perfect one must know what is “normal” and I learned that although my boobs may not look like another woman’s boobs, I am still normal.
As women, society puts a lot of pressure on us to be perfect and often times perfection is unattainable. If you are in search of other women to talk to I recommend the Women’s Resource Center in MOD B. They can give you information on the Womyn of Color group. Also, I recommend making an appointment with your health care provider or if you don’t have insurance you can make an appointment at the Student Health Center to find answers to all the questions you may have.
by ASHLEI MCPHERSON