When I was in middle school, a boy bullied me in the lunch line for not wearing a bra. “You should be wearing one,” he said. “You should like this,” I retorted, “It’s natural.” “It’s disgusting,” he told me.

That comment stuck with me for a long time. Even though I knew that kid’s opinion of my body meant less than nothing, it affected the way I thought about breasts until I was an adult. If I went out in public and forgot to put a bra on, it made me so nervous I would cross my arms for the rest of the day. I worried about what other people thought of my breasts. Was there something about them that made them ugly? If someone saw my nipples through my shirt, did it make me unattractive? Did people even like breasts the way they were, or did they have to be shaped by foam cups?

It’s hard enough being a teenager; it sucks even more when the new changes in your body are being policed and restricted instead of celebrated. Whether you’ve gotten mean comments like the one I did, or you’ve been shamed for what you’re wearing, it’s important to remember that your breasts are a beautiful, versatile part of your body you should never have to feel ashamed or embarrassed of. No matter the shape, size, or color, your breasts are a part of you that you should feel proud of!

The breasts are also far more mysterious and complex than society has led us to believe. They are a dynamic part of your body, and your experiences with them aren’t necessarily restricted to sex or breastfeeding. Your breasts are also there for you! Our breasts link us to our hearts. Breasts are our garden—each flower comes up differently.

How do you tend to your garden? How can we take advantage of the attention that breasts get and make them the center of a positive experience?

Written by: Abigail Fowler, Production Asst., Deliberate Healing Productions