White Cotton Tee

I watched as eyes followed my steps, walking from class to class.  I heard snickers and comments. I saw the reactions; many of pride, some of confusion, and even a tad of disgust. What I wore on my chest was a white cotton shirt.  A piece of clothing we’ve all been wearing since the day we were born.  My shirt displayed two black half circles, with small black dots above.  They resemble what women and men both carry right on their chest. But why do mine cause mixed reactions? Would it be the same if someone of a different gender wore this shirt?

 

The definition of breast, defined by Merriam-Webster is, “Either of the pair of mammary glands extending from the front of the chest in pubescent and adult human females and some other mammals; also :either of the analogous but rudimentary organs of the male chest especially when enlarged." Keyword: male. But why are women preached to about covering ours-selves?  Why do we choose to sexualize a part of our body that no one has control over? Why did I receive displays of praise but at the same time, also disgust over a shirt? A shirt that simply showed what I was born with, what all men and women have.

 

While some might wonder why I chose to wear a shirt with a pair of breast on them, I will explain why. I wore my shirt with passion, pride, excitement, and anxiety.  It was a conversation starter but a silent reminder. It was a reminder to be proud, to stand strong, and to not allow anyone to use my gender against anything I do in my lifetime. It showed my freedom to be able to wear something I knew would cause mixed emotions.  It was a bold statement of being proud of my chest. 

We see breasts plastered everywhere around us. They are shown in many advertisements, movies, and in music videos. They are being sung about in lyrics.  We choose to stare in awe at revealing outfits where the girls are out for show, but become disgusted at the idea of watching a mother breastfeed her child. It's time to end the stigma. I will not be defined by my B cup breasts. I will not let those look at my body as a sexual object. I choose to display myself as a strong, loud, and proud leader, hoping to make a difference where my future female family members will never be ashamed of their two lumps of tissue. Will you?