“I remember the first day a boy called me ‘boobless.’
I was confused. I’d never had boobs. Nothing had changed.
Why was this suddenly a thing? I was embarrassed and kept my arms crossed – covering my chest – for much of the day.
I convinced my mom to buy me a training bra, hoping and praying it might help with this sudden flat chest issue I was facing.
But the first day I came to school wearing it, they spotted the straps, snapped them, and said, ‘Why are you wearing this? You’ve got nothing to put in it!’
I was so embarrassed, I wore my jacket for the rest of the day.
Boobless/Titless/Flatty was a thing for a while. The boys were relentless. I was told to ‘just ignore them’ over and over again.
Fast forward a few years – and I developed some breasts. But I learned quickly growing boobs did not remove you from the spotlight.
You’re called a whore when your shirt is too tight, you’re told to cover up on hot days – and your bra straps still seem to bother people.
Fast forward a few more years – I was walking through Walmart with my newborn baby. She was my first and I was only 23. Being a new mom was overwhelming, but I was getting the hang of it.
I loaded up my cart and my little one started to cry. I had never nursed in a public spot before, but she was hungry and I didn’t want to leave my cart.
I went to the back of the store and found a bench in the customer service area. I got comfortable and started to feed her. She relaxed, and I relaxed.
I looked up and saw a man staring at me from behind the counter. He had the most disgusted look on his face. He spit out the words, ‘You know, we have bathrooms where you could do THAT.’
I was embarrassed and went to cover up and move, but when I did my baby started to cry – so I stopped and put her back on my breast.
Suddenly, I saw this man as one of the boys who’d taunted me with names and snapped my straps and gawked at me in my tank tops on hot days – and here he was – now repulsed and offended I was using my breasts to feed my child.
And I just wasn’t having it. I decided it was the last time someone was going to feel they had the right to an opinion on my breasts – what they looked like or what I was doing with them.
I unleashed on him. A good five minutes of telling this man what I thought.
And then I finished by calmly asking him if he ate his lunch in a bathroom stall and added, ‘I think I heard the lunch bell. Time for you to go f–k off and do that.’
He looked a little shocked but walked off without saying another word. I finished nursing my baby, finished my shopping, and left the store feeling strong and brave.
So, how do you prevent a new breastfeeding mom from losing her s–t on some random dude in Walmart?
PLEASE, when you hear little boys objectifying little girls by commenting on their chests – do not tell the little girls to ‘just ignore them.’
By saying this, you are giving the boys permission to continue and you’re telling the little girls to just tolerate it. (Years and years and years of it.)
Teach our girls to say, ‘Do not talk about my body.’ And demand that our boys listen.
This picture is a favorite of mine from a few years back. My last baby nursed until he was 2.5 He loved to read his books while having his ‘milkies.'”
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