I was reading a dear-God-get-me-through-this-next-few-days book called The Hamilton Affair this week: a Lin-Manuel Miranda spin off, basically a more historically accurate fanfic-on-paper publication. It seemed to promise bodice ripping, but no bodices were rippeth. Instead, at its raciest, Alexander Hamilton looks down to see a woman’s nipple peeking out from the low, low, low-ass neckline of her dress. Hamilton realizes, in that glance, that “he had forgotten how puffy and ripe was the breast of a woman who had not nursed children.”
Thanks, asshole, from all the postpartum, nursing, and once-nursing women for reminding us. Our boobs are not the boobs of yesteryear. Sure, they’re still awesome, because all boobs are awesome (can I get a hashtag?!), but our boobs, if yours are like mine, have fallen a good bit.
Mine went from banging-my-chin perky to down-to-the-elbows sag. Like a tangerine in a tube sock, folks.
They’re still big. But they naturally separate unless manually manipulated into cleavage. Eight years and counting of consecutive nursing will do this to a body. I fed three boys on these knockers, through elimination diets and reflux and squirming toddlerhood, through long nights desperate for more sleep. My boobs have served me (them?) well.
Saggy boobs aren’t just reserved for moms, of course. Sagging boobs are natural. Normal. We are the sisterhood of the sagging boobs.
So I was thrilled, moved, and fist-pumpingly energized when I learned about Slumflower, also known as (gorgeous) British blogger Chidera Eggerue. As Slumflower told Buzzfeed News, “A lack of representation of saggy-looking boobs when I used to go bra shopping in M&S [Marks and Spencer] [as a young teenager] made me realize that something is wrong with the way the world views women’s bodies.”
Because of this, she swore she’d get a boob job at age 18, as soon as she’d saved the money, to “fix” the naturally sagging breasts on her small frame. But, she says, “I reached 18 and didn’t get a job, let alone a boob job, so I continued self-loathing until I reached 19 and became tired of feeling like a stranger in my own body. I decided I’d had enough and made the choice to stop wearing a bra.”
She felt confident with her body, and her breasts. But she wanted to help others.
Thus, #SaggyBoobsMatter was born. Eggerue uses her own pictures, of her own body, to “help women articulate their own body image hang ups – especially slim women who don’t really know where they stand in the body positivity movement.”
It’s helped many women, including stunning Instagrammer joannvdherik:
But Eggerue has not come without her critics — particularly men — who deride her choice to embrace non-traditional beauty standards. “Overall, I think the movement has been received with a lot of sarcasm and insults from men and a few confused women, which doesn’t surprise me,” she tells Buzzfeed.
One woman says, on an endless Instagram comment thread, “Next time a man asks why your boobs are saggy, ask him why his balls are saggy.” HELL YES.
But then, another IG user chimes in with: “23 yr old woman breasts aren’t suppose to be this saggy she looks like a 90 yr it’s simply she just don’t care to fix it just start working out do some self love … you don’t even have kids and you just said hey this is normal it’s not I’m sorry It must be normal in the UK cause they have breast exercises to help.”
A Nigerian record producer made a meme comparing her boobs to a dying cell phone, which he eventually deleted, but as she says, “Cyberbullying is still cyberbullying, even if you’re famous.” We agree.
“Most of the responses have been horrible and disappointing,” she admits to Buzzfeed, “but I’ve learnt to not take them so personally. Men are socialised to see women as vaginas that think, sometimes. Because of this, women’s bodies are picked apart as if we only exist to satisfy.”
Amen, sister. A-freaking-men!
From one saggy-boobed lady to another, keep on keeping on. Eggerue’s photos are stunning — she is stunning, and yes, boobs and all. The more we normalize things like saggy breasts, the more we can feel confident in the parts of our own bodies that don’t meet the mainstream standards of (industrialized Western) beauty.
Body positivity for the win, in all its forms: be it normalizing size, weight, or sagging breasts. I feel empowered just by seeing her power. Go follow her on instagram: @theslumflower. And bask in the glory that is her confidence, her beauty, and oh yeah — her breasts.
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