Shamed for The Size of My Breasts

I would like to share how not exactly the society, but our families shame us first for being ourselves. Shaming begins at home. Talk about body shaming, I am sure there is a brother or mother or some bade papa (uncle) who taunts you about some aspect of your physique.

So, it was during puberty, when my body was shaping each day, something that I had no control over. I was about 17 when people began telling me I have grown 'more' than I should, indirectly referring to my relatively bigger bust.

We were always told to cover up every ounce of the cleavage that was visible intentionally or unintentionally because it was unladylike and slutty otherwise.

We used to wear salwar kameez to school. When I was in 11th standard, one day, one of our female teachers called me in front of the entire class, a class of 42, and shamed me for my attire. She pointed out how the kurta was an inch shorter, and how my dupatta didn't cover my bosom.

Anything that was not a bandh gala (closed neckline), had cleavage and cleavage meant I was an irresponsible girl.

So from the beginning of my puberty years, I began loathing my body. I would only wear closed necklines with a long chunni(scarf) because I was a woman - everything I did was sexual and my body was a piece of meat, ready to be devoured by people if I didn't cover it up nicely because otherwise, I distracted the naive men around me.

As a result of the constant criticism, I had started disliking my body so much that outsiders would come and tell me how to wrap around chunni and I would agree. A boy once told me "don't show anything from your neck till your stomach. You are the dignity of the family", and I happily agreed.

I am thankful to my family that they 'let' me study and do what I wanted to in life.

I used to come back during vacations with my anthropology books and would make parents understand how women have always been told they're ugly and how they have been shamed for being too big or too small, too smart, not smart, for marrying, for not marrying, for having kids or not having them.

I pushed boundaries, a lot of them.

Slowly cousins stopped talking to me. My school friends started ignoring me because, for them, I was someone who questioned their misogyny. I lost a lot, but thankfully, it was all worth losing.

But my parents evolved with me. Today when my aunts try to cover up the little bra strap that peeks from the T-shirt, I remove their hands and jokingly say, it's turquoise blue colour, let it show no.

I think it's all about pushing boundaries. And if we, the privileged beings don't do it, then who else will?

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