As a teenager, I always hated my boobs. I would spend hours wondering if my nipples were weird, or which style of bra suited me, or if one boob was supposed to be bigger than the other (fun fact: for most folks, that is indeed the case). Substitute the word ‘boob’ for any other given body part, and I’d challenge anyone to tell me they didn’t do the same as a teen. It might’ve been your gangly toes, the bend in your willy or the mole on your left bum cheek, but pretty much everyone has got that thing they grew up feeling uncomfortable about in their body.
The thing I’m realising more and more as I age, is that that doesn’t go away on its own as an adult. In fact, it’s still fuelled by what’s around us: porn that portrays all humans as shiny, symmetrical seals, slicked up and ready to go at a moment’s notice; dating profiles stipulating they only like body hair in a certain way; exes who’ve made comments about our size or shape or colour, and left us feeling pretty self-conscious (sidenote: if this has happened to you, screw them, they’re wrong, and up their arses with a hedgehog, frankly).
It’s hard to escape, and these comparisons make us feel crummy, because very few humans are actual living examples of the golden ratio. It can make us feel embarrassed, or lacking in confidence. Hell, a guy I hooked up with once even apologised for having acne on his testicles. Like I would’ve a) noticed, b) cared, or c) thought it my goddamn business to judge (let’s face it, zits hurt on your face – I hate to think about how much that hurts on your balls).
At this point, you’re probably wondering why I’m writing about this pretty standard teen mag stuff in the fabulously queer Unicorn. Well, the reason is that for me, I first started feeling more at home in my own body when I started to explore other people’s bodies. And as bi folks, we have the rare privilege of being able to get up close and personal with bodies of all genders. Including our own. You always hear in science classes about how ‘every body is different’, yadda yadda insert standard science teacher spiel here.
But it’s not until you’ve been face-to-face with a smorgasbord of different genitals that you really start to believe that nobody is the same.
Some pusses are loud and proud, some are discreet and mysterious. Bums range from juicy to perky, from wibbly with cellulite to smooth and crinkle-free. Every schlong is a different size, colour, bends in a different way (I’m convinced it’s only a matter of time before penis semafore becomes a competitive sport). And I’m yet to find a pair of boobs that looks and behaves like mine (think someone set blancmange in a hockey sock and you’re somewhere close), or for that matter, a pair that behaves like any other.
All bodies are different. All bodies are, let’s be real, weird. But in the best, most beautiful way.
From the tuft of pubes in an unexpected place to the birthmarks to the chin hairs, we’ve all got our quirks. On all my ‘research’ adventures (wink nudge), I am yet to meet a body that wasn’t utterly gorgeous, not in spite of its quirks, but because of them. Our bodies are our homes, they’re part of us, and as bi folks, we are lucky that we get the chance to see the full range.
So I may not have been blessed with the knockers of a Page 3 girl, but nowadays, Ι’m cool with my boobs. They’re not going to win me any awards any time soon, but they’re mine. Doesn’t mean I won’t moan about them occasionally, but when it boils down to it, I love ‘em and wouldn’t have them any other way – a bit like wonky best friends I can always rely on (jiggle jiggle jiggle).
Bodies being ‘strange’ is in fact, not strange at all. We’re humans, not textbook examples. Life doesn’t have an airbrush, and nor should it. If anyone else ever expects you to live up to that ideal, throw them in the bin, and get yourself a kinder human to hang out with. Your body, for all its wibbles or poky or fluffy bits, is gorgeous just the way it is. And if you don’t trust me on this? There’s always the option to get out there and do your own research like I did. Certainly more fun than your average research… 😘
Written by Maddie Jones