Social constructs. They set rules that govern how we live our lives. The majority stick to these social rules, and so, it becomes the norm. Yet in reality, social constructs have no authoritative weight. Nevertheless, this standard way of thinking influenced my family’s household without actually meaning to.
When I was in grade 3, my only concerns were playing with my friends in the schoolyard, making everyone proud with success in school, and food. I wasn’t concerned with my body, the way it curved outward or in, or whether my hair parted the right way. I had no sense of body image, and when my mom told me I had to start wearing a bra, I was deeply confused. I remember her telling me it was because that way, I wouldn’t distract the boys with my nipples, but I didn’t understand where the problem was. The only explanation I could determine was that there was something wrong with my chest. I held this belief until I was 19 years old. Presently, I don’t think something is wrong, but the belief of my chest needing to be covered up sunk so far into my subconscious, that I still sometimes have a hard time liking that part of my body.
Although my mom had her reasons for telling little 8-year-old me to wear a bra, she could never foresee that this event would manifest in unhealthy mental thoughts. But let’s take a moment to acknowledge that the problem is not my mom placing social constructs on me, it’s the social acceptance of believing things need to be a certain way, and trying to mold people into fitting the norm. At 19 years old, I decided to reject standards set by social norms. I decided that a chest is a chest, so what if it doesn’t look like the cookie-cutter, perfectly rounded breasts you see plastered all over the media. My lemon shaped breasts are just as sweet.
This is my experience,