hey, let's talk about boobs

September 11, 2016 Roobs Leiser

the free the nipple campaign - and any girl independently highlighting the topless inequality issue as a source of oppression - has an unfair & unjust reputation of being a bit frivolous and indulgent, and is reserved for privileged white girls who just want something to be angry about. obviously i resent this attitude. and i find it endlessly pertinent that the correlation between calling feminists out as problematic for not caring about ‘important’ and ‘real’ issues facing women in the third world, for example, and actually personally doing anything to help these oft-referenced deprived women is usually non-existent. 
all inequality is inequality. caring about the little things is still justified. but, in this case, i’d argue that the sexualisation of, and resultant taboo surrounding, breasts is not just a little trivial thing. along with issues like menstruation and sexual health, perpetuating a - to appropriate the term somewhat - ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ approach to boobs is to the detriment of a wider social wellbeing. 
when was the last time you checked your boobs? did you know that 1 in 8 women will experience breast cancer? that an estimated 400 men will be diagnosed with it every year? do you know what to look for?
being ashamed or embarrassed of our own bodies leads to a disconnect in our understanding of them. if you don’t know your body, how can you know when something changes? get to know your boobs, learn what they feel and look like. and please, for the love of whatever deity - be it god or buddha or kim kardashian - you pray to, take a couple of minutes a week to have a feel. do it in the shower, do it while you watch the great british bake off, get your boyfriend or girlfriend to do it for you. 
and look out for the following:
  1. lumps
  2. pain in your boob or armpit
  3. a change in texture - i.e dimpling
  4. a change in the shape or size
  5. discharge from your nipple
  6. inversion or change of direction in the nipple
  7. crusting or a rash on/around the nipple
  8. swelling in the armpit or around your collarbone
how many times a day will we refresh instagram and, even though there’s nothing new, scroll through our feed again? in the time it takes you to look at a couple of well-lit from-above latte art shots, someone in a bikini, the new eyeshadow palette someone else just received, someone REVOLUTIONISING the internet by showing us what their bathbomb does to the water, and someone else slyly getting their tattoos into everything they ever post so we don’t ever run the risk of forgetting how #edgy and unique they are - you could have a feel of your boobs and flash the mirror super quick to make sure you don’t miss any signs of something that will make you wish you spent less time on social media. a lot of illnesses have no warning signs - why be blasé about looking out for the ones you can? 

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