The Problem with Boobs, or Why Being a Teenage Girl Sucks

Middle school wasn't the best time for me. I spent half of it lanky, awkward, and unpopular, and that wasn't even the worst half. I didn't care about other people's opinions of me because nobody had an opinion of me to begin with. I was invisible but I was happy. But then I grew boobs. I grew boobs overnight and they changed everything for me. 

Having boobs gave me a self-image for the first time in my life. I had never looked at my reflection with scrutiny before. It was like a revelation. I couldn't believe that I had looked in the mirror my whole life without noticing everything that was wrong with me. And I couldn't un-see any of it. I was getting wider and rounder and softer and I wanted it to stop. So I did something that I had never once thought of doing before in my life: I stopped eating. 

Having an eating disorder in middle school while going through puberty is just the worst idea ever. I lost what should have been an innocent and care-free time to a mental illness that I wouldn't recover from until the middle of high school. I would throw away the lunches my mom packed for me right after my dad dropped me off at school. I stole laxatives and diet pills from the grocery store. I told so many lies so that I could control my body, which had started growing and changing and fucking up without my permission. I can remember one of my happiest memories at the time was after I had gone a week-long fast and a boy I had a crush on told me that I had a "hot body." I think I wrote my name with his last name about 800 times in my math notebook right after that happened. 

That's the other thing that came with having boobs: in addition to seeing myself in the mirror for the first time, other people started seeing me as well. I was suddenly popular. Boys started talking to me for the first time ever, and girls invited me to hangout out the mall and sit with them at lunch. I was freaking out. But getting boobs and popularity overnight was a really tiring combination. There was so much going on that I thought I needed to maintain. It was fucking stressful, and anorexia eats stress for dinner. I wasn't lanky, awkward, or unpopular anymore, but I was miserable and mentally ill. And let me tell you, I much prefer the former to the latter. 

About ten years have passed and I am completely recovered from my eating disorder. Luckily, my shitty experiences in middle school haven't followed me -- they've stayed put in a period of time that I consider to be the worst time of my life. I still have the boobs, however, and they still give me trouble. Honestly, I think I'm bitter at them for coming during a time when I just wasn't ready for that kind of commitment. Because, in case you didn't know, boobs are a fucking huge commitment. Especially big ones. It takes fucking guts to walk around with gazungas the size of your head, and I just wasn't ready for that at 13. I don't think any 13-year old is. Being a focal point, a target for the male gaze, is a shitty task, and I hope that young girls realize that it's one that they don't have to take on. I wish I had given the middle finger to the concepts of "normal," "acceptable," "contained," "stable" bodies, but the desire to conform was ingrained in my brain and subsequently controlled (and ruined) my life. I can't blame myself, and I won't. I won't blame my boobs either, because they kind of rule.

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