By Samara Ginsberg
I must say straight away that I am happy with the way I look. There are things that I would change if it were easy to do so. I would like to have longer limbs, and yes, smaller breasts.
But I quite like my body. It’s mine and it’s familiar. It’s good at martial arts and playing the cello and giving hugs. This happiness and acceptance however has been hard-won.
I liked my breasts when they first appeared. I was a 28A for a long time and, while I felt a little self-conscious about these new additions to my physique simply by virtue of the fact that most other 12-year-olds didn’t yet have any at all, I liked them. They were small and perky, in proportion with the rest of me and didn’t get me any unwanted attention.
All of this changed virtually overnight when I was 14. In the space of about three months, I went from an A to an E cup. The way I was treated by people I knew and by strangers completely changed.
My peers began to see me as “slutty,” despite the fact that I had never even kissed a boy. The bitchy, popular clique of girls at school tried to recruit me, not seeming to understand why I had little interest in wearing a truly hideous amount of makeup to school and making other girls’ lives hell.
Teachers began to see me as troublesome, giving me detention for minor things. And overnight, I went from being able to walk down the street without even being looked at, to having strangers lean out of car windows to inform me that they would like to fuck my brains out.
Groping my breasts became almost a sport among the boys at school. It would happen in class, during break times, while I passed them in the corridor — any time that I was within groping distance. Typically, a boy would grab my breasts while his friends whooped and hollered. Occasionally, the friends would be holding me down. I would scream and hit them, but this seemed only to increase their enjoyment. Nobody ever came to my rescue: not the girls, not the other boys whose opinions these male chauvinist piglets probably would have respected the most, and not the teachers whose job it was to intervene. It simply was not regarded as important.
It was seen as an inevitability of my figure, and if I had the temerity to walk down the corridors looking like I did, what did I expect? A boy once told me about a specific sexual fantasy he had, involving tying me up, beating me and raping me. He apparently used to crack one out while imagining this every night. Another boy once asked me, “Hasn’t anybody ever told you a handful is enough?” as if I had deliberately inflated them myself.
It wasn’t just the boys. A campaign of complete lechery from one of my teachers distressed me sufficiently for me to bunk off lessons. He stared at my tits in class, made lewd comments about me in front of everybody and, when I lost weight as a result of being so anxious and upset, chided me because he “liked his women with curves.”
When I finally plucked up the courage to complain to my (female) head of year I was simply told: “Don’t worry dear, I’m sure he didn’t mean it.”
As I spent many break times hiding in the toilets, the girls would try to say helpful, supportive things. The general consensus was that I should be glad of having big breasts, that I should be happy with them because boys liked them, that perhaps I ought to chill out and enjoy the attention, and that putting up with groping was just the price I had to pay for being hot.
I don’t lack respect for these girls (they were after all only between 14 and 16 years old at the time), but it’s hugely worrying that their kind words didn’t consist instead of: “You shouldn’t have to put up with this,” “It’s not your fault,” or “Let’s talk to the headmaster and make sure the governors hear about this, because that teacher ought to be fired immediately.”
My male friends trivialized the situation, possibly simply fearing the scorn of their classmates, but, for whatever reason, they were disinterested in sticking up for me and generally adopted the same “chill out and enjoy the attention” attitude as the girls. As for the teachers, they turned a blind eye whenever possible, pretended they hadn’t noticed when I was assaulted in their classes and did as little as possible when I specifically asked for their support.