Read Female Breasts: The Taboo ­ The Purpose text version

Copyright 2008 Maria Miller All rights reserved. Photographs: By Maria Miller, Clipart.com, Beauty of Breastfeeding Calendar, Breast of Canada, and multitudes of volunteers, many of whom wish to remain anonymous.

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Preface

or how this book came about

Female Breasts: The Taboo - The Purpose is a book on a fairly bold subject, that of women's breasts. It essentially compiles the information presented in the website www.007b.com into book form. So, why write a book when the same information is found for free on the Internet? I felt I wanted it to be available to the offline world in order to reach more people. Many people enjoy reading in a comfortable chair instead of in front of a computer. Some want to get the book so they can save it for their children, or to give as a gift to someone they care about. Schools may want to use the book as course material or as a reference. Physical books still have value that electronic ones can't attain. I want to briefly delve into the past of the website www.007b.com, how it came to be, and how I ended up the main author for the site. I have a confession to make: I was not born in the USA, never grew up there, nor am I a citizen. I'm a foreigner, an outsider to its culture. As a young woman growing up in northern Europe, I never thought much about my breasts. They were there; I thought they were fine. I did NOT think of them as having special sexual importance. It was just not an issue, not too interesting. I saw lots and lots of women's breasts in the saunas of public swimming pools, or at saunas in youth camps, etc. I saw some of my friends breastfeed their babies while at university, and I thought that was neat and necessary, but I wasn't into building a family yet. So how could I possibly write anything on the subject if I am such an outsider, and have never experienced the feelings of most American women as they worry and obsess over their breasts' appearance? I've never worried about their role in sex, or actually thought much about that at all. I've never doubted whether I'd breastfeed or about nursing in public. It often happens that people who live in a particular culture never even consider that things could be otherwise. It takes a considerable amount of mental energy to be able to position yourself outside of your culture's beliefs and to examine them in a critical light. That has been very easy for me to do, in regards to US attitudes about women's breasts. Also, having had a different experience free of these anxieties easily proves that such is possible, and not even that difficult to achieve. I know; I've been there - "outside". When I married an American man, I became surrounded by other Americans and their culture and their beliefs. I started writing the website while I was breastfeeding my first child. I was deeply inspired by a few other very concerned individuals who are not in the right position to presenting these things to the public and wish to remain anonymous. I could understand the problems caused by the taboo and oversexualization of breasts very clearly, clearer than many others perhaps, because of my past. I had experience with websites and I enjoyed writing. I had learned English adequately to be able to write; however, I acknowledge my English is not perfect and thus nonEnglish expressions may remain in anything I write. I apologize for those. I also had help from several fine ladies who originally allowed me to photograph their breasts in order to build the initial breast gallery in 2003. Since then, that gallery has grown exponentially, and as of this writing in late 2007, new volunteer pictures are added every week. I want to express

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my sincerest thanks to all these ladies who have sent in their picture. Without you, the website (and consequently this book) would not have succeeded in the extent it has! It is true that as a foreigner I don't have the full capabilities of empathizing with problems women and men experience because of the way breasts are perceived in the USA; however, this is where the numerous readers' comments and real-life testimonies come in. It is fair to say that this book wouldn't be nearly as powerful in being able to help women and men if it wasn't for the tremendous testimonies left as reader comments on the website. People's stories you read in this book are not fabricated in any way. They are gathered from the feedback left on the website since 2003. These comments absolutely prove the book's message: that grasping the essential truth of what breasts are for DOES help women and men liberate themselves in many different ways. I want to give you briefly a few examples of that. · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Thousands of teen girls have stopped worrying about their breast size, breast shape, nipple size, nipple shape, areola color, shape, size, and so on. Thousands of adult women have equally done so. Women have stopped worrying about how the man in their life views their breasts, and have thus been able to enjoy their relationship more. Women have stopped hating or loathing their breasts and have gained new confidence, new freedom. Flat-chested women or teenagers with sagging breasts have found new consolation and encouragement in finding that they are not alone. Many women have been encouraged to decide to breastfeed, or to breastfeed longer than they originally intended, or to nurse in public. Men have stopped being concerned about the breast size of their wife, or future wife. Men have gotten rid of a sexual obsession toward breasts, or recognized that they have such. Some men have stopped consuming pornographic material. Men have become more educated about women's breasts in general, with better ability to support their wife with breastfeeding. Teenage boys have gotten their curiosity and uncertainties explained, and have understood how deep the anxiety is that girls experience over their breasts. Many women have changed their minds about breast implants, which has saved them not only thousands of dollars, but also lots of pain and physical discomfort, and even disease. Many women have been able to feel better, realizing that the wrong size bras can make their breasts hurt. While the main focus is not medical issues, some have received help with them, too.

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This is not an exhaustive list. As explained in the book, the "taboo-ism" of female breasts hurts men and women in so many different ways, and understanding the truth is very liberating. Now, over the years many have presented the opposite view that a woman's breasts are sexual, period. These people most often misunderstand the position presented in the book. We are not saying that breasts are inherently outside of the sexual relationship. We are saying, let breasts be on the same level as a woman's lips, neck, hair, hips, legs, and other beautiful body parts that men can caress while loving the love of their life. Men do get sexually aroused by visual pictures of females, but the mere idea or a single picture of breasts shouldn't do so. It should be the whole woman, the whole package of femininity that inspires men, not a single body part. I hope you enjoy reading the material and seeing the pictures in this book, and can feel equally liberated by its stories and messages as thousands of others already have. While I realize this book is not written in a strict scientific manner, I also hope that the book can help mental health professionals who deal with these issues, and spur interest into researching them. I feel it could also be used in colleges and universities as a course material for social studies related programs. Sincerely, Maria Miller

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Introduction

Female Breasts: The Taboo ­ The Purpose is divided into 5 major parts: Part 1: The Taboo Part 2: Breastfeeding Part 3: Body Image and Breasts Part 4: Baring Breasts in Public Part 5: Breast Health. Since the book has originally been compiled from a website, the book often references online resources such as other websites. These are all compiled as a large source and resources list at the end of the book. That list also contains the references used in some chapters. This book is also available as an ebook, which facilitates the usage of these resources as you can simply click on the links.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part 1: The Taboo ................................................................................................................................................... 9 Chapter 1: Breast Taboo .................................................................................................................................... 11 Chapter 2: Why do Women Wean So Early? ................................................................................................... 14 Chapter 3: Breast Obsession .............................................................................................................................. 23 Chapter 4: Are Breasts an Erogenous Zone? ................................................................................................... 33 Chapter 5: Mammals ­ Animals Who Nurse .................................................................................................... 38 Part 2: Breastfeeding ............................................................................................................................................. 49 Chapter 6: Wonders of Breast Milk .................................................................................................................. 51 Chapter 7: Wonders of Breastfeeding ............................................................................................................... 55 Chapter 8: Is Breastfeeding Sexual?.................................................................................................................. 59 Chapter 9: Breast Size and Breastfeeding......................................................................................................... 65 Chapter 10: Whether Breastfeeding or Bottle-Feeding, You May Get 'Attacked'........................................ 70 Chapter 11: Breastfeeding Mom's Diet and the Baby's Brain Development ................................................. 75 Chapter 12: Breast Milk and Vitamin D .......................................................................................................... 80 Part 3: Breasts and Body Image ............................................................................................................................ 83 Chapter 13: Breast Gallery ­ Pictures of Normal Non-Sexual Breasts ......................................................... 85 Chapter 14: Nipple Concerns and a Gallery................................................................................................... 114 Chapter 15: Breast Development During Puberty ......................................................................................... 126 Chapter 16: Breasts and Body Image in Puberty ........................................................................................... 142 Chapter 17: Do You Need Breast Implants?................................................................................................... 145 Chapter 18: Being a Large-Breasted Woman................................................................................................. 153 Chapter 19: Small Breasts ­ WOMEN'S Worries.......................................................................................... 157 Chapter 20: What Does It Mean To Be Flat-Chested? .................................................................................. 163 Chapter 21: What Causes the Sagging of Breasts? ........................................................................................ 178

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Part 4: Baring Breasts in Public......................................................................................................................... 183 Chapter 22: Breastfeeding in Public................................................................................................................ 185 Chapter 23: Breastfeeding in Public in European Countries........................................................................ 194 Chapter 24: Breastfeeding in Public around the World................................................................................ 203 Chapter 25: What is Topfreedom? .................................................................................................................. 216 Part 5: Breast Health .......................................................................................................................................... 225 Chapter 26: Basic Breast Anatomy ................................................................................................................. 227 Chapter 27: Why Wear a Bra? ........................................................................................................................ 229 Chapter 28: Do Bras Prevent Breasts From Sagging?................................................................................... 243 Chapter 29: A Bra Fitting Guide ..................................................................................................................... 245 Chapter 30: Fibrocystic Breasts ...................................................................................................................... 250 Chapter 31: Anorexia and Breasts .................................................................................................................. 254 Chapter 32: How Bras Are Linked to Breast Cancer .................................................................................... 257 Chapter 33: Preventing Breast Cancer .......................................................................................................... 260 Chapter 34: Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) ...................................................................................................... 266

Appendix 1:The British Study on Bra Wearing and Breast Pains ............................................................... 268 Appendix 2: Breastfeeding Help and Support Resources.............................................................................. 274

References, Sources, and Resources ............................................................................................................ 279

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Part 1: The Taboo

"I interviewed a young anthropologist working with women in Mali, in a country in Africa where women go around with bare breasts. They're always feeding their babies. When she told them that in our culture men are fascinated with breasts, there was an instant of shock. The women burst out laughing. They laughed so hard, they fell on the floor. They said, 'You mean, men act like babies?' " Carolyn Latteier, the author of Breasts, The Women's Perspective on an American Obsession, in a TV program "All About Breasts".

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Chapter 1: Breast Taboo

In North America and in many other westernized countries women's breasts are taboos: they are supposed to be hidden. Exposing a woman's breasts in public is considered shameful and inappropriate ("indecent exposure") even on beaches or while breastfeeding. In other words, breasts ­ or at least the nipples ­ are supposed to be covered at all times. Parents tend to teach their children the same way, and many times children don't see a single naturally nude breast (apart from their own) while growing up. It is totally possible that a child grows up in North America and never sees a baby breastfeeding! However, while exposing breasts in public is a 'nono', children often see breasts (although never the nipples) displayed in a sexually provocative fashion on television, in print media, and in magazines. Breasts are emphasized big-time in the media and advertisements, who signal to our young people that breasts are a sexual object, and only beautiful when big and protruding.

These children will naturally learn the purpose of breasts as being feeding the baby.

Photo courtesy of Beauty of Breastfeeding Calendar (www.beautyofbreastfeeding.com)

But we know those big breasts are a fallacy, since women in ads and movies use push-up bras and breast enlargement to artificially 'enhance' the way their breasts look. Just think: if young girls continually see this propaganda without a balancing view of natural naked breasts, it is no wonder they also start seriously worrying about the size and shape of their breasts ­ even to the point of suicide! And women do greatly worry about their breast size as proven by the huge amount of augmentation surgeries: according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 1 , 383,886 women had a breast augmentation in 2006. The same year, cosmetic surgeries were up 446% from the year 1997. "Even at the age of 27, I have probably seen only 10 or 15 pairs of real breasts. Most of my knowledge about breasts comes from movies and magazines. But actresses use body doubles to give the illusion of a more 'perfect' body, and photographs of models have been airbrushed to remove any 'unsightly' bumps or discoloration. ... When girls as young as 12 talk about getting breast implants based on this standard, I say we have a serious problem. Three 14year-old girls have told me separately that they need breast enlargement surgery, with nothing to base their body hatred on but a stolen copy of Playboy. ...How can we say that to view a woman's breasts will damage children, when it is so clear what not seeing them is doing?" Allison Roberts at TERA articles page 2

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http://www.surgery.org/press/news-release.php?iid=395 http://www.topfree.ca/articles.html#Art

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