Free the Nippleless! From Ourselves and the Shame of Living in a Society That Rarely Acknowledges Us
For women like me who lose our nipples to breast cancer, learning to love our changed bodies can be a journey.
By Oct 22, 2021 Masha Raymers A handful of days after my bilateral mastectomy, my seven-year-old daughter saw my breasts.Jessie J has revealed she and boyfriend Max Pham have split after seven months together.Do you relate too much to the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland — always running “late to a very important date”? It’s a common problem for adults with ADHD, who have difficulty planning their time or foreseeing obstacles in their path.Covid-19 vaccine tracker.
No longer voluptuous like they were when she suckled them for over a year and a half, her face crinkled.Not in disgust, but in wonderment, as she took them in.In her candid post, the musical star dubbed her dancer ex an "amazing man" and admitted they have been "just friends" for some time.“When will you have nipples, mommy?” she asked.Day.After I was diagnosed last spring with stage IIb invasive lobular carcinoma, I had to decide whether or not to do a nipple sparing bilateral mastectomy or bid farewell to them.Taking to her Instagram Stories on Sunday, the 33-year-old singer updated fans on her love life during a Q&A with her followers.I landed on saying goodbye to my nipples to play it safe.troops to invade, although they may have to put “invade Australia” on their landing cards as one of my Australian friends has suggested.
The last thing I wanted was to undergo an extensive five-plus hour surgery and lengthy recovery, only to later find out that the cells had spread to my nipples, requiring yet another operation." She went on to write: "Max and I have been just friends for a while now.They are late to meetings.“Nothing prepares you for the shock of seeing your body forever changed.” I anticipated waking from the fog of anesthesia feeling depleted.So please don't over react.I thought I’d emerge feeling like less of a woman after having appreciated my breasts my entire adult life.They leave others waiting as they scramble to finish last-minute tasks or find misplaced wallets, cell phones, or keys.Each day following surgery, I updated my Instagram community on my progress—about my physical wellbeing as well as my emotional state.We both have so much respect and love for each other.” It might be awkward for the U.
To my surprise, I found myself talking about my newfound appreciation for my body and the nipplelessness I now embrace.Though my current state may be temporary (after reconstruction sometime early next year, I’ll have the option of getting tattooed nipples ), it got me thinking about the extensive silence, stigma, and shame that shrouds nipplelessness.So we decided just friends it is.Break the cycle of the late arrival with this downloadable guide, filled with expert tips for understanding — and conquering — your chronic lateness.I found myself wondering why the movement is #FreetheNipple instead of #FreetheBreast, or something else entirely.Is there space for us to exhibit pride in, or even just not be ashamed of, our nippleless bodies? I turned to other women who’ve lost their nipples during breast cancer too, to find out how this profound change has affected the way they feel about themselves in a culture that rarely, if ever, acknowledges the nippleless." The star added that she hates how other people make a "big deal" about breakups and concluded by telling her followers she and Max are both "happy, living and loving" their lives.“When I was first asked whether I wanted a nipple sparing mastectomy, I had no idea what that meant.D.They were very favorable about Taiwan’s handling of the pandemic as well.
I had to google the term.Elsewhere during her candid Instagram chat, Jessie revealed her top tip for body confidence is to stand "in front of the mirror naked and stare at your goddess self" and love what you look like right now.” says Anna Crollman , 34, who was diagnosed with stage 2b triple positive breast cancer at the age of 27.She and her medical team collectively determined it was best to get rid of her nipples, but waking up without them hit hard.The news of the Jessie's split comes as the singer is preparing to release new music.“Nothing prepares you for the shock of seeing your body forever changed,” Crollman says.“I was hyperventilating and on the verge of vomiting.Jessie and the 41-year-old actor were first linked romantically in October 2018, when the pair were spotted together in Seattle.After getting subsequent pushback for her “invade Australia” comment, Owens asserted on Twitter that she had used the qualifier “in jest,” albeit in a quieter voice.
I sat crying on the bathroom floor in a puddle of sadness.” A portrait of the author from a photoshoot she did to honor her body pre-surgery.The pair called it quits for good in April 2020 and have both moved on with new partners since.Courtesy of the author This sudden, permanent change in our bodies can elicit drastic and adverse reactions.“The first time I saw my breasts I cried,” says Kelly Cook, 41, who was diagnosed with stage 1a tubular carcinoma.The singer-songwriter has announced that her new album, which is yet to be named, will kick off with a personal song about the heartache of a break up.“They were so bruised and the expanders didn’t really give them a shape and with the lack of nipples on top of that, I just felt hideous.As you can see from the above and below, Owens got responses from folks who said that they, you know, actually live in Australia: If you want to hear about what’s actually going down Down Under, it’s a good idea to talk to a bunch of actual Australians rather than a political commentator from the U.
” Abby B, 42, who was diagnosed at age 26 with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), said the difference between what she anticipated versus the reality of how things unfolded after surgery was hard to take."You know, when you go through a breakup and someone is like, 'OK, bye.“I sobbed in the recovery room because I looked so different than I imagined,” Abby says.“It was awful.Read More Read More.My expectations were way off.” And so began the process for Abby and for all of us of navigating this new normal—in the mirror, in the bedroom, and in our own eyes.Individual liberty matters.
When we’ve learned through media depictions over the course of our lives that sexiness is inextricably linked with our breasts, especially nipples, coming to terms with perceived attractiveness, and a desire to share one’s body and be sexually intimate post-surgery, can be a fraught and messy road to navigate.“Even now, 15 years later, there are still certain ways I don’t want to be touched,” Abby says.“I am more self-conscious about how my body is different.My breasts and nipples used to be a major erogenous zone.It took a long time to feel comfortable being touched on my chest again.S.
” Related Story When No One Believes You Have Breast Cancer Crollman says she wondered if she’d ever feel truly attractive again.“I questioned my femininity at every turn” she admitted, “I struggled to feel confident looking in the mirror with the zigzagging scars across my chest and in the bedroom I found it hard to be intimate.” Cook says she also struggled to feel sexy with her breasts exposed.“How can you feel like a woman when something that is such a part of what we perceive as sexual is suddenly disfigured? I don’t think there is much that can prepare you for that,” she says.In a culture that defines female attractiveness based on having these body parts, women without them are left to make meaning of their sense of self on their own.The main question is whether vaccination rates are high enough already to keep spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus under control and to make most of the infections mild and not severe.
“Instead of nipples, we have scars.With that change comes shame, insecurity, and grappling with society’s expectations of female beauty,” Crollman says.We are, however, more than the sum of our parts.As Cook aptly puts it, “A nipple doesn’t make a woman.” But with the lack of an inclusive cultural discourse on the topic as well as a dearth of nippleless representations in society, women often end up feeling a sense of visceral shame.
“Not being able to nurse my baby due to my mastectomy left me traumatized,” Abby says.“I felt like a bad mom who failed my baby.In as much as womanhood and motherhood are connected, I guess I did feel less than.” We feel “less than” because for decades media has stuck to one version of what it looks like to be a sexy woman.(I even turned to pornography to see if images of nippleless women existed, and located just two in an endless sea of naked, nipple-laden bodies.
) Zucker is learning to love what she calls her breasts-in-process.Courtesy of the author And sometimes we as women—consciously or not—can perpetuate the notions of a singular beauty standard as well.Movements meant to empower women might inadvertently backfire if only some women are represented and embraced.In reflecting on the #FreetheNipple movement, some breast cancer survivors said they felt shut out.“I think it’s ridiculous that according to current social media guidelines, I can show my entire breast now without being censored purely because I no longer have nipples,” Cook says.
“Does that make me incapable of being seen as sexual? Am I no longer a woman in their eyes now, just a medical specimen?” Amputated because of a life-altering disease, the last thing a woman undergoing cancer treatment wants to deal with is feeling left out, less than, or embarrassed by her body.What we crave most is a sense of community and solid support.“Campaigns and movements centered around the breasts [need to] leave room for the inclusion of those who don’t fit the mold of what a ‘normal’ woman looks like,” Crollman says.Related Story When Breast Cancer Treatment Is Delayed Feelings about our revised body image evolve over time and with effort.For Crollman, the trauma of losing her nipples remains palpable decades later.
“I am no longer the woman I was before cancer.My body was amputated and I will never get those breasts, nipples, or naivety back,” she tells me.“But while my body has changed, I actually found that having my breasts physically stripped away forced me to find a deeper appreciation for myself and my body image overall.” Cook is actively working to love who she is as a result of all she’s been through.“I have hope that maybe my scars can be beautiful and sexy in a different way than nipples,” she says.
“Maybe my scars show power and strength and that is much more sexual and beautiful than a nipple will ever be.” As for me, two weeks after my surgery, my daughter wanted to hug me so badly we erupted in laughter over the ridiculousness of not being able to, given the current state of my still tender body.“Can I see the scars mommy?” she asked.“Will you take off your bra, please?” I lifted my nightgown over my head and with pride, showed my daughter what life sometimes entails.Because, believe it or not, the truth is, I’ve fallen in love with my breasts-in-process.
I love how they feel, their weight, their shape.I even love how they look.Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to feel this way, but here I am unclipping my bra to show my daughter what healing looks like.Jessica Zucker Jessica Zucker is a Los Angeles-based psychologist specializing in reproductive and maternal mental health and the creator of the #IHadaMiscarriage campaign.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
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