Oh, puberty! The agony and the ecstasy! After we shared our alternately hilarious and harrowing tales about blossoming and growing breast buds, you chimed in. Even the commenters who said they "had no memories" of getting boobs managed to reveal intense emotions about their breasts, proving what a complicated, sensitive subject the mammary glands can be. Though many, many people shared their personal stories, there were some that stood out. These are the best.
First up, there were those of you who, like some of us, thought that breast buds were a disease or medical issue.
speedingbullet can blame her mom:
My mother — I absolutely swear this is true — didn't know what my breast buds were, and took me to see the pediatrician. AWKWARD.
So can GrievousBodilyMarm:
My left one came through first, when I was eleven, and rather than reassure me, my mother panicked that I was getting breast cancer. Next door lived four boys I used to play on the street with. Their mother was a doctor so my own mother dragged me over there to be examined. The boys were kicked outside, sniggering, while I cried throughout my "examination". Needless to say, my mother looked extremely sheepish as we left, and the boys taunted me about my "girl problems" for a good year after that.
I got my first bra (not a training bra, a regular A cup) when I was 8. My mom FREAKED. She assumed that I must have had two symmetrical cancer lumps and took me to the doctor. TWICE, because the first doctor didn't take her worries about my chest seriously.
So the second doctor scheduled me for a mammogram. Yep: at the tender age of 8, I had a mammogram. And then afterwards, we had to have a very serious sitdown in which the doctor explained to me and my mother that the technical term for what I had were "breasts".
Nope, I didn't develop a complex!
Another horrible mom story comes to us from eatadicksandwich:
My mother was a tyrant and when I finally realized that I really needed a bra, I was terrified to ask because I knew she would do something horrible. I was not disappointed: we were in the car when I said, "I think I need a bra." She replied, "show me."
And so I had to pull up my shirt and show her my sad little boobs. In the car. On a Tuesday after school.
On the other hand, awkwardturtle's mom handled things quite well:
I remember the day that I was standing with a group of girlfriends in 6th grade and a teacher named Mrs. Nibbe (pronounced Nibby...seriously) came over and said loudly, "Courtney can I talk to you please?" I walked about three feet away from my friends (who were now eavesdropping intently) and Mrs. Nibbe said to me, "You know, you really need to start wearing a bra. Your breasts are too big to not wear a bra and you're going to start attracting attention". I was MORTIFIED in front of my friends by a teacher I despised. In my class no one had boobs and no one wore a bra, so it was the worst. I was traumatized and went home and told me mom. She did three things. 1) Talked to me about what I wanted to do. 2) Went bra shopping with me. 3) Marched right up to Mrs. Nibbe in the parking lot the next day and TORE her a new one about how inappropriate it was to address HER daughter's breasts in any way shape or form. SHE is my mother and SHE will decide when to discuss my breasts with me and how DARE she humiliate me that way. Mrs. Nibbe never talked to me again unless she had to and couldn't look my mother in the eye at events. My mom kicked ass.
And while we're on the subject of relatives being involved, check out how N.J.Lady knew she was getting a rack:
When I answered the phone and some distant Aunt exclaimed "Kate's getting her boobies" in response to the photo on our family christmas cards.
alisonsylvia's mockery came courtesy of her peers:
My friends expressed their interest in my early blooming D's by competing to see who could throw the most food items, pen caps, paper clips, etc. down my shirt.
I did not enjoy middle school.
Some of the stories we read were completely heartbreaking, like the experience revealed by crawledoutofthesea:
I have nothing but bad memories of my breasts growing. I was about 10, which is not that unusual, but I was the first at my school to grow them. They literally went from nothing to a D cup or so within a few weeks, but I didn't notice them much and certainly didn't feel bad about them (my ma was pretty good about getting me to a fitter and getting them properly supported, she only whined a bit because what with my small back they were about twice as expensive as the bras she got to buy) until one particular little pervert in my class decided that it would be HILARIOUS to sneak up behind me, grope them, then run off back to his assembled mates and have a good laugh about it.
This happened at least once a day for nearly two years. I complained repeatedly to my teacher, but I was always told "just stay away from him," as though just by being there, with such OBVIOUS breasts, I was provoking him into assaulting me. It made me hugely self-conscious and for years I hated the way I looked and hated my breasts, I was convinced that there was something wrong with me. I'm pretty sure this had a lot to do with my periodic bouts of self-harming, though I didn't make the connection until I was in university and got some therapy.
Now I've achieved a level of peace with my body, but I regret that I spent so much time hating myself and blaming myself because of the actions of one little shit-head. If I think about it now, I'm still angry, not even so much with the shit-head in question, but with the numerous adults who knew what was happening and who didn't step in to tell this kid that what he was doing was wrong, and who didn't think it necessary to reassure me that none of it was my fault.
Lastmenagerie also had a very rough time:
I was the skinniest girl in my grade and one of the shortest. I was convinced that I would never need to shave my legs, never get my period and that the training bra I wore under my t-shirts was a farce. I had a single friend, true, and was very lonely. I read books under my desk and didn't really talk to anyone. No one talked to me either and I was slowly growing to accept it. Until seventh grade.
Then The Breasts came. By the end of seventh grade I was wearing a 32-DD bra and still bird-skinny though my hips were starting to grow minutely.
And they wouldn't stop growing. They would eventually ballon to an unreal 32-I in high school before I managed to get my insurance to cover a breast reduction surgery. But middle school was the worst when I hadn't learned to deal with mockery.
I went from being an ignored figure to this thing of sexual fascination. "Toss Emma in a pool and she'll expand!" chuckled everyone. Random girls would glare at me and loudly yell that I shouldn't have gotten plastic surgery because my tits looked ridiculous. Teachers would corner me after class and suggest that I cover up more - never mind that I was wearing a crew neck teeshirt and loose jeans.
I became terrified of my middle school. I was sexually harassed by male and female students and leered at by male teachers. People would think nothing of coming up to me and grabbing my breasts during lunch before yelling to their friends "Holy shit, they're real!".
I started to cut my stomach in frustration, and began to lash out. People thought I was a slut because I had large breasts?
Fine. Let them. I'll be a slut.
People want to harass me? Fine. I'll yell back at them.
From a quiet bookish nerd I became a loud hated figure who would curse people out and insult anyone who looked at me. It wasn't the best coping strategy but it was all I had with a school administration that didn't want to help me.
Eventually I went to an all-girls Catholic high school instead of the public school of my district. I remained "slutty" but reclaimed the word as a pansexual who enjoyed sex. I grew to...well, I still hated my breasts. But I grew and matured. I started to have friends who didn't just look at me and see a girl with 32-I breasts but the director of the school play, an activist and yeah, the quiet bookish nerd I will always be.
Even when you're way past puberty, your breasts can continue to affect your life. weeesssa wrote:
I still, at 20, have issues about that. For years there were these weird, unwanted growths on me that got in the way and made clothes that fit my friends perfectly look too skimpy on me. I spent a good many years dressed like a boy and refusing to wear a training bra, but wishing I could wear the cute little tank tops that made me so uncomfortable. I'm only a little above a C, but I still wish they were smaller sometimes. Hopefully one day I'll be okay with the fact that my body isn't what I would have chosen for myself.
Speaking of "choosing for yourself," Rote Zora shares:
I used to pull on my nipples and I wanted my bests to grow big enough to hang...that was what my mom's breasts looked like and I wasn't exposed to porn. Now that I am older and they do, I wish they didn't.
Last but not least, Xyzzy really took things into her own hands:
They day I realized when I was getting boobs was yesterday when I handed a 10k check over to the plastic surgeon.