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Letter: Brenda


At home with Brenda.

As I was growing up, I struggled a lot with my body image. As one of the only Middle-Eastern femmes in my school, I couldn't really relate to any of my friends when I was going through puberty. The beauty standards were very different back then - having bushy brows or a curvy body weren't praised like they are now.

So I started trying to fit into European beauty standards of what a “normal” body should look like by hiding my hairy body, my face and my curves.

When I was around 11 or 12 years old, my breasts grew drastically. In spite of being so young, it didn’t prevent the oversexualization of my body by boys and men. I clearly remember covering up and hiding my chest. I don’t recall ever seeing big breasts on media without them being a projection of sexual fantasies. Besides that, I never saw breasts that would differ from the beauty standard of perfect - that extra firm C-cup with small nipples.

One of the first things I wanted to pay for with my own money was a breast reduction surgery. The back pain caused by the weight of my breasts wasn't the main reason I wanted to have that surgery. It was because of all the beauty standard bullshit I had internalized.

A few years ago, I could've never imagined doing an underwear shoot but now I'm glad I did it. I'm finally accepting and acknowledging what my body looks like, which has made me open to having my pictures shared online.

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