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Guest post by Aurora S.

When I was in year 4, a girl in year 7 came up to me and asked, “Are you wearing a bra?”

How is an eight year old supposed to know what a bra is?

I asked my Mum, “What’s a bra?” She just looked down my top, squealed with joy in her voice and said, “It’s time to go shopping, you DO have little boobies”.

Really? Like, really? At the age of eight?

There was no turning back from there. I was an early “bloomer” (as some people put it). Not long afterwards a year 7 boy said I looked like Shannon Doherty from Beverly Hills 90210.

On my expedition later that week to buy a bra with my Mum, a girl in my brother’s year level asked me, “How’s your new boyfriend Tom?”

My mother instantly slapped me across the face and I burst into tears.

I am from a first generation migrant family and I wasn’t supposed to know boys existed until marriage. It was also the 1980s and hitting children wasn’t frowned upon.

So my first experience of being “liked” didn’t turn out so well. As you can imagine, I developed an unhealthy body and sexual image of myself at a young age. Was it because I had boobs? Did I really start to look like Shannon?

I didn’t want to be pretty. I didn’t want to get into trouble.

It didn’t get better as I got older. My boobs grew bigger, my face became prettier and more boys and men noticed me as I reached my teens and young adulthood.

I struggled in a few unhealthy relationships growing up. I didn’t know if it was due to my looks or maybe I wasn’t compatible with the men I dated.

I wasn’t redirected to focus on the more important aspects in life, rather than the external attributes I possessed. I found it hard to embrace the way I looked. I grew up getting compliments. I still do.

But I’m 30 now. I have two beautiful daughters and my husband would say they look like me. And although my face is ageing slowly, I’m embracing every minute I have this face. More importantly, I focus my daughters’ attention on how well they can read, count, play, and show love, affection and manners. The looks are a given but they don’t determine the level of success you possess as a human being.

Women are the biggest critics and the most supportive beings towards one another. Mothers have the biggest impacts on their daughters. I’m blessed to have mine and blessed to be one now.

Aurora S is a woman, lover, friend and mother with a passion for lifelong learning. She has a serious job but doesn’t take life too seriously.

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