Story on Feeling Insecure
City: Los Angeles
I finally didn't feel so alone in my nipple-haired ways.
I've had a long history of insecurity with my breasts. It started at age 12. I was showering with my friends topless when one girl pointed out my nipples were darker than everyone else's. The group of girls began calling me "Indian Nipples," a nickname that followed me throughout high school, even when my breasts were covered. I laughed, trying not to be sensitive. But the reality was I felt flawed; I felt different.
At age 23, during a break up, my soon-to-be ex said, "You know what? Your boobs suck and you don't take care of your nipple hair enough."
See, my "Indian Nipples" sprouted hair sometime post college. With my darker complexion comes my thicker hair. I held my boobs as he put his belongings in a bag. I felt gross. I felt masculine and ugly.
I write essays about most things and certainly about breakups, so I wrote an essay chronicling the mean things my ex said. I read the essay out loud to my neighbor and her boyfriend. As I began to read underneath our lemon tree, I thought about withholding the line around my nipple hair. They didn't need to know my secret. I said it anyway, softening my voice so they might not hear the line.
My neighbor grabbed my arm as I finished the line. "That's fucked up. So many women have nipple hair."
"Yeah, she has nipple hair; I don't care." Her boyfriend confirmed.
I took a deep breath, smiled, and continued reading. Those comments were probably fleeting for them but meant everything to me. I finally didn't feel so alone in my nipple-haired ways.
I'm not going to lie and say I never have insecurities anymore. I made out with a guy last month after not hooking up with a boy for 10 months, and when he took off my shirt my first thought was, "Fuck, I def haven't looked at what's going on with my nipples in a while." But I'm working on it, understanding a body is just a body, and one's imperfections are just a perspective.