All boobs are good boobs. Big or small, round or bell-shaped, perky or pendulous, a boob’s a boob…right?
For many women bombarded with Victoria Secret push-up ads, images of celebrities with plastic surgery, male-directed films and media, and rising pressure from social media to look perfect from any angle, it’s not so easy.
The natural tug of gravity can cause a sense of shame and self-loathing, but blogger Chidera Eggerue (a.k.a. The Slumflower) is smashing the negativity and encouraging other women to do the same.
Chidera is by no means new to lending her social media platforms and her voice to causes she believes in. The previous creator of #BlockHimParty has been an outspoken and opinionated advocate of her core values (“Knowing Your Worth,” “Finding Your Peace,” and “Owning Your Beauty”) through her blog, Twitter, and Instagram to her more than 100k followers. Chidera, who hails from South-East London, has also spoken out on key issues like Black Lives Matter and the all-Caucasian Vogue editorial team.
She has made appearances in many world-famous news organizations such as CNN, BET, and i-D and has been named one of the rising, millennial, Black, female voices by various publications, including Elle and The Fader.
#SaggyBoobsMatter launched in July 2017, when Chidera posted a defiant declaration of her confidence. She confided that she hated her body as a teenager and stressed that women should not feel obligated to fit into beauty standards.
She wrote “First of all, women do not exist for the consumption of men. Biologically, our bodies are built for babies. Babies don’t care about how perky your boobs are; they just wanna be fed. Men aren’t and will never be in a position to tell women ‘how to be a woman’. Impressing men isn’t even a goal worth making.”
"My body matured faster than my mind did. I never got the opportunity to celebrate my teenage body because I was too busy picking it apart and condemning it, even though it was doing its best. If I could go back in time, I'd make peace with my spirit sack but the past can't be changed. Although, our perspectives can change and that's exactly what I had to do to arrive at a place of peace within my body…" Read more in my bio. Shot by @ua.x #SaggyBoobsMatter
In the same blog post, she remarked that, even today, people are astounded when she wears an outfit without a bra. She also expressed the need for more saggy boob representation, saying
“If I had seen women with saggy boobs being glorified for their beauty, I wouldn’t have developed a complex as a very young teanager…the more your image is normalized; the less of a spectacle your reflection is; the more comfortable you will be in your body…”
She ended the post with a call to action, to take inspiration and confidence in her bold, beautiful, braless photos.
how to style saggy boobs: a tutorial
step 1 – wear the damn outfit.
— THE SLUMFLOWER (@theslumflower) October 11, 2017
Since her initial post, #SaggyBoobsMatter has spread across social media, encouraging other women to rock their own body confidence and flaunt their naturally-hanging breasts.
so grateful for the #saggyboobsmatter movement. i’m literally only 18 and the image of my saggy boobs is something i’ve struggled with for years. this is what i needed today
— Molly DeHart (@mollytdehart) February 4, 2018
The hashtag has gained recent popularity for women of all shapes and sizes, and Chidera has stated that she is thrilled to be the catalyst for body acceptance. In a BBC Radio interview, Chidera expressed,
“As a young woman, I started to hide my body and where these unnecessary push-up bras that would be uncomfortable for me just so that I could feel like I fit in and I look appealing…why I chose to do this is because there are other women who don’t yet have the strength in themselves…to love the parts you’ve been taught to dislike…to help other people reach that point.”
— THE SLUMFLOWER (@theslumflower) January 18, 2018
But not all reactions have been positive. Comments range the full scale of nastiness: from body-shaming to more personal attacks.
One notable remark is a malicious meme posted by Don Jazzy, a Nigerian record producer, who has since deleted and apologized for the post.
I love being body shamed and slandered by Nigerian musicians.
— THE SLUMFLOWER (@theslumflower) January 15, 2018
Although she is disappointed, Chidera chooses to take the negative reactions in stride. Having once considered a boob job, she believes that these comments come from a place of ignorance and insecurity.
She told Buzzfeed News,
“By force, we will all have to learn that the only way to normalise something is to see it repeatedly. So if you have an issue with saggy boobs, you have to ask yourself why a person’s body offends you.”
Many people continue to spurn and criticize bodies that fall outside of beauty standards. Often, they cite health concerns or biological and evolutionary predispositions as the root of their disgust.
For example, a 2017 scientific study from Prague’s Charles University suggests that men like firm, medium breasts and see droopiness as a sign of age and decreasing fertility.
Even controversial celebrity Kim Kardashian is not immune to body criticism. Last April, an uproar arose in the tabloids and online after photos of her in a bikini in Mexico showed cellulite on her backside.
men: I want her thick but tummy must be super flat, stay indoors 24/7, never party, must cover up
women: I want my man to be 6'0
— Shocked Meme (@Shockedmeme) March 31, 2017
Still, it seems that the body positivity movement is gaining ground.
Brands like Aerie and CVS, who are taking stands to feature un-retouched images, and plus-size models like Ashley Graham, Olivia Campbell, and Tess Holliday are carving spaces in the fashion industry. More and more, we are seeing diverse bodies represented and celebrated.
The time when only perky, unblemished, and unwrinkled bodies were beautiful is drawing to a close. Now catch me rocking some serious Venus of Willendorf vibes.