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Ask Rene: HELP! I’m Flat-Chested!

Hi Rene:

I’m 14-years-old and totally flat-chested! My mom tells me all the time, not to worry about it but I can’t help it. All the girls in my class have a little something up there, every, single one of them. I’m a runner and my mom says that is why I don’t have much up top. I trust my mom and her opinion but it doesn’t seem fair; there are other people on our team who run just as much as I do and they aren’t suffering like I am.  Mom says that I should look within for my beauty, but is it too much to ask to be beautiful on the inside and still look like a girl?

Just call me:

Barely Busty

Hi BB:

Thank you for your kind words and thank you for entrusting me with this delicate issue.  Okay, first things first, DON’T PANIC! You’re going to go through a lot of changes, many of them in just the next couple of years so the person (on the outside, specifically) may look pretty different in just a few short years.  Okay, so here’s how I see it.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU ARE: BB, runners and all other elite athletes are known for not having very much body fat and breast tissue is made up of glands and fat. So if you don’t have a lot of body fat all over, it stands to reason you wouldn’t have a lot filling out a bikini top either. But you know how else I know? Because I ran on my high school track team too. Suffice it to say, I was probably an “A” cup until the day I graduated. Not all the girls on the team were like me; as in life itself, there are exceptions to every rule. But the majority of them looked like I did. You might want to have your mom make an appointment with your doctor just to double check you are progressing as you should.

YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE:  Your mother and I have not collaborated on this answer nor is this part of the big big book of parenting, but she is right. While body image is very important, who you are on the inside is what matters most.  I have a number of friends with completely different body types; some with ample bosom and some with bodies with far less.  You know what? I love them all, despite their cup size. It doesn’t make any one of them any less dynamic, energetic, lovable, or friendly.  If you look at your friends, I’ll bet you’d think the same thing.

YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE: As much as I loved my own breasts and they served me and my children well, when they turned on me I decided they had to go. See my mother and father had breast cancer and I elected to have a double mastectomy; in other words, I took my own breasts off BEFORE I got cancer. Now while I made this choice for medical reasons it hasn’t changed one thing about me except my bra size. I’m still the same, goofy, imperfect mother. I’m no less a woman to my husband and no less a mother to my kids.  Yes it was a sacrifice but bottom line, for me and my family, it was better for the “whole” of me to be here and a couple of parts missing than the other way around.

Listen, BB,  keep running.  Keep being a wonderful young lady.  And remember we all have our issues in high school. It’s natural and as time passes we grow and learn. There are those who will pass you by because of your shape; let them keep on walking. You want the person who loves your heart, your smile, and all the other things that make you, you.  And if one of those things is a small chest, so be it!  You are good enough the way you are!

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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