Posted by Srushti G
“Men naturally fall for bustier women because of evolutionary instincts. Bigger breasts signify that the woman is mature and can bear children, rather healthy children, and even if some men do not want children, their instinct kicks in, making them fall for the bustier ones.”
I have heard this kind of a statement every now and then, and it never fails to baffle me. I do not know what is more baffling here, the ignorance or the confidence with which it is placed. Yet, I also know that there was a point I did believe it to be true because of having heard it from a sexually experienced colleague.
While women are body shamed for every aspect of them—from skin tone, to body hair to the fat they have on their bodies—statements like these go beyond just the outer image. These statements here, imply that a woman’s fertility depends on how much fat they carry around their chest, or in their mammary glands. And if you’re ‘flat’, then no cis-gendered man will give you affection and you should only blame yourself because men will be men and they are only acting by instinct.
Going by this statement itself, a woman who is well to do in the curves she owns and carries, must be fertile right?
But how true is that either?
The curves that a woman has—her breasts, buttocks, thighs, even chin and stomach area—often depend on a host of factors like genetics, disorders that they may have gotten, onset of puberty, etc. PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a hormonal condition affecting 1 in every 5 Indian women. And with PCOS comes difficulty conceiving, weight gain and issues losing the weight to name a few things, given the complications of the syndrome. A thyroid issue too can cause immense weight gain, and only hormones are to blame.
In a situation like this, how fair is it to say that every curvy woman should be loved for she will provide children?
Sometimes, all that a statement like that does, is place unfair expectations on the shoulders of women who do not wish to bear any children or are actually bearing the weight of not being able to conceive if they wished to, along with the added pressure of the immense changes to be made to their lifestyles, while feeling completely unworthy due to the societal expectations and almost as though that they did this to themselves, by not fitting into a man’s narrative of what an ideal woman is.
A report from 2019 suggests that Sexual and Reproductive Health is highly ignored in India for women. While this is true, incidents such as that of Boys Locker Room that happened in April 2020 makes us realize that sex education amongst children from when they hit puberty or even a bit before is of extreme importance too. Some research about breasts and evolutionary instincts is enough to make one see how this is a complete hoax. On thinking in depth, one realizes how so many of these things are actually said simply to fit the male narrative, supported by patriarchy. It is always somehow the woman’s fault, especially when it comes to reproductive issues.
For ages, only women were blamed if a couple could not conceive. In India, this narrative is still very prevalent. There exists terrible hormone treatments from those who aren’t well-versed with medicine but love to prey on people’s paranoia and fear, but very often these are directed towards women. Some local miscreants even suggest alternatives, only to rape the women before sending them back, and once they’re impregnated, it’s a celebration simply because they can now bear a child.
We like to claim that we are past that; that we are progressive people. But narratives like these mentioned above pull us centuries behind. When all you can see, when a woman is in front of you, is how curvy she is, and all you do is objectify, there’s only so much hope left. When attraction to someone is based simply off of superficial features which are often beyond the control of the woman in question, and objectification gets justified with fake narratives of evolution so that men’s desires aren’t questioned, and so that they aren’t held accountable, there’s a lot there that needs to be unpacked.
Evolution involves evolving, in the first place. There was definitely a point when women were only objects, only a mere tool to carry children and continue families ahead. But we’ve evolved or so we claimed better narratives for our bodies, yet here we are—building faux narratives to justify the behaviour that is not excusable. Certain comments should not be made, and body shaming is wrong as a whole, but shaming someone and making them feel everything is wrong with them inside out for something beyond their control because they do not fit a fake narrative, is even worse. These are statements made lightly to defend objectifying.
But how many such ‘light’ incidents does it take till it becomes ‘boys will be boys’ and ‘men will be men’?
Does it take the national media level of instances for things to be brought to everyone’s attention?
Do we not see these buds growing of misogyny and casual objectification around us?
And how long till we start snapping these buds before they become complete growths?
Where do we start, and why not now?
Srushti is an industrial Design practitioner with an equal soft spot for both Beauty Industry and Sustainability. She hopes to combine them together someday. She is passionate about working on social causes and sustainable ventures. She is also a regular night owl, and an occasional writer. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter.