Mental Health, Student Life

And God Said, “Let There Be Titty Shirts”

One of my favorite shirts is a low cut, cropped wrap top that’s ruched on the side. It’s comfortable as hell while still managing to make me look put together and rarely needs any readjustment throughout the day. Rarely do I wear it though, the first day I ever sported the top growing increasingly more and more self conscious. By my mother’s standards, it’s too revealing of a shirt. It cradles my breasts too well, makes my waist look too tiny, too slim.

I remember the influx of eyes glued to my chest as I walked through campus, just trying to get to Calculus. As if a target was drawn on my chest, I faced a bombardment of hungry eyes that seemed to undress me with their stare and glares from other womxn for being so bold to accentuate my features. The day was long, full of anxiety for how other students were looking at me. The boys in my Calculus class spoke softer to me, as if their throats were clogged by my chest. The whole day felt as if I was on display, instead of enjoying my outfit and going about my classes.

Campus fashion itself is an odd social category within student life. Any resemblance of effort is associated with a lack of intelligence and passivity instead of a source of strength. Recently, I’ve tried to combat this predicament by not caring and dressing however I like, strolling through campus as if I owned it (might as well do with how much I pay for tuition) and letting the sunshine hit all the right places. This sense of self slowly dissipates as the day continues: trying to be confident when you’re actually self conscious is a tiring act. As the sun starts to set, I worry about how much I’m showing. I worry I’m going to be grabbed by a stranger. I blame myself for looking good.

This cycle repeats everyday, as I attempt to break free from trauma and anxiety ruling my entire life. Everyday I wear a low cut shirt, I slowly develop more and more confidence within myself and my ability to rule my own life.

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