Monday, August 26, 2013

The Hidden Part Of Asymmetry Nobody Talks About: The Mental And Emotional Stress

I've spent my entire adult life hiding my asymmetry from the world, and I've done so fairly well.  However, just under the surface there lies a tormenting secret about breast asymmetry: it's mentally and emotionally stressful.

Again, my story with breast asymmetry began before I was 14 years old (I had my first surgery at age 14).  This is a time of a girl's life when she's going through puberty, developing her sexuality, dealing with the weird social dramas of school, and, of course, totally wanting the cutest boy in the school to ask her out.  When you're struggling with breast asymmetry, especially at such a young age, it's almost as if you have a dark cloud hanging over your development.  Now, let's just be honest and forthcoming.  The pre-teen and teenage years are the most awful years for any female, asymmetric or not!  The added stress of uneven breasts doesn't help make things any easier, though.  

Many women, young and old, will relate to what I'm about to write, but this next part is designed for the enlightenment of the friends and family of those afflicted with breast asymmetry.  

When your daughter, sister, friend, etc. is struggling with this boob burden, try to understand what it's like from their side.  The very thing that, upon first impressions, identifies you as a female to the world is deformed.  Your femininity feels challenged, and you do what you can to hide it.  You're insanely self-conscious about people noticing your asymmetry, so you alter your attire, or even your posture, to keep your secret safe.  You almost feel afraid to draw attention to yourself, because then people look at you more and may notice your breasts are uneven.  You feel singled out and lesser than others.  The beautiful girls with even breasts are the ones that will get the attention of the males, and even if you are getting male attention, you're so afraid they'll reject you because of your secret, that you don't even notice their interest in you.  You feel almost as if you're unlovable.  Intimacy becomes a major fear.  How can you be intimate with someone when you'll have to provide an explanation about this huge shock they're in for when your shirt comes off?  You can't just go to the store and grab a cute shirt.  You can't just say, "ohh I want that swimsuit!"  You won't be the girl wearing no bra and a revealing evening gown at any point.  You are afraid to change in the locker room at school.  You don't think you'll ever feel sexy in lingerie.  You feel like Quasimodo, to be honest.  You think that every single time someone is looking at you, they're noticing your breasts.  

And even though it's unrealistic, untrue, and self-destroying, these are just the things you feel on a daily basis.  However, I'm here to tell you that it's all NOT TRUE.  

I was certain that everyone in my high school knew that I had uneven breasts.  I was picked on by several people, but for the most part, I just assumed it was an unspoken knowledge that I, Danielle, was the weirdo with the strange boobs.  As I got older and become more open about my story, it turns out that the entire school did NOT know about my asymmetry, and for the most part, those who did know, DIDN'T CARE.  I realized that all of these feelings of self-loathing were absurd.  Not every person you meet in life is going to be kind and docile.  Yeah, there will always be people who will make fun of you, but you have to brush it off.  In the end, that teasing and embarrassment only makes you stronger.  Those who cave to being taunted and teased are allowing their weakness to get the best of them, and they're letting their bullies know that their self-worth is derived from the people around them.  That should never be the case.  Even if your breast got lobbed off in some horrifying breast-cutting-off accident, that doesn't change who you are.  It can help SHAPE who you BECOME, but it won't just change you overnight.  You'll still like your favorite TV shows, you'll still like your favorite books.  You'll still think that guy with the glasses and the cute smile in your math class is really kinda cute in a geeky sort of way.  Don't cheat yourself from the opportunity to develop yourself and grow into someone beautiful and successful just because you were self-conscious.  Start trying on hundreds of different bras, even if it means breaking down and crying in the dressing room of Victoria's Secret because you're so frustrated.  Try on everything until you just can't take it anymore (then pick up where you left off the next day!), or until you find a bra that hides your asymmetry.  DO NOT QUIT ON YOURSELF.  Who cares if people know you have uneven breasts?  What difference does it make?  Does it mean you cannot ride a roller coaster?  Does it mean you cannot drive a car?  No!  It simply means you have a different sort of struggle to overcome.  

Believe it or not, I actually was dating someone for a while that had NO IDEA I had breast asymmetry.  No idea!  How does that even happen?  I'd actually told him about my asymmetry, but he forgot all about it, and never noticed it even when we were intimate.  

The whole idea about being unloved and unwanted is just a self-induced fear.  I have been with my fiance for just over three years, and we've been engaged since July 2013.  If you'd have asked me a decade ago if I ever thought someone would love me enough to propose to me, I'd have said, "No. I'm broken."  But, the only thing that was broken was my way of thinking.  I finally let someone love me for who I am.  That's the problem with asymmetry; the fear has such a tight grasp on you that it keeps you from allowing someone to love you for who you are.  You might think, "I just want someone to love me."  But the reality is that you subconsciously push them away in fear.  Learn to love yourself with your asymmetry!  Become someone's inspiration!  Don't let your breasts hold you back from being who you want to be in life.  I missed out on doing so many things because I was self-conscious.  Live!  You only get one chance at it!  Tell that cute geek in your math class that he's got a cute smile!  Be flirty!  Draw positive attention to yourself!  Let your beautiful personality be what people see most!  When you hide your personality, all they can see is your asymmetry, your fear, and your low self-esteem.  That's not an image you want to project.  Let them love your personality!  

Don't let breast asymmetry define you.  You want to make an impression with your personality and your boldness.  Sometimes that alone is the best cover-up for asymmetry a girl can ever wear. 


  1. Hi Danielle, my name is Dave and I'm a producer with the Bethenny Frankel daytime TV talk show; please call me when you get this at 212-975-0867; i'm interested in talking to you about a possible segment I'm working on that relates to your article - you can also reach me via e-mail at


  2. Danielle, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing something so personal. You are an inspiration to so many women out there. It's nice to know there is always hope and happiness. And we are not alone. It was my extreme pleasure to meet you today. Best of luck to you and safe travels!!
    XOXOXO Candace@VS