Love Rants: Is It Ever Okay to Look at Someone’s Boobs?

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Hi, I’m Laura and I love to rant about love. Love is a curious thing and it can be embarrassing to talk about because we’re at our most vulnerable when we’re considering love. But I want to talk about all of it. Follow me as I write this column, Love Rants, a monthly exclusive on POPSUGAR AU. Let’s rant!

One night a few weeks ago, I was at a dinner party with people I didn’t know that well when the topic of boobs came up.

“Oh my God, the guy at the bottle shop glanced at my boobs so obviously when I was buying wine for tonight,” one girl said.

“It was so awkward and uncomfortable,” she continued, “I just wanted to tell him to f*ck off.”

This girl was super pretty. She had soft bangs, perfectly winged eyeliner and an infectious laugh. She was wearing a low-cut long black dress and I’ll be honest; she had great boobs.

Now, I totally respect that she didn’t want someone to look at her boobs uninvited, but should we really be mad at people for looking without our permission? I thought about it.

Then she turned to me, the other big-boobed girl at the table, and said: “You know what I’m talking about. You must get it a lot, too. It’s so frustrating.”

I sat there, not really knowing how to respond (which is quite unlike me) because she was right, it does happen to me often. But unless the intent is clearly vulgar, gross and/or disrespectful, I actually don’t mind when people look at my boobs.

Perhaps it’s because I’m bisexual, I thought. Not only do I think that boobs are beautiful, magical things, but I’m also sexually attracted to them, which perhaps gives me an additional perspective on how heterosexual men feel when they’re faced with boobs.

Then, there’s this question of why heterosexual men famously find it so hard to not look at boobs? I think it’s because they were taught that boobs are “naughty”. They’re this forbidden part of a woman that you’re only supposed to see when you have sex and are in a relationship of some kind (even if it’s a one time thing), which actually totally undoes all the amazing work we’ve done around female empowerment and body positivity.

In these progressive movements towards gender equality, we’re looking to stop feeling shame for the things that patriarchal society has led us to feel shameful about, such as getting naked, not wearing a bra, talking openly about periods, initiating sex and wearing low-cut dresses.

So then, in a world of female empowerment and shameless body positivity, wouldn’t we be like, “yeah these are my boobs, aren’t they beautiful?”, instead of rolling our eyes and cursing under our breath that anyone who dares to look?

I mean, of course, there are scenarios where people looking at your body in certain ways that we — as women — are taught to accept as normal, are just purely objectifying. When people look at you as though they’d like to eat you and don’t care about your feelings, or where they say something truly horrifying that clearly shows that they value you solely based on your physical assets. Of course, those experiences should not be tolerated and are worthy of more than an eye roll and verbal smear at the dinner table.

But I would say that many, if not most of the times I catch people looking at my boobs, they’re doing so in sheer awe and wonder — and honestly, I love it. I’ve worked hard at feeling good about my body and at my internal dialogue, so now when someone checks me out, or looks at my boobs, I think “yeah, you are”, instead of “omg, is that all I’m worth?”.

I turned to face this girl, sitting at the other end of the table to me, with her infectious laugh, low-cut long dress and gorgeous boobs.

“I think boobs deserved to be looked at,” I said. “They’re a work of art.”

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