What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
I used to feel bad about the size of my areolas. They're like half-dollars. Considering I have a pretty substantial breast, this makes sense. Wouldn't I look silly with a tiny little bunny nose of pink smack dab in the middle of my D cups? Sort of like how I wouldn't be able to walk if my Amazonian frame wasn't supported by some big ol' size 10 feet.
I have also had moments of insecurity about the two or three stray hairs that sprout continually from the same area. The nice thing about getting older is that I no longer really give a damn about impressing anyone with my smooth, hairless nipples, but I do wish someone had told me that it was totally normal to have an areola that sometimes resembles a witch's wart.
But the one thing that it never occured to me to feel self-conscious about is my bumpy nipples. I don't know, it just somehow escaped my notice during those years of adolescent body hazing. Then, last year, Kim Kardashian posed nude for W Magazine, and I was first introduced to the phrase "Braille nipples." It was not typed kindly. The gist was that no one wants to see Kim K's "fat ass" and "gross Braille nipples."
Really? We're supposed to feel bad about our nipple bumps, too? (For the record, Kim's body looks almost supernaturally amazing in that photograph.)
Even this article, about a group of French scientists who have potentially discovered the biological purpose of the bumps, refers to them as "a source of self-consciousness for women, and the butt of jokes for comedians." Dude, we were born this way! (The Lady Gaga song I think was actually about nipple bump.)
Anyway the bumps, which are known technically as Montgomery's glands, apparently secrete compounds that stimulate babies to breastfeed. And yes, they are named after some dude named Montgomery who was into boobs. According to Wikipedia: "His papers and studies were focused on the breast, in particular changes to the nipple and areola." I bet they were.
I am continually shocked by the fact that there is no female body part too small or obscure to be scrutinized for attractiveness. Remember the Megan Fox's thumbs scandal of 2009?
In short, yes, Lea, your nipples are normal. Our society is not.