fashion

A singer rocked up on a red carpet with 'saggy breasts'. But that's what real boobs look like.

This week, a woman named Tanerélle Stephens made headlines after walking the blue carpet for the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards.

The American singer and actress attended the event celebrating the achievements of people of colour in the entertainment industry wearing an embroidered black and white Batani-Khalfani dress with a low V neckline and a cape that flowed down her back.

Some crucial facts to note: this woman was fully clothed. There was no side vag, or naked dress. No cultural appropriation or political statement. Tanerélle’s vulva was securely tucked away from view.

Side note – here’s some fun (and not so fun) facts about big boobs. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

The problem, some critics felt, was her breasts. You see, Tanerélle chose not to wear a bra that day.

Thus, her boobs were a bit saggy. They just… hung there. No support and out of control.

Mass confusion ensued. Had she fallen victim to an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction? Had one of her bra straps busted just as she was about to step out of the car? Had her stylist forgotten to tape her breasts up ready for public consumption?

Tanerélle
Tanerélle on the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards blue carpet on Monday. Image: Getty.
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Tanerélle
Note Tanerélle has breasts, and they're in her dress. Image: Getty.

Following all the confusion, Tanerélle addressed the criticism of her saggy breasts on social media, explaining there had been no error. She simply thought her breasts looked better in the dress that way.

"According to some I missed a critical step yesterday when getting ready," she wrote alongside two photos from her red carpet appearance.

"What they don’t know is I literally had a fat ass piece of [breast tape] stuck from the bottom of my left boob to the top of my shoulder, looked at it and made a conscious decision to take it off because I actually loved the way my natural breasts looked in comparison to the “perfect” option... last time I checked, what I thought about how I look was all that mattered, so I’m gonna keep going with that cause it’d be f**king impossible to please EVERYONE when it comes to ME."

 

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According to some I missed a critical step yesterday when getting ready. What they don’t know is I literally had a fat ass piece of tape stuck from the bottom of my left boob to the top of my shoulder, looked at it & made a conscious decision to take it off because I actually loved the way my natural breasts looked in comparison to the “perfect” option....last time I checked what I thought about how I look was all that mattered, so I’m gonna keep going with that cause it’d be fucking impossible to please EVERYONE when it comes to ME. I can’t be everyone’s favorite and I don’t wanna be, but as long as I’m able to go home and feel yummy about myself, especially from the self hate that I’ve spent my life growing out of...I’m fucking GOOD. What I do care about is noticing that so many women are still stuck in a daze of self hate, people pleasing and projecting how you feel about you in an attempt to make someone feel the same. What I care about is that there are women out there still allowing the male gaze to determine their worth and what they can and can’t do. This reminder of socialized minds in regards to a woman’s body always rocks me a bit, but it’s not gonna knock me down. It just intensifies my mission of pushing self care and self love even more. You owe it to yourself to at least try to embrace the parts of you you don’t like because someone else said you shouldn’t. Your body, no matter what it looks like is doing all it can everyday to keep you alive and thriving, that to me deserves all the fucking love and care I can give, so I’m gonna. Cheers to the tits!!! small tits, big tits, fake tits, no tits, all tits! And cheers to being a fucking woman. InWomenWeTrust ????????

A post shared by Tanerélle (@tanerelle) on

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Tanerélle continued to say, while she's worked hard to be happy with the way her body looks, there are so many women out there "still stuck in a daze of self hate, people pleasing and projecting how you feel about you in an attempt to make someone feel the same."

"What I care about is that there are women out there still allowing the male gaze to determine their worth and what they can and can’t do. This reminder of socialized minds in regards to a woman’s body always rocks me a bit, but it’s not gonna knock me down. It just intensifies my mission of pushing self care and self love even more," she said.

"You owe it to yourself to at least try to embrace the parts of you you don’t like because someone else said you shouldn’t. Your body, no matter what it looks like, is doing all it can everyday to keep you alive and thriving, that to me deserves all the f**king love and care I can give, so I’m gonna. Cheers to the tits!!! small tits, big tits, fake tits, no tits, all tits! And cheers to being a f**king woman."

In a second post, Tanerélle also thanked her fans who were inspired to share their personal experiences with body dysmorphia, body shaming, defeats and victories.

 

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A woman choosing to celebrate herself and women around the world creating a buzz like this shows just how much we need it and I look forward to the day where we won’t. I am so full of love and gratitude. Thank you for all of your messages and stories about your personal experiences with body dysmorphia, body shaming, defeats and victories. Each one of y’all are so fucking beautiful in every fucking way and I am so blessed to witness your light. Situations like this encourage me to continue fighting and pushing through regardless of wanting to give up sometimes. Sending so much love and yumminess to you all. (sidenote celebratory moment a bish is in @vogue and I’m trippin) InWomenWeTrust❤️????

A post shared by Tanerélle (@tanerelle) on

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"Each one of y’all are so f**king beautiful in every f**king way and I am so blessed to witness your light. Situations like this encourage me to continue fighting and pushing through regardless of wanting to give up sometimes."

While the way Tanerélle's breasts looked on that red carpet ultimately came down to a decision of comfort (have you ever tried to wear boob tape? It's... sticky), there's a bigger message we can take away from how alarmed some were by the sight of saggy breasts.

This is what real breasts look like.

I get it. It can be confusing for people because some owners of breasts walk around with them strapped up to a height society deems preferable with the help of a bra. Sometimes, women even hitch their boobs up with strapping tape (or like this writer once did, electrical tape) to give the illusion of perfect, pushed together cleavage.

See?

 

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Every woman has the power to present her breasts to the world in whatever way she likes, but it's important to acknowledge those decisions are often guided by the round, symmetrical boobs all around us - in magazines, in advertisements, on Instagram, and up nice and close in porn.

But the reality is, breasts sag. So much so, there's a whole social media movement dedicated to it.

It's called #SaggyBoobsMatter and it was started by Instagram influencer and author Chidera Eggerue, who goes by The Slumflower..

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Sweet girl ❤️❤️❤️ #saggyboobsmatter

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It’s so hot outside I had to garden in this ! #toohot #shovelingdirt #fannypack #pickaxehandler #saggyboobsmatter

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#SAGGYBOOBSMATTER

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Breasts sag because a woman can go from wearing crop tops to a DD bra overnight thanks to puberty.

Breasts sag because they grow and produce milk to provide sustenance and life to babies.

Breasts sag because as we age, our skin loses its strength, and boobs are bloody heavy.

And sometimes, breasts are just saggy.

They can also be small, pointy, round, droopy, deflated, bouncy, flat, perky, lopsided, spread out, covered in stretch marks, with pointy nipples or flat nipples, cosmetically enhanced, taken by breast cancer, or saggy.

So, can we please all agree to leave saggy breasts alone?

Actually, make that all breasts.

What do you think about Tanerélle's BET Awards red carpet look? Tell us in the comments.

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