Seeing as the human race hasn't quite reached the stage of getting over female nipples yet, boobs tend to stay fairly covered up in day to day life – and as a result, you probably don't see many of 'em up close and personal day to day. Unless you're reeeeeal lucky anway... *wiggly eyebrows*.
So when it comes to knowing what's normal about your OWN boobs, things can get a bit confusing. But have no fear, oh boobalicious one, because it's pretty likely that the parts of your boobs which YOU reckon are weird actually aren't in the slightest bit strange. So there.
Here's 10 things you might not be too sure about, but are in fact totally normal when it comes to breasticles.
1. They're different sizes
Newsflash ladies, 99.9% of all females will have boobs that aren't completely symmetrical. It's SUPER likely that one of 'em is bigger than the other and hardly anyone was a perfectly matching pair. Statistically, it's more likely that it'll be your left, because hypersensitivity of the immune system's left side leads to 65% of women having a larger left breast. So there you go, definitely don't sweat this one.
2. They've got stretch marks
Stretch marks are thin red or whitish streaks that nearly all girls have somewhere on their body. They might appear on your tatas if your skin has been stretched by a growth spurt, such as during puberty and pregnancy or after gaining weight. It relies a bit on your genetics and your skin's elasticity, and unfortunately they never go away (although they do fade a LOT over time). You can get creams and body butters to help their appearance, but the best thing to do is embrace them. They're tiger stripes, duh. And definitely DON'T worry about what someone might think of them when you're getting your kit off. They'll be very much distracted by the general naked boob action going on, and won't be giving your stretch marks a second glance.
3. There's a bit of hair going on
Also not a big deal. Hair around the nipples is linked to hormonal changes, and can even be a side effect of birth control pills so a few stray strands shouldn't freak you out. In certain situations, though, a condition known as hirsuitism can occur where a lot of hair grows, and this can stem from medical diagnoses like polycystic ovaries and Cushing syndrome. So while a few hairs isn't anything to stress about (and can be sorted if you're really bothered by them), a whole lot of 'em should get you to the GP.
4. The nipples are too big or too small
The size of your nipples means literally nothing. No-thing. All nipples are unique in their own special ways, and there's generally four different types that they'll fall under - raised, flat, puffy or inverted. ALL NIPPLES ARE EQUALLY LOVELY, and your body has made them that size to suit you perfectly. No worries.
5. The nipples look a strange colour
Same goes for this one - they're all different and that includes colour variation. Whether your nips are pale enough to see your blue veins, or are a super dark shade of brown, there's no need to stress because it's not indicative of health in any way. If you're worried about having healthy nipples, just keep an eye out for rashes, crusting or lesions. The only exception here is if they've suddenly turned red. If you don't know why they're significantly red, it's probably worth getting 'em checked by the doc.
6. Your nipples don't stick out
Also normal for a lot of gals, y'know. It depends a lot on your genetics, but inverted nipples also can just happen during your life. It's estimated that 10 to 20 percent of the female population have inverted nipples, which is when the nipples indent in the areola instead of standing above the breasts surface. You can normally still breast feed and if it really bothers you and affects your confidence, surgery is an option for inverted nipples. All you need to know is that if the inversion occurs as an adult, that's when you need to seek medical attention as the physical change can be a symptom of breast cancer.
7. There's little bumps around your nipples
OOOH hello, time to talk Montgomery's glands. Yes, they have a fancy name. The areola is the pink/brown/whatever colour pigmented area surrounding the nipple, which then has these tubercles called Montgomery's glands that look like bumps. They're NORMAL sebaceous glands and can vary in number from a few to dozens. No one's got a bloody clue what the point of them is, but theories have suggested that they exist to help guide infants to the nipple to breast feed. Cute.
8. They get itchy
First thing's first, make sure you're moisturising your bod after showering to keep your skin hydrate and reduce dryness-induced itching. It could also be the material your bra's made from - itching plus redness could be a skin allergy. However, keep an eye out for red, scaly skin that's itchy, which could be a skin yeast infection that a doctor needs to check out. Same goes for itchy scaliness or thickening on your nipples - they're worth double checking with a GP.
9. They're a weird shape, or kind of like cones
Boobs are fun no matter their shape or size, and just like we've said a million times before in this article, everyone's boobies are different. NOT WEIRD. You can alter their shape and appearance by investing in the right bra - for example, a slightly padded contour bra will push them up or creat cleavage, while conical boobs can be shaped with molded cups to make them more spherical.
10. They feel a bit lumpy
That's probably because the stuff they're made of is lumpy. Sometimes it can be emphasised in your pre-period week, and both caffeine and salt make you retain fluid, so cutting out the coffee can reduce swelling a little. BUT, the golden rule is that if you detect a lump in a fixed spot that doesn't change with your cycle (and you should be checking yourself regularly, too), then you must get it examined by a professional.