Thoughts On… Breasts

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So apparently breasts are back in fashion, according to a moronic article in the New York Post.

This is excellent news, since much like my arms, legs and head, I’ve been foolishly lugging my breasts around for years now without a thought as to whether or not they were popular. I didn’t even realise they had gone out of fashion. I thought they were body parts, not accessories.

My bad.

That being said, for the past few years I have been noticing a distinct scarcity in clothing that caters for my cleavage, so maybe that’s what they mean. Dress shopping – something I’ve had to take part in recently – is an actual nightmare. Brand name dresses were clearly designed with twelve-year old boys’ figures in mind. High street fashion requires me to breathe out and then never breathe in again, otherwise seams are in serious danger of popping. Urban Outfitters in particular seems to cater exclusively for girls with slim figures and breasts the size of mandarins. I know this because I tried on about five dresses there and each of them had a band of fabric fitted in the chest area – presumably for my chest – that was so narrow it covered only the middle, leaving not only underboob but also overboob, which is not a good look for anybody, ever.

Dresses that look demure on other people look indecent on me. Dresses that look slinky on other people are downright unwearable.

Did I mention I hate shopping for dresses?

And it’s not just dresses.

Backless or sheer “tops”, strappy anything with long armholes, bralettes that might as well be stitched together from scraps of tissue paper… the past year has not been kind to anyone with more than a B cup. So maybe some people out there did have a vendetta against large breasts and I just attributed to stupidity what I should have attributed to malice.

My own feelings on my breasts are… mixed.

My mother is not well-endowed, and has always equated my generous cup size with being overweight. Growing up, dressing me was all about minimising them. Anything that made them look smaller or hid them was considered attractive. Anything that emphasized my curves provoked the same reaction I imagine I would have elicited with a casual bit of public nudity. On a Sunday. In a church.

The body-shaming was real in my house.

Anything with even the slightest hint of visible cleavage made me look “fat” and “attention-seeking.” Actual cleavage was “pornographic” and “desperate.” For a long, long time I internalised all this claptrap, nestling it down deep next to a tiny seed of confidence that had yet to sprout.

Today, not only am I more confident in myself, but I also just care more about my own comfort than I care about others’ opinions. I still hear that insidious voice when I wear clothes that expose the indecent fact that I (clutch your rosary beads) have breasts – a slowly-but-surely withering part of me feels uncomfortable and fat and desperate and gross in a way that I know isn’t necessarily rooted in reality – but now I just shut it up with black eyeliner and high heels.

Which is all to say that I for one welcome this fabled return of breasts.

Not that they ever left.

 

Open Letter To My Body

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Dear Body,

I feel like you and I are not on the same wavelength these days, so I thought I’d write you a quick note. You know, just to check in.

We’ve had some communication issues this past while. Or maybe you’re mad at me? It really could be either. I know a steady diet of Honey Monster Puffs* and tea probably isn’t the best and most nutritious form of sustenance. Also I doubt my soft spot for chocolate peanuts is helping matters. Still, did you have to go and get a full-body common cold yesterday? Was that necessary? You know we have a wedding to attend tomorrow, and now we both feel awful. I really feel like you’re letting me down.

Also, what’s with the knee thing? You know I was excited by the idea of becoming one of those bouncy people you see on the street who never stop hopping from foot to foot, even at traffic lights. I was ready. I was going to be a jogger! But you were very much against the idea from the start. I get that now. I heard you loud and clear after the seventh time my right knee buckled on the stairs. So my question for you now is what do you want me to do?

I thought I was doing the right thing by you by exercising, but now I see you’re really not a fan of Duracell bunny running, and every time I try it, you take it out on me in the form of making my knee buckle at inappropriate moments. The only time I’ve ever read of buckling knees has been in trashy novels where the heroine is constantly having her legs give way from lust, and I would just like to make it clear that I’m okay with lust-induced knee-buckling. I’m fine with that. In fact, I welcome it.

Really.

But … this other damn-I-forgot-how-to-use-my-legs buckling that momentarily makes me look a bit like a less cute version of the Little Mermaid walking for the first time? I’m not okay with it. So… Fine. I’ll stop the running, if you stop the knee buckling. I mean, I don’t really mind because it doesn’t hurt, but it’s a little embarrassing to unexpectedly fold like Mr. Soft from the Mentos ad.

So.

Jogging.

But we can’t just do nothing. What about dancing? What about krav maga? What about the pilates we did at the beginning of the year? Remember that? That was fun! We got to wear Flashdance-style wristbands! Would you prefer it if we went back to that? I don’t remember any collapsible knee moments after that class.

I’m willing to work together on this, so just let me know. I’m open to suggestions.

… But for now, could we kick the cold please?

Yours hopefully,

Q.

*[Sidenote which almost turned into a post of its own]: I actually thought these were called Sugar Puffs, but when I googled them I was redirected to Wikipedia’s page on Honey Monster Puffs, which has this intriguing note stickied at the top:

[This article is about the cereal. For the oldest living horse until 2007, see Sugar Puff.]

Which, I mean… naturally I clicked on that. Who wouldn’t? Unfortunately, there was no full and vivid biography of Sugar Puff the pony, only a note that said he lived to the ripe old age of 56, so of course I had to dig deeper. Here are the results of my investigation:

Sugar Puff was a dark brown pony who lived in England with a family who owned a riding school. At Christmas, they would let him inside the house. Yes, inside. Like, into the kitchen, or maybe into the living room to open his presents from Santa? I’m not sure how this worked in practice. Upsettingly, there are no photographs provided of Sugar Puff pulling a christmas cracker with his teeth. He was put down by a vet at the age of 56 when his organs started to fail. It doesn’t say, but I have to assume they buried him in the garden.

So.

There you have it.

The more you know!