Saturday, August 14, 2010

Beware Of Boobs

While I was growing up, most of my girlfriends dreamed of having big boobs, but I was different: I already had them and I wished I didn't.

I think that at least some of my issues with my body began with my large breasts. I started developing when I was about eight years old and needed a bra by the time I was 10. I refused to wear one, though. Fourth grade was the year when we had to start changing in the gym locker room and I didn't want to look like a freak in front of the other girls. I wore an undershirt in place of a bra ... but that didn't work, because I looked like a freak, anyway, due to the fact that I was the only girl who had a woman's body. In fact, I can remember very vividly how one of the other girls announced, "Oh my God, you have like REAL boobs! You need a bra!"

Still, I refused to wear one until sixth grade. At this point, my friends and I were experimenting with makeup and wearing more grown-up looking outfits, so my bra was no longer a source of shame. In fact, I was rather proud of the way I looked -- probably one of the few times in my life when I have been, actually. I had a crush on the cutest guy in our class and I think he liked me back, even though he never admitted it because I was considereed a "brain" and he was a "jock." But during picture day, he took me aside and told me that I looked pretty -- and then eyeing my chest -- "like a real lady." I look like a complete dork in my picture, by the way, because I'm sporting a goofy, love-sick grin.

By high school, as you know, I had all kinds of issues with my weight and with eating, but I never minded having boobs. Mine were a perfect size, about a B-plus, and could fill out a shirt without being too big. Sure, I wanted to whittle myself away to nothing, but wanted my boobs to stay!

Then I began to gain weight and they started to become a real pain, literally and figuratively. As they expanded, they sagged, and my back ached. My shirts never seemed to fit right and my chest hung at an odd angle. Suddenly, I wished I weren't so well-endowed and could have a naturally thin, boyish figure.

These days, I have mixed feelings about them. As I lose weight, they're getting their normal non-saggy shape back, though I'm a bit concerned about how, at 36, my body will adjust to them. When I lose enough weight, will they hang there like pancakes? Will I need surgery? I hope not ... but I'm preparing for the worst.

Then there are times when they can be downright embarrassing, such as yesterday. I was wearing a V-neck T-shirt, so you could see a bit of my cleaveage; no big deal, right? Well, as I was eating my lunch, a grape fell into my chest and got lost somewhere in the cavernous expanse of my cleavage and my bra. I had to dig around to fish this thing out -- and of course, that's when one of my co-workers enters my office. I don't know if the person noticed, but I felt pretty silly feeling myself up!

Sure, it's a funny story now, but I can't say that I'll miss this sort of thing -- of being embarrassed by my body or having it humiliate me in ways I'd never expect. I'm sure that when I'm thinner, I'll still do embarassing things, but I'd at least like to have more control over it.

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