Thanks for the Mammaries!
According to legend, when French explorers first came across a particularly pointy range of snow-capped mountains in the Rockies, they were stunned by their towering beauty. One Frenchman saw resemblance in these mountainous majesties to certain female anatomy and exclaimed, "Tetons!", or breasts. After having seen the Grand Tetons for myself earlier this summer, I can understand how this explorer made such a connection.
But in my 16 or so years in bra-wearing, no man--French explorer, high school boyfriend, stranger on the street--gave me the once-over and was so overcome by the exquisiteness of my bosom that he felt inclined to exclaim anything positive. In fact, my post-puberty years were spent enduring unpleasant euphemisms pertaining to my small breasts. I'd get that once-over and hear terms like "mosquito bites" and "less than a handful". These were typical, although unappreciated, throughout my teenage years, long before I had developed any sense of confidence in my physique.
And as if it didn't already hurt that I had to buy severely-padded brassieres to make it appear to the general public that I was female over the age of 8, an online conversation with a friend from school one night left me feeling downright sorry for myself.
I was a junior and he was a sophomore. We knew each other from orchestra class and were conversing over AIM as we did during study breaks. We could relate to each other because we were both academic over-achievers and immersed ourselves in extra-curriculars. But on this particular night, he was struggling with acceptance of self. When he asked me via AIM what his most detractive characteristic was, I responded with, "You're far too hard on yourself. Take a moment to breathe every now and again." He seemed to agree, said he would try to learn ways to relax, and even acknowledged appreciation.
Not wanting him to feel friendly advice was a one-way street, I typed the same question back to him, figuring he would offer similar input. Instead, my instant messenger screen read, "You're breasts are too small." Choke. Gag. Can't breathe. Seriously, what the hell? My knee-jerk reaction through my typing fingers came out, "How dare you? That's not exactly something I can 'work on'!" What was worse, he was best friends with another guy from our orchestra who I so desperately wanted to date, and I got a confirmed answer from him that my breast size had been a topic of one of their conversations. I felt as if I had been run up our high school's flagpole with a sign that read: TAKE PITY UPON MY INFERIOR BREASTS.
|A 16-year-old me dressed for homecoming. Had the big hair, but looked as if I still needed a training bra.|
Sure, I eventually recovered from this situation and forgave my friend for what he said. But the feeling that I got from the initial blow could never be forgotten. I had to grow a tough outer shell. I needed to be comfortable in my own skin. I wasn't going to survive finding a mate if I lacked self-confidence. It was out of knowing that I was going to go through life with a flatter-than-an-ironing-board chest that I had to learn to accept the parts I had been given. This began with compiling a list of the upsides of having smaller boobs:
- They won't sag quite to the extent of their larger counterparts when gravity and old age become my enemy.
- They don't bounce (and therefore, don't hurt) when I go for a run.
- No back pain.
- No stretch marks.
- I don't have to spend a bundle purchasing special size bras.
- There's less terrain to cover during a breast examination.
- I wouldn't attract shallow guys who would only want me for my breast size.
- They wouldn't affect my golf swing. (Yeah, if only I played golf…)