All this trash talk make me itchin’
Oh my my sugar
Everybody talks, everybody talks
Everybody talks, too much
– Neon Trees
Great news, girls! Guess who just got their C-cup badge? This little Itty Bitty Titty Committee member right here!
I know what you must be thinking, “Wow. Got real awkward, real quick.” Well, if you think that was awkward I cannot wait for you to read the rest…
It may come as a shock to you all but “the girls” – you know, those “girls” – yeah, they aren’t real. No, no, no! Now don’t you all go getting your bras twisted in knots. No, I have not gone under the knife to correct this particular genetic misstep… I am far more creative than that. Do not get me wrong; I would pay for a more permanent chest any day. I even have dreams about doing it (no really, two Friday’s ago I had a dream that I had just came out of surgery) but I have not quite grown balls big enough to commit. So, in the interim, I improvise.
Most young girls daydream about being a teacher, or a nurse, or a mechanic – not this young girl. I spent my days stuffing my bra, talking in British accents, and singing in front of full-length mirrors. In third grade, I got my first bra and from that point on I was ruined. I could not wait for my ta-tas to come in.
My first bra was a hot purple number that looked like something straight out of “A Night at the Roxbury.” For the longest time, I had to fill it with socks and whatever else I could find so it did not look like I was smuggling a couple of deflated pool toys under my shirt. No fear though, I never wore the thing to school (okay, so maybe once but you have to remember I was in the third grade… no one noticed). I can remember hoping for the day that I would wake up and be able to wear that bright purple bra proudly… so you could imagine how pissed I was when I started middle school with no such luck.
In eighth grade Momma introduced me to the wonderful world of padded bras. I was hooked! It was so easy. Every morning I got out of bed looking like an eighth grade boy and every morning I walked out of the house looking like a tenth grade woman. It was fabulous! But I was still in eighth grade, and 14-year-olds suck. I think I spent that entire year making excuses for my sudden “growth spurt.” It was miserable.
Most of us block those years out, but if you remember correctly, middle school is the time in everyone’s life where you find your independence by leeching onto others. It is a real screwed up situation. You have to conform in order to make friends but you must rebel in order to feel accepted. All the while, your body is (or isn’t) going through hell physically.
Fourteen is the hardest part of your childhood. At fourteen, you are starving for freedom but struggle with the thought of being let loose. A 14-year-old trumps an 18-year-old any day of the week. At least you can have a conversation with a high school senior; have you tried talking to a middle school kid lately?
Anyhow, I managed to weather through middle school and my first few years of high school. By seventeen, I was out and proud. So what I wore a bra with more stuffing than a Thanksgiving dinner? It was my body and if I didn’t have ‘em, I sure as shit was buying ‘em. I had grown into my own. Modesty was out the window. It seemed like everyone else had a rack Dolly Parton could envy and I barely had something to sit a Tic Tac on. Sure, I was honest with my peers about my tot situation but I still was not happy with my body. I needed something bigger than my slew of Vicky Secret Very Sexy Push-ups and a water bra was most certainly out of the question (been there, popped that). I needed more; something with durability.
I found “more” and “durable” at a Walmart on our Senior Week beach trip to Myrtle Beach. You know me, always keepin’ it classy. Nonetheless, it was there, in the “lingerie” department of Walmart, that I discovered chicken cutlets. Lord, no! Hold your balls people! I was not using meat to plump up my bosom. The chicken cutlets I am referring to are squishy silicone bra inserts that resemble a plastic-wrapped piece of raw poultry. Undoubtedly, these babies had to be Victoria’s secret because not once had I stumbled across something like this at the mall. Sixteen dollars later, my life was changed… forever.
Throughout college I tucked my “fake boobs” into my padded bra religiously. It was no secret though; I told anyone who wondered that my chest was just an illusion and showed anyone who did not believe me (The cutlets. Geez people get your mind out of the gutter; this isn’t Girls Gone Wild. I’m tryin’ to run a family-friendly blog here.). Sure, it wasn’t ideal, what with all that adjusting and always having to wear a bra, but I managed. And then the unthinkable happened…
A Mammary Mystery
One summer morning, while home from college, I was shocked awake by Momma yelling for me to come downstairs and check my car for missing things. All of our vehicles had been broken into and the police were on their way. My first thought went to my console.
I know this sounds gross but because the cutlets are made of silicone and plastic, they make you sweat uncontrollably. Sometimes, I would get in my car to come home from a friend’s house and have to immediately remove them for relief (Hey, pain is beauty, right?). The night before, I had done just that and left them in my center console. And you would know it, when I went outside to assess the damage all that was missing was… my confidence.
My change, CDs, and $100.00 iPod dock lay safe and sound where I had left them just hours before but my two most prized possessions – the $16.00 chicken cutlets – were gone. Rage came over me. “They stole my fake boobs!” I screamed. “Those bastards took my boobs!”
I wanted them locked up, every single last one of those booby-snatching assholes. How could they? I had worked for the better part of the last decade trying to get the sizes, proportions, and measurements just right to construct the perfect chest concoction for my body type. This was bullshit. Complete and total bullshit. It was 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning and here I was standing in my parent’s front yard in my pajamas waiting on the police to show up so we could file a report. And for what? Just what the hell was I going to tell the responding officer? “Oh officer, help! Please help me find my boobies!”
By this time, all of the neighbors were congregating in our cul-de-sac (Keep in mind, one of my neighbors was my sixth grade math teacher. Growing up, he was my favorite teacher. Great. How flipping embarrassing.). Everyone on our corner had been hit. Clearly, the culprits were just dumb kids bored and looking for something risqué to get into on a Friday night. Nothing of real value was missing and no damage was done to any of our cars. It seemed as if the only real hit taken was to my ego.
Suddenly, like music to my ears, one of the neighbors to our immediate right said, “What the hell is this?” One of my precious cutlets had been found! It was lying in the middle of their driveway, perfectly unharmed and intact.
Just as we were inspecting our first piece of evidence the patrolman pulled onto our street. After introductions and a run-down of the situation, Momma did not hesitate to urge me to speak up about my missing items. I delivered the news to the officer as if the thieves had gotten away with vats of gold. Although he was visibly taken aback, he kept a professional face as I rambled on and on about my boobs and showed him the one that had been so violently spared.
The consensus amongst the neighborhood, and the local policemen, was that the robbers were petty criminals looking for money when they came across my cutlets, thought they were funny, and started pelting them at each other like impenetrable water balloons. I was deeply offended. I felt so violated. As I slept soundly in my bed just two stories up, some douche bags were throwing my boobs back and forth across the neighborhood. As silly as it sounded, I was pissed.
For years, I had endured teasing from kids I went to middle school with and struggled with small-booby-syndrome self esteem issues. My whole life I had racked my brain trying to figure out why the large breasts hailing from both sides of my family had skipped right over me without so much as an explanation. And here I was, a sort-of grown ass woman, taking a shot to the chest (pun intended) once again because some loser kids had nothing better to do.
Right then and there, I whispered a silent prayer to Jesus’ momma, Mary (because she would obviously understand what a sista was going through here), hoping she would seek vengeance on their pig-headed asses.
We never caught the thieves but we did find my matching cutlet. It was two yards down.
The initial trauma subsided, I managed to heal from the experience, and eventually I was able to look back and laugh.
The ta-ta thieving incident happened years ago. So, I bet your wondering how this all ties into the “now.” Well, last Shoppingday, or what most refer to as “Saturday,” started off like it usually does for me – at the mall. Kaley was on the hunt for some new undergarments, and I (being the good friend I am) agreed to come help. Our first stop was Victoria’s Secret.
We were greeted at the entrance by a cute petite brunette who was passing out vouchers for their “Free Gift with Every Bra Fitting” event. They had brought in a professional bra fitter (I’m sure that is not technically their job title but you get the point – one who fits people for bras) who would be glad to help the two of us try some things on. We told her to sign us up… little did she know, she had us at “free.”
I walked on back to the dressing room knowing that this lady would not be able to tell me something I did not already know. I had been trying to enhance my bust line longer than she had probably been wearing a bra all together. I warned her as she put the measuring tape across my chest, “Now, I wear the Bombshell bras so just keep that in mind when you are figuring up numbers here.” She advised that I was measuring at 34-D… the “adds two cup sizes” Bombshell bra was really doing its job.
Then she asked me the question I was waiting for, “Have you tried any of our other bras?” I tried to be as polite as possible. So instead of saying, “Well hell no. Can’t you tell I need all the help I can get,” I responded with, “Well not exactly. We are trying to maximize the surface area up here, if you know what I’m saying.” She got it.
Bra measurer lady started pulling out bras left and right for us. I tried on everything she handed to me but finally had to ask (After all, she was the Booby Whisperer… allegedly. [I was still skeptical.]), “What’s with all of this side boob I have? I mean, I just barely have enough to fill these things up but what I do have manages to spill out into my arm pits… what the hell is that all about?” And then she said the nine words I had been begging to hear my whole life, “Maybe you need to go up a cup size.”
I heard angels singing! She was a miracle worker! Just five minutes with me and she had managed to answer all of my prayers. Hooray for boobies! I nearly hugged her. But being that I was a half naked stranger, I decided against it and instead squealed, “Fabulous! You are magical! Best. Day. Ever!” She fluttered off to grab me a new size as I shouted across the dressing room, “Did you hear that Kaley?! I’m a C!” I heard her laugh from across the room, “Good job!”
As soon as Momma and Dad got home I told them the good news. Momma was excited for me, “You go girl!” It was like I had won the Most Improved Player award for all of woman-kind. I felt great. One measly letter – a letter, in any other situation, that would denote “average” or “okay” – had changed my whole perspective. I immediately wanted to run to my room and put on my new prize. Not because it made my woohas look any bigger (because it doesn’t) but because I felt like I had finally crossed some sort of lady threshold.
We all struggle with insecurities. We all are unhappy with various pieces and parts of our body or our personalities. We all have had someone poke fun or tease us about one thing or another. We have all heard someone mention something in passing that cuts like a knife.
For example, take the bitches in Victoria’s Secret that pick up one of my heavily padded brassieres and make snide comments about the amount of cushion sown into each cup. I could cut them. The better part of me wants to look at them and scream, “Hey, Jugs. Yeah. YOU. Take your silly well-endowed ass outta here and go smack around some babies, why don’t you. Us, not-so-fortunate individuals, shouldn’t have to take a tot-shot just because your parents managed to stuff you full of that hormone-havin’ chicken growing up. So, drop the bra – unless it’s a 34-C – and mosey on over to the Big Booby store and find something that can contain those bad boys. This is supposed to be a safe zone, damn it. We don’t need this shit.” But again, I hold my tongue because fighting fire with fire only burns the place down quicker.
What it comes down to is, those nit-picky issues you have with yourself, they will never go away. Whether it is breast size, waist size, or hair color there will always be something in the back of your mind eating away at your confidence.
I have tried my whole life to remedy a situation that only good genes, surgery, or an act of God could fix; all for some sort of temporary vindication that vanishes when I put on a bathing suit (unless it’s a Bombshell bikini top : ) ). But I appreciate the little wins when they come – the padding, the cutlets, and the extra cup sizes. At the end of the day, I love myself for who I am and like myself for who I am not… because after all, “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind…” can suck it.