Today, women around the interwebs participate in Boobquake. The brainchild of self-described “liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist” blogger Jen McCreight, this Commemoration of Cleavage, Festival of Funbags, Jubilee of Jugs is in actuality a double-mam slap in the face to this jackass, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, whose charmingly magical thinking runs something like this:
“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader.
Wow. I knew adultery, rape, disease, societal meltdown, bastard children and plagues of locusts were the fault of my dirty pillows, but earthquakes? Damn. Tectonic plates minding their geologic business inching along beneath the earth’s surface can be suddenly and violently shifted by the sheer force of my immodestly-displayed bazoombas? I am… humbled. Ashamed. Forgive me, girls. I have apparently been wasting your mighty powers all these years on free drinks and the occasional cut in line. Let me atone. Let me now sing the praises of my constant companions these last twenty-five years: my breasts.
A classic late-maturing female, I was short, skinny and entirely unendowed for the first thirteen or fourteen (okay, fifteen) years of my long-ago youth, and a steady diet of Judy Blume books only reinforced my mammary-related fretting. This is a universal phenomenon, I believe. The earsplitting giggling, talking and shrieking of groups of early adolescent girls may in fact be nature’s way of drowning out the faint, plaintive wail unconsciously emanating from at least two-thirds of them: when? When? Wheeeennn will my breasts arriiiiive?
The answer for me was a) the summer after my sophomore year and b) seemingly overnight. I distinctly recall one of my aunts seeing me in a swimsuit that June and gasping,”Where the hell did those come from?” I didn’t know… and didn’t care. Out of seven female cousins, two of us scored genetically atypical chi-chis (C-cups on our hundred-pound frames – whoop!), and our sympathy for the others was underwhelming. “Sucks to be you, bitches,” just about summed it up. From then on, it was both cannon on board and damn the stragglers. The journey had begun.
Twenty years later, I know some of the home truths about breasts. For example, sheer size, while eye-catching, is never as important as artful display; artful display, while useful, is generally biologically irrelevant since straight guys and potential mates are looking anyway; and while the social, political and gender issues surrounding female anatomy and dress are infinitely complex (more about this later), the lesson learned latest is unfortunately the most important: ALL BOOBS COUNT.
Magazines, television, porn of all varieties swell with images of great big knockers. Women, trained to be hypercritically focused on their appearance, have obviously bought the message hook, line and exploding silicone. And that’s a personal choice – like working or staying home, a choice more readily available to the well-to-do, and not one for me to judge, although of course I am. Judging. Bad implants are an aesthetic travesty: half-cantaloupes glued onto a bony thoracic plain, with the flat valley of fakery giving it all away… but far, far worse is the very real danger of losing a lot of highly enjoyable nerve sensation in order to look like a physiological freak anomaly. Numb nipples? No, no, Nanette!
How I wish I could get inside those frightened, insecure, young (or not so) brains and pound into their amygdalas the simple, simple truth: to 99% of the straight men on this planet, a boob in the hand is worth a million in the imagination. Small, large, perky, floppy, looking slightly to the left or winking jauntily skywards… availability trumps any other rackular characteristic. Add in enthusiasm and NON-NUMB NIPS and in the words of the immortal Theodore Geisel: oh, the places you’ll go!
And having now preached the Gospel of Loving The Gazongas You’ve Got, I must admit that twenty-five years and quite a few pounds later, with the girls all grown up and gravity doing its treacherous best to make me fall over forward whenever I stand up, the thought of timely alterations has occurred to me more than once. It’s tough to watch faithful friends fall away. But the process of hoisting the flags to pre-midlife levels is so invasive, so scarring, so potentially damaging… I don’t know. The experts at Wacoal and Champion keep doing their jobs, structural engineering continues to evolve; hell, I’ll probably keep ‘em natural. So what if in another twenty years it takes a winch, a net and a butter paddle to wrestle them into their daily containment devices? That’s what Lycra and Powermesh are for.
Cut them up, scoop them out and stitch them to my ears? Nah. My boobs have been good to me. They deserve better than that.
Next: the care, feeding and practical possibilities of knockers