I didn't start out in the world a hard-ass, I swear. I was the nice girl, Little Mary Sunshine—turning the other cheek and searching for the good in all people. But you know what finally pushed me over the edge? I'll sum it up for you in one word: breasts. More specifically, my‑breasts. I am a woman with large breasts—an intelligent woman, horror of horrors. (I mean, brains and‑breasts? There must‑be a mistake—somebody stop her before she takes over the world!) However, I do have a fair amount of smarts in this itty-bitty head of mine, and I am sick to death of the prejudice that comes with the set. How many times does this happen to you? You're wearing what is, to you, a perfect example of the classic outfit—tailored, professional, powerful. You look good. Then you leave the comfort of your home, on your way to the place you donned this respectable ensemble for, and some caveman on the street uses all his reserves of brain power to sling some witty comment at you, like, "Hey! I like your big tits!" Well, gee. Thanks! I mean, what the hell am I supposed to say to that? Am I expected to rip open my blazer and show‑you how grateful I am? Fuck that.
I've had these breasts since I was 13 years old, and let me tell you, I have heard them all. I was
habitually harassed about the size of my chest from day one. By everyone—boys and girls and
men and women alike. The boys called me "Boobs" in junior high; whenever I changed for P.E., girls would snicker and point, I once tearily confided to a teacher—who denied me my outrage by saying I "probably love the attention." I also remember, in class, Stacey saying to John in a not-so-covert manner that she thought my parents should take turns jumping up and down on my chest—to flatten me out—and how embarrassing it must be for them. (Actually, my mom, who is the only one who ever addresses the issue of my breast size—because my dad prefers not to acknowledge anything to do with my sexuality—is proud of them. She is of the mindset that links marriageability, and therefore worthiness as a woman, to larger breasts. "Hold your shoulders back, Honey, so everyone can see what you've got!" I can see it now: "Yeah, Ma—I've fallen in love with a wonderful man. I'll never forget how he swept me off my feet when he licked his lips and yelled, 'Damn, shake those titties, bitch!'")
Another thing that grows old real fast is the open-mouthed gawk at my chest when I meet someone for the first time. Oh sure, it's usually men, but it has happened with a few women as well—but, whereas the men will follow this stare with a clichéd smirk, a woman will frown and cluck her tongue silently, in that "you should be ashamed of yourself" way. I should be ashamed of my body, uh-huh. And I was—for a long, long time. Not to say "poor me" or anything, but it's pretty hard to do that accepting-yourself thing when everywhere you go people are ripe to let you know that you are a freak—a woman who is voluptuous is a tease, a whore, stupid, disgraceful—community property on which to lavish unnecessary and unwanted attention.
Unfortunately, "friends" are too quick to join the ranks of the breast-prejudiced, constantly rebuking my attempts to vent with envious glares and remarks that echo my P.E. teacher's, such as, "You don't have any reason to complain—you must love getting noticed." Or, "Oh, poor baby! 'My large breasts are getting unwanted attention.' Is that like, 'My penis is just too large'?" No, actually, it's nothing like that. You never hear a man get slammed with commentary from people he passes on the street. "Hey baby! Love your big cock!" Or, "Oh—you should be ashamed of yourself, flaunting that…that monster like that." Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always gotten the message that men should never be made to feel ashamed, whether it's penis size, body size, or brain size. That's a woman's job. And as far as those friends who think I got lucky—why don't you try lugging these things around? Sure, it seems like they'd be fun for a while, like a new hair color, but deep grooves in your shoulders, constant neck and back pain, not to mention having to buy everything you wear to fit around them—no spaghetti straps, no baby tees, and no buttons, unless you like to give a free glimpse—aren't my idea of a good time. Maybe that's because I wear the industrial-strength bra, every‑goddamn day.
After years of collecting breast-reduction pamphlets, my last resort, it occurred to me—why should I be made to feel indecent for something I had virtually nothing to do with? I suddenly realized, after another head-hanging experience with another dumbshit with a big fucking mouth, that these breasts are powerful. Like Wonder Woman's lariat of truth, they bring out weaknesses in all people, they intimidate—and, when attached to a strong, smart girl, they can be dangerous. As an experiment, I bought a tighter-than-usual top and went out grocery shopping. For every longingly lewd look I got (and there were far too many), I gave a good, hard stare of my own. And guess who looked away first? Large breasts are a commanding talisman to wear with pride—shocking women, and knocking men down and out. Looking at it (or, more appropriately, them) from this perspective, you will come to realize that the power of the large-breasted goddess is so great, it's no wonder people can't help but blurt out such ludicrous things when faced with one—they are, after all, only human.
Now, when I'm walking down the street and a crew of construction workers are so overcome by the sight of "us" approaching that they cry out, "Oh, baby! You could feed a nation with those!" I stop, plant a fist on each hip, and stare the fuckers down. I don't look away until they do, and, so far, they always have. What they really‑want is for their words to lower your spirits—to see that you are visibly affected and put in your place for taunting them with what they can never have. It won't work—they can't bring me‑down.
Besides, these babies float.