On Breasts

Today I’m going to rant about breasts- breasts as a general concept, my breasts, other breasts, ALL THE BREASTS, so if you don’t want to hear about them, you should stop reading right now. I can’t imagine any of you would actually do that though, for exactly the same reason that I’m writing about them- everybody loves boobies.

It’s easy to see why we all love boobs so much- for most of us, the first part of our lives are spent attached to them, sucking nutrition out of them, faces pressed up against the soft, warm pillows of awesome, soothing and comforting us. And for those who didn’t get the chance to breast feed, they were still there on the mother, or the grandmother, or the step mother or the aunt or the teacher… always there, bulging at different sizes depending on the woman, sticking out in a tight dress or slightly hidden in a baggy jumper, but still there, mysterious, tantalizing, holding the promise of something nice, something warm.

I assume that other women enjoy talking about boobs as much as I do. Sore boobs, perky boobs, bit of a sag to the boob, what happens to them when we run, the reaction we received when we take off our shirts in front of that special someone and showed them that nice thing they were wondering about, or have been looking forward to seeing again. We share stories, exchange tips on care and clothing and checking for lumps… how do men react when they hear this stuff, or getting involved with these conversations? Do they appreciate how all encompassing these baby feeders can be in the psyche of a woman, or do they do what I’m doing right now- try to maintain a decent conversation whilst thinking repeatedly about the act of fondling them (or in my case, having them fondled)?

Right now in Melbourne, it is cold. We skipped autumn and went straight into winter, which means all the cleavage in the city, or at least the cleavage belonging to sane women, has been covered pretty consistently for about two months now. I am sitting at a table outside my favoured café on Brunswick street writing this, and have been spoken to by three people I know since sitting down. “Writing time again Tahlia?” “Uh-huh.” “What’s the piece about this week?” “Boobs.” Each of their faces lit up at my reply- I’d like to think that this reaction lies in the timing of my writing, serving as a nice reminder to these friends and acquaintances that boobs are still there hidden under all the winter coats and big scarves, but realistically, the reaction probably would have been the same even if it was the middle of summer and every woman was walking around in a bikini. Boobs make people smile, no matter how often they see them.

The first person I saw was a guy I know by serving him at the bar, aged somewhere in his mid-20’s. He expressed that he thinks women often want the opposite of what they have when it comes to breasts. Indeed, it is not uncommon for women with big boobs to want smaller boobs, and for women with small boobs to want bigger boobs. Personally, I’m quite happy with my 12C-sized breasts, which I usually cover in loose t-shirts and ill-fitting bras. On the rare occasion I get a little bit of cleavage out, it’s met with a pleasing reaction, which is nice, but it’s not something I want my interactions with other people to be based on. Anyhow, I think it would be very rare for any cleavage to go unappreciated by those who see it, and some people are all about that. Each to their own I suppose.

The second conversation about this week’s topic was with a good friend of mine, aged in her late 20’s, who lamented that she had not experienced a good breast fondle for too long, and playfully chastised me for reminding her. I feel her pain. One shouldn’t go without a consented breast fondling for too long, if they are so inclined to partake in this activity.
The third conversation was with a woman in her 40’s who works on this street, and drops into the bar from time to time to have a few glasses of wine and let off steam about her environmental activism work. She’s got her finger on the pulse when it comes to things to be angry about, so when I told her I was writing about boobs, she brought up that some airports have brought in x-rays to check for bombs hidden in clothing, and the breast cancer council has gotten up in arms due to this little incident: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/03/airport-pat-down-for-breast-cancer-patient/ , which is quite a doozy of a story. Not only did the woman in this article have to deal with having her breasts messed with to save her life from breast cancer, she was then treated as a terrorist for having a medical implant to help prepare for her reconstruction. I don’t think anyone would take the stance that a breast reconstruction was not necessary, because breasts are such a huge part of a female’s sense of self, an undeniable part of femininity and confidence for many women… and cancer is a terrible thing for anyone to go through.

So breasts are wonderful. How can we not love talking about them when they gave us life in the first place, and will potentially give life to our progeny. Love the breast, respect the breast, just don’t go grabbing it without permission, because shit ain’t cool.