I love Boobs.
I love the word Boob. It’s so soft and round. Even the letters cooperate. And it sounds good coming out of my mouth. Actually feels good coming out of my mouth.
Try it. Boobs. Again, Boobs.
Now, from the tender age of (I’m going to be honest here, I didn’t actually start having boobs until I was 18) but the tender age of 18 I took these beautiful objects of art and awe and strapped them down. Hard.
Sometimes flat against my chest, sometimes behind padding, sometimes hoisted up so high I could barely breathe…but there was always extra magic when they were like that.
But in none of those times was I comfortable.
Let me divulge. I have Lucille Goldberg breasts. Lucille was my beautiful grandmother…and it used to shock me to see her in the mornings in her night shirt without her torpedo bra, that her boobs which were always high and tight were actually naturally pointed south. They just kinda hung there like dead weight.
Mine are of her line. And I was taught very young that was unattractive. That the Nipple must be front and center and the roundness needed to be perfectly weighted to absolute mathematical balance.
So I strapped mine to that position.
Every lady knows there is a dance with putting a bra on. The bend over and shake ’em up dance.
And there they stay 8, 10, 15 hours.
My sweet, loving boobs were caged like animals.
And two things happened at almost the same time recently: 1.) I started getting a red, itchy sometimes burning rash where the underwire of my bra hits the tender skin of my upper rib cage and 2.) some French dude came out with a study that had EVERYONE talking about boobs.
And then everywhere I looked someone had a new opinion about bras and therefore by extension, the beauty that lays below them, boobs.
I have tried in vain to find this photo for you. It’s from a puberty book my mom bought me when I was a kid. It showed all the different types of breasts that could form. Big, small, sagging, high, spread out, big nipples, small nipples…everything. And even at 10 when I saw the perfectly round, squeezable, balanced, “perfect” nipple boobs I said, “I want those.”
The mind-fuck starts early kids. No one led me to that. It wasn’t the first image on the page…they are just the perfect balance, and I have always craved symmetry.
So back to the French dude and his proclamation that bras are actually inhibiting the “perfectness” of boobs. And I think back to Chinese Medicine School where we learned about the lymph nodes found RIGHT WHERE we stop lymph from flowing with these crazy symmetry contraptions. And I keep moving around like I have ants in my shirt from the itching, burning, uncomfortable feeling under my wire….and it hits me.
Stop. Wearing. A Bra. Elisha.
I took it off.
The bra I mean.
I put on my yoga top with a shelf bra that creates the very unflattering uni-boob…but I could breathe.
And then I went to Nordstrom…and a very lovely lady measured me and brought me bras without wires and I said…no, I want something even less. She told me my cup size was too large, and I said, “Try anyway.”
And she came back with this beautiful little pull over that she said was called a “bralette.” It sounded so sweet, and birdlike…it sounded..French…which I took as a sign.
And as I put it on and walked around, I smiled so big.
Not because my boobs were in “place.”
They were not.
Not because they would look “so good” under a T-shirt.
But because when I walked around I could feel them!
I could feel them move. I could feel them move separately. I could feel them tugging on the skin on my chest as much as down my ribs a bit. I could FEEL the flow of energy returning to the my upper carriage with every step.
I bought 2.
Then I went to Victoria’s Secret on a bralette high, armed with this new word…this new word of freedom and saw their version and tried it on and bought 2 more. In crazy colors mind you.
And the 4 bralettes I bought cost LESS then one of the standard torture containers.
And as I walked down the street, in full sun, wearing a T-shirt, for the first little bit I was partially ashamed. Maybe people would think I wasn’t wearing a bra. And so I sat with that. Right on a bench on the side of the street. I sat and I thought what does it mean when I am ashamed of my breasts moving in a natural way?
And I decided that was part of being told verbally and non-verbally that the fat on my stomach is wrong, and the fat of my hips is wrong…and in jeans it’s called muffin top (which is a bad thing when talking about hips in jeans, but when talking about food it’s actually the best part of the muffin…especially fried with butter…) But even stranger, naked hips are painted in all their round glory the highest form of ART.
And my now 40 year old face full of a lifetime of smiling and living and responding and being and growing and changing and loving is beginning to sag and removing the illusion that I’m in my 20’s.
And I told myself I wouldn’t stop these feelings in one bench sitting, and I was going to be late for my next patient…so I decided to give it time. I decided to walk and explore the feeling of FEELING my breasts on my body. Feel their freedom and attach to that. Glide with them with each step. And pay less attention to wondering about what others are thinking.
So much of what we have taught or been taught about being proper is rooted in shame. And if there is one thing on this beautiful planet to NOT feel shame about it’s the beautiful gift of nature that can simultaneously feed your young, hold up tops, be awe inspiring and sexy as all get out.
So I will continue to take this new journey into myself….with my new abfab bralettes…and wonder if you might give it some thought too?
I was a hoister…and now I am reformed…and man does it feel good to breathe!