I don’t know what to title this.

A couple of weeks ago I had laryngitis, and I still have a slight cough. Despite the fact that it has been unbearably hot I have been wearing scarves to keep my throat warm and minimize the hacking quality of this seemingly never ending cough. Today the temperature was a little better and I opted for a light turtleneck sweater instead. One of my co-workers asked if I wasn’t too warm. Well, yes, but I explained that I had little choice considering the alternative.

She told me she would have a huge problem with this since she enjoys displaying her chest. I don’t blame her. Her chest is very attractive. Unfortunately I am unfamiliar with that kind of a problem.

When I was little I assumed my breasts would come in eventually. My mother and my grandmother are very well endowed in that area, so I knew it was only a matter of time. By the time I was in my mid twenties I finally conceded to the fact that I would not be getting breasts. No matter what I wanted to believe, I was done growing, and it wasn’t going to happen.

So I resorted to the wonder/miracle/push-up bras. Except the result was really quite pathetic. No amount of pushing, probing, or readjusting would do the trick. I even at one point purchased a water/gel bra, which is essentially the grown up, fancy and expensive equivalent of stuffing your bra. This seemed to work a little better. As long as I didn’t wear anything too low cut I could create the illusion of having breasts. But I still couldn’t achieve the appearance of cleavage. I had to pick my tops carefully.

Several years back I was shopping with a friend at Fredrick’s, and I was trying on this ridiculous piece that was supposed to enhance my chest by two sizes. As I was wiggling myself into this contraption she asked if I thought men would be more attracted to me if I had bigger breasts. Well, yes. Wasn’t that the point? Then she asked, “what happens when he touches you?” Um…. I hadn’t thought that far.

It would be nice if I could say that at that point I came to some wonderful realization about how I love myself, found the real beauty of my body and [insert some sort of saccharine inspirational quote here], but that never happened. The only thing I realized was that if some man was attracted to me solely for my chest size (which even with all the fancy bras was still not very impressive), then down the line he would be very disappointed. As if I didn’t have enough of a “small breasts complex,” visible disappointment from a man during an intimate encounter was the last thing I needed.

No, I didn’t learn to love my breasts the way they are, or anything close. But even though I may never really like them, and occasionally glare at them in the mirror, I did realize that creating the image of what might be deemed “false advertising” will probably hurt me more in the long run than begrudgingly accepting (read: coping with) their tiny existence.


  1. I have to say Christene, posts like this from someone who looks like you always simultaneously make me feel better that there’s always something women want to change about themselves, and also hopeful for the rest of us.

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