the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Because it’s been too long

How about a post about boobs? Yeah? YEAH.

When I was in sixth grade I weighed about sixty pounds soaking wet. My elbows and knees poked out in comical directions, my hipbones dangerously sharp. I have a body I inherited from my father who at six-feet tall weighed 130 pounds for the first forty years of his life. Enter: The Padded Bra.

(What. Did you think I was gonna say, “The Quarter-Pound Cheeseburger”? Because I tried that and it didn’t work.)

My mother did what she thought was right at the time which was to give in to my repeated demands for a padded bra. It was 1986 and my brother had a poster of Heather Locklear in a bikini hanging above his bed. Boobs were in. And I had none. Nothing. ZIP. NA-TA-DA-DA. Like, the total black hole of boobs.

Except, the bra my mother bought me was rather wrinkly. That’s the only way I know how to describe it. My shirts hung awkwardly, meaning it looked like I had stuffed tissue inside the cups. I don’t have to tell you that this spells death for a sixth-grade girl. Maybe not actual death but a ton of therapy in her future.

My therapist’s bank account would like to take this time to thank that padded bra.

Yeah, kids would throw tissue at me as I got off the bus. They’d call me names. Supposed friends would tell me they had heard I stuffed my bra, was this true, and if so I couldn’t sit next to them at lunch. Does this shit still happen? Or was this just a John Hughes/Eighties phenomenon? Do sixth graders these days even care about boobs? Or are they too busy deciding who is the hottest vampire?

I didn’t grow boobs for another ten years. I think I mentioned this before, but I spent a semester abroad in England my senior year in college where I ate nothing but scones. Side effects included constipation, stretch marks, and boobs! They should include that warning/benefit on the side of the box!

Any sixth grader out there right now who is worried about the small size of her boobs and is reading this: one, you shouldn’t be reading this. Two, wait until you breastfeed a baby! Because your boobs will at once be phenomenally huge and excruciatingly annoying. So enjoy that smallness. Relish it. Sleep on your stomach ALL NIGHT LONG.

Turns out that when your milk comes in and your cup size jumps from the circumference of a small island to the continent of Africa, clothes don’t fit. Women who enjoy larger boobs have been dealing with this issue for most of their lives, and I welcome them to roll their eyes at me in unison. But that’s a weird, disorienting situation to be thrust into rather suddenly. And all you can do when not freaking out about the new human being you have to keep alive is talk about your boobs. Like, LOOK AT THESE. WTF? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE THINGS?

And then when you wean? Oh man. Those are fun times. Fun little saggers.

After I weaned Marlo I started a pretty rigorous training and workout program that I’ve been maintaining for the last eighteen months. And all I’ll say is this: now I understand why so many female body builders get implants. I’d never do it, but NOW IT MAKES SENSE.

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This post was sponsored by the Skinny Cow Perfect Cup campaign. Be sure to check out their website to find out more about the next event in your area! Events are being held 7/16 in Providence, 7/30 in Chicago, and 8/27 in LA. Register today!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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