Wednesday, March 17, 2010

London, France, Underpants

I have, in the last three weeks, seen more women's bras and underpants than I care to remember. I'm talking about the ones customers wear into the store when they are ready to buy new ones, not the pretty, untouched, unstained ones hanging brightly on the racks of the Lingerie Department. I've seen unshorn armpits, cellulite being crammed into too-small Spanx, moles and birthmarks that make me think of raspberries and cancer, and more than anything else, women who hate their boobs.

Whether those boobs are hated because they are too small, too large, too saggy, too unevenly sized, too full of mother's milk, too dark, too light, or any other reason, they are--almost universally--despised.

Ladies, let's learn to love our ta-tas, shall we?

Every one of us has heard tell of the women's consciousness-raising groups in the 1970's in which women were invited (sometimes forced kicking and screaming) to examine their pink, beige, or chocolate twats with a hand-mirror and learn not to fear their awesome power. Or whatever it was they feared about the poor little things. Now we all can have happy vulvae, have sex like men (if we want, though who--even among men--really does?), and discuss yeast infections and menstruation as loudly as we want while riding mass transit vehicles full of strangers.

It's time for a reduction in breast-hating. We see our breasts as repositories for cancer, baby food, and/or clothespins, depending on our histories and our sexual proclivities. We see them swaddled in pink ribbon by cancer foundations, squished in mammogram equipment, and being fiddled with like radio dials by our hapless male partners.We see them encased in black leather, white lace, and utilitarian beige spandex. We see them blown up like balloons on movie stars and porno queens alike. We see them being surgically reduced by women who think their giant tits mean they are fat.

I would say it is only one customer in twenty who is content with the size, shape, and general appearance of her bazooms. I can have two 34Ds back to back and while the first one thinks she is too small and will never be attractive in any of the "pretty" bras, the second one thinks she is too big and will never be attractive in any of the "pretty" bras. Women fear their true bra size, refusing to so much as try on the very large-looking yet very supportive-of-breast-health bras that will fit them and keep them high and dry. "I can't wear that. It's huge." We are instructed, as salespeople, not to tell the customer her real size until we have already put her in a few bras so she can realize how much better she feels in them before getting hit over the head with the fact that she is, in fact, a triple D cup.

Lord-a-mercy, ladies. Somehow we've got to stop viewing our tits as things that are not part of us. Our tits are part of our bodies, our selves, you know. They are just as necessary and just as worthy of tender loving care as our arms and legs. No matter the size of our tits, arms, or legs, we have to be kind to them and thank them for being with us all through our lives. Thanks Manny, thanks Moe (my right and my left), for your youthful perk, your unevenness, your maturing swell, your future sag. You help me mark my passage from one self to the next.


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