My Breasts And I

by Nicola Sutcliffe

After many happy years of hanging out together, my breasts and I are tired.

We’re tired of the ongoing debates amongst men and women we’ve never met about how we appropriately dress; what’s too tacky, erotic or exposing.

That our daily wear is dictated by society, causing us to cast even fairly conservative clothes aside to ensure we don’t confuse conversations, perceptions or intentions.  We’re tired at the shops, when the size of our ample “rack” often means putting top after top back on the rack, despite them flattering our figure, for fear of showing too much and being viewed as “just” an attractive or unclassy woman depending on who’s looking.

Breasts are hard to hide.  We’re wondering why we even feel the need to try?

We’re tired of somewhat subconsciously glancing down to ensure our fleshy femininity is hidden from view before commencing a businesslike chat with a chap. You know, just in case we distract the discussion away from our voice, intelligence or opinion. And we’re tired of the segments of society that give masses of men a one dimensional reputation of being so superficially obsessed with breasts they can’t cope with a woman wearing a cleavage showing dress. We know many men with more substance than that.

We’re tired of the breastfeeding debate.  Tired of it being made an extraordinary act, both by the ones unusually uncomfortable with a baby feeding from a breast, and those flaunting feeding our offspring as if the alternative is they fend for themselves. For my breasts and I fed our child too. But my hands and I also went on to make up several bottles a day, yet we never felt the need to take a proud and poignant snapshot of our fingers in the act. Funny that?

We’re tired of panicking when our toddler pounces in public and in the process pulls down our top. We halt the fun not because it hurts, but because we’re stressed someone might catch sight of our supposedly solely sexual skin.

My breasts and I are tired of covering up the absurdity of the continued conditioning starting at school age, affecting innocent confidence through unnecessary cleavage self-consciousness. How are we ever going to teach our girls to embrace their natural curves?

We’re tired that breasts are objectified because of the sexual role they play. We can’t understand why our lips, necks or hands are not made to feel self-conscious outside of the bedroom in the same way.

We’re tired of people not getting it; it’s not about flaunting, flashing or far out feminism. It’s about all sexes being free to wear what we like whether at work, a funeral or a party and still being viewed as an equal member of society, regardless of any flesh we can see.

My breasts and I are really really tired. Because, no matter the amount of cleavage we display our objective, nor presence, aims to deflect, attract or distract.

But if I do, we all need to ask, whose issue is that?

Image: Botticelli’s “The Birth Of Venus”

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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