Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Oh, Gawd. Bewbs again.

For those of you who know me in real life, I hereby warn you that I am about to talk about my boobs. Again. You may click away now, or read at your own risk.

Catherine breastfed another woman's child this weekend. If you don't know the story and would like to, it can be found here. It's not directly related, but it's got me thinking.

I have two breasts. My momma has one. My friend has none. I still have two that I should be grateful for.

They are mine. I grew them. I have lived with them for almost 25 years now. For most of those years I hid them. I wore baggy shirts and sweaters that were too big. I was uncomfortable with the attention they garnered.

It was more attention than I ever received myself. In fact, this space is even overshadowed by them, with the most searched hits coming from "ginormous boobs" or some incarnation thereof.I suppose that is also because I continue to talk about them.

The first time my husband, then new boyfriend, saw them in just a camisole, he blurted, "My God! They're ginormous!" I quickly put the baggier shirt back on and slunk down in my seat. I wanted the focus to remain on me, not them. Betrayed by my breasts once again.

Only I wasn't. After the initial shock, he went right back to talking to me. My face, rather. He held my hand, put his arm around me, all without copping that oops-feel that even some of my friends' husbands have been guilty of copping. Later, I learned that Kevin's reaction to the girls and their girth was in fact just shock. He actually just considered it a big bonus and gave me reason to believe it too. And since my mother reads this blog, I will stop there.

After I became a mother, I expected to have an epiphany about my breasts. Learn the "real" purpose they serve. Open the heavens and sound the trumpets: breastfeeding. My boobies were created to be a food source to my babies. I would magically begin to respect them and they in turn would learn their place in this world. Which was about four inches lower than I had hoped for, but whatever.

The thing is, I don't think the heavens opened, and I don't think they were made just to feed babies.

You see, I have these hands. Two of them. They type, they play the piano, they change diapers, they bathe a child, they prepare meals, they clean this house. They do a multitude of things for every different part of my being. The writer, the musician, the mother, the wife, all use these hands.

It is the same with my breasts. They are functional; feeding my child. They are sexual; just ask my husband. They are decorative; clothes fit better with them than without them. They are all of these things to me.

The boobies belong to me. If I want to use them to feed my child, I can. If I want to use them to pump milk for another child, I can. If I want to use them to nurse another child, I can. If I want to use them to try and sell albums, I can. If I want to use them to reach orgasm, I can. If I want to use them to keep my toes warm, I can in another few years, I'm sure.

They belong to me. Yours belong to you. And no one. No one should be telling us what we should or shouldn't be doing with them.