Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Let's talk about The Girls

Can I just get candid here for a moment and share something? Sure I can. Let's talk about breasts.

I'm not what you would call well-endowed in the breast department. If I still had them, I could easily wear the bras I owned back in 8th grade. I actually don't really even need a bra. I remember being fourteen and thinking, "Any day now, they will start growing. Annnnyyy day." Yeah, that day never really came. And I always felt totally cheated. And really kind of down. I felt less shapely, less womanly, and less desirable. I wanted larger breasts so badly that whenever I appeared in my own dreams, I was always a couple cups sizes bigger with glorious cleavage. And then I would wake up and say "good morning" to my teeny-bopper tatinas. I tolerated them, but I didn't love them. I just wasn't super excited about The Girls.

That started to change when I went to college. I ran on the cross country team and, for the first time in my life, got to see other women's bodies in the locker room. Wow - the variety! The beauty! The imperfection! This seemed to be especially true of breasts. I began to realize that very, very few of us are built like the women in the lingerie ads. Very few. And this made me think about myself, and my breasts in a different way. My body education continued when I studied abroad in Morocco. I lived with a family who bathed at the local hammam (public bathhouse) and so guess what - I did, too. The more I saw of womanhood, the more I started to like the hand I had been dealt. 

But it was motherhood that really made me see the light. If I could, I would give my boobs a full salute with canons and marching horses and the works today. I would hold a parade in their honor. Because now I realize that they are perfect. They are team players. They have worked really, really hard for my son and me this past year - and it has not always been easy. Feeding Severen has been the joy of my life.  I enjoyed the quiet moments in those first months when I daydreamed/slept and studied him while he nursed. I enjoy the fun moments now, nursing a 1-year-old, when we chat and play games. Nursing forces both of us to be still, slow down and just hold on to each other: A little boy and his mama enjoying a very small window of precious time.


Marie said...

I am a huge lactivist! I don't enjoy how large I am, but am proud of nursing my first for a year and a half, and now my newborn. Yay, boobs.

Marie @
Lemondrop ViNtAge

I am having a fabulous giveaway right here.

Sadie Rose said...

I love this! Motherhood transformed my body image, as well. I actually always loved my breasts, but nursing a baby made me realize WHAT THEY WERE FOR. Before that, they had mostly been about beauty and attraction. But once I had my baby, I was like "OHhhhhh. I don't care at ALL if i look good - I can SUSTAIN LIFE with these!"

Anyway, I really resonate with this. congratulations on your baby and your journey into one of the most powerful places women can go.

Maria Casteel said...

well. now i'm crying.
adore this post.

Wild Tea Party said...

As someone who has always been large chested and happy about it, and also not being a mother, I think I really lose perspective about the girls. To me, they've always been "assets" which I try to use for good not evil ;) But seriously, I think breast feeding is a wonderful, natural thing and am always surprised by the number of people who find it 'repulsive' and criticise women who do it publically. Is that something you encounter on your day to day travels Duff?

Jean Jean Vintage said...

Thank you for the comments, ladies! To answer your question Ellen, I haven't encountered any difficulties nursing in public. It is obvious that many people feel awkward seeing a woman nursing but there's not much to be done about that, is there?

Brooke said...

What a beautiful and touching post! I laughed as I connected with that young 14 year old girl and cried as I remembered nursing my own son, now 5 years old...it goes too fast, you are right to slow down and embrace it. Thanks for sharing!

Wild Tea Party said...

I really wonder why people find it so awkward. I'm glad though you've never encountered any disapproval - it seems quite a common thing in Sydney for women to be told not to do it in cafes or in public spaces.

steph.kelley said...

Word, girlfriend! Both the small-boob-disappointment and reevaluation wow-isn't-the-boob-variety-amazing hit close to home. Mwah! xoxo

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