Many of the loyal fans of Girls Are Fancy remember this monologue. If you are a new friend and fan, I wrote this when I was 21, a senior in college and on the road to writing my first, and thus far only one woman show. It was then published on gurl.com, and in part in gurl's first book: Deal With It.
This was my relationship with my breasts back then. My breasts were awkward. They were the reason I had to buy tops and dresses two sizes larger than had they not been there. It seemed as though they were the only reason boys liked me. True or false, this is how I felt.
I've thought about having a reduction. I picked up a pamphlet in the plastic surgeon's office. I did some research online. I talked to some friends who had one. Somehow, I could never do it. It felt like cheating. Cheating in that “I'd only be cheating myself” kind of way. If I got my breasts downsized, my problems would still be there, and then I'd have nothing to blame but scars.
No, I'd have to deal with me as is, like it or not. I think deep down even before I really contemplated having kids, always knew that breasts had a higher purpose and hoped that someday, I'd get to experience what it was like to feed my baby from my body. I had to nurse. it was my calling to become one with myself, my child, and my breasts.
Now that I've nursed two babies, my body image has definitely changed.. Nothing else really mattered when I became a food source for another human being. I have a new respect for my body. I take better care of it than I did sixteen years ago, when I wrote “Large.” Interestingly, though I still don't need a giant flower on my bathing suit to hide any remants of childbearing, I do sometimes wear a skirt, but only because I think it's cute.
Another thing that has changed, however, is that it's definitely a challenge for me to see my breasts as a sexy thing now. For the most part, my level of modesty has been reduced and while I prefer not to expose myself in public or in front of my or my husband's male friends, I will pretty much breastfeed anywhere, anytime. I do use a cover-up, unless I don't have it with me. I've been pregnant/nursing/pregnant/nursing since the fall of 2007, I barely remember my breasts as anything but milk machines. At this point, there is a solid line between 'practical' and 'sexy' breasts.
The big questions that remain are: How I will feel once I am finished nursing and having children? Will feelings of insecurity return? Or will my newfound confidence reign and override? Will 'sexy boobs' be back full time, ever? Years afterwards? What will my relationship be to my boobs once they've been 'wrung out to dry?'
Women are starting to talk about this issue a lot more. I hope you'll share your experience too.