Thursday, June 10, 2010

to boob or not to boob

When I was 15 my mother got a boob job. While I was still waiting for the boob fairy (a long and ultimately disappointing wait), full of angst as only a 15 year old girl can be, my mother went out and bought herself a pair. Her need to be the center of all male attention caused her to indulge herself almost as soon as the silicon implants were invented by a pair of Houston plastic surgeons. Her and all the strippers.

It wasn't embarrassing enough for her to have done it at all, she had it done during the summer and we spent our summers at the beach where we had a vacation home. My mother could never be called demure and she paraded around in her bikini (or what passed for one in 1965 Houston TX) before she even got the bandages off. And back then there were a lot of bandages. They made a big 'X' across her chest so if I had had any hope of people just not noticing that she went from flat chested to having a couple of cantaloupes, they were dashed. The bandages might as well have been a neon sign saying 'look at me'.

Nowadays, of course, a boob job is no big deal. Nobody even bats an eyelash but in 1965 they were mostly unheard of and since my mother didn't have the good grace to be furtive about it I had to endure the snickers of the summer teenage boys and girls. To say I was mortified would have been putting it mildly.

So while my mother was busy flaunting her new boobs, I became a life long member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee. I gave up wearing a bra around 20 because at that time they didn't make one small enough to fit me and I refused to wear a training bra all my life. Even the padded bras tended to crumple under my shirts. Most guys have bigger boobs than me.

The only time I ever had boobs was for about four or five years when I was pregnant and nursing. They were enormous. There's a picture somewhere of me nursing my daughter and my boob was bigger than her head. By the time I weaned my son, I was ready for the boobs to go away. Later in my life when I started going to the gym regularly I developed what I referred to as 'faux' cleavage.

There are some advantages to having very small breasts. The above mentioned not having to wear a bra and not having to wear tight binding tops when I exercise or participate in athletic activities. I've never had a back ache from carrying around all that weight on my chest. I've never been embarrassed by having an errant boob slip out of a top that barely conceals them. They will never ever sag and guys look at my face when they talk to me.

Of course, there are disadvantages too. Dresses and women's blouses don't fit me very well and me in a bikini is a joke but I eventually got old enough where that part of my body in a bikini was the least of the problem with wearing one. Getting a mammogram is an exercise in futility, frustrating for me and the technician. When I was young and going to clubs guys never ever asked me to dance and because I didn't have big boobs I had to develop other ways of attracting guys' attention. Oh wait, that might be an advantage.

And my mother's boobs? They didn't sag either, being a bag of goo, but by the time she was an old lady, they had slid down to her belly button. That right there is reason enough for me to never get an implant.


  1. very funny; from a pair of lemons (I hope) to a pair of melons, without being dyslexic.

    I never liked being flat chested, but at least there's not a lot to go South or that needs flipping over my shoulders when I'm bending forward over the weeds.

    I watch Desperate Housewives - Yes really, I like low-brow entertainment. Have all the female characters had boob jobs by series something or other?

  2. itty bitty titty committee?? I've never heard that one before!!

  3. My back is aching as I type. My boobs are one of the reasons I only run if someone is chasing me. But if the rest of me is looking terrible I just have to wear something low cut and men won't look at my face anyway.

  4. LOL @ PurestGreen.

    I like to say that I am two islands of perfection surrounded by wasteland.

    (and...I'm not defending your mother, but ANYthing either parent does, is always mortifying to a 15 yr old!)

  5. All plastic surgery to "enhance" the body is weird to me. I have big boobs - just as weird as having small boobs. Actually there is probably no such thing as an acceptable size and shape. I'm sorry your mom was so bizarre.

  6. Oh, this was a wild and crazy read!! I'm always trying to find the best minimizer bra to shrink them as much as possible. Why are we never happy with the hand, or should I say boob, we've been dealt?

  7. YES! You ARE my sister! I like not having boobs- even when I am fat I look less fat because I am flat...I only see when I was 15 I stuffed my bra and never let guys feel me up...they thought it was because I was prudish, whatever! they worked real well for nursing my baby for four years and that, afterall, is the point.

  8. Slide down to her belly button? Yikes!!
    My back doesn't ache; but my bra straps sometimes bears down on my shoulders and causes that to ache.
    I hope to have my reduced someday!!

  9. I should probably stay out of this one, but what the heck...

    I've never really understood the appeal of large fake breasts. I think I speak for most of the male population when I say that a small REAL pair beats a large FAKE pair every time.

    Isn't it a rather sad commentary on our society that we've convinced so many women that their value is tied to the size of their breasts?

  10. I used to be small breasted, but once I gained a lot of weight I have pretty big boobs. And I don't know what to do with them. I'm hoping that if I'm able to lose weight I'll lose them too - I'll feel more like my old self again.

  11. Now that is a great first line!
    You are wonderful just the way you are Ellen.

  12. jeff nailed it with his comment. it's weird for many of my guy friends and i that some women feel compelled to make so many adjustments to their appearance. i love the person. steven

  13. Hi Ellen

    I just loved this story...and heh I am the inaugural member of the itty bitty titty club except I never knew it was called that....

    I have never wanted big boobs...well perhaps when I was 12 or 13 I wanted some boobs... but like you I only see advantages in the small boob handout.

    I have to think that fake boobs are some kind of compensatory measure...

    Happy days

    we are working here in Hawaii for a period. There are so many plumerias here, some have large blooms and some very small...I never knew that...and such a range of colours. when I go walking the neighbourhood the air is filled with their perfume... delightfully tropical...

  14. Argh Ellen that was very funny (taking out your trauma of course) and being in the Itty Bitty Titty Commitee sounds fab :0)

    I am in the not so itty bitty titty club and the people there are no fun!

  15. Oh I had to look twice to see that you wrote this and not me. ;) In my late teens, my best friend and I each bought tee shirts to embroider those exact words "Members of the Itty Bitty Tittie Committee" on them. She still has the photo of the two of us wearing them. A very entertaining post, Ellen. :)

  16. I love this story - I too have the pleasure of naturally small boobs and love that they have always been that way! (Except like you for that brief period in my life when I was pregnant and nursing) I have just added you to my list - I hope you don't mind the comments of someone from the other side of the pond evey now and again!

  17. This was a great read, Ellen. I'm glad to hear the guys say they don't see the appeal in big fake boobs. I don't get it either.

    What do the French say, enough to fill a champagne glass? But I think a real advantage to being small chested is the not sagging bit.

  18. I don't like the fake ones either!
    They just don't behave naturally.

  19. I can relate to your mother as mine was so vane and always wanted to be the center of attraction.

    I came from Kathleen's blog Easy For Me To Say where you left a comment.

    Love the art. I think you are living a wonderfully creative live.


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