In today’s edition of Salon magazine, writer Wendy Paris decries the “trend” of mannequins with larger bust sizes (and it is barely a trend – she’s seen these clothing-dolls in use in exactly two shops). At first I thought – oh, a trend towards larger bust-sizes? Perhaps I might actually find blouses that button up properly for the first time in my life…. But no, the article is little more than a weird rant about the ideal body and how women with larger breasts appear cheap, and slutty.
While posing as an outraged feminist, Paris says enlightened things like :
“[Mannequins] are supposed to be slim and lithe, aspirational, the plastic version of twiggy fashion models.”
“I hate the idea that a surgically achieved, über-chesty look is an ideal for anyone — beyond participants at an exotic dancer convention.”
Huh, love the idea that the twig-figure is “aspirational”, and anyone “über-chesty” is automatically surgically-enhanced and suited for little more than a career in stripping. (Even better is the title “Big Boobs for Dummies” – gee, thanks, I get the play on words… but I assume the writer figured I wouldn’t because my IQ somehow drained down into my bra).
Those of you who know me in person, get that I am a little defensive about the article as a busty girl (38-D… for the record), I developed big early and have been a D-cup for all of my adult life (doesn’t matter how much weight I lose, the tits stay the same size) – meaning that I often catch male co-workers staring at my chest during meetings, I can’t wear blouses that button-up, and cute bras are pretty much out of the question. Those are the only real downsides to bust-size in my case, as I have never suffered from back or neck pain, and overall am pretty well-proportioned.
It’s taken a long time for me to feel this way, that I don’t mind my body for what it is, and sometimes really enjoy its various “features”. Mostly I grew up feeling a bit freakish as boys in high school felt they had the right to grope me as they passed by in the stairwell, and I was accused of stuffing my bra by classmates. In college, I thought often of having reduction surgery in order to make my body more “normal”, before I learned with horror that one’s nipples are removed in the procedure (yes, they reattach them, but they often lose all sensation). Thankfully, I never acted on the whim to cut parts of my body off, as I’m sure I would have regretted it by now.
Perhaps it is my age, but I am finding it easier these days to accept and enjoy myself more – and far from being an embarrassment, I have learned over the years to flaunt my cleavage, and use it to my advantage (never thought the busty, flirty girl would be so smart didja?). Sound crazy? Perhaps, but the body can be flirty, fun, sexual and powerful all at once – and despite Wendy Paris’s assumptions, being overtly sexual and intelligent are not mutually exclusive. Boyish bodies may be “classier” and look better in fashion clothes, but those with curves got biological advantage. Bottom-line is having fun with whatever you got, and challenging the stereotypes that make us hate the women we are.