For The Last Time: Not All Women Love Having Big Boobs

Illustration for article titled For The Last Time: Not All Women Love Having Big Boobs

Writes Alessandra Stanley, "Men who complain about being too tall and thin are a little like women who bemoan their large busts. Unlike being fat, bald or flat-chested, it's as much a boast as it is a lament." Wait, what?

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The context: an otherwise very engaging New York Times review of Conan O' Brien's show at Radio City Music Hall, which is, she feels, tainted at times by a disingenuous false humility. To wit: "Mr. O'Brien patted his flat derriere, saying that the jumpsuit was "not a flattering look." Actually, he looked silly, but not at all bad." The tall/thin line follows hard upon it.

I get where she's going with it, and the operative word here is "boast": yes, people who publicly bemoan certain characteristics often are drawing attention to what is obviously only going to garner compliments. The people with actual issues rarely go around talking about them to strangers. But this is an unfortunate example. (I'm not even touching the truly "lamentable" states of baldness, fatness, or flat-chestedness, presumably burdens no one would willingly assume.) Any young girl who's developed early, or grown woman who's had to button her blouse just one higher than everyone else, knows the "SEXUALITY" sign large boobs confer on her, whether she wants it or not. Are big breasts synonymous with "sexy?" Sure - as any cat-caller will be more than happy to inform a woman. While I get what Stanley's talking about, I've heard women talk about back-ache, the problem of supportive bras, the challenge of summer clothes, the limits of high-fashion, the cost of breast-reduction, the unwelcome attention far more than I've seen preening Regina Georges pretending to bemoan Mattel frames. The old saw that any woman with a large chest is merely lucky, or doesn't know how good she has it, or that a breast-reduction is a purely cosmetic luxury, is tired and unfair, and I hate to see it perpetuated even in passing.

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Of course, it was a throwaway remark on Stanley's part; I certainly don't believe the writer's trying to make any point other than that Conan O'Brien has it pretty easy. But it's a dig that reinforces a tiresome stereotype. If there are indeed women fake-complaining about their breasts, please cease and desist ASAP. Some people aren't kidding and we'd like to avoid remarks like this in future. As to tall, thin men - well, that I'll give her.

Slings, Arrows, Self-Pity. What A Kidder! [New York Times]

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DISCUSSION

nerdfeminist
NerdFeminist

Funny story: I once, in a fit of New Year's exercise optimism, bought myself an exercise ball. A few hours later, I am in my pj's (which means no bra) and can't sleep. I see the exercise ball out of the corner of my eye and decide to inflate it (so it is ready for all of that early-morning exercise that the new-and-improved-tessa will be doing). I still can't sleep after that, so I look at the first exercise in the little pamphlet. It is one where you put you face down and put your knees on top of the ball, enabling you to do some kind of push-up. Well, I over-zealously get into position and smack myself in the face with my boobs. Like, hard. Seeing stars hard. I was doing the appropriate deep breath in as directed in the pamphlet, so I also was momentarily nearly suffocated by them as well. I was so confused and startled that it took me a minute to dismount the exercise ball (and by "dismount," of course, I mean "fall awkwardly off of").

I think it is possible that this is the day that I lost the respect of my cat.

I love my boobs because they are part of my body and I am resolute in the love of my body, no matter what. Also, they gave me a great story to tell. But I will never forget that once, they tried to kill me.