A Tale of Two Titties

I want bigger boobs. Does that make me a loser?

Dear Molly, 

I live inside of my shame. I've burrowed so far deep underground into my shame that now I feel like a mentally-challenged mole who can't find its way back to the surface. The air in here is stuffy and nauseating and it makes me want to just go to sleep. But I'm not here to talk about burrowing into my shame, though that's clearly related. And I'm not here to talk to you about my shitty boyfriend, though he makes an appearance. I'm here to talk to you about boobs.

All of the women in my family - aunts, cousins, second cousins, grandmother - have big boobs. I do not. As in, I am a 32 A and I come from a family of FFs. We always assumed they'd grow in, but they never did. Now I'm in my late twenties and feel I have two options: get over it and love my body, or get a boob job and have the body I always associated with womanhood. 

I recently went bra shopping (is it a universal truth that bra shopping destroys a part of your soul?) I cried and called my mom for comfort. "So what that they're small?" she said. "They're you!" Which only made me cry harder.

I hate that I have small boobs, and I hate that I hate them. I believe in accepting people as they are, inside and out, and lots of other flowery shit like that. I've never seen a woman with small boobs and thought, “She'd look so much better with bigger boobs.” But I can't seem to extend that acceptance to myself. I feel so ashamed of my flat chest. I feel ugly, prepubescent. I want to be able to love my body, and I don't want to feel like I need surgery to do so. I also wonder if I got the surgery if I'd feel shame for it - women are judged for having no boobs but also judged if they get a boob job. You can't win. And yet, I'm considering it because I think it would make me feel like a woman, in the way I always imagined I'd look, rather than just a girl.

I blurted out to my boyfriend that I was looking into breast augmentation procedures but struggling with it because I wish I could just accept my body as it is. I cried on the couch telling him this and he asked how big I'd get them, holding his hands out imagining these big, invisible boobs with a smile on his face. Then he said, "You'll never do it. Besides, your boobs are... good. Surgery is dangerous and expensive." Though he isn't wrong about the danger and cost, strangely, it wasn't comforting to hear my boyfriend take a pause and come up with "good" to describe my boobs. When I told him his comment hurt, he said he thought it would be disingenuous to say they were great or perfect since he knows he isn't perfect either. (So, side issue: is my boyfriend an asshole, or just stupid when it comes to conversations about boobs? Or both? Can men have supportive conversations about boobs without their penis brains taking over?) 

I feel I'm struggling between a) having surgery to achieve the image of womanhood, informed by the most important women in my life, that I always thought I'd have and b) a glimmer of self-love and wanting to be proud of the body I have, small boobs and all. I say this because I want to be clear that my own body-shaming is not solely tied up in how attractive I want to look (though that's part of it) but also what womanhood has looked like to me based on the women around me. It feels like an important distinction to make, but maybe it isn't. Maybe I'm just kidding myself, and I'm taking in all of the cultural cues that say women who have small tits and a flat ass aren't worth the time. I want to feel like a woman and I want to feel like I'm worth the time.

I hate that I'm even seeking counsel on this issue, but I'm coming to you, Molly, because I think you'll be honest with me about my stupid boyfriend and you'll consider that surgery maybe is the right thing rather than immediately dismissing the idea. What do I do? How do I make this decision, and will I hate myself either way? How do I love myself?

Sincerely,

Bummed About Boob Size

Dear Bummed About Boob Size,

Boobs are amazing. If you happen to be obsessed with how bouncily supreme they are, there’s zero reason not to fixate on them. Everyone gives Americans shit for caring about boobs and not asses or feet or ears like the fucking French or the Brazilians or the Finnish or some such. But aren’t those arbitrary body parts, too? Is it morally superior to fixate on two butt cheeks instead of two tits?

God, everyone is so dumb I just want to dunk my entire head in a vat of chocolate pudding sometimes. Pull me out when the world isn’t so fucking stupid.

I think you should do whatever the fuck you want. I don’t care if you were raised among flat-chested women or raised by a Victoria’s Secret catalogue. You don’t have to justify what you want. You can want neon green hair and tattoos on your face and a third arm. Maybe your desires are an offshoot of dysfunction or insecurity or our sexist culture or your idiot boyfriend who is mostly just bad at speaking out loud using words (can’t be sure, just a guess, could be an insensitive clueless dork or an abject dickhead or a little of both). Or maybe you just want some boobs because it seems like having boobs would be fun.

Or maybe there are mysterious shadow reasons for this desire. Maybe you were abducted by aliens and they planted a boob-wanting chip in your brain in order to experiment on you and also on Pamela Anderson, and Pamela Anderson has fulfilled her destiny and she’s happy but here you are, still unhappy, and all of the aliens are watching you on TV (one team set up cameras in your apartment while the other team inserted the chip) and they’re saying “What the fuck Earthling lady? Go get some fake tits already!” Maybe they’re placing bets and everything and Zandor The Terrible is about to lose 59 Squigma to Slickton The False thanks to you not getting a boob job yet, and everyone’s psyched because Zandor is a real cunt who cheats at Plington on Hingle Dongle Day.

The point is, it’s not a moral dilemma. You don’t have to answer to anyone else’s ideas about what it means. You don’t have to justify it to anyone. You only have to understand it for yourself. You have to make some peace with getting a boob job and not getting a boob job. You have to try it all on for size. And if you do it, you’ll have to make peace with having done it, no matter how it turns out. I like to pay for all of that shit up front with lots of stressful overthinking, and I’m sure you’re the same way. Hash it out. Write it all down. Just don’t talk to that idiot dude on your couch who is bad at saying words out loud. He will not help.

A few things I want to add. Number one is boobs get bigger in your thirties, almost always. It’s uncanny. Number two is boobs get bigger when you do push-ups, which I found out because I am a fucking American hero who does push-ups. Number three is boobs that start out as tiny triangle-shaped things sometimes settle in after you have kids and then they get that bigger boob shape, even when they’re still small. Number four is as women, we are allowed to talk about tits in an excited way without feeling guilty about it, and if you think I’m somehow body-shaming small-breasted women just by talking about boobs at all, you need to stop worrying about your boobs and grow more brains inside your skull instead. Because I love ALL of the boobs. I love flat little ones and I love gigantic racks. Boobs, glorious boobs, hot sausage and mustard!

I get that you’ve been focused on getting your big boobs all of your life and it’s like the goddamn package never arrived from Amazon so now you feel like a bratty tween who got shafted. That’s very particular to you, I get that, and it means a lot more than just “I want to be more attractive.” I get that there are layers and layers to excavate here. People always want to melt this shit down to “Dumb chick wanna look hot and young!” like a) there aren’t a trillion nano-messages that we unknowingly ingest every minute that reinforce this desire and b) there aren’t a trillion other nano-reasons for wanting the things that we want as women, as humans, as complex motherfucking beasts trying to navigate the stanky shit heap of a world.

That’s why you just have to say FUCK EVERYONE and do exactly what you want with your own goddamn body.

Now it’s time for some middle-aged lady fables: I am growing older, so some mornings I look in the mirror and all I can see is Burgess Meredith. (Google it, kids.) Other days I see Walter Matthau. Rest assured that it is really hard to put make up on Walter Matthau’s face while you’re hearing the theme to “The Odd Couple” play in your head. Make up doesn’t improve things. You spend 10 minutes and then you’re just Walter Matthau with make up on.

This bad sensation reached its peak about two years ago. I had mousy brown hair with white roots growing in and wrinkles and hunchy shoulders and a sad-sack look on my face every morning. And I didn’t want to feel that way. It wasn’t about what other people saw, it was about how I felt about myself.

So I started to get up in the morning and look Walter Matthau right in the eyes and say, “I am super hot.” I would say this to my husband also. I would say “Hot damn, you won the lottery.” It was like brainwashing someone. Luckily men are easy to brainwash, it’s almost like they want you to brainwash them all the time. They prefer it, in fact.

I also brainwashed myself eventually, just by deciding, over and over again, that I was smoking hot. I guess some people might call that DENIAL. Others might say I’m a pathetic hag with delusions of grandeur. But let me tell you something, and I really want you to believe this because it’s true: I do not give a flying fuck what anyone else thinks about it or how they explain it, because I feel damn good, and that was all I wanted in the first place.

The fucked up thing is that once I drank my own Kool-Aid regularly, other people started to check me out again, too. This is mostly just inconvenient, but it’s also weird. Either I’m brainwashing them just by acting like I think I’m hot, or they’re gaping at what a self-deluded cunt I am. I don’t know which it is and again, I sincerely and truly do not care. I feel good, my husband is a zombie who believes everything I say, what else is there in life?

And thanks to the fact that I’m paying attention to my looks again, I also notice that I have this pesky acne that somehow no one else has anymore. Why doesn’t anyone break out anymore, but I still do? Well it turns out that not only have make up technologies improved dramatically since the last time I checked, but I also have untreated acne rosacea. THEN I develop this witchy bulb thing on my eyelid called a chalazion, and apparently that’s caused by blepharitis which is related to my acne rosacea. So now I look like a literal witch but I’m like “No worries, I am still hot, I just happen to have a few pesky issues to address.” I undergo a terrible “Clockwork Orange”-style surgery to remove the very big chalazion, and the surgeon recommends that I get IPL to prevent future chalazions. Six months later, BAM, I’ve got zero acne and zero witchy eyelids and I am even hotter inside of my brain than I was before.

See how that worked? I decided I was smoking hot first, then I decided that, as a smoking hot delusional witch, I deserved to want what I wanted, and then I started solving some problems without feeling weird or guilty or self-conscious or vain about it.

So then I figure I will stop dyeing my Very White and Gray hair. I’ll probably be hot no matter what, so why not? But my hair stylist (who always does exactly what he wants ALWAYS ALWAYS) says, “Hey, wouldn’t it make more sense to go platinum blonde instead? That way your white roots won’t show as much, plus you’ll look like the goddamn MOTHER OF DRAGONS!”

“Except uglier,” I say.

“Shut the fuck up!” he screams.

I’m tempted but I say no, just cut my dumb hair, I don’t deserve nice things. Then I go home and look at photos of gorgeous, shiny gray hair instead. Gray hair is more appropriate for my age, I think. And look, even teenagers are doing it. I will be so hip.

I grow out my white roots for three months. GROMBRE! I am rocking it. Even my husband likes it. I am so natural and still so very hot.

But a little evil voice inside my head still asks, “When will I ever go blonde?” I always wanted to see what that would look like. Will it make me look vain? I live in LA, will I be a walking cliché? But if I go gray first, will I ever go blonde later? No way! That’s when I realize: This is my one chance to do something totally flashy and pointless with my hair, something not remotely trendy and very fucked up. I will look like an ugly Mother of Dragons! I will look like I believe that I’m amazing, which is what I actually believe! I will look delusional and maybe even high on crystal meth!

So naturally I go for it.

Three weeks later, some people don’t always think that I got blonde hair for me. They assume that I’m trying to look younger or be hotter (like I’m not already so hot that I incinerate mortal eye sockets everywhere I go!). They think I’m trying to please them, so they assume I want to know whether or not it pleases them. But that’s fine because it does please me to laugh in their faces.

I guess I could give myself rainbow clown hair and then they’d know for sure I’m just trying to please myself. But then I’d still be trapped in their world, and I’d rather live in mine, where my hair is all frazzled and fucked-up and I love it. And I never would’ve known that if I hadn’t obsessed about it for a few months and then tried it, just for me, knowing that even my husband might hate it. (He thinks it’s great. Keep in mind I control his brain like a keyboard.)

So this is my advice: Embrace your flat chest for a while. Celebrate the fuck out of it. This is like my growing-out-my-white-hair phase. You don’t know if you’ll stay here or do something more drastic yet. But if I were you, I would look at photos of flat-chested icons and I would think about how they dress and show off their bodies and how they can often look more feminine than women with big boobs. They do this simply by believing that they are graceful demonic nymphs. They do this simply by wearing sleek low V-necks that show off their slender broad chests and pretty collarbones. They do this simply by moving and thinking like French women who have somewhere better to be. I want you to stand up straight and put your shoulders back proudly and think about what it means to be the most feminine woman alive with the flattest chest in the world. If I can look like Walter Matthau in a white-blonde wig but inside my brains I’m exploding man eyeballs with my hotness, I think you can drum up a little effort and use your powers of imagination to transform how you feel about yourself.

Now, I know we’re running long, but this is when a gaggle of dumbasses busts in and starts moaning about how OF COURSE IT MATTERS WHAT PEOPLE REALLY SEE, ARE YOU AN IDIOT? Because it’s all math to them. It’s all observable dimensions, that you write down with numbers on a page, proof of what you’re made of, like that’s the way hotness functions, as these discrete, quantifiable, limited variables that determine all of our fates.

People who think that way are not interesting and you should never fuck any of them, and trust me, they’re not so fun to fuck, either. Because they’re not jacked into the sexy imaginary matrix that the rest of us are. And once you lose this persistent image that lives inside your head of a needy tween waiting for her boob package, and you finally learn how to see yourself as a smoking hot Betty from a galaxy far away instead? Lots of smoking hot aliens will start crawling out of the woodwork, wanting to get close to you, and one of them will probably look exactly like your idiot boyfriend who doesn’t know how to speak using words. Oh, but he will start saying words, rapidly and furiously, because he will suddenly understand that you are precious and might run off with one of these other aliens and leave him in the dust, gesturing about big tits all by himself. And it will feel like your eyeballs couldn’t focus on these weird sexy aliens before, and now they’re everywhere. You also won’t be able to hear the mewling of math-focused idiots who care about measuring a person’s Exact Hotness quite as well; their sounds will be drowned out by the good sounds inside your brain, the ones you created through sheer force of will.

So. Do that first. Convince yourself that you’re a scary snake queen just the way you are. Paint your lips dark purple and buy some fucking “I have zero tits” jumpsuit thing and be wretched and enviable. Or just meditate on how secretly French you are and how much more important shit you have to do than listen to your barely literate boyfriend speak out loud. Imagine yourself seducing him in ways that make your very small teensy tiny breasts the main attraction, imagine dominating and confusing him with your pride in how sleek and perfect you suddenly know yourself to be. Try it, if you want, and experience firsthand what a malleable zombie he is.

I know I talk shit but when you seduce a man and control his brain and take advantage of his suggestible nature in order to make yourself more attractive and exciting and scary and strong and sexy, EVEN HE would say that you’re doing him a huge favor and he likes it, he likes likes likes likes it a lot, thank you thank you thank you. Men hate wishy washy insecurity because it’s a mirror of their deep down selves that they were taught to bury as children. Men love the illusion of overconfidence and pride, even when it’s a teeeeeensy bit punishing.

You’d think I was into S&M the way I talk sometimes. I probably should be. All I’m saying is, you’re the goddamn boss and you don’t even know it yet. Few men would disagree with me. In fact, many men are reading these words right now and wishing like hell they had a flat-chested boss lady who was about to envision a path to becoming more careless and heartless and French.

You’re a top who’s acting like a bottom, in other words. Stop acting like that and climb onto your goddamn dragon and ride that son of a bitch.

Do that now and decide about your boobs later. If you still dislike them, get bigger ones. Read a lot about people who went slightly bigger versus a lot bigger. Read about how people feel afterwards. But don’t forget to consider how much Slickton The False could use those 59 Squigma right now, and how great it will feel to see Zandor finally get his come-uppance.

Whatever happens, tune out the naysayers and serve yourself. Make every day Hingle Dongle Day inside your head, and fuck anyone who doesn’t like it.

Molly