Bombshell Convert

I am a feminist. That means that I believe that a system exists in which men and women are judged and oppressed based 

on their gender or sexual orientation. Furthermore, being a feminist means actively doing something about it, be it protesting, educating the public, writing letters to my representatives, staying informed, and donating time, energy, and funds that go towards exposing and breaking down this system. I love this part of my identity: shedding the blinders of ignorance has not made me angry or depressed by reality, but only fires me up when I see injustice after injustice and all the opportunities that can be taken to end this oppression. Do I believe it can end? You betchya. Do I see the light at the end of the tunnel? Not today, but I believe that someday the gender binary will break down, gay weddings won’t be an affair “separate but equal” to straight weddings, and women and men will not be judged by their sexual prowess or lack thereof.

Alright, now that I have defined a huge part of my identity, I have a confession to make. I bought a bra a few weeks ago from Victoria Secret. That’s not the secret–I think that Victoria Secret is a great tool for empowerment, with a grain of salt. I did not walk into VS, ask a woman to size me, and then buy a bra that fits me that I like and feel confident in. My friend and I went to the semi-annual sale for one reason: to buy myself a Bombshell bra.

The Bombshell adds TWO WHOLE CUPS SIZES to your natural measurements.  Not only that, but you can buy this bra in the classic colors, making them simple and unadorned for work. They also come in outrageous designs : mine happens to be red with gold glitz all over it. Oh-ho, and I don’t hide this bra out of shame and embarrassment. In fact, I’m sure to pair it with low-cut shirts that are a little thin so that I can see the glimmer of the gold thread in certain lights. (Read: any light). I’m not ashamed of my Bombshell, but I’m also aware that I should be.

When I put this bra on, I feel, if only for a few seconds, in proportion. Desirable. Pretty. Like a smoking hot babe that any individual should hesitate to speak to because my beauty makes them nervous. I get over that feeling quickly, though, and move on with my day, but when I catch my reflection in a window or find a second to breath in the elevator that thought flashes through my head and I have a new source of confidence in my next step.

Now, I think to myself Girl, how much more shallow can you get?

This is part of the problem that weighs women against men: products that inspire you to take confidence and pride in physical assets that won’t bring you any savory benefit. I am not aspiring to be a historian because I believe I’m a solid 7. But if I think so highly of myself, why should I wear a bra that maybe helps me up the rankings? When I work so hard to talk to my younger girl cousins about how brave, smart, or wise the Disney Princesses were instead of how pretty and dainty, am I contradicting that lesson by wearing this piece of clothing that, literally, restricts my movement but also plays into a patriarchal society that demands its women to be bountiful in all the right places? What’s the point in declaring my feminism, now? It’s like taking two cup sizes up, and one cup size from my real source of confidence: my competence and intelligence.

For now, I’ve convinced myself that, because I am not in the dark about gender and sexual oppression in this country and because I believe that we all partake in perpetuating this system simply by existing in it, wearing this bra and continuing  my plans to live a feminist life do not contradict. Really, it doesn’t matter if I wear an enhancing bra right now while I read my favorite feminist blogs (feministing.com and jezebel.com). And it really shouldn’t matter that I feel good about how I look in a wireless, padded, or heavily lined bra while I take signatures for a petition or register people to vote. Because for now, I think there are bigger fish to fry than my choice to look feminine and wear the Bombshell.

No, You Cannot ‘Motorboat’ Me, and Other Things I Shouldn’t Have to Say This Often

Christina and I have something in common – we're up here, guys.

I realize that, to my flatter-chested lady friends, the contents of the following post are going to be about as irritating as the “I’m so pretty that no one takes me seriously and other girls hate me” articles, but believe me when I tell you that I, unlike biotches like Samantha Brick, have a real problem here.

Okay, probably not. But I do have a series of not-often-discussed small inconveniences to get off my big chest.

See, it’s hard out there for a chesty girl. And I should know – especially for a once-petite, pasty ginger, I am a pretty chesty girl. Not Christina Hendricks chesty, but then again, her bosom is superhuman. I won’t bore/titillate you with measurements (yes, the breast puns are going to just keep happening in this post!), but well, my lovely lady lumps are hefty.  And while that’s apparently a desirable thing among certain neanderthal-esque sitcom males, it comes with its own set of weird problems. Here are a few.

1. People think they can comment on them. This one is inexplicable to me; weirder still is the fact that other women are the main culprits. Men either aren’t as into breasts as beer commercials would like us to believe (more on that later) or they’re actually aware of how inappropriate it would be to tell me how big my boobs are. Women, however, have no such filter. I cannot tell you how often other ladies, including (sorry guys) my closest friends, tell me things like, “Oh my God your boobs look huge today.” Now, would I ever tell you that your butt/thighs/pores look huge? God, no. But somehow commenting on my chest is considered a compliment, rather than just, you know, weird. The title of this post is actually not an exaggeration — people ask if they can motorboat me on a surprisingly regular basis. It’s mystifying.

Maybe this girl could get a better job if Banana Republic made Oxford shirts that would actually fit her!

2. I look porny in really normal outfits. The biggest problem? Business attire. Clothing companies simply don’t make blouses for double-D’s. The top few buttons inevitably look like they’re about to bust, making me look like I’m playing a sexy secretary/naughty librarian/litigious lady CEO rather than preparing for a real-life, serious-pants interview or career. I don’t mean to draw attention to my chest most of the time, but with most clothing these days looking like it was made for Tilda Swinton, how am I supposed to look like anything but a very uncomfortable porn star? Maybe I should just get a lower back tattoo and lean into it.

3. Counters. I can’t stand at anything that’s chest height without inadvertently and awkwardly resting my rack on it. This unfortunately includes most bars, which leads to weird looks from bartenders and fellow patrons, plus inevitable stickiness on my shirts and dresses that I am never able to account for until I remember that – ew – I spent the evening with my chest perched on a beer-and-who-knows-what-else-soaked bar.

4. It’s apparently cool for guys to tell me they’re “not really into big boobs.” I think men think that this line makes them seem cool and sensitive and alternative. And maybe to small-chested girls it does sound cool and sensitive and alternative. But to me, that’s like saying, “Yeah, I’m not really into redheads,” or, “Yeah, white girls just don’t do it for me.” Good to know, I guess, but also, ouch. It wasn’t totally necessary for you to start our conversation with, “You’re really not my type.” Don’t get me wrong – it’s super great that your standard of beauty isn’t dictated by the unattainable “women” you see in the media, but that doesn’t mean it’s nice to comment negatively on my appearance. I don’t tell you, “Yeah, I don’t know, skinny hipster types in absurd outfits who say rude things to me just aren’t my scene.” Even though it’s true.

5. Running. I just can’t do it. I look ridiculous and it hurts.

As the lovely and talented Anna pointed out, the above makes it sound like I totally hate my body, which isn’t true at all – most days I’d rather be curvy in the places in which I’m curvy than waifish and wispy (though I think wispy waifs are gorgeous, too). I’ll admit for the sake of unflinching honesty that yes, the ladies look good in a low-cut top, and yes, I have occasionally used that to get drinks before you at the bar. All I want to convey here, really, is that the grass is always greener, and by grass I mean boobs, and by greener I mean more desirable, no matter what size you are. Some days, I wish I could put on a strappy sundress and not have to worry constantly about what bra to wear with it, because not wearing a bra is never an option for me. And I’m sure that some days, if you’re not quite as busty, you wish that sexy little black dress didn’t require a push-up bra.

I guess the actual point here (if there is one outside of whining) is that we shouldn’t assume anything about people’s bodies, especially not that they want to be perpetually reminded about their more dramatic features. The woman with insane blue eyes is probably sick of you gushing about the fact that they look like contact lenses, and the naturally thin, willowy beauty is certainly sick of hearing, “You need to eat a sandwich.” And yes, this voluptuous gal is tired of you asking if you can motorboat her. That’s weird.