I was a skinny teen and always thought my breasts were too small. The body I have now didn't really develop until my thirties, after I'd had a child, and somehow I developed a meatier shape and grew breasts. After longing for bigger ones I now know they are not necessarily what I would choose if I actually did have a choice. I don't want my chest be the first thing a person notices bout me and I would like this to happen even if I go braless. I would like to not have to wear a bra in order to look slimmer and I would like not to even have this mental debate with myself about whether or not I should post this picture because it might look less than flattering or it might look slutty. The original definition of slutty was actually sloppy and not sexual but bralessness on a larger busted woman tends to be judged as both of those.
When I first took this photo I was going to talk about the skirt and the kitchen. I still am. But first I am going to talk about the debate I had with myself over which of the photos to post and whether or not to post any of them and whether or not to edit out my nipples so as not to offend anyone.
Oh my, where did all of that forehead come from? Does it
help to distract from the breasts?
Prior to all of that my only thought had been, well the skirt should probably have been ironed and it's not really a good hair day so I hesitated to take a picture at all. But I found this skirt in a thrift shop recently and I am really happy with it. I love it and wanted to show it off. And I wanted to show my new kitchen experiment in which I am living without cupboard doors to find out if I would like open shelving in the kitchen. That was the original purpose of this post. Then I looked at the pictures and saw the boobs and the -gasp!-nipples.
It's a casual day. A non-tucked in, non bra-wearing, ugly slippers that look like Ugg boots, hair pulled off the forehead sort of day. I look like this often so why should I hide that? This is my home, unstyled, a feather duster on the stool beside me and a boxed amaryllis under it. The ugly cork floor that drives me crazy is fully featured in these photos too. I am not hiding anything so why should I feel like I have to hide my breasts to avoid judgement and why do I feel that I cannot be seen in public without a bra? I am, after all, someone who believes women should be allowed topless in public. Breasts are so many things and yes, they are sexual but so are lips, so are legs but we don't hide those. I find men's hands very attractive. I love male hands and to me they are sexual and sensual and even potentially arousing but hands are never hidden.
Perhaps it is mostly old breasts we don't like. Should mine be hidden and tucked into a bra because they are older, larger and not high firm orbs like water balloons glued to my chest? If a man's nipples show through his shirt we are not scandalised and yet his nipples are just as prone to arousal as a woman's. My nipples have helped to feed a child. They were nearly chewed off and they bled and were sore and breast feeding was hellish but I persevered. I am proud of these breasts for what they have done and there is so much more to them than their sexuality but I do not deny their sexuality either. They like to be touched but then so do my arms, my neck, my face and I don't have to hide those. They are not the only part of my body that is aging, though I am not always required to hide the other parts that are and certainly I live in a culture that shames women for any visible aging. I live in a culture that is losing sight of what real breasts look like and the fact that real breasts which are large are not actually going to be high and round. Just ask Kate Upton.
Last summer I dared myself to wear high heeled sandals and thus embrace my height. I have never liked my height and wearing heels puts me over six feet tall, a place where I am not comfortable. I dared myself to own that and I did. I am not sure I liked it much but I found I could do it and I will do it again. Now I am daring myself to go braless, though not topless, in public without shame. To do it just because I want to and nobody is going to tell me that I cannot. Some are going to judge me but so what? People judge each other all the time and while one person is judging me for my lack of a bra another will be judging me for my poor taste in slippers. (These slippers happen to be very warm, cosy and slightly more stylish than giant bear paw slippers.)
I think perhaps I will be doing a good service for the community. Real breasts need to be shown. The size, the shape, the way they hang, non of which are well represented in television, movies and magazines anymore, and certainly not in porn. I am not interested in shocking people, in fact I do not seek the sort of attention that comes from shocking others. I am interested in being me, in being real, and in behaving according to my beliefs. This isn't even revolutionary. Bras were abandoned in the seventies and then rather quietly put back on again in the eighties. This is personal. This is about me proving to myself that I can live according to my beliefs and that I don't give a feck about what other people might think. What is the point in attempting to avoid judgement? Avoiding it should not be the goal, ignoring it should be. And that is just what I am going to do.