Growing up big (and beautiful?)

When I was in junior high, I had the unfortunate happenstance of having Physical Education with the most popular girl in school. She was a nasty person who ruled the school through threats and intimidation. In retrospect, I (and most others in the school) could have beaten the snot out of her if we had possessed any self-confidence, which most junior high school girls lack. Anyway, she would pick on me because I was flat as a board. I had no boobs. My voluminous T-shirts were no help in hiding nature’s betrayal. So, day in and day out, Misty made fun of me.

This continued through freshman year of high school. Fortunately, that was it for P.E. and taking classes with Misty. I was much smarter than she and was placed in higher level classes. I stopped caring what she and her crew thought of my lack of breasts, because another group suddenly became more important. Boys.

Most high school boys love breasts and I had none. I thought I would never get a boyfriend because I was flat chested. Of course, it was really because I was a good girl and never even considered “putting out.” Anyway, most of high school, I floundered in a hormonal miasma that was caused by more than just a lack of boob. It was the usual teen angst scene, and I bet even my best friend Misty had her share of problems.

My senior year, I woke up one morning and had huge lumps of fat on my chest. I had boobs and they were impressive. Luckily, I was past the phase where girls with large breasts (they were big for high school) were called sluts (I could never understand this. Even some of the Christian girls with large breasts were treated sometimes as being sexually suspect).

They stayed this nice, manageable size until my sophomore year in college. I was proud of myself for avoiding the “freshman 15” and staying relatively slender. However, I started to notice that I could not button my blouses, and some of my shirts were too tight. I went to the professional bra-sizer lady at Meier and Frank, who brusquely informed me I was a D cup and not a C.

D cup? Our society constantly throws these images of large-breasted women at us and we snap it up. Tori Spelling flashed her cleavage canyon in Beverly Hills 90210 as often as possible, once daddy had paid for newer, better hooters. Britney Spears is reported to have had her chest inflated too, but denies these reports. We all know better, hon.

What is paradoxical about this is, that while larger breasts are desirable, the body that usually matches those breasts is supposed to be really skinny. Liz Hurley, Hugh Grant’s ex-girlfriend, bought one of Marilyn Monroe’s dresses at an auction, and here’s what she had to say about it; “Shoot me if I ever get this fat.” Do you know what size this dress was? A 14. I wear a 14 and am not fat. I will never view a movie with Liz Hurley in it ever again. That was a horrible statement made by someone with a Misty mindset.

The rest of society, or at least the clothing industry, seems to echo Ms. Hurley’s ethos. It is nearly impossible for me to find a bra in my size in a store. Victoria’s Secrets’ girls look at me with pity and tell me to look in the catalog. I will not do this. I need my bra now, not in two weeks. When I do find it, I have to pay five to ten dollars extra, because of my “larger size.” I like to call this the tit tax.

I also have a difficult time finding an attractive bra. Most bras for women my size come in white, black or nude, and they resemble bulletproof Kevlar vests. I am convinced that 90 percent of my bras would stop automatic rifle fire, not that I’m willing to test this of course. I wear the same bras my grandmother does, and that does not feel good.

Another difficult thing for me to do is find tops. I shop primarily at Old Navy and the Gap. I do this because they always have extra large. Meier and Frank no longer carries extra large. Nordstrom does, sometimes, but we know what Nordstrom prices are like.

I don’t even think about going in stores like Forever 21 or bebe. The shop girls look at me like, “you’re too FAT to shop here.” I have tried shopping at Lane Bryant or Elisabeth, but those shop girls look at me like, “you’re too SKINNY to be shopping here.”

I don’t know where I fit in. I do know a few things. I have inherited the “Richard breasts,” which means I will continue to expand, and my poor little sister is also just now experiencing the joy of our inherited genetic betrayal. My bra straps dig divots into my shoulders. I spend too much money taking my clothes to tailors to have the big shirts and dresses I buy taken in at the hips and waist. My back is starting to hurt more often than not and I cannot jog or even climb stairs fast.

I’m no longer “perky,” not that that matters much, but I am concerned that I no longer point skyward if you know what I mean. I dread having my belly button between my mammaries before I hit my 30s. I have stretch marks and half-circles underneath my breasts where the underwire constantly digs into my skin.

I no longer feel feminine, no matter what anyone says. I feel like a lumbering, top-heavy troll. My tops have started not fitting again, and I have lost 10 pounds, so I am a little alarmed. I am researching plastic surgeons and saving my pennies. I am hoping modern medicine will offer to me what it did to Tori Spelling (though, I’d rather not have oddly shaped cleavage). She gained confidence by getting bigger boobs; I’d like the confidence and peace of mind having smaller ones. I want to wear tube tops and halter tops and not look like a refugee from the Jerry Springer show. I want to wear strapless and backless things and not have cleavage up to my chin. I want to be perky again.