Me Talk Titty One Day | Jasmine Davila

I’m fat. I am actually quite fat. I’m fat pretty much everywhere, from the top of my big old Charlie Brown head to the bottoms of my Fred Flintstone feet. Fat everywhere except for two places.

The area between my neck and my stomach. Specifically, MY BOOBS.

If I had to pick any two places on my body to be medium or even just a little undersized, it definitely would not have been in the tits.

As a fat girl I thought for a long time that, like other fat girls, I actually had big tits.

I didn’t know my boobs were only sorta medium sized until a few years ago, when I was hanging out at home with a few friends. There were four of us: me, two of my lady pals, and a dude, my friend Dan.

Dan was looking around the room, peering at us while we smoked cigarettes and flipped through fashion magazines. As he stared, a look of glee on his face, he exclaimed that he was happy to be in a room of big-breasted women. Considering Dan’s favorite word was and always will be “Boobies!” I wasn’t surprised, but it was still kind of weird.

The three of us ladies looked at each other, shrugged, then told him to kindly shut the fuck up before resuming smoking and reading.

But then I snuck an admiring peek at my chest and squeezed my tits together with my arms, like they were high-fiving each other. I could almost hear them saying, “I say old man, splendid going there!” “Thank you sir! Couldn’t have managed it without you!”

High-fives all around.

But over time I’ve come to see that I’m not big-breasted so much as I have enough body fat to sort of propel my tits up, so that it looks like they’re bigger than they are. This wouldn’t be a problem, except when it comes to bra shopping.

Even those “plus size” bras made for fat bitches like myself tend to think of a 42D as round, ample melons that are symbols of fertility and body positivity and blah blah blah. A picture of a tattooed lady with dyed red hair and an hourglass figure, inked with bluebirds and Mexican sugar skulls, posing in a vintage-style bathing suit on ModCloth.com comes to mind. I can never picture my own body, where the excess weight tends to hang around my belly, the breasts rather small in comparison, without thinking of it as child-like and not completely developed, or even whole.

My boobs are shaped more like soufflés that didn’t rise quite right. They’re what a long-ago acquaintance would have described as “70’s boobs”, sorta bouncy if not super perky. They seem better suited for a disco-era silk jersey Halston gown, a dress that I pray I could one day pull off without looking like a balloon covered with a dinner napkin.

I find myself trying not to pose too much in pictures. Sitting is out because I tend to think I look like Jabba The Hutt, only with much nicer boobs.

If the ideal breasts were the Hostess Snowballs that come two to a package, in various colors to match the season, then mine would be more like stale Ding Dongs you get from the day-old bakery.

If the ideal breast were a perfect sphere of red Jell-O, mine would be like the broken, lumpy blocks of orange gelatin at this awful buffet on Belmont and Kimball where I can’t stop eating.

Why do I keep talking about food when I talk about my breasts?

I’m not sure if it would be important to me to have big boobs if I wasn’t fat in the first place.

Like I think it would be rad if I could shift my fat around so I can have bigger boobs for like, a cocktail party where there are cute men, then deflate them if I have to walk through Wrigleyville on a Saturday night.

When I was in fifth grade, certain books were passed around my classroom in secret. I went to a public school in New York City, and most of those were terrible places in the 1980s. We had a library, but weren’t allowed to borrow any of the books.

One of the books that made its way around the room was Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. I think if you are a woman of a certain age such as myself, which is older than 30 and younger than Judy Blume, you can’t really think about or talk about your boobs until you have talked about this book. If you have not read this book, let me fill you in on what you missed while you were growing up in a cave or whatever.

Margaret is an only child who, at the age of 11, moves from New York City to suburban New Jersey. Eager to make new friends, she forms a secret club, The Pre-Teen Sensations, which is literally the greatest name for a club anywhere in the history of pre-teens, boobs, young adult literature, and the world in general.

The club has rules, one of which is they have to wear a bra, something they check for at every meeting. Every meeting is also punctuated by an exercise, which consists of the girls pumping their arms back and forth, shouting:

I must! I must! I must increase my bust!
 I MUST! I MUST! I MUST INCREASE MY BUST!

This is the only exercise I’ve ever done with any semblance of consistency or dedication, always alone and in the privacy of my bedroom or the bathroom. It never occurred to me to form my own version of the Pre-Teen Sensations when I was 11. The other girls in my class kept their distance, and anyway they seemed too busy with Chinese school or CCD or piano lessons to come to my house for quarter waters and furtive bust exercises in my crowded apartment.

Having Are You There, God? made me feel not quite so alone. I understood for the first time that it was possible for seemingly perfect girls with big boobs and long blonde hair, like Laura Danker in the book, to resent the same physical attributes that I longed for. Judy Blume was the adult I needed in my life to talk to about this stuff. I didn’t dare approach my parents who, in addition to being fairly devout Catholics, were immigrants from a conservative country. I wasn’t supposed to have questions about these things, and I certainly wasn’t supposed to ask these questions of them. They only ever talked about school and church. If my attention strayed from these two topics then I would need God to intervene, lest they send me back to the old country.

I had a brief flirtation with floor hockey in high school. I sometimes think about doing free yoga in Millennium Park. But I prefer to sleep in, ideally after consuming many tacos in bed, and I believe that my body is an accurate reflection of that. My lifelong love affair with food, which I had previously considered an unhealthy obsession I could not give up, makes me reflect on my breasts and my body in a new way.

It’s not just because I more often than not drop food on my boobs or in my cleavage. It’s more like, if I find myself eating a steak burrito from Irazu, I find that I am happier for having eaten it rather than say, a frozen burrito from 7-11. I please myself with the eating of something delicious and comparatively healthy. Chicago is a wonderful place for the care and feeding of one’s tits. Currently, my breasts crave a chocolate cake shake from Portillo’s, and the Three Chili Chicken at Lao Sze Chuan.

But I cannot give up the thrusting, the “musting” of my bust into existence. Just like I cannot give up reading Judy Blume books in my room at night, or forming not-so-secret clubs of best friends- friends whose boobs come in all shapes and sizes. Like snowflakes, or animal crackers.

I know the exercises probably had nothing to do with the tits I have today. What I got has as much to do with genetics, with structural support from the precisely engineered bras from a variety of French, Belgian, and German manufacturers that I enjoy buying and wearing today.

But the thrusting, it’s fun, it’s hilarious, and a reminder that taking care of my body and caring for myself can take many forms. I find that the more I laugh with my body instead of crying about it, the better I feel. It’s also less time-consuming, which allows for other pursuits- like going out to look for more tacos, and reading Judy Blume’s other novels that aren’t about tits.

So I do my exercise, my little ritual. And so can you.

Back straight.

Chest out.

Arms bent.

Deep breath…and go.

I must! I must! I must increase my bust!

 

 


 

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Jasmine Davila
has been oversharing on the internet since 2000. She has read for the likes of Solo in the 2nd City, Tuesday Funk, That’s All She Wrote, 20×2, and Miss Spoken. Please tweet all the cute corgi pictures to her at @jasmined.

 

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