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Women Have Boobs -- Get Over It

Mine are really big -- and they're a burden. They come with the label "airhead" and "slut." Will we ever end our collective obsession with boobs?

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I have always thought, even as a child, that small and medium-sized breasts were more attractive than large ones. But were it not for the judgments, the harassment, the objectification and the pure hatred that my breasts have caused me, they’d be no different from my short legs or my frizzy hair -- something that I’d change if it were easy to do so, but which doesn’t really bother me. Things are much better for me now, because I have a good academic career behind me and a high-status job that explicitly requires intelligence. I have proved myself as not an airhead. But why should I have to do so? Why should the underlying assumption be that I am? It’s stupid and unfair, and I am angry about it.

It’s not my problem that my breasts "don’t suit my personality." The problem is that there is a personality type associated with having big breasts in the first place. We don’t need implants and breast reductions. What we need is to cure our society’s complete obsession with breasts. We need somehow to do away with the idea that breast size is directly proportional to sexual attractiveness, and that a sexually attractive woman is somehow deserving of harassment and contempt. Surely breasts aren’t the only beautiful thing about an attractive woman?

As a heterosexual female, I appreciate that it’s difficult for me to comment meaningfully on what makes a woman sexually attractive, but really, it’s the equivalent of a man’s attractiveness being judged solely by the size of the bulge in his pants, which is surely not an attitude that anybody with any aesthetic taste or basic respect for their fellow humans would take.

I do still have some residual shame about my body. I know this because I cringed when writing the opening paragraph of this piece, describing my appearance. I was shocked at just how much I cringed. After all, I happily walk down the street every day looking like I do. But nevertheless, admitting that I have a 23-inch waist and E-cup breasts (how brazen!) gave me visions of lots of angry women scowling at their monitors and fuming, "The stuck-up bitch! Who does she think she is? I mean, it’s as if she’s actually proud of her goddamn 'perfect figure.' Who’d have thought it, Barbie writing for The F-Word…"

I know that this is irrational, but I share my paranoia to illustrate that, despite the fact that I don’t usually think about my body much and never diet, I do still have quite a complicated relationship with my figure and what I think people’s reactions to it might be. I have cringed at every point at which I have stated or implied that I am generally regarded as attractive from the neck down. It feels like an extraordinarily arrogant thing to admit. I feel as if I ought to be simultaneously raving about having an ugly face or bad hair just to balance things out. It’s stupid and irrational, but it’s the way I feel. It’s the way that mainstream, female, male and even feminist culture seems to conspire to make me feel.

We cannot win. Whatever size our breasts are, there is something wrong with them. Whatever body type we have, even the most conventionally attractive kind, we are encouraged to be unhappy with it somehow. So quit worrying. Stick two fingers up at society rather than down your throat. And if you think I’m an airhead, please let it be simply because you think I’ve been talking complete bollocks for the last 3,000 words.

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