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My Cups Runneth Over

Article by Erin M. Pipes, Illustrated by Isabel Samaras, appeared in issue Fighting Back; published in 1998; filed under Social commentary; tagged body image, breasts, health.

I didn't start out in the world a hard-ass, I swear. I was the nice girl, Little Mary Sunshine—turning the other cheek and searching for the good in all people. But you know what finally pushed me over the edge? I'll sum it up for you in one word: breasts. More specifically, my‑breasts. I am a woman with large breasts—an intelligent woman, horror of horrors. (I mean, brains and‑breasts? There must‑be a mistake—somebody stop her before she takes over the world!) However, I do have a fair amount of smarts in this itty-bitty head of mine, and I am sick to death of the prejudice that comes with the set. How many times does this happen to you? You're wearing what is, to you, a perfect example of the classic outfit—tailored, professional, powerful. You look good. Then you leave the comfort of your home, on your way to the place you donned this respectable ensemble for, and some caveman on the street uses all his reserves of brain power to sling some witty comment at you, like, "Hey! I like your big tits!" Well, gee. Thanks! I mean, what the hell am I supposed to say to that? Am I expected to rip open my blazer and show‑you how grateful I am? Fuck that.

I've had these breasts since I was 13 years old, and let me tell you, I have heard them all. I was

habitually harassed about the size of my chest from day one. By everyone—boys and girls and

men and women alike. The boys called me "Boobs" in junior high; whenever I changed for P.E., girls would snicker and point, I once tearily confided to a teacher—who denied me my outrage by saying I "probably love the attention." I also remember, in class, Stacey saying to John in a not-so-covert manner that she thought my parents should take turns jumping up and down on my chest—to flatten me out—and how embarrassing it must be for them. (Actually, my mom, who is the only one who ever addresses the issue of my breast size—because my dad prefers not to acknowledge anything to do with my sexuality—is proud of them. She is of the mindset that links marriageability, and therefore worthiness as a woman, to larger breasts. "Hold your shoulders back, Honey, so everyone can see what you've got!" I can see it now: "Yeah, Ma—I've fallen in love with a wonderful man. I'll never forget how he swept me off my feet when he licked his lips and yelled, 'Damn, shake those titties, bitch!'")

Another thing that grows old real fast is the open-mouthed gawk at my chest when I meet someone for the first time. Oh sure, it's usually men, but it has happened with a few women as well—but, whereas the men will follow this stare with a clichéd smirk, a woman will frown and cluck her tongue silently, in that "you should be ashamed of yourself" way. I should be ashamed of my body, uh-huh. And I was—for a long, long time. Not to say "poor me" or anything, but it's pretty hard to do that accepting-yourself thing when everywhere you go people are ripe to let you know that you are a freak—a woman who is voluptuous is a tease, a whore, stupid, disgraceful—community property on which to lavish unnecessary and unwanted attention.

Unfortunately, "friends" are too quick to join the ranks of the breast-prejudiced, constantly rebuking my attempts to vent with envious glares and remarks that echo my P.E. teacher's, such as, "You don't have any reason to complain—you must love getting noticed." Or, "Oh, poor baby! 'My large breasts are getting unwanted attention.' Is that like, 'My penis is just too large'?" No, actually, it's nothing like that. You never hear a man get slammed with commentary from people he passes on the street. "Hey baby! Love your big cock!" Or, "Oh—you should be ashamed of yourself, flaunting that…that monster like that." Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always gotten the message that men should never be made to feel ashamed, whether it's penis size, body size, or brain size. That's a woman's job. And as far as those friends who think I got lucky—why don't you try lugging these things around? Sure, it seems like they'd be fun for a while, like a new hair color, but deep grooves in your shoulders, constant neck and back pain, not to mention having to buy everything you wear to fit around them—no spaghetti straps, no baby tees, and no buttons, unless you like to give a free glimpse—aren't my idea of a good time. Maybe that's because I wear the industrial-strength bra, every‑goddamn day.

After years of collecting breast-reduction pamphlets, my last resort, it occurred to me—why should I be made to feel indecent for something I had virtually nothing to do with? I suddenly realized, after another head-hanging experience with another dumbshit with a big fucking mouth, that these breasts are powerful. Like Wonder Woman's lariat of truth, they bring out weaknesses in all people, they intimidate—and, when attached to a strong, smart girl, they can be dangerous. As an experiment, I bought a tighter-than-usual top and went out grocery shopping. For every longingly lewd look I got (and there were far too many), I gave a good, hard stare of my own. And guess who looked away first? Large breasts are a commanding talisman to wear with pride—shocking women, and knocking men down and out. Looking at it (or, more appropriately, them) from this perspective, you will come to realize that the power of the large-breasted goddess is so great, it's no wonder people can't help but blurt out such ludicrous things when faced with one—they are, after all, only human.

Now, when I'm walking down the street and a crew of construction workers are so overcome by the sight of "us" approaching that they cry out, "Oh, baby! You could feed a nation with those!" I stop, plant a fist on each hip, and stare the fuckers down. I don't look away until they do, and, so far, they always have. What they really‑want is for their words to lower your spirits—to see that you are visibly affected and put in your place for taunting them with what they can never have. It won't work—they can't bring me‑down.

Besides, these babies float.

Erin M. Pipes hasn't seen her feet since 1985.

Comments

5 comments have been made. Post a comment.

I loved your piece! I am

I loved your piece! I am part of the 'itty-bitty-titty-committee', but your piece was strong and well-written. I've seen and heard it too many times that a woman can have brains or beauty/boobs, but not both. I don't know what else to say, but wow. Thank you.

Im 15, and Im already a D

Im 15, and Im already a D cup, or possibly even bigger now. Although I love my boobs to death, I still get treated like a shit from jealous chicks, or treated like e quiznos sandwich by men. I feel your pain.

man problems

I to have similar problems, i have not been able to wear shorts since puberty due to my massive dong.

Any way they can bring you down...

Invalidating -- as I've learned from *many* years of experience -- is so much about others feeling insecure or not knowing what to do. Personally, I don't really get the whole: "I don't know what to say so I'll say the absolute wrong thing" -- but unfortunately, that sad old song seems to be pretty popular. -- I've gotten nasty, sexually-explicit comments for being an attractive woman, for being a lesbian, for daring to walk the streets with my partner holding hands (how bold!), but the worst invalidating I've ever gotten was because of my brain. I can more easily shrug off the nasty primate-esque comments from men I picture pounding their chests and grunting (which isn't hard to picture), but the comments about my intelligence, they cut deep. Being told, for example, that I'm "too smart to be depressed" or that I'm "smart enough to get over it" are not only wildly ignorant, but cruel -- and socially irresponsible this day in age. If I should dare to be unhappy (about anything, even things that deserve it), I'm not living up to my potential as a 'smart person' and labeled as a slacker, or lazy. -- But whether it's in regards to breasts or brains, the same thing comes to mind for me: shouldn't we be beyond this? Really? Did I grow up in a separate reality than these people that I think it's ignorant and unacceptable to behave in such a way? What ever happened to all that "do onto others as you would have them do onto you" that everyone is so fond of preaching?

Perhaps one day people will actually manage to grow up. -- But seeing as I don't expect to live for more than a hundred years, until then, while you've got your impressive stare-down, I've got my intellectual ammunition -- more large words and esoteric research points to confuse any normal person than anyone could ever want for. So somewhere out there, while you're giving them the stare-down for their breast-related remarks, I'll be elsewhere in the universe, spouting words that aren't in any normal dictionary and referencing research points that would confuse even people with "Ph.D." following their names. In either case, they'll crawl back under the rock they crawled out from, knowing -- at least in one case -- their stupidity is not only unamusing, but unwanted, and unaccepted by the fine women in this world who know better.

My Cups Runneth Over

I totally understand your frustration but your sense of power is a delusion as it a hook and a trap for your conscious projection.

If you are proud of your breasts, putting them on display isn't a requirement of your personal pride. It is a choice you make to hook minds to your sexuality without regard for your own lack of self control of where your mind is projecting from for it is you whose mind is hooked or trapped in that vibration or conscious projection each time you decide to walk out the door with them on display with the intent to string or hook the minds of those who come within your vicinity with complete disregard for them.

As a woman, your capacity to create a life and reproduce is something to be revered, not put on display to provoke. But you lack self reverence and understanding of conscious projection. The demise of a society is through the repression of its women. And sexual liberation is a deception to keep the consciousness of man pre-occupied with sex and not the elevation of consciousness to higher centers.

Your sense of self and sexuality projects from the groin and not in a balanced way, from the 2nd chakra. Most of humanity vibrates within the bottom 3 chakras, the root for subsistence and shelter, the 2nd, creativity and sexuality and 3rd, power. The 4th is the heart where we have compassion and think less in terms of me and more in terms of we. Your decision to knowingly walk out the door each day is a selfish act to play and string minds along when it is your mind all along caught in the basement of your own consciousness, like a cowboy fallen off the saddle with their foot stuck in the stirrups being dragged along without control.

Giddie-up!