I forget the context now, but Farzana Versey once wrote that she’d heard it mentioned somewhere that the French notion of a perfect female breast was one that would fit inside a champagne glass. Upon reading that, for some reason I suffered what the incomparable Sherri Shepherd calls “a senior brain poopy moment” and translated the term “champagne glass” into an image of a champagne flute.
This seriously fucked with my head.
Man, I thought as I imagined a long line of French women lazily lounging around Paris with tubular breasts while men sighed over them, those French people sure are into some weird stuff.
For about a year (I kid you not) this nightmare vision of a country full of women hoodwinked into thinking teats were sexy followed me around as I studied this champagne flute idea from every angle. Although my obsession never took me to a point where I actually contemplated stuffing my poor breast into the largest flute I could find, I would often find myself staring thoughtfully at the crockery aisles of department stores. Maybe a little butter in strategic places…? Even if you were a size A, I fretted, how would you squeeze yourself into one of those? A nipple maybe, but a whole breast? It couldn’t be done.
In fact the mechanics of it vexed me to such an extent that when I finally realized (dun! Dun! DUN!) Farzana was talking about a goblet, I wasn’t so much embarrassed as I was relieved. So France wasn’t full of women with flute shaped boobies! Yay, France!
But now I find myself wondering if I ought to be worried that I don’t have basketball shaped boobies.
It’s kind of impossible to be even peripherally aware of pop culture these days and not notice that the world is full of women with unnaturally round and perky breasts. I didn’t think this was really affecting my body image until the other day I found myself comparing my perfectly nice boobies to the cleavage of some starlet in a magazine. How come, I thought to myself, my breasts have never stood so far apart and so upright without any visible means of support? I’m not exactly elderly now, but even when I was eighteen, I don’t remember my boobs performing even remotely like this woman’s.
These were breasts that you could bounce off. Breasts that could stop a bullet. Breasts that could do the can-can and crush a beer can. Breasts that could fight back if you mauled them around.
I looked sadly at myself. Was I deformed in some way and nobody quite liked to mention it? Maybe that asshole friend of mine who’d once told me the oh-so-ha-ha story about the time he’d guessed the cup size of a waitress at a bar only to have her smile and retort that he was quite wrong but (interesting factoid!) her one boob was slightly bigger than the other, was trying to delicately hint something?
As you can imagine, once I woke up next morning with a clear head, I knew the truth – there was nothing wrong with my boobies, thank you. Women’s breasts are simply not meant to double as exercise balls. I don’t know which came first – a lack of better technology or the fetish for oddly shaped breasts – but it’s just another weird idea women have bought into. To the point where I wonder if an entire generation of young men are now growing up to find the shape of actual breasts to be strange and a turn-off.
You know what I’m talking about – those breast implants that look like they could jump out of the unfortunate woman’s body at any minute and set off for a ten mile hike, no problem. Who the hell invented those? I understand the idea is to increase cup size and to keep them perky, but couldn’t they have come up with something that looks a bit more natural? Everytime I see those horrible things on a woman, I wince.
Not so much for those who get them for cosmetic purposes (unless it’s someone like Ice-T’s wife Coco, or that woman who is out to get the world’s largest implants, who are painful for just so many reasons!), but for those amongst us who need to go in for reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy – like Christina Applegate, for example.
Although Christina appears to have more and better options, for most of us it can’t help but make an already traumatic experience worse to wake up with those strange things attached to your chest. I’ve always wondered why my aunt made do with those extremely fake looking padded bras (“old fashioned ideas of decency” was my guess) but now see that decision in a new light.
Perhaps I ought to enjoy my breasts while I still have them?