9.02.2002

Living with Yourself--Episode I

"Look at the breasts on her… they've just sprouted."

The two boys were standing behind the short fence overlooking the yard, staring at my friend and I. Their eyes glistening, smirking under the newly grown mustache. There were paint stains all over their pants and their sneakers were worn out and dirty, their hair unwashed. I looked down at my breasts--my shirt was tight and I hated them right there and then.

I was a skinny child, but that summer we had traveled to the U.S. and all the fast food had nestled under my skin. I had fat where my arms met my torso (the fat that bulges when chubby girls wear tank tops), layers of fat over my ribs, above my knee caps, on my calves--baby fat mixed with puberty. The hasty comment was enough to make me despise my breasts for a long time to come and slouch for most of my adolescence.

Women of the family all knew about my diverted feelings. My mom had told them all. Every birthday, I would get at least half dozen oversized tees to hide under and there wasn't a single family member who hadn't once commented on my slouch and suggested a brace--all the public embarrassment for a lousy comment from a stranger.

It wasn't until my mid-twenties that I started appreciating the female form, thanks to the exploitation of women on TV here. I finally realized that breasts were good and appreciated as they served a purpose--weather it be sexuality or milk. I still hate myself when I gain a few pounds though. I think the pounds go exactly where they shouldn't. And that slouch is still with me at times when I feel less than confident. With age though, all these insecurities become stories of the past. I'll tell you later about the time when I noticed my newly developed hips.

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