I live in San Francisco, a place where fitness (and when I say “fitness I mean the kind that leads to thinness) is part of the prevailing beauty standard. Fitness affords one many things: cramps, knee surgery and better luck at bars in the Marina. One thing is does not often afford, however, is great big boobies. No, great big boobies are the domain of hot fat bitches like me (as are big thighs, big butts, big arms, and other luscious big things).
The fitness ideal has created an interesting economic system: it has created big tit scarcity. And oh yes, I am a beneficiary of said scarcity. I believe that my outfit and my day aren’t complete without a healthy dose of cleavage. I tend to enjoy showcasing 3-6 inches depending on the time of day: 3 for early afternoon tea with a nothing-approaching-tasteful half a foot post-prandium. People of the boob-loving variety seem to appreciate and enjoy my boob art (isn’t cleavage art?), but another, more sinister force is also at play: cleavage shaming.
Why, you may ask, does cleavage shaming exist and how does it take shape? Well, to the first, I have no reasonable answer. We all know that the skinnies get the full-on leg exposure and we fatties get the tits and ass side of the bargain. For decades we seem to have held this truce, tacitly understanding that we did what we had to in hopes of attracting a worthy peacock/peahen. Sure, a few back-handed compliments here and there, but nothing approaching full-on war.
As for how it takes shape, cleavage shaming takes various forms, from subtle to full-on rude, and I have been the recipient of all the shades of cleavage shaming that are out there.
First, there’s the establishment, that is, institutional cleavage oppression. These mental health professionals and intellectuals would have me believe that my desire to show off my cleavage is a pathological need sprung from low self-esteem, self-hatred and is ultimately the result of my desire for normativity.
Second, there’s the tacit, nostril-flare on the commuter train level variety. Often practiced by skinnies who take a quick, sideway glance at my goodies. Quickly thereafter begin, first, the pursing of the lips quickly followed by the nostril flare with a possible eye roll.
Third, there’s the silent (but deadly) shaking of the head. Because it involves a new set of muscles, I consider it a category of its own rather than an extension of number two. This one involves the look and then a head shake, at times followed by an audible sigh.
Fourth, there’s the point-shake-comment. This one involves actual pointing (yes, at my cleavage), followed by shaking of the head, an under-the-breath comment, and often requires more than one skinny. Sometimes a mother-daughter skinny combo.
Fifth, there’s the full frontal attack. This can happen anywhere, but is likeliest one-on-one and where they’re less likely to get caught (think: crowded bar or busy bathroom). It might be in the form of a veiled insult (“oh, wow, that top is so forgiving.) or it might be a full-on fucked-up thing to say (“I feel bad for fat girls who don’t at least have big tits.)
A while back (pre-engagement to my current lover/big booby aficionado) I went to a house party with a very conventionally pretty skinny friend. She had a complete tantrum (including yelling, calling a cab preemptively, threatening to leave me at the party, and ramming her first against the door of the room in which we were happily “macking) when a cute boy we’d been flirting with begged to play with me instead of her. Oddly, I had been sitting there in a rather conservative blazer and she encouraged me to take it off and “flirt a little. The evening ended with her “explaining that the reason she became so upset was not because things hadn’t turned out the way she expected (surprise: lots of people don’t hold any particular preference for petite folks) but because she felt that my behavior displayed a disloyalty toward her that “worried her. I ended up apologizing to her. Later that month, the same friend asked to go for round two: she invited me to go to a sex party with her and I ended up playing with two cute boys (who were deeply aroused by my abundant boobage) while she sat and talked with the wife of one of them. She gave me the silent treatment after that.
Could it be that I enjoy a high SAQ (Sexual Attention Quotient)? Could it be that this is my performance art? Could it be that I don’t own anything that can possibly contain the mountain of tit under my blouse? Could it be that we’re all just trying to get laid by any means necessary? It’s all sexual capital, friends! None of it is more fair or tasteful or less about getting some than the next. Some of us use our great hair, some of us use our great legs, some of us use our cute toes or our pretty faces or our fantastic sense of style. Hell, some of us even use modesty. And some of us use our great big tits.
And I say, get it girl. All’s fair in love and orgasm acquisition.