What’s Under Your Bra?

What’s Under Your Bra? February 28, 2012
Yes, those are goldfish. I wanted to start this post on a mature note.

This is probably going to offend someone, but I can’t help it.

I hate the word breasts.

I sat down tonight to write a post about how today, for the third fourth fifth time in a row one of my neighbors popped by and I greeted them bra-less, with unwashed hair, in the same T-shirt I was wearing yesterday, having thrown up not ten minutes before, but then I thought, meh. It actually doesn’t really phase me anymore that 98% of my neighbors have seen me in a day-old T-shirt and shorts with day-old hair and no bra. It should, yeah, but it doesn’t. You know that stage in labor when everything just sucks so much that you no longer care that your feet are suspended above the heads of an entire room full of strangers while your whole bottom side swings in the breeze? Yeah, I’m at that point in the first trimester. Think what you will, my fair neighbors, but please excuse me while I vomit. Again.

That line of thinking did, however, lead me to an utterly inappropriate topic for a blog post; namely, how much I despise the word breasts.

Last year I mentioned how much this article influenced me. After reading it I immediately dropped the words “girl part” and “boy part” which I has been using to clarify exactly nothing to my four-year-old and taught her “vagina” and “penis”. I can’t say that it made a huge difference to her, since she still giggles wildly whenever either one comes up in conversation, but it did to me. I felt like I was no longer lying to her, evading her questions, or shrouding something in mystery which frankly didn’t need to be shrouded in mystery.

But as much as I appreciate properly naming anatomical parts, I simply cannot bring myself to say the word breast. Or breasts. I tried to say it once and I felt like someone’s lecherous half-uncle who got a little too drunk at the family Christmas party and leered the word “breasts” to try and pass himself off as respectable when what he really meant was “nice funbags.”

The only two places where the word breast doesn’t seem out of place to me is in epic poetry and the OB/GYN’s office. Otherwise, it gives me the wigs, no matter who says it. Obviously, though, I can’t use the word “boobs” since that word is copyrighted by twelve-year-old boys the world over and my husband. That other slur, the one that rhymes with “sit”, is truly degrading and also asinine.

But this leaves me at an impasse. At the moment, my daughter does not have a word to put with what’s under my bra and what will one day be under hers. When she mentions them at all (and it’s usually in the context of asking some mechanical question about nursing…it’s amazing how curious these kids are about that), she refers to them as “those things you nurse with.”

Yeah. I’m a mothering failure. I’ve even considered making up a name that doesn’t skeeve me out, but that falls too much under the “little boys have a winkle and little girls have a widdle girl part” nonsense category. And short of spending an afternoon staring at myself in the mirror, forcing myself to say “breast” without wincing, I can’t see any way around my deep aversion to that word.

Does anyone else have this problem? Is this some leftover Puritanical glitch in my system? And, most importantly, what the hell do I do about it?

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