So it began when a recent boyfriend told me I didn't dress sexily enough. Then, amid the hauntingly poignant wails of the Wanker Alarm, I caught myself flattening my 34DD's with a minimiser and two sports vests, a practice which had been a daily ritual for a worrying amount of time. This was when admitted he'd made a valid point; I've developed an oddly complex relationship with my own boobs.
Before I explain, lets go back to the actual beginning: the spawning of my joyboulders. I was 15 and had what looked like two bald men's disembodied heads stuck down my top. They wouldn't keep still, people wouldn't stop mentioning them, and I couldn't buy those pretty bras from New Look like Cheryl Dunwater*-a popular girl with great scented gel pens, small boobs and all the boyfriends- anymore (she also had a tippex-sniffing problem and was quite violent).
If I wore the cute bras, my left boob was liable to flop out in the middle of Geography and start labelling African countries (it was always the superior of the two). To make things worse, the boys at the recreational centre we used to hang out at kept mistaking me for a sexy boobperson because of my huge tits, when all I wanted to do was read Judy Blume and smell gel pens.
I eventually gave in and snogged one of them, at the ripe old age of 16, immediately crying for an hour because it was "disappointing" and he tasted "like a hamster". I didn't deserve these things on my chest. These veritable shagbeacons that made all the wrong sort of guys like me, and all the right sort (for example, that lovely shy one in my art class who cleaned his brushes at the same time as me too much for it not to be a coincidence) a bit scared. They terrified the shit out of me and, in some ways, they still do.
Why? Well lets start small and work upwards.
Firstly, it doesn't help that I still can't buy bras over a C cup without going to those COME SPEND £40 ON A BASIC NECESSITY SMALL-BOOBED WOMEN CAN GET FOR A FRACTION OF THE PRICE WHICH IN NO WAY SUGGESTS YOU'RE ABNORMAL shops with names like Figberry and Berryfig and Dame HugeBoob McMonsterTit.
Having to go to a special shop because you're a woman with breasts is not OK-how can a high street womens' clothes store call itself a womens's store while refusing to cater for proper great tits? Hey, Topshop, women don't all wear a 32A and leather cropped tops, y'know. SOME women do, but many others have breasts.
However, you'd be forgiven for forgetting this considering we're as likely to see baps bobbing along the catwalk as you are models working the runway with vaginas over their trousers. Hotpants? Sure. Knickers? Why not! Breasts? No, BREASTS. They're jiggly, sort of globular things on the front of most ladies.
Oh, you've never heard of them? Well, here's a womens' magazine you can look at. It's published for the average UK female, so surely there'll be loads of... well there's usually at least ONE who has... NEVER FUCKING MIND.
Leading us seamlessly to exhibit B. Repeat the Golden Rule of Womens' Publishing after me: keep subtly reminding us how unusual normal tits are by pointing them out whenever a pair appear. No celebrity lady with breasts can ever be described in a magazine without the adjectives "curvy" "curves" or "curvacious". Are the small-bapped ladies constantly referred to as "skinny" "thin" and "boyish"? Nope, aside from those charmingly passive aggressive dress-for-your-shape features.
Curvy figure? Minimise your assets with v-necks, distract with loud patterns/ a wrap dress/ convincing a flock of seagulls to constantly rotate around your lower half lest anyone notice your chest.
Athletic/Boyish figure? Err... turn to page 42-150 for a variety of great style options. Ummm.... wear a bra padded with the cake you shouldn't be eating if you want to lose those extra 6 lbs, you fat bitch (turn to page 35)? Y'know, to create curves and stuff.
In the meantime, when someone shows off a bit of side/front/diagonal bap they're lauded as some sort of champion. BLAKE LIVELY: BOOB WOMAN. No, Blake Lively just wears plunging necklines occasionally. And if she's a boobwoman, what the hell am I? A monstrosity? I think I could fit twelve of Blake's boobs into one of my nipples.
Furthermore, Kate Winslet's always hourglassing around the red carpet alongside Scarlett Johansson, who's so busy "pouring her curves" into everything it's surprising anyone even notices Rihanna boldly "maximising her assets". Look, there's one who has breasts and STILL manages to be stylish! HOW DOES SHE DO IT???! AGAINST ALL THE ODDS (see pages 42-150) WHAT A ROLE MODEL!!!!!! I just got so excited one of my boobs popped out and made an old woman in Starbucks throw up!! Now everyone's crying!!
"Oh," said a good friend when we, very drunkenly, discussed this at length, "but at least men love them." She was being sarcastic, but it riled us all the same, opening the floodgates to Part Trois of my argument, requiring an extra strong opening paragraph for emphasis.
ER, FUCKING FUCK THAT RIGHT IN THE FUCK. Not sure about you, but I don't wake up every morning jiggling with anticipation at how the male population will react to the classic bit of boob I'm about to unveil. Especially not the guy in the shop downstairs who regularly informs my breasts of the 50p card charge with every transaction. It just makes me feel uncomfortable and angry because who needs to be reminded of their sexuality when buying a Freddo at 11am?
Sure, boobs are bouncy fun sex things, but there's a time and a place. Namely MY time and MY place, because they're MY baps. Not everyone's, everywhere, just because it's a hot day and I'm wearing a fucking tee shirt. It's not like I can detach them, or turn my tits on and off, so I've been using clothes-based trickery and sports vests to prevent your stares and tit-specific catcalls. Why should I feel I have to? Am I screaming across the road about your bulge while you're jogging? No. Because I have a bit of respect and can bloody control myself around members of the opposite sex.
See here for further details as to why you're a dickhead.
Mysogyny and being a massive tool aside, when you add the catcalls and comments to the shitty fashion industry and spineless magazine editors working tirelessly to outcast The Boob forever, I suddenly understand why my healthy womanly bodyparts often feel like something to be ashamed of. And confused by.
Of course I know in my soul, while sexily sexing around my bedroom and wearing an egg-stained dressing gown (I eat a lot of eggs), that I shouldn't care so much. I know firsthand the lovely subjectivity of sexiness. There was nothing sexier, for example, than when an ex-boyfriend told me he'd spent the previous evening researching various mythical demons on Wikipedia. Or when he was unable to understand the concept of online shopping. Of course, I also enjoyed how he looked in his boxers, but this illustrates the many mysterious layers of attraction.
See, I understand it's not boob-orientated REALLY, but all these conspiring factors work to make my own kooky eccentricities- such as, say, coating everything in a thin layer of egg- feel constantly secondary to my massive wappos. And, by being a fairly gawky, slightly anxious, awkward, romantic, bookperson, I still feel like a 15 year-old not living up to what my boobs are promising. Which is ridiculous because they're just boobs. Big boobs are very common.
Very common and marginalised by the fashion industry, normal clothes shops, female-orientated magazines and used to make us feel like we're sexy boobpeople when in fact we're just people with large boobs. Stuck walking behind them for the rest of our lives.
Look, it's clearly serious when you're 24 and wearing a tight summer dress because it's hot makes you miserable. I even bought a cardi, despite being almost comically overdrawn and possibly melting. This needs to stop.
Can you imagine how happy I'll make a newborn baby one day? Have you any idea how many shapes you can make with a good handful of boob? I haven't got the hexagon down, but my equilateral triangle's coming on a right treat.
Maybe I'm mental and nobody else feels like this. Somehow, though, I don't think I am, although I have no idea how to make friends with my joyboulders until the world stops, subtly and not-so-subtly, conspiring against them. I suppose I could start by throwing out my sports vest and wearing whatever the fuck I like.
*Name has been changed to protect Laura Haslett's identity.^
^This name has also been changed.