I realized something: My breasts gave a message to the world that I did not ask or co-sign for–that large breasts meant you were inherently more sexual and that because of that, displays of your body are: A) Invitations for sex and sexual advances, B) You are “showing off”, and C) The way my body looks is offensive and I should shamefully cover up.
physique is athletic. Whether I exercise or not, I always have rockin’ hot legs and a full bra. The only thing that has helped me control the size of my breasts is rigorous and unrelenting exercise and a super clean diet. The smallest my boobs have ever been as an adult woman was a 34D when I was a very fit marathon runner. In this picture, I was probably 16-18% body fat, biking 6-18 miles a day, lifting super heavy weights 5 days a week, and running up to 40 miles per week. But the truth is, I’ve fallen horribly out of shape in the last 3 years, and although I still haven’t even come close to my previous weight, I am now at a 34E. I don’t know if I could ever withstand the amount of exercise I used to do now, and I don’t know if it’s worth it just to go down a few cup sizes.
|Divine as the Candy Fairy|
The last encounter I had with feeling ashamed about my breasts was Halloween of 2013. We were allowed to wear costumes to work. I decided to be a candy fairy. I made little bags of candy to distribute to my co-workers and the children that came to shop there that day. I was super inspired by Katy Perry at the time, so I went full throttle and threw myself into character. I felt so beautiful and free. I felt fun and amazing…just as I always do when I’m in one of my costumes with full makeup and fantasy face paint. I was at work for over 4 hours until I was pulled to the side by one of my female managers and was asked to cover up because I “had cleavage”. I really wanted to say, show me a girl with a 34E bust that doesn’t. I was really upset and I really wanted to leave, but I had to tough it out and stay the rest of my shift, while I knew everyone else knew that I was asked to cover my costume. I’m not easily embarrassed, but this was easily one of the most embarrassing situations I’ve ever encountered at work. I understand that companies have their policies and they want you to be “modest”, but the problem I had is why did it take 4 hours for a management to “decide” that what I was wearing was offensive or inappropriate? The customers loved my costume and not one complaint was actually made that what I was wearing was inappropriate. What was appropriate during the first four hours that suddenly became inappropriate for the last three?The manager that pulled me to side told me this: “We don’t want one of the customers to get the wrong idea and complain.” I then asked the manager, “Did anyone complain?” Her answer was, “No, but we want to prevent that.” Prevent what? Someone being offended simply because I have large breasts? And if seeing me and my body type for who I am and what it is is the “wrong idea”, what is the “right idea”?
“I left from work feeling ashamed, belittled, singled out, and defeated.”
And the funny thing about this situation is the fact that the skirt of my costume was so short, I had to wear bloomers and tights underneath it. The fact that the skirt was short was never even brought up. And if there was any reason that I shouldn’t have been able to wear the costume, it should have been the length of the tutu…but taken into context of what the costume actually looked like in it’s entirety, not one customer had a negative reaction to it. Parents were actually coming up to me asking to take pictures. Little girls were following me around the store in awe. Many parents said that my costume was their child’s favorite. The bottom line is, no customer was offended or deemed what I had on to be inappropriate. I was forced to put on a tee-shirt over the costume I paid $90 for. I was hoping to win a costume contest we were having. Needless to say, I wasted my money because I didn’t win and I won’t be participating in this type of dress-up day at work again…but in a way I DID win, because the whole point of me being a real-life fairy is to bring joy to the people that you encounter while you’re in character. And THAT, I did accomplish; however, I left from work feeling ashamed, belittled, singled out, and defeated. Sure, you could blow any of this off as needing to be compliant to company policies and rules, however, these rules are very rarely explained. Companies are often vague and ambiguous about their dress code regarding the amount of bust you can show at work, and not fairly enforced with people of different body shapes or bust sizes. Even if two women were wearing the same shirt, I can guarantee the busty one will be pulled aside, even if the two women are showing the same percentage of cleavage. I’ve seen them Booty Shame with other employees with large backsides by asking to wear different clothing even when other women with less ample posteriors are wearing the exact same thing. It’s discrimination no matter how you slice it up. If it’s a rule for one person, it should be a rule for everyone.
There’s no way to justify this contorted thinking other than to objectify the person and look at the parts of them separate from the person as an individual. There is an unspoken societal rule that larger breasted and fuller figured women should “cover up” in order to try to hide what society views as overt displays of sexuality. The truth is, I’m not a slut nor do I dress with the intention to be identified as one. I have been with my husband for three years in an 100% a monogamous relationship. He’s the only one I desire or ever want to be with. I don’t purposely try to dress provocatively. When it’s hot, I wear shorts. I like to wear tank tops. I hate sleeves in general. I feel more comfortable in V-necks than other types of collars. I like to wear costumes. In society, I am told that I have to be uncomfortable and wear clothing that doesn’t make me feel or look good because it might be perceived by others as an overt display of my sexuality.
“…it is often a fight to get people’s eye-contact or to get them to understand you’re actually smart, and not a bimbo.”
|Yaya Han as the Absinthe Fairy
Photo Taken from YayaHan.com
When I think of being a real-life professional fairy, it is a source of exhilaration and empowerment. I look up to costume designers like Yaya Han. And although I am not nearly at her level as far as costuming and colorful fashion, my creative spirit flows through the same vein as hers does. She’s my hero. She’s living her life being the fantasy in her own mind, and that is how I want to live too. However, in order to be the true life Peacock Princess that I am, I need to accept that the way I am shaped is beautiful and that I need not be ashamed of my body. She certainly isn’t. And when I see her bust held ever so perfectly in her custom-made costumes, a part of me feels validated that it is her creativity and acceptance of who she is and how she looks that has made her notable. Not just the size of her chest.