The other B word

As far back as I can remember, the one thing that defined you as a woman were breasts. Real women have boobs. BOOBS. In Tagalog, suso. These two bags of fat defined who I was and how attractive I should be. Boobs. The definition of my attractiveness lay in that one hilarious word – BOOBS.

Boobs, joga, suso, dede, jugs, knockers, hooters, melons and gazzanggas. It’s as if nobody wants to call them breasts. It’s as if by calling them breasts meant that they’re no longer sexy or sensual. Suddenly, you had to associate them with mothers and cancer survivors. Nobody wanted that. Nobody wanted small tits either. Tits. Another hilarious word for these things. One syllable – tits, but the visual expectation is that they should be able to drown you. You can call them by a small name but you can’t have them in small sizes. Tiny tits? That’s blasphemous.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to have boobs. I wanted something to jiggle and expose just slightly so I can be deemed beautiful because that’s what beautiful was supposed to be. Adolescence couldn’t come any sooner and I counted the days until I was supposed to have these babies. My period came but no boobs. I scoured my uncle’s medical books (he’s an OB-GYN, which I think rocks) hoping that there’s a correlation between menstruation and the eruption of breasts. I found out that it could be genetic – this lack of chest accessories. I started looking at my female relatives, especially the flat chested ones, with utmost disdain. How dare they pass on this genetic abnormality to me? I was cursed! However, there was that sliver of hope when I read that some women are just late “bloomers”. Yes, the joke was not lost on me.

Fourteen years old and another year passed. Fifteen, sixteen and still nothing. I hated seeing myself in the mirror. I despised my flat frame. Might as well be two dimensional like a freaking cartoon. I was Olive Oyl. My friends and my cousins were moaning and complaining about the tightness of their bras and envied me for not having to wear one but I took it as an insult. I asked my mother to buy me one and when she said that there’s really no need for one, I started calling her Maleficent in my head. I decided to defy her.

I rebelliously bought a bra, sulking away at the undergarments’ section at a department store, surrounded by a plethora of mammary glands support. They were all beautiful. Cotton, lace, elastics and all the different colors and textures of fabrics. It was my Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory – the possibilities were endless! I was both in heaven and hell. All these beautiful bras and no boobs to fill them up. The salesladies were nice enough not to mock me but in retrospect, I think they just wanted a sale. I was still realistic though and bought a bra in the size of 32 AA – the smallest there was. I loved being able to squeeze the little fat I had under my armpits in hopes that I could have a cleavage. It’s not a simple task for a 99 pound girl. I managed a small faint dent and to me, that was sweet triumph, which hilariously, was the brand of the bra that I bought.

I went to school the next day with my head held high. unfortunately, I didn’t keep up with the trends and that was also the day that all the girls started wearing push up bras with underwires. I didn’t care though as I was wearing a bra. I had some semblance of boobs and I was now beautiful. The boys were going to follow.

But the boys didn’t notice. The boys all wanted boobs – the gazzanggas, the hooters. There I was, at 17 and still looking like a 12 year old boy. I resolved myself with the fact that whoever was running the world must hate me. I mean, why else would he let me suffer this much if he didn’t? The jerk had a sick sense of humor.

The boys came eventually. I’ve learned to attract them in a different way. I became charming, sweet, funny and caring – everything they wanted at that moment in time. I guess that’s why I became an actress. I was what they wanted in a girlfriend/partner sans the boobs. Intimacy was like a complicated dance routine because I had to maneuver them away from the chest area. I learned techniques and tricks that would satisfy without them exploring my chest. That didn’t make me feel better though or any sexier. Even when I have adapted and adjusted, I was still obsessed with breasts. I became even more sensitive about it and anyone who teased me about my inadequacies in that region had the first hand experience of just how observant I was about one’s flaws and how creatively verbal I was.

I tried it all – creams that were supposed to make them bigger when you apply it using a specific stroke; pills that supposedly increased estrogen production and I even gained a lot of weight just to have fat. The creams gave me a rash, the increased estrogen production also turned me into an insane woman and all the fat that I had pooled in my ass and my legs. I tried everything but surgery. I couldn’t afford surgery (still can’t). Had I been financially able, I would’ve dove into it in a heartbeat. Being a middle class peon did not afford me that luxury. I used pads, those silicone chicken fillets – EVERYTHING! But it felt like a lie and I always felt a little bit more empty and worthless each time.

Then I met this man. A french man at that. Yes, he was really French which made all the difference. French men are supposed to be the purveyors of everything sexy and sensual and here he was, lusting over me. The very first time we were to do the horizontal tango, I was carefully maneuvering him so that he didn’t have to touch my booblets. Yes, I call them booblets, deal with it. He stopped and looked at me straight in the eyes and said “Don’t. Don’t do that.”

“Do what?” I said in faux innocence.

“Don’t deny me the pleasure of knowing your body.” Nakamputs. May damoves si kuya.

“You are knowing my body!” I said indignantly

“I want to know all of it.” I was taken aback and in a small voice, I said “But I don’t have boobs”

He chuckled and slowly and gently took my hands off my chest that I wasn’t even aware that I was doing. “Don’t laugh at me!” I angrily said and tightened by hold.

He smiled and tenderly kissed my cheeks. “You are beautiful. Every bit of you.”

I pfftt-ed and scoffed as he kissed my neck. Clearly he can’t see I’m upset and losing the mood. Then he whispers “I’m attracted to flat-chested women”

My mind was racing, was this a joke? “Dude, you don’t have to lie to me just to get laid. I’m already here and half naked, aren’t I?” He abruptly stopped his ministrations and looked at me with a bit of anger and a lot of hurt. “I don’t lie. I know what I want and I want you. I want this…” he points at my boobs “…and I want you – all of you.”

Could this be possible? Are there smart, handsome and hot men who like women like me? Booblets and all?

“Are you gay?” I ask in all seriousness.

He laughs at me and hugs me. We didn’t have sex that night. We ended up talking about my boob neurosis. I realized that it wasn’t about boobs. I found out that there are men out there who liked women like me. Normal men who just have a fascination and inclination for the flatter things in life. He even jokingly said that I had the best advantage: that in my old age, my boobs will never sag and will always be perky!

That night, I walked around his apartment in just my panties. I suddenly was transformed from a 12 year old boy into a GODDESS! I finally felt beautiful.

Boobs? Who cares. I’ve got an ass and legs that go for miles. Oh and Sasha Grey is flat chested. So it Natalie Portman. I’m just saying…

Sasha Grey
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