Tag Archives: boobs

The Internet: Helping interesting personalities since probably the early ’90’s

This video made the rounds again recently; it’s one I’d seen before but because I’ve been trying to wrestle with my feelings on feminism lately, it is now more relevant, more in-my-face, more thought-provoking than it had been the first time I watched it.

As I think back over my own history, there have been very few instances in which straight men in my age bracket have noticed me on my own and when I say that, I really mean “due to my looks.” The handful of times people have approached me in that capacity, I was usually wearing a bikini or something equally tight and body-showing. Most of the time, though, I’ve had to use something else to get a normal straight guy to talk to me. I differentiate between straight and gay men here because I have never had a problem with a gay man coming right over and chatting me up; they often give me a chance from the get-go and I appreciate that.

This weirdness dates back to high school. While I could get attention from all the old pervs without even batting my eye, my male peers just did not see me. However, they did see my best friend; she was (and still is) beautiful. She’s tall with the heart-shaped face and lovely blue eyes, blonde hair, straight white teeth. She’s the picture of health and vitality and back then, she had iffy self-confidence so was pretty much a magnet to men and boys everywhere. In fact, her parents got a great offer (camels, I think?) for both her and her sister when they were abroad once.

We had our schtick – she’d lure the guys in with her fabulous looks and I would keep them there with my witty ways. I was pretty funny back in the day and I could do guy humor because I was something of a tomboy. I got the “You’re really funny!” all the time but I never got a phone number. T always got digits but she wasn’t allowed to date so it was sort of a pointless exercise. I guess we were practicing for real life.

This doesn’t work anymore. T has developed a ton of confidence, she can flirt like a champ, oh, and she’s married. Well, so am I, actually. But if we DID have to try this routine, it wouldn’t work. I’d have to wear a skin-tight top, a corset, and booty-hugging pants to even compete. I hate that if I had to get male attention, I’d have to show off my physical attributes because my face is not pretty.

That’s the crux of it. My face is not pretty. I’m not saying I look like Meg Mucklebones but…ok, my first husband told me, “If we were in a restaurant and I didn’t know you, I wouldn’t look twice at you.” No, that’s not why he’s my ex-husband, though the fact that his comment came during a discussion about how pretty Noelle is didn’t  help his cause. The thought was echoed by a boy I later dated who said, “You’re the prettiest plain girl I’ve ever met.” Harsh. But also, from the perspective of our society’s expectations of feminine beauty, true. Let’s not get into a discussion on how I gathered emotionally harmful males to my bed but, instead, let’s talk about why Dustin Hoffman is right and why that sucks.

What Hoffman said in his video clip about wanting to be a beautiful woman, it’s what most of us want because we’re supposed to want it. We know that a woman’s currency, whether we buck the system or not, is most easily found in her attractiveness. Worse, when he said he now regrets not knowing interesting women because they weren’t physically attractive, that is something that has been told to me (see above paragraph) and, I would assume, to many not-conventionally-beautiful women. Our savior has become the internet which is both sad and wonderful. It’s great to be able to go personality-first into the world, to be seen as a peer, rather than as a potential mate, as a person because of what we type. At the same time, why can’t that happen in real life? Why is it our shining personalities don’t make us attractive until someone has been around us long enough to get past the plain face and start being charmed by our wit, talent, and general amazing ways?

I know, I sound all “eeehnn, I’m not pretty and it’s not fair” and typically, that’s the last thing on my mind. But when actors start crying about how they didn’t get to meet wonderful people based on those people’s appearances, I have to get a bit angry. I mean, how many people have I not met because I’m not beautiful? While it’s idealistically true that I wouldn’t want to talk to such shallow people anyhow, it still makes me feel a bit “SEE? We’ve been telling you all along!” It makes me want to punch society in the face, honestly.

So to the beautiful people who get more than enough attention: I’m sorry. I do it, too. You’re all just so eye-catching, it’s hard not to want to be around you. Hopefully, I’ve been able to make you laugh a bit when I’m bothering you so that it’s not a total wash.

And to the rest of us, the women who aren’t noticed, even though we’re delightful, because someone else didn’t think we were beautiful enough: Eh, screw ’em. Let’s go hang out and enjoy our own company. Once we start laughing, everyone else will want to share our fun and by then, we’ll all be way too caught up in our fabulousness to even notice them. And there’s always the internet.

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Filed under My Dearly Beloveds, My Opinions on STUFF

My First Mammogram

I turned 40 at the beginning of this blog (making it sound like 40 is somehow the blog’s fault). Here in United StatesLand, women are supposed to get their first mammograms at 40 if they haven’t had one already. It used to be 35 and that was called your “base mammogram” but, apparently, too many breasts were still too full of breastliness and so medical professionals upped it to 40 when our breasts have really started to deteriorate. Or so I’m assuming.

Anyhow, like so many other women going in for their first mammograms, I was treated to a platter full of war stories. Several of my moms (I have many) told me that mammograms are almost as bad as giving birth in a Saharan dust storm with the assistance of hungry lions. At least, that’s what I thought I heard as I listened to their, “Oh, it hurts SO BADLY and I ALMOST DIED!” tales.

This is what I was hearing.

This is what I was hearing.

Thus, it was with some trepidation I entered the examining room and stood before the x-ray machine. Imagine my surprise when the whole procedure took all of two minutes and that included the moving and shifting and getting all four pictures. In fact, the actual squishing and photographing of my breasts took less than 30 seconds.

As soon as I was finished, I thought, “Huh. That wasn’t fun by any stretch. I don’t want to do it every day. But it also wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d been told. I’ve suffered much worse.” I had to tell Facebook about my experience ASAP.

I said: As far as Milestones of Womanhood go, the first mammogram is waaay easier than the first period and the first attempt at sex. It’s also less messy than the first kiss, though the fondling and squishing are about the same. The only thing for which I was not prepared was the odd positions I had to adopt to stand in front of the machine; I briefly regretted not taking Modern Dance in college.
So, old ladies? STOP telling horror stories about mammograms. It may have been torture back in the day and I’m sure it’s unpleasant if your boobs are on the small side but it is NOT the torture you people (MOM) made it out to be.

This is pretty much what I went through. Mostly.

This is pretty much what I went through. Mostly.

My status then started a conversation (Gabe and I are always amazed at which things we say online bring on the commentary) and while most women my age were “meh” about it  (it hurts but it’s such a short amount of time that who cares? or It wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected) there were several who said it causes them great pain and trauma, or has had in the past.

So I thought about it. Did it really hurt me? No. It was an awfully irritating full-on pinch and had someone done that to me outside of a doctor’s office, I’d have screamed at that person and punched him/her. Probably him. But it didn’t leave me wanting to cry. But COULD it have hurt me? Why, yes, I imagine it could have. For instance, had I gone in too close to a period when my boobs were sore and aching, it would have been more than unpleasant. If my breasts were small, it would have hurt more because all that pulling to get one into the grips and then the smooshing to keep it in place and what with there being no fat for cushioning? Yeah, that would hurt. If I had a low tolerance for pain, I’d have left the place in tears. But none of those things were true for me, thus, the experience wasn’t bad.

If you’re going in for your first mammogram and you’re freaking out about it because everyone says it’s going to make you die, don’t worry. It won’t make you die. It might hurt. It might even be awful. But it’s super-fast. It may be embarrassing if you’re not comfortable showing bare breasts to lab technicians and equipment but it’s not going to be mortifying. They’ve seen this all before.

Kotex put together a quick little list of things to think about when going in for your first mammogram. I’d be interested to hear other people’s advice.
And horror stories. But they have to be true. You can’t make crap up to scare the incoming mammogram generation. This isn’t a hazing ritual, people.

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Filed under Adventures, In someone else's backyard, My Opinions on STUFF