Barbie Doll Doesn’t Live Here

I’m a flat chested woman in a family of Big Breasts. I can remember, in my early teens, seeing my mother put my two younger sisters in the car for the seemingly weekly drive to the local JC Penney store to buy Training Bras.

Even then, at that naive age, I knew my breasts did not need to be trained although, foolishly, I wished for my own breasts to grow large so I could become a Real Woman.

Bigger yes, but “trained”?  To do what?

Anyway, after each trip to buy new, larger bras, my sister’s barely worn old bras would be laundered and put into the top drawer of the bureau in my bedroom, waiting for me to grow into them.  I sometimes imagine that somewhere, there is a stack of brand new bras of progressively larger sizes, all pristine white and neatly folded, still waiting for me to grow into them.

That was a lot of years ago but some things change only for the worse. If you cruise the internet now, you find some amazing ideas of ways to make our bodies more acceptable or more beautiful – at least to some people.

We have come to accept circumcision, the usually unnecessary and barbaric practice of slicing off the most sensitive part of a baby boy’s penis. Male circumcision came into vogue as a method of discouraging young boys from masturbation.

In some parts of the world, the horrifying and permanent mutilation of the genitals of young girls is as common as foot binding once was in China. Although foot binding was, incredibly, seen as erotic, female genital mutilation is done to keep women under the sexual control of their husbands.

In Hollywood and elsewhere, women can have their virginity surgically restored, their labia snipped and trimmed, and a Google search for the term “designer vagina” turns up more than 300,000 hits.

There are literally millions of web sites devoted to the stretching, shrinking, pumping and/or enlarging of just about any part of your body you can think of. There’s even a surgical procedure to create fake “six-pack abs”.

What strikes me as the funniest of all these is anal bleach. One site I read touted the product as a way of “looking younger”. I just can’t quite imagine showing up at a party, dropping my pants and bending over for my friends to pronounce that, “Yep Bran, you look ten years younger!”

Meanwhile, tattoos and body piercings are more popular than ever, and I’ve actually met people who don’t have the money to make their rent but manage to come up with the price of a new tattoo.

My husband has a saying … “Play the game in the uniform you were issued”. Which is not to say that he doesn’t believe in staying fit. He does. We eat vegetarian and try to get regular exercise. He just doesn’t see the point in wishing for or surgically changing one’s body.

Neither do I.

Don’t misunderstand … If others want to buy bigger that or smaller this, that’s okay. Its their business and their money. And, if any of these procedures adds to one’s self esteem and sense of self-worth, well, then, I guess it might be worth it.

Not for me though. I’ll stick with my grey streaked hair and what is so adorably referred to as crow’s toes around my eyes. I’ll continue to fight what often feels like a losing battle against the Grim Middle Aged Weight Gain. But, no boob jobs, nose jobs, tummy tucks or face lifts for me.

I stopped wearing a bra some time ago. What a delightful feeling of liberation to finally be rid of that uncomfortable bound up feeling. Yeah, I’m still pretty flat chested but the difference is that now I’m getting older, I realize two things … I really do like my own body and gravity will never be my enemy.

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