Breasts and Ice Cream
Dana and I sat on the living room floor. I was in 10th grade. Dana was in 8th. We were watching Miss Teen U.S.A. and lamenting the state of our breasts.
Her mom, Pat, had solutions for many teenage moments of despair. “Eat ice cream,” she said. Delicious bowls full of vanilla ice cream brightened our moods as we watched finalists respond with platitudes about world peace, ending hunger, and healing the sick to questions posed to them by panelists. We hoped the ice cream would help fill out our chests.
A variety of foods and a disdain towards exercise helped my breasts expand from an A-minus to a solid B cup. The Victoria’s Secret Miracle Bra of the mid ’90s even made it look as though I was in possession of breasts burgeoning towards Cs. Breasts wanted by boys are so important. Anyone who has watched Revenge of the Nerds, Police Academy, or Sixteen Candles knows this.
Weight Loss and Breasts
Four years ago I weighed 180 pounds. My breasts overflowed from my 36B push-up bras. Okay, maybe they didn’t overflow, but if they did it might’ve made being overweight feel like it was worth it. I decided I needed something better than food and drink for stress management. I started working out.
As I went down to the mid 150s, I noticed that my breasts had deflated some. I went into Victoria’s Secret and met The Bombshell. “It might have too much padding,” the saleswoman said. She tried steering me towards a more realistic option. The $60 Bombshell bra was what I needed, wanted and bought. It’s the style I still wear.
Now, there’s an inch or so of space between the cup of the bra and each breast, because I’ve lost another 15 pounds. I first noticed the change in my sports bras. They used to cushion and hold my breasts in place. They’re no longer any help at all.
For the past couple of months, I’ve been collecting compliments. Just two days ago, Fawn was bartending at Chester’s. I used to work with her at the Wicked Moose. It’s been months since we’ve seen each other. “Oh my gosh Mel, you look so great,” were the words she greeted me with.
Earlier that day at a boutique called Thrive, I ran into my friend Khiengchai. “So have you had to buy a totally new wardrobe?” she asked.
“I’ve been tying the backs of my t-shirts. I’m waiting to hit my goal weight to really shop. I bought some jeans on consignment.”
And…a new bikini top and swim shorts, because I had to. We are going Up North to spend a weekend at a lake. My swim suits would not stay on.
Swimsuit shopping is supposed to be fun now that I have thighs and a waist that I don’t hate looking at and a butt that’s the best it’s ever been. I have done countless hours of cardio, strength training, power vinyasa yoga, and ballet fit. There are so many delicious things I could’ve eaten and drank in the past seven months that I have not. I’ve earned enjoying swimsuit shopping.
I found bottoms fast and was delighted when I put the smalls on and they fit. Had I known how challenging it was going to be to find a top that worked, I would have cherished the 10 minutes it took to find the fun Roxy bottoms at Scheels more.
I went from one end of the mall to the other and back again in search of a swim top that would work. Granted, it was July. The remaining swim selection in stores was limited.
Finally, I went into Pink by Victoria’s Secret. I didn’t think that they would have anything available. I was wrong. I tried on the Knotted Back Body Wrap bikini top. It didn’t really push anything up, but the wrap element gave a certain look that I liked.
As I was in line waiting to purchase the top, I texted Chris:
Having a good mirror is more important than the size of my breasts. Chris is the best mirror a girl could ask for. He soothed the stress that bikini top shopping had become with 7 little words. I’ll have to arm myself with them when I go bra shopping. Maybe, when I do, I’ll consider bras that don’t alter reality.
Author’s Note: One of the best essays I’ve ever read is A Few Words About Breasts by Nora Ephron.