My breasts have generally been a disappointment to me.
I remember feeling like the last girl to develop in middle school. As a plus sized woman, shirts are cut to accommodate a certain figure, and my barely C cup breasts never quite filled out a top correctly, to my eternal shopping frustration. When the LM was born, breastfeeding just never worked out for a variety of reasons and I was angry with them, feeling as though they had failed me.
Having a successful breastfeeding relationship with the BG has made me re-evaluate my relationship with my breasts. They are successfully doing the job they are engineered to do. They are fuller than they have ever been (in which I have to admit I take some amount of shallow joy).
However, this is not to say that all is well and now I love my breast and it’s all rainbows and unicorns and Disney songs over at the DN household.
My breasts now straddle the line between sexual and functional and I’m often filled with ambivalence over this. On one hand, I enjoy their sexy fullness. On the other, I’m embarrassed when I’m walking in the mall and look down to find my shirt soaked from leaking (although not embarrassed enough to wear a bra). They make me feel sexy, but I’m not always comfortable with having my partner or myself sexualize them. I’ve fought for my right to breastfeed publicly and then felt uncomfortable doing so.
Madison Young explored all the controversy and ambivalence over the whole breastfeeding is sexual/isn’t sexual….and was called out for it by another woman.
There’s been plenty said about this dust-up (the Jezebel article is a good place to start if you missed it), and I don’t know that I have much to say that hasn’t been said already (other than I think Young did nothing wrong, I think the concept is brilliant and I wish I’d been able to attend).
However, I’ve been thinking about this controversy a lot lately because I’ve been at war…with myself. Ironically I had none of this ambivalence or conflict when I was a pumping mom…maybe because my breasts were one step removed from the actual feeding of my baby. Now that they are directly involved in the relationship (in fact, the basis of the relationship), I find that I’m struggling with my own perceptions of where the line between sexy and functionality is at any given moment and when the line can and should blur.