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Thanks for the mammaries

I’m a girl with big boobs. It’s not the sum of my identity, but my chest is a large part of who I am — literally — and I’m not about to deny it. Screw feminist correctness. I’m going to lean forward and tell you about my ta-tas.

Take a look. A 38D on a chick who’s 5’2″ isn’t what you’d call subtle. Every woman is born with breasts, but somewhere along the way they become so hyper-sexualized and fetishistic that the masses can label you as a prude or a porn queen because of them before you so much as have your first kiss. It’s no wonder that a teenage girl’s first growth spurt is riddled with mammary anxiety.

Almost every girl wants a different rack than she has, whether they wish their oversized boobs would miraculously shrink or their flat set would inflate. Some women never grow out of it, no pun intended. There is always the “Tammy Two-Backs” of the group, who bemoans her A-cup, or Shannon, the self-professed president of the Tiny-Titty Brigade. On the other hand, since the third grade, when my mother poked my breast buds and declared it was time to pick out my first training bra, I’ve gazed down at my womanly goods with a combined loathing and love that’s never really resolved itself. Maybe it was being fondled by the spindly saleslady, who adjusted the pure white ruffles of my bra and declared me a “woman,” or the blobby consistency of my nine-year-old nipples, but it’s just one of those things. I’ll never wear a triangle bikini top — my cups runneth over. Every day is a push and pull struggle to cram ’em into one of my myriad of Victoria’s Secret delicacies and still end up with comfy full-coverage but non-R-rated cleavage.

I do consider that someday gravity is going to come knockin’ on my door, and I’ll be showing up to my 20-year high school reunion in one of those “Cross Your Heart” boulder-holders that makes no concessions for a strapless dress. No flimsy pasties for me — I’ll take a sling, please! I question whether I’ll like my boobs anymore. I can’t say if my partner will. I consider plastic surgery and my no-holds-barred aversion to it — after all, who am I to be dissatisfied with what my parents’ genes gave me? — but I can’t help but wonder if that’s just my current perkiness talking.

So many women go under the knife to satisfy themselves or fulfill a partner’s Pamela Anderson fantasy. The saying goes, though, that money can’t buy happiness. Expensive silicone can boost your bust line, but it won’t do jack for your self-confidence, and if your man can’t appreciate the breasts you have then you should also know that there are other fish in the sea, girlfriend. Women underwent 88 percent of cosmetic procedures in 2002. Breast augmentation and reduction were, respectively, the second and fifth most popular surgical cosmetic procedures. While reduction is covered by most medical plans if done for medical reasons (and there are a ton of them, ranging from likelihood of breast cancer to major back problems), the fact remains: They are your heritage and your set. Don’t let others tell you what you should do with them.

I’m going to suggest something to every woman reading this paper, and, simultaneously, to myself (by way of paraphrasing Dr. Jane Greer, Ph.D. sex expert for Redbook):

Ladies, love thy boobies. If you have ’em, and they’re healthy, you’re a lucky person, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The realities of breast cancer are something that we don’t always consider, even if we wear a pink ribbon and walk/run for the cause. Any lumps or bumps that deviate from your normal landscape need to be reported to your doctor right away. There is no way to figure this out unless you know your goods. Self-examination once a month is crucial, and if that seems mundane to you, get your partner involved, since they almost definitely won’t mind feeling you up.

Your annual gynecological exam is also indispensable for this very reason — getting your breasts checked up each year is key to self-assurance and overall health. And since healthy breasts are happy breasts, why fight the feeling? If you like what you’re packing, show it off. This doesn’t mean to let them all hang out (but you can do that, too) — the silhouette of a woman in a plain-old T-shirt with her shoulders thrown back to display her unashamed, beautiful bosom is damn sexy whether she’s an almost-A or a triple-E. And I promise that self-confidence is twenty times hotter than any aphrodisiac: love those rockin’ jumblies, and everyone else will want to, too. And that’s the boob truth.