A Love-Hate Relationship: My Large Chest And The Negative Attention That Comes With It
“Hey sweetheart, you’re my favorite girl,” one middle-aged aggressor with a thick foreign accent said after blowing me a kiss. “Smile! There you go,” said another man. “Better yet, I can help you keep that smile on your face.” Disgusting, both of them. I’m strongly reconsidering ever wearing my only maxi dress again. It’s lime green, accentuates the Hershiness of my skin, and actually touches my heels, which is an incredible find for a 5’8″ female, (okay I’m not Shaq, but I’m tall enough to mostly find high water everything). It has an elastic waist so it gives me a little form, and has a lovely criss-cross wrap design in the front to hold all of my ta-ta’s while giving my actual chest some sun exposure. When I left the house in it, I felt regal, cool, and refreshed, but by the time I got home, I was hot and uncomfortable because I’d put on a denim jacket in 84-degree weather to cover it all up. Every passerby with testicles liked my lime green dress, too.
It’s always a big deal when “the girls” are out. My girlfriends celebrate the occurrence every single time without fail. “Ooh, Stacy I see you showing a little skin today! Okay, the twins actually came out to say hi!” Natural reaction. You’d think that I was a nun or something, that’s how seldom they’re out. See, I have the supreme privilege and displeasure of having a large chest. When Rich Boy’s song “Throw Some D’s” comes on, guess whose way everyone is looking? Having a size-that-shall-not-be-named chest is such a love hate thing: people love them, I hate them. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they wanted to trade places with me, I wouldn’t have to dodge Sallie Mae’s phone calls anymore. Maybe if my butt-to-boob ratio was a little more proportional, I wouldn’t have such a disdain for them. I’d look pretty average. But since I’m lacking in the back department, my top-heaviness is overbearing. It’s the first and sometimes only thing people notice – both men and women – and it sucks because I can see them react in real time. So, so awkward. “You’ve been blessed. Flaunt ‘em girl!” they say. I do the exact opposite, trying to camouflage them as best I can to avoid being a walking billboard.
In between broken necks in passing, toothless men whistling, and crude whispers all up in my neck area as I pass through a tight crowd, I’ve had enough. Unlike vixens taking Instagram selfies with their rumps propped up on their momma’s bathroom sink with the caption “Look back at it,” I’m not one to crave attention. I don’t like to be approached on the street in general, and I especially don’t like being hissed at or followed the second the tops of my light-skinned pillows try to get a little color to them (seriously, my body complexion is Kelly Rowland while my chest’s is Chris Brown).
Please refrain from telling me, “It’s a compliment.” No, it’s creepy. If the same situation happened when I wear turtlenecks, maybe I’d buy that. Alas, it happens when I wear anything other than a crew neck. For some reason, when girls wear less clothing — because they’re hot, not because they’re wh*res — men find the need to swoop in, eyes literally on the prize and profess why they should be an addition to their day and their life. Sir, back away. Just because my breasts are out doesn’t mean that I want you or that we need to be friends. I just want to walk to my job in peace and wear the same outfit that the lady next to me is wearing without a problem. It’s not me trying to show off. It’s not me trying to get stares. It’s not me trying to rack up digits. And it’s damn sure not me trying to be your next boo. It’s a hot summer and I’m trying to avoid sweat stains and hyperthermia.
While I may complain and frequently flirt with the idea of getting a reduction, I’m grateful for the body God has given me. I really am. They could have been way bigger. I don’t have any illnesses, deformities, or anything that medically hinders me from living a normal life, and for that I am thankful. But am I wrong to just want to blend into the scenery sometimes? Is that too much to ask?
Stacy-Ann Ellis is a New York-based writer and photographer whose work has been featured in VIBE Magazine, VIBE Vixen, Hearts Converse, The Root and The Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @stassi_x.