My Tits Don’t Have A Purpose. And That’s Just Fine By Me.

Aren’t tits a crashing bore? As I look down at my own, in the knowledge that they’ve received far more attention from other people than I will ever give them, I can safely say that I’m completely and totally perplexed. All the names that we give them are far and away more exciting than the reality of a pair of actual knockers. I mean, design-flaw-TASTIC or what? We could at least have a zip in them for storing Haribo or an emergency miniature of gin. As the ligaments stretch in old age you could fit in a whole bottle with a straw. Now THAT would be worth looking forward to my seventies for. But otherwise, what’s the fucking big deal with breasts?

To be fair, I’ve had mine a long time. I was one of those ‘early developers’, which is to say that I spent a significant portion of my pubescent time fending off second-generation fuckwits who assumed that because my breasts suddenly occupied a space that they hadn’t previously it meant that they were encroaching on territory that wasn’t theirs. Therefore they didn’t belong to me and could wilfully be grabbed, poked, prodded and generally treated as though they were not attached to a human being. Of course, this being the enlightened eighties and I being at Catholic school meant that this was what actually happened. If they weren’t strapped down and I wasn’t wearing six jumpers, a full set of body armour and a duffle coat then my breasts were fair game.

I was ten years old.

Things didn’t improve much as I got older. I went to secondary school. My boobs grew bigger and became an impediment. I had to hold onto them when I ran. The idea of getting changed for PE was mortifying, as (again the perverse idea of a Catholic school) all the girls had to change into skin-tight leotards for gym. Then we were walked past the boys changing rooms to get to the gymnasium. It was inescapable. I spent most of my teenaged years signed off of PE (thanks mum), smoking fags sneakily behind the gym block, arms folded across my chest, hating everyone. But especially myself.

As I entered my late teens and early twenties, I was caught up in a world of new adulthood, wearing clothes that you can only get away with whilst under twenty five. It was a time of ill-advised skirt lengths, catsuits, belly tops and incredibly teeny dresses…and some truly dreadful dance moves that a young woman of ample bosom had no business engaging in.

C’mon, it was the nineties. We all eventually got swept away by a wave of Cool Britannia euphoria. Women were busily openly enjoying football, drinking pints and objectifying the living fuck out of each other in an attempt to be more like the boys (“PHWOAR, that bird from Sleeper, EH?”). We got our tits and arses out out willy-nilly and didn’t care who saw them. In hindsight, not womankinds finest hour. On the upside, I was generally too shitfaced to care what part of my body anyone was talking to. I also had a seven year long hangover and breasts that enjoyed being encased in a bra for seventy percent of the time due to my falling into bed fully clothed most nights.

My bangers lived though my late twenties and early thirties mostly just sitting there, untroubled by the outside world. I put them in pretty, brightly coloured bras and contemplated getting them pierced (too scared) and generally lived in clothes that felt nice rather than required the services of industrial chest-upholstery. My breasts resided in a creative world full of artists, musicians, photographers and designers, where they are merely an accepted, fairly pleasant part of womanhood.

And so they and I just get on with living. Until I fell pregnant.

Like an early warning system, my knockers informed me I was pregnant. Handy.

And as though pregnancy had flipped on my tit-switch, I suddenly became alarmingly aware of the two whacking great udders that were now becoming more like the unwanted protrusions of my puberty years. And what’s more, they slowly began to occupy my time in a similarly negative fashion until my burgeoning stomach overtook them in the race to obstruct the sight of my feet.

My daughter was dragged into the world, by the ankles and against her will, in the middle of the night. She was a tiny, underdeveloped, purple little creature with hands the size of teaspoons and eyes that stayed clamped shut due to all the drugs that had umbilically found their way into her minuscule little frame. Her toothless little ‘O’ of a mouth now owned my tits.

This wasn’t an entirely unexpected turn of affairs. After all, I’d listened to the midwife lectures and packed the breast pads into my hospital bag. I understood the language of lactation and was entirely ready to sling one of my old lils at my newborn daughter as soon as she squawked with hunger. It’s easy, after all. Everyone says it is.

No it’s not. It’s fucking difficult. And boring. And it feels weird. And can be at the very least uncomfortable and at its worst, painful as hell. Once again, other people are in control of your bazongas. I’ve lost fucking count of the amount of women who’ve had hold of my boobs, kneading and tweaking to try and goad and manipulate them into my child’s hungry mouth. They aren’t built to take 90° turns and defy gravity and nothing these fiercely determined breastfeeding warriors did made the slightest fucking jot of difference. Three long months I battled on with it until it suddenly dawned on me that actually they are MY BREASTS and Romilly is MY DAUGHTER. And I am fucking stupefied with anger at the incredulous, disappointed and disapproving way in which my malfunctioning breasts and I are treated by people who should know better.

So I stop.

The world doesn’t stop turning. My daughter stops crying with hunger. I bin those ugly fucking breast-feeding bras. Romilly grows into a stupidly happy, healthy and intelligent five and a half year old, despite her evil bitch neglectful mother choosing to give her formula. And I feel the unconfined joy of never have to humbly ask the advice of those aghast, superior, sour-faced, pious breast-feeding evangelists ever again.

My breasts are mine. Passive. Pointless. Silently sitting there, holstered in by flattering spendy brassieres and no longer the primary concern or at the mercy of anyone.

Boring old funbags.

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