I actually want to circle back to a question:
‘I have a question. I’m modeled for a friend’s project this week, it was a topless shoot, but I was covered in paint. It wasn’t vulgar at all, but somehow it managed to really tick off my boyfriend, we had a terrible fight, and I just can’t understand what the big deal is. Seriously, what’s the matter with boobs?’
This question of what’s the matter with boobs jumped out at me because when it comes to your predicament, in particular, we’re talking about the boobs, but we’re also talking about things, not your breasts. First, let’s talk about the breast, though, why are boobs so controversial? In a nutshell, it’s because women’s bodies have been so continually objectified and sexualized that a lot of times when we see cleavage even, not even an entire breast, not even a nipple, not a hint of a nipple, we automatically assume that there is a sexual connotation to that. Even if you just happen to be a larger breasted woman wearing a lower cut shirt, and that’s the shirt that you want to wear, and that should be entirely okay, me as a smaller chested woman wearing that same low cut shirt would not have the same amount of cleavage and I would not attract the same amount of automatic snap judgements from people, who would be assuming that I if I had more cleavage, larger breasts, etc., was trying to be provocative, send some kind of sexual message by simply showing a line between two pieces of flesh, which is really all cleavage is. Not to say that cleavage can’t be sexy, but I know for a fact from girlfriends of mine with larger breasts that it’s frustrating, that we always assume or tend to assume that cleavage is meant to be sexy, that it is meant to attract the gaze. To me, breasts are the symbol of a lot of other problems that we have in terms of how women are perceived and treated and objectified.
Now in terms of the second layer of this question in regard to your relationship, it’s not what’s the matter with boobs, it’s what’s the matter with your boyfriend? In the way that you phrase it at least, it sounds like maybe there are some jealousy and trust issues going on. If you say that it was an art project, and you were comfortable with it, and nothing weird happened, and you felt like your body was being honored, I don’t know why he should be freaking out to the point that it causes a fight. And to me, it is a red flag if someone is more concerned about how you are presenting your body than you are because that says that maybe he or she feels more ownership over your body than he or she should. When your body can only be seen in sexual terms, then that is a problem. We aren’t sex objects. And by me, I’m saying, women.
Women, what do you think, though? What is, what is the matter with boobs? Have you experienced this kind of breast-shaming before? And guys, what do you think as well? If you have a girlfriend, sister, friend who is a girl and she happens to be showing a lot of cleavages, does it make you uncomfortable? Would it be something that you would get in a fight about? And don’t forget to ask me your questions as well. Ask me anything people, for reals; you want me to talk about boobs, you want me to talk about man boobs. The clinical term, gynecomastia. See I’m already talking about it.