Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I'm participating in this year's A-Z challenge, and so will be posting daily about a subject focusing on a letter of the alphabet.

All my life, I was underweight, until I had my fourth child. Not many skinny girls had big breasts when I was growing up, although now you can buy them. So, there I was...a tall, thin, very flat-chested teenager in the 70s. Farrah Fawcett in that damn red bathing suit was everywhere. No Wonderbras had been invented yet. No wonder I was painfully insecure. 

In my mid-50s now, I see the true meaning of the word cleavage: the way in which a thing tends to split, according to the Thorndike Barnhart dictionary I've had since the fourth grade. This physical lack of cleavage split me off from not only from society's ideal of what was feminine, but from the truth about myself. I never felt, deep down inside, pretty...alluring...a "real" woman, whatever that was. Even after marrying a man who found me beautiful (and does to this day) and had four children, I accepted this as reality.  

But now, I refuse. It has taken me many years to -- dare I even say it?? -- begin to accept the concept that I could be beautiful. See, even now it is difficult for me to say out loud. I am beautiful. Droopy eye, long nose, flat chest and crooked teeth -- they all add up to one hell of a gorgeous woman. So there it is, finally. Cleavage. I'm cutting asunder society's idea of beauty, cleaving it forever from  my heart's understanding of what is true about me. 

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