Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:13 PM
WillyT (72,631 posts)
In Case You Missed This... Nora Ephron... From 1972... Esquire Magazine...
A Few Words About Breasts
The essential essay from the late great writer's Esquire column
By Nora Ephron - Esquire
Published in the May 1972 issue of Esquire
As for men.
There were men who minded and let me know that they minded. There were men who did not mind. In any case, I always minded.
And even now, now that I have been countlessly reassured that my figure is a good one, now that I am grown-up enough to understand that most of my feelings have very little to do with the reality of my shape, I am nonetheless obsessed by breasts. I cannot help it. I grew up in the terrible fifties — with rigid stereotypical sex roles, the insistence that men be men and dress like men and women be women and dress like women, the intolerance of androgyny — and I cannot shake it, cannot shake my feelings of inadequacy. Well, that time is gone, right? All those exaggerated examples of breast worship are gone, right? Those women were freaks, right? I know all that. And yet here I am, stuck with the psychological remains of it all, stuck with my own peculiar version of breast worship. You probably think I am crazy to go on like this: here I have set out to write a confession that is meant to hit you with the shock of recognition, and instead you are sitting there thinking I am thoroughly warped. Well, what can I tell you? If I had had them, I would have been a completely different person. I honestly believe that.
After I went into therapy, a process that made it possible for me to tell total strangers at cocktail parties that breasts were the hang-up of my life, I was often told that I was insane to have been bothered by my condition. I was also frequently told, by close friends, that I was extremely boring on the subject. And my girl friends, the ones with nice big breasts, would go on endlessly about how their lives had been far more miserable than mine. Their bra straps were snapped in class. They couldn't sleep on their stomachs. They were stared at whenever the word "mountain" cropped up in geography. And Evangeline, good God what they went through every time someone had to stand up and recite the Prologue to Longfellow's Evangeline: "... stand like druids of eld... / With beards that rest on their bosoms." It was much worse for them, they tell me. They had a terrible time of it, they assure me. I don't know how lucky I was, they say.
I have thought about their remarks, tried to put myself in their place, considered their point of view. I think they are full of shit.
The whole piece: http://www.esquire.com/features/nora-ephron-a-few-words-about-breasts-0572
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