The Hush-Hush Perils of Small Boobs

The following article was originally written for Turner Broadcasting (2009), and is posted here as a writing sample.

The Hush-Hush Perils of Small Boobs

My Dad told me not to ice skate in backless leotards. He said that if I didn’t wear a bra, one day my boobs would sag. I scoffed. Like most female athletes, I was (and am) small-boobed. My 34A and me were shiny-happy, looking forward to a long life of halter tops and vintage Halston.

Well, every teenager lives in a bubble of some kind until one day it bursts like a cherry on prom night. My bubble was literally frozen, as it housed 300 square feet of Olympic ice. Eschewing the Je-m’appelle-Gypsy-Rose-Lee outfits figure skaters inexplicably wore, I took to the ice only in dance gear. My uniform: Pop! Six! Squish! seam-up-the-back Bob Fosse tights and the afore-mentioned, structurally unsound leotard, angsty black. My father’s advice was blithely ignored because he, a man, could not possibly know more about my breasts than I did. (To be clear, I was a teenager and he could not possibly know more about anything than I did.)

Fifteen years later, my mammaries are all alone in the moonlight, the star of their own low-rated, scientifically-sponsored Estrogen Channel dramedy. Hindsight’s a two-fold bitch. It seems that my Dad, with four daughters and two wives, knew nothing if not boobs and their inevitable downward mobility. The women in my family are blessed with many a perky feature, not one of which could be called “tit.” I’ve seen my beloved elders in the buff, and I can read the handwriting on the wall. (Actually, it’s a pictograph and it bears a striking resemblance to South Park’s Ms. Diane Choksondik.)

The second adolescent lesson I failed to learn was, understandably, in Physics. Despite my ability to harness the very laws of science and the universe to defy Earthly gravity or walk on (frozen) water, I failed to grasp their true power. Apparently, the tremendous torque and thrust of figure skating are violent enough to decimate any burgeoning bosom from the infrastructure out. One more Salchow and my chest would have looked like Bessy’s udders.

Now, chastened by time and a tailored wardrobe, the arrogance of my youth has come to haunt me. Betwixt genetics and athletics, I am doomed to spend tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow buttressed and cantilevered by a bra so technologically advanced it has been code-named Wonder. When I walk into a room I want to pick jaws up off the floor, not my tits.