When I was about 13 I had a really short haircut. Well, it was more like a really bad haircut that happened to be short. I hated my hair so I started wearing hats to cover it. I was lucky that hats happened to be in fashion back then so most of the time, they were just cute accessories.
But sometimes I liked to wear baseball hats which weren’t exactly cute, nor feminine. I have a vivid memory of wearing one in a diner in Florida with my sister and cousins. I placed my order wearing my hat and the waitress mistook me for a boy. It was incredibly embarrassing and reminded me just how much I hated my hair and how I couldn’t wait for it to grow back.
It’s funny now to think back on that moment. I must have had boobs, but I guess they were just a normal size and probably strapped in by a bra. I was probably wearing jeans and a T-shirt and I’m quite certain I didn’t carry a purse or wear any makeup. I didn’t even have my ears pierced. Maybe I really did look like a boy.
There is no way anyone would mistake me for a male today. No matter what I do to my hair or what I wear, my boobs are just too obvious; the dead giveaway that I am a woman.
I remember someone, I think a friend’s mother, once told me that she couldn’t remember her life before she met her husband; she claimed her life changed so dramatically when she got married and later had kids that her former life was unrecognizable. I thought the story was ridiculous (and actually a bit sad) but thinking about it now in the context of breasts, it kind of makes sense. My breasts are what make me female and I enjoy being female. My femininity informs so much of what I do and think and say and I can’t imagine a time when I didn’t feel this way or look this way. I can’t imagine a time when someone wouldn’t have picked that up about me.
For all the grief my breasts sometimes give me, I love that they are the outward representation of the person I am inside.