I spent over two hours last night staring at another woman's breasts. And I feel so much better about myself for it.
Let's backtrack a bit. From the time I was a small child, I needed to pass every test (heck, I needed to ace them). I don't do well with failure. Throughout my early and mid-twenties, I was somewhat smug about this. Then came the day that I failed the test. And I knew, from that moment on, I would never be able to pass it again.
What test you might ask?
The dreaded Pencil Test.
Now, ask any woman what the Pencil Test is, and they will tell you. If they say they don't know, it is because they are lying. It is the test to check to see if your breasts are sagging. If you place a pencil underneath, let go, and it falls to the floor, then you're golden, with no sag. If the pencil stays...alas, gravity has won.
I first failed the pencil test shortly after the birth of my first child. While I did not nurse him, chestal changes still occurred. It was probably my age more than anything. I did nurse my second child, and the girls were just never the same.
There is some discomfort associated with this sag, which continues to lose its war with gravity. It's not too bad, but my time of bra-less freedom, even in my own home, is minimal as a result. I am not so well endowed that it is truly problematic. However, it just makes me feel old and, well, saggy. I am forever on the hunt for the bra that will return the girls to their former place in this world. I lament about getting cosmetic surgery to fix the problem, but then realize that a good bra will probably suffice. When searching for dresses, I have to have ones that I can wear a bra with.
Again, this is a first world problem and I probably spend way too much time thinking about it. Most people who know me probably don't even realize I have this complex. I probably just need to be way less superficial and get over it.
But I want to deny my age. I want to fight the clock and gravity and still look young and youthful. It is a battle that I fight with myself.
But then, last night, a wonderful thing happened. The hubs and I went to see the movie, American Hustle (sidenote: very enjoyable, highly recommend it). And for the 2 hour, 18 minute running time, I could not stop staring at Amy Adam's boobs. Partly, it is because they are hanging out for the ENTIRE movie. The movie is set in 1978 (which was a time in my life before I had breasts, let alone saggy ones). Her entire wardrobe consists of open front dresses cut down almost to her navel. And there is not a bra in sight. And there is no way in hell she is passing that pencil test.
And she looks gorgeous! She's sexy and confident. Both Christian Bale (although he looks terrible) and Bradley Cooper are hot for her. Heck, in that sequined dress (it was also backless), there was also a trace of back fat. It was the best thing I have ever seen on screen. Jennifer Lawrence is often outspoken about Hollywood's negative effect of women because of the impossibly high standards. But Amy Adams, at age 39, is out there shoving it in their faces. She's letting her body and her confidence do the talking. She makes the best dressed lists all the time, and the critics were disappointed that her Oscar dress was not cut down to there.
I'm not saying that I'm going to let it all hang out any time soon, but it is certainly nice to see a real, mature woman who is not ashamed of what time and motherhood has done to her body. Instead of focusing on those photoshopped and surgically enhanced images that I could never hope to achieve, I need to focus on being real and confident in who I am.
Gravity has bested me, I admit. But I will be the overall victor.