A Sculpture classmate suggests she would like to model my bare chest for her art project. She explains, "I'm obsessed with voluptuous women and I love large breasts." After laying down the ground rules and assuring there will not be any men present for the sculpting I enthusiastically approve.
This project is a natural fit for me. I have large breasts and I'm obsessed with my chest. As much as I complain about my back hurting or gravity winning the battle against elasticity I love my tig ol' bitties.
This realization is fairly new. If you would have asked me a year ago, "What would you change about your body image?" I would have interrupted you to answer, "My breasts! They are natural. I want to keep them the same size but lift them to my chin and while I'm at it I want to make sure they won't slide south again. I want to make sure they are as hard as rocks."
Seriously. If you doubt my answer ask J2 about our trip to Mexico. We were on a ocean excursion when his best friend, B, offered to take our picture. B snapped a few fantastic shots. Although J2 has never made one disparaging comment about my body and only makes me feel beautiful I cannot help to fixate on what others might say because I think it myself. In the photos J2 and I are laughing in the sun as we sail on the Caribbean Sea. To me all of the photos are unacceptable. I was distracted by two sad boobs that are furiously fighting to escape my body. I hand B the camera again with the express directions, "Crop my sagging boobs out of the picture, come in closer to our faces."
|June 19, 2012 J2 and I on the catamaran in the caribe del mar.|
After seeing WF's wife bounce around Overton Park without a bra I wonder why I would let his tired opinion make a difference today. Since I visited his parents a month ago I have had a unique opportunity to reevaluate who I am now and the impact WF had on who I am and how I see myself.
I wasted years feeling incompetent and hating my body. I strived to hide my chest, keeping it covered, purchasing turtle necks, and investing in minimizing bras.
Did you read that? Minimizers!!! They are constricting, unpadded, and unattractive. If I wear one and I'm cold, there is no doubt you can tell. They are also known to cause muffin tops. They give the wearer an effect of having four boobs. Four teats are reserved for camels and cows. I am neither.
I should not be ashamed of my breasts. At my last yearly exam my doctor gave high merit on the firmness of my chest - wait is he even supposed to comment on that?
Last week my classmate and I holed up in ladies restroom of the Art Building. I stripped from the waist up, slathered my chest in petroleum jelly, and let myself be covered in plaster.
|I believe this jar of petroleum jelly was prominently featured in the movie Kill Bill. Kinda scary, right? So I slathered it all over my body.|
Although I make remarks about how nervous I am and my insecurities I am calm. My classmate gives ample praise and compliments. She tells me, "Your body is very beautiful." Although, at first I find it hard to believe, she is genuine. She does not grimace or turn away in disgust. I feel good about myself. She made this awkward situation exceedingly comfortable. Where I would normally shy away from a locker room situation I did not flinch or rush to cover myself in this instance.
Being covered in petroleum jelly is not an ideal situation. It is the worst and most horrid aspect of having a mold cast of my body. I discover that covering myself in the oily substance makes me sweat. It is not a feminine delicate glow, no. Petroleum jelly makes my sweat glands turn on like a faucet rocketing at full blast. I became a producer of boob sweat in overdrive. After only a few moments of waiting for my classmate to mix up the plaster I have streams of sweat running from my armpits and underneath my breasts. The sweat streams are rolling down my stomach and being soaked into the fabric of my oversized jeans.
In spite of the sweat streams my classmate is determined to cast my breasts. She proceeds with pouring plaster and patting it in to place on my bare breasts. The Vaseline, sweat, and plaster combination make an amalgamation of goop that semi-dries in clumps. Or, it simply slumps off of my chest to shatter on the floor.
The sweating is not subsiding and I begin itching, but I wait patiently for thirty minutes to ensure the plaster is dry. One salvageable section, that is fastened to the most delicate surface of my right breast is the lone survivor.
|Yep, that is me with plaster securely clinging to my right breast. I'm wearing newspaper like a homeless man at the park on the corner of Manassas St and Poplar Ave. You are also seeing bottom and side boob; you are welcome.|
My mind is racing wildly. I recall the embarrassment in February when I call the Graduate Assistant in to the restroom to look at a suspicious, reddish-brown, lumpy spot on my back that I can not quite see or reach. I have no desire to relive the look of disgust and apprehension on her face as she utters, "You need to go to the doctor." After paying a $25 co-payment and the realization that any person with the slightest bit of Country in them could have removed the tick for free I'll be damned if I need help to remove this cast from my breast.
I force myself into desperate measures. I gently pull the hardened outside of the white plaster, which is soaked from sweat and clumps of gushy Vaseline on the interior, away from my breast. I can see the situation and it is dire.
Although I covered my skin in petroleum jelly I skipped a vital area. I accidentally avoided my nipples. Now, I am standing in front of the sinks in the Women's Restroom without a shirt on while a section of dry plaster hangs from my nipple.
I use my fingernails to scrape crusty, white flecks of plaster from my skin.
Considering the small hell I experience while scraping dried plaster from them with my fingernail I know that the expression "cutting glass with my nipples" would be an excruciatingly painful situation.
|The lone survivors of the plaster molding.|
Throughout the process as female art students come in to the restroom they exclaim, "Oh, WOW! Hel-LO." We giggle.
A male classmate working in the plaster room next to the women's restroom comments through the closed door, "Every time the door opens I am blinded by an extraterrestrial light at the end of the tunnel. It is my ultimate goal in life to see what is beyond the light!"
Nice try dude, but it is not going to happen.
That night after class a group of classmates, who turned drinking buddies, make our way to RP Tracks. As I walk through the door a Sculpture 2 student yells across the small room, "I saw your naked boobs today!"
I smile. Not ashamed I reply, "Yes you did," throwing a nod to Teri Hatcher in an episode of Seinfeld, "and they're spectacular."
|The final product.|
We went through all of that excruciating, hard, sweat covered work for one semi-boob shaped piece of plaster and a plaster bra. At the last possible moment my classmate decided to take her project a different direction. The plaster pieces are left unused. However, I am open to the idea of modeling again.