Growing Up Busty

I felt like I was the only one in the pool who had two unwanted flotation devices.
07/18/2017 05:56 pm ET Updated Jul 31, 2017

This morning while at my boot camp class I was mistaken for another woman who also boot camps at the same boot camp, Jen.

“Who’s Jen?” I asked.

“Another busty brunette” a fellow boot camp camper chimed in.

Which made me laugh. It didn’t bother me, it more amused me in a sense where it made me say...huh. This is the way someone who I don’t know very well describes me. “Busty.” Interesting.

Things have been said my whole life about my boobs. My girls. My rack. My bazooms. My muhnutza’s — a made up boob word exclusively used by Italian grandma’s. Or maybe just my Italian grandma. I’ve spent a large part of my life hiding them under boxy benetton sweatshirts, J. Crew men’s sweaters and drawers full of XXL t-shirts, feeling not so enthusiastic about them.

Like most girls with the naturally big bazonga’s I developed early, long before any of my friends did, around 10-years-old. I tried to contain them in my Wonder Woman Underoos “bra” which was not known for its lift/support.

A stern woman of Eastern European descent fit me for my first bra and it was not the luxury/treat that going into the lingerie department at Nordstrom is today. It was behind a sheet in the back of a kid’s shoe store for some reason and was bing-bang-boom like some sort of back alley drug deal that ended with my mom palming the lady a couple of bucks as a tip.

Mom had tiny little A-cup boobs. Why couldn’t I be more like her? My two best friends were super athletic and admirably flat chested. Why couldn’t I be more like them? I felt like I was the only one in the pool who had two unwanted flotation devices.

As I got older I would see glimpses of what was to come as I’d browse through the Playboy magazine at the barber shop, waiting for my dad and brother to get their haircuts. That was until the barber, Nat caught me hiding the Playboy inside of a Highlights magazine. He’d wag his finger in my face, “Not for girls” he’d tell me.

As a teen I would sometimes set my alarm clock to get a glimpse of beautiful boobs on our newly acquired Home Box Office. If you know the types of movies that typically run at 2:00 in the morning you know what I am talking about.

Movie’s where you’d see boobs and butts, classics like “So Fine” and “Class.” There were also movies where I learned a about history, like “Lady Chatterley’s Lovers” and I learned about sports watching “First and Ten.” I was learning a lot of things...these movies were full of busty women with curves and big round boobs and hair where hair naturally grows.

I was enthralled. Look at these ladies with their big natural boobs! Pretty great! I wanted to feel great about my own body, but I didn’t have legs like a pony like Miss May did nor a butt like any of the ladies wearing the “So Fine” jeans with the clear cutouts on the butt. I continued to hide behind drop waist dresses and wore “minimizer” bras through college.

It’s taken years for me to put something on that hugs my curves, rather than hides them. To wear a bathing suit without a t-shirt on top of it. To embrace those flotation devices. To feel like hey, these are part of my body and are pretty great. I still don’t feel that way every day but I do like the way I look in a wrap dress...and a t-shirt that is a medium, not XXL.

As I held my plank toward the end of my workout I gazed down and thought back on the comment at the beginning of class — again I giggled.

I rolled my shoulders back and down. I stretched. I left feeling strong, ready to bust out and take on the world.

Lori’s website, Drawn to the ’80s, is where her 5-year-old drew the hit songs of the 1980’s. Her blog, Once Upon a Product, is where she writes about important things like beauty products, food, and her obsession with classic films such as “So Fine.”

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