frustration

i was sitting here watching the wb news at 10. during the entertainment segment, they aired a report that for the upcoming movie, herbie fully loaded, that lindsay lohan’s appearance had been digitally altered. apparently test audiences felt she was too sexy so disney computer animators digitally raised necklines of her costumes and they “reduced her breast size by two cups”.

i also read in a friend’s blog tonite an article on the value of a hooters girl. (http://godverbs.com/2005/06/02/how-much-is-a-hooters-girl-worth/) while moore gets closer to a healthy response, i think there’s still a piece missed in how the church and culture responds to a woman’s body–in particular a woman who has large breasts. and for years this has frustrated me. tonite the frustration feels fresh because of these two instances occurring in the space of an hour.

to begin to understand why i’m frustrated, you should probably know a little something about my awkward junior hi years. as a long-time friend puts it, my bra has always had its fair share with some to spare. by 7th grade, i was a c-cup and weighed maybe 90 lbs. i was top heavy. junior high boys teased me mercilessly. i tended to be shy and this made me even more so. one day, a boy popped my bra–i gave him a black eye. the assistant principal just saw the part where i slugged him. i was so embarrassed by what he’d done and frightened by my own reaction it took forever for me to explain it to the principal through my tears. during this time, i somehow came to a conclusion that nice girls–good, christian girls– had small breasts–ones that didn’t call attention to themselves by their mere existence. girls who drew attention to themselves using their breasts weren’t nice girls and since i didn’t have to do anything for mine to attract attention, i worked at trying to hide them. i chose clothes that would help disguise my build. i learned to roll my shoulders forward so that if you looked at me from the side my arms hid my chest. since then i’ve struggled with my body image–mostly because of my breast size. i’ve considered reduction surgery for purely cosmetic reasons. i still have a hard time buying anything besides t-shirts. if they fit me through the arm and shoulder, they usually don’t button across my chest.

our society has decided that big breasts deserve attention in and of themselves and this attention is automatically sexual in nature. as a result, we have young women who have distorted views of themselves simply because of their bra size. we end up with young women who don’t think their breasts are big enough so they have enhancement surgeries–one of the top cosmetic surgeries for women under 25. we have young women who end up defining themselves by their bra size and allow themselves to be objectified. we have young women who, like me, end up feeling ashamed of their bodies, enough so that it’s hard to understand when we’re told biblically that we are beautifully and wonderfully made. it’s only been in recent years–in my 30’s–that i’ve begun to understand this concept and be comfortable with my bra size–enough so that i’ve given up baggy shirts and sweaters for ones that fit properly.

so tonite i’m frustrated for lindsay lohan, that her body has to be digitally reduced to maintain a nice-but-not-too-sexy image. i’m frustrated that moore’s article focused more on the externals for girls–how they dress–than the internals which got only one direct mention (“what would it mean if we insisted that our young girls insist on being treated with the dignity with which they were created?”).

in my little corner of the world, for my goddaughter, for my friends’ daughters, for the girls i encounter in student ministry, i try to model as much comfort with my body as i can. but i find i’m frustrated that, on a broad scale, there doesn’t seem to be a way to make bra size irrelevant to one’s identity or image for the generation of girls growing up today. if only bra size were no more important than hat size…

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1 Response to “frustration”


  1. 1 Andy 10 June, 2005 at 1:20 pm

    Wow, Mindi, thanks for these words. It’s fresh…Two things about myself make this post hit home with me. One, I have a daughter and I wonder how things like you are describing will affect her. And two, I know about the “value” that’s been placed on a woman in relation to her breasts. I just know it from a totally different angle.It’s hard to read your story and not feel a little guilty. I was probably one of those kids going around talking about girls, their chests, and messing about with their bras. Ashamed? Yes. Reasoning? None, other than “trying to fit in.”I can’t imagine how hard it is to be a woman (young girl, even) in today’s society. And to a certain extent, it worries me. I just keep taking it one day at a time.This is very good perspective and I’m very thankful you shared it. It’s given me a totally different way of seeing things like this.And I’m glad you’ve found a sense of comfort. I pray God uses you in amazing ways to touch the lives of those young people that are a part of your life.Peace,Andy


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