Wednesday, August 13, 2014


My husband’s family was horrified when I decided to breastfeed our first baby. They insisted I remove myself from the public rooms, retreat to a bedroom, cover myself with a blanket, and nurse my baby in shame and private.

Which was rich coming from a family that regularly discussed—at the dinner table—the various uses of whipped cream in dating situations. Boobs covered in whipped cream, complete with a cherry on top, was considered wildly humorous. Breastfeeding was considered . . . well . . . icky.

It was confusing at best.

When I had our second baby, I said, “Nope. Not going to the bedroom of breastfeeding shame. If you want I’ll cover the baby’s head with whipped cream and call myself dessert. But that’s it. Now back down.”

They backed down.

Over the years I’ve tried to figure out the mixed messages that society expresses when it comes to female breasts.  Sorry, I got nothing. Society is nuts.

However, here are a couple of random observations on the subject:

God gave women boobs and then said, “When you can get a guy to look you in the eye, even if it’s for thirty seconds, marry him.”  NOTE: It’s still good advice.

National Geographic magazine did more for modern underwear makers, than any advertising agency on Madison Avenue ever thought of—ever.

Women in the 1970’s burned their bras to protest the repressive 1950’s when Madison Avenue had decided women’s breasts should be shaped like nuclear missile silos.

Then something called “Cooper’s Droop” was discovered. Women put their bras back on in the 1980’s and invented Victoria’s Secret.

The secret was that Victoria was a hooker.

Breastfeeding threats are the best threats on earth to control older children. When my kids gave me a hard time about pulling the plug on leaving the park, the swimming pool, or the Little League Field, I would simply shout, “Come get in this van in three minutes, or I will tell everyone at this park/pool/field that I breastfed you and for how long.”  Enough said.

When I got married I was still wearing a training bra.  No joke. It was true love on my husband’s part.

Once you get them trained, they’re kind of fun, because being a girl is fun.

Nothing has changed. GQ magazine this month, a men’s magazine for men, has a picture of a topless girl wearing a flower lei over her boobs—sort of. Men are dopey.

Feminists would have us believe that there is no biological difference between boys and girls. No seriously, I had a college professor tell me that. “If girls were treated like boys they’d be big and strong too.” I noticed that Dr. Kooper was wearing a bra, and I was pretty sure I could take her in an arm wrestling contest.

Boys of all ages find girl stuff fascinating or as my grandson Conner asked me one fine day, “YaYa, why you got so many booby bras?” Or as my daughter (mother of four boys and one future bra wearer) said, “Oh no, I don’t go anywhere near the underwear aisle of the store, or all four of them will run through the bra section, fondling the merchandise, yelling, ‘Booby bras, booby bras,’ at the top of their lungs.”

Therefore we can conclude, who the heck knows? But as a friend of mine remarked,  “Burn my bra? Bras are expensive.”  I know, right?

Linda (Hang Ten) Zern



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