I have been accused by a friend of being breast obsessed. I believe her exact words were something along the lines of "you are all about the boob!". I'd like to deny it. I would like to roll my eyes and make some derogatory snorting sound, or utter the phrase "what-EVER". Sadly... I can not.
I would like to defend myself by pointing out that my interest in other people's boobs is purely professional! I don't think you can spend 13 years as a breastfeeding counselor and lactation educator without being a little overly familiar with mammary glands you didn't grow yourself. Those weren't just breasts - those were my job!
And yes, I am all about breast health. Do your self exams. Get your mammograms. That's just good medical advice which I promote and share with the people I care about. Or anyone else willing to listen.
But my obsession with breasts really probably started around the middle school years. During that time, I think many of us are focused on our chests. That previously flat expanse of rib area is changing. Or not. Either way, it's a cause for concern and interest.
If you are a female who has been through puberty - you probably know what I am talking about. Are they growing? If not, why aren't they growing? If so, are they growing enough? Too much? Are they even? How do they compare with the others we see growing around us? In short... are we "normal"? (it's all about being "normal" when you are a 13 year old girl)
Of course, the ironic part of all this attention we are paying to our newly budding breasts is that we don't want anyone else noticing them. Or even worse... mentioning them! Oh, the horror... the horror!!
As I have grown older and gone through different life phases, the focus on the breasts is always there. It just varies from one season of life to another.
Once the breasts got past the puberty phase and stopped growing, I had to figure out what to do with them. They were strictly ornamental at this point. And at the peak of perkiness. Choices had to be made. To bra, or not to bra? Where is the fine line between showing enough of them or too much of them?
When I was a nursing mom of babies the main focus switched to their functionality. These were working breasts! Half the time, they had a human offspring attached to them. When they didn't there were still things to consider and keep tabs on. Did they feel OK? How full were they? Too full? Not full enough? Were they holding their own, or was there a leakage issue?
And as I tried to patiently wait for the youngest to wean himself, they sometimes felt like the Brett Favre of breasts. It was time to retire... no,not quite yet... yep, now we're done... well, maybe we could make it another month or two... no, really, we're done now... or maybe not. Until finally they were really ready to throw in the towel and call it a day. For really real this time.
Now, I consider them classics. And it's all about structure and upkeep. Are they well supported, or is there any visible sag? Are they comfortable? (sadly, for too long the answer has been "not really")
So, yes. I suppose I am all about the breast. But c'mon. They're right there in front of me all day.