It had been a long week.
My Friday plans: work, an afternoon case review and a private cash-in-hand gig I had taken to make some extra money.
I woke up feeling exhausted and distressed.
Most people looked forward to their weekend; mine was going to be filled with paperwork and long hours.
I stood in the mirror and stared at the redness of my eyes.
They were so hollow.
I felt dulled by the morning fog.
I got dressed, had coffee and toast and ran to meet my colleagues for the taxi.
It was 7am and an hour-long drive awaited me to a remote country town for an assignment.
I maintained my composure during the bumpy ride and exchanged banter with my colleagues.
Entering the briefing room, we all sat with solemn expressions.
Back arched, notes out, I was mentally fit for the session.
Physically however, I felt uncomfortable.
For some reason, things in the chest area felt loose and bouncier than usual.
Gravity’s effect felt heavy and my back felt like it was supporting a heavier weight.
I looked down in confused shock.
The breasts looked softer and the curves were much more noticeable.
I excused myself, ran to the bathroom and checked.
In complete disbelief, I touched my breasts, touched my shoulders and finally looked down my blouse.
“Oh sh–, I FORGOT TO PUT ON A BRA!”
Who in the history of women-dom has ever forgotten to put on a bra?
I’m aware of when the bra stays off: at home, in the shower, in bed etc.
In a meeting? Throughout a bumpy hour-long drive? How did I not feel the tug of gravity on my chest when the cab driver swerved to avoid that dead rabbit?!
What on earth happened whilst I was getting ready?
I replayed this morning’s scene in my head: I wasn’t in a rush, I was calm but tired, yet somehow, my brain made my hands skip adhering my friggin’ bra to my chest.
My mind panicked and worried: Early-onset dementia? Would I have to start tying strings around my finger to remind myself to put on my bra? Or set a calendar reminder every day for the rest of my life to strap support to my chest?
Now I stared at myself in the mirror.
Not only were they swinging lower than usual, but the cold office air had brought on its effect and made another pair of small hills underneath my purple blouse.
I tried patting them down with no luck.
Walking into the bathroom was Carla, who I shared my problem with, hoping for empathy, but mostly for her thick, woolly sweater.
Then handed me her sweater and wondered how could I forget?
“I can understand an A or B cup going without a bra….but a C? You’re a C cup! How could you not feel it or sense it?”
Carla made me feel as if I lost my womanhood senses.
The bra misfortune was the first red flag, any more and my gender, intuition and all that came with it would be questioned and stripped.
“I’ve been having a tough week Carla.”
“I hoped you checked you have panties on as well!”
More raucous laughter from whom I hoped was an empathizer.
You can’t buy sympathy nowadays.
But just make sure I had them on, I laughed and subtlety grazed my hip.
Yep, they were on.
I excused myself, went to the meeting and sat straight, back arched with breasts swinging lower than usual.
When I was let loose into the world of adolescent independence, colour was almost non-existent. The clothes I wore, the styles I chose circumnavigated: brown, black, grey and the occasional safety net: white. Dare I try any other colour; I would have to subject my sister to a barrage of webcam sessions, pictures and questions on whether I looked ridiculously freakish. When I failed to be satisfied, I rang the girlfriends, and much to their chagrin, held crisis talks. Having colour in my wardrobe was as a fearful experience.
Contrast to present days where I embrace colour: pinks, blues, yellows, purples, shades of ambiguous beige-orange. It’s all exciting and pleasant, but red is a colour that still makes me chuckle.
My mother plays it safe with neutral colours. Bright colours, particularly red is something that she says doesn’t suit her style or personality. I would say perhaps my fear of colour came from my mother, but I’d be lying. I was always a wallflower; I exuded shyness and anti-social tendencies. Colour was attention-grabbing, something I obviously shunned by holding my index fingers in the form of a cross.
Red holds memories for me. Even before I delved into the wonderful hues which represented my adolescent liberties, I experimented with red, surreptitiously with a sense of cheap and quiet thrill.
I remember when I had my first kiss at 17 and began seeing him regularly, he asked: “So do you wear thongs?” I tilted my head to the side in confusion, the quickly nodded. Thongs? I had no idea where they fitted in the Christian realm and even more, are the comfortable? Are they safe? Do they attract the wrong type of guy? Is he right for asking me? Should I be offended? I had never worn one as I didn’t see it was relevant to being 17. But emotionally naïve and willing to please, I went to the nearest shop and bought a Red Thong for $5. I was so scared of someone recognising me or asking me for ID or worse: “You go to the Church just down the street don’t you?” All sorts of scenarios of humiliation played and when it went well, I clutched it tight, and took care of it myself.
It was the first I owned and wore it exclusively for our make-out sessions, even though he later never asked or ventured into that arena. But eventually, I loved it. I felt sexy, electric and had long dreams of him touching the lace and declaring his love for me. Red was erotic, & heavy with virginal longing for sensual kisses and movie-type love. Red introduced me to romantic delusions of relationships. Most days I regret having such idealistic notions of romance, other days I remember being young and doped up with so much passionate expectation of romance & sex.
When I first entered the arena of “The Red Dress”, it was a similar experience, except of being fearful, I swayed my hips and arched my back with stealth confidence. The Red Dress made men turn heads, and women drool with questions and compliments: Where did you get that dress? OMG! I love it! It was a different overwhelming experience. I was proud of my curves. I tapped my breasts like they had played well on the field: Good job Girls! I knew I looked jaw-droppingly awesome, but in the same breath, I was afraid someone would blow my cover by entering the room with the same one on, wearing it better and sleeker. The Red Dress was iconic, but sadly it hangs in the back of my wardrobe. The Old Fear creeping back, taunting my hips, my tummy: “People might object to it this time around, M.”
Two months ago, my friend suggested I try red lipstick. I looked at her in horror: Red? I don’t know which was worst, being pushed into the forefront of people’s attention or having to stare at a potentially new feeling I might experience. Luckily, what I saw, I found repulsive. I couldn’t pull off red lipstick. I sighed with relief.
Today, I got a free lipstick in a makeup order. It sits on my dresser and taunts me. Red Lipstick, the epitome of sensuality for a woman. Smooth, lustrous and tempting, it’s still sitting on my dresser. There’s also the added pressure, Can a black woman pull off red lipstick? Conflicted on simply the representation of my womanhood. When I decide to wear it, I’ll take a photo and maybe welcome it as a new dimension to myself. Till then, we both wait.
- Can’t Wear Orange Lipstick this Summer? Try These Alternatives! (aceyourface.co.uk)
- Introducing NEW Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick (joeychong.wordpress.com)
- Top 6 lip products (birdonfire.wordpress.com)
I found a baby.
Online, looking adorable and staring up with bulbous innocence.
I never felt overly inclined to have children, but looking at this photo, I want one exactly like this, bunny ears included.
I guess the maternal clock has begun ticking.
Pray for me.
- EBSQ ETSY Showcase “Frogs” (sherrykey.wordpress.com)
- Why make your own baby food? (recipesbythenewmom.com)
- Honeydumplings: Putting Babies in the Lap of Eco-Luxury (celebritybabies.people.com)
He called me Slim.
No one has ever called me Slim. Except for that one time when I weighed 135lbs and I looked truly Slim and my dad said I looked like a bobble-head toy.
But today? I don’t consider myself Slim. I don’t consider myself anywhere near the term Slim. This isn’t self-deprecation. I’ll let you know when I’m blatantly self-deprecating. But today, I’m being a factist.
I looked over at him and asked: Why would you even say that? I’m not Slim.
He said: You’re exactly my type: curvy & Slim.
I still remained perplexed. People’s perception of size & beauty obviously vary, and this man’s perception is an evident testament. I fail to mention, that he had been drinking before he admitted his arousal of my Slim body.
That word plagued my brain for the rest of the evening and I didn’t know how to bounce back. Laud in the term as a genuine compliment or shun it as a disingenuous means of getting into the Lady Mound?
Either way, I went to the Scale for enlightened guidance.
It sat in the hallway with a halo of remnant light shining on its LCD. Magnificent. I cleaned it and it revived.
I stepped on it, no shoes, no bra and it replied: ERR.
I gave it a moment and tried again: ERR.
I gave up and decided, the Scale couldn’t deliver the difficult news. I strapped up my running shoes and ran till my calves gave up and I fell. I looked up and brushed myself off and ran again. I lasted 30 minutes, found a green area of shrubbery and sat.
What is it the idea of perfect, pert, small bodies that remains so alluring? So envious? The conscious moral mind wants discipline and moderation: You’re eating pizza? *Gasp* For shame! Think about your arteries! Your veins! Acne and bloating?!?! Woman what are you doing?
Food obsession & calorie counting has become the norm: the Lifestyle and I desperately try to cling to, yet my body seems to mock. “Embrace your curves! You are voluptuous! I don’t WANT to digest a caterpillar’s snack, give the lion’s share!”
But body, surely you jest, I NEED to be Slim. Isn’t that when I’m most attractive?
I run some more, fatigued, I crashed onto my bed: unshowered jog funk still looming. Satisfied and experiencing a high, I forgot to dispose of my vices, damn! Because while I laid in self-indulgent glory, my eyes met the Slim, delicious smirk of the Toblerone.
- How to dress for your body type: 10 figure flattering tips (kleenexmums.com.au)
- Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is No. 1 in Maxim Hot 100 — but Krista Mills is the cover babe? (latimesblogs.latimes.com)