In Defense of My Immigrant Bosom

by Tish Valles

 I have never had to consider my breasts as much as I do now that I live in New York. Never before did I have to stop and reconsider the socio - political implications of my breasts and their presence. This is something I was not prepared for, after all this is the land from whence such bosomic (bosomal?) range covers burning the bra and the Victoria's Secret fashion show. How would I ever come to expect that these breastal celebrations were approached with a double standard, primarily protected by women who call themselves feminists. 

bosom 1 copy.jpg

It seems America has a problem with my breasts, and I take great offense at this. We'll have you know, we are quite a formidable team. My breasts and I have forged into hostile boardrooms of anglo expat males in Asia who needed ME to convince THEM that I was the expert on Asian women's motivations in the beauty business and not them. My breasts and I have dealt with female health issues which most likely impede my ability to bear children or nurse my own offspring. Flanked by fellow women warriors and their breasts, my breasts and I have ousted a dictator to install a female president. We have conquered male dominated corporate scenarios, have built a successful career that traverses three continents, and have made it in the mythical city where, if you make it there chances are you will make it anywhere. 

I am not alone, either. America has a problem with your breasts, too. Yes, you with your tetas, pecho, your suso, du sein, matiti. What else would explain the way women in America scoff at the sight of another woman breastfeeding in public? Or America's antagonistic relationship with your nipples, when they have the gall to show through your clothes? Or their condescending attitude towards cleavage, as if its mere presence ruins all chances that people would take seriously any woman in proud possession of such.

Well, my bosom and I will no longer take this nonsense. We will no longer silently bear your judgment or coddle you through your bosom hang-ups. We will stand proud and strong, all supple and fleshy as the female design. With confident swagger and sensuality, we celebrate fellow warrior women and remember those lost to diseases that attack our woman parts. With eloquent grace, we will speak with authority and will be taken seriously even by those we make uncomfortable.

Photo 38.jpg

 Breasts of America and the women who bear them, we come in peace. We love our breasts and love yours too. One day we will shimmy together in unity.  But until then, we will have to agree to disagree.

Just because you have issues with your breasts doesn't mean I am going to start developing issues with mine.

  * This post originally appeared in my other blog during one iteration of the so-called 'War on Women' in December 2010. Unfortunately for me, my breasts and yours, the war goes on and the sentiment remains relevant three years later.