To my breasts: a letter of apology


Dear breasts,

Guys, I have so many things to apologize for. Is it odd that I call you guys? Would you prefer girls? Ladies? Mammaries?

The other morning as I passed the bedroom mirror, instead of my usual cursory glance I happened to take a longer look. And then a double-take. It had been a while since I’d looked at myself with a critical eye, and the person looking back at me was not exactly the person I remembered. As my eyes traveled down my reflection, I finally found you. What were you doing down there? I was wearing a bra, wasn’t I? Was this just… where you live now?

The realization hit me: I’ve been taking you for granted. I let your youthful prime pass by without notice. I thought you’d always be there for me, right where I left you. And you are still there for me, just a little lower than I’d expected. How did this happen, I wondered? How did I not notice? It seems just yesterday you were firm and bouncing happily away, and now there’s something… listless about you. You’re deflated. Tired. You’re not your old selves.

I haven’t given you the support you need – that is clear. In my defence, it is difficult to find a nursing bra with that magical combination of both adequate support and comfort. So far the best I’ve done is not-quite-adequate support and zero-comfort. But to be honest, I haven’t tried that hard. To put it bluntly, I would rather dive naked and open-mouthed into a pool of ice-cold fish guts than go bra shopping.

You’ve put up with a lot over the years. I’ve encased you in ill-fitting and uncomfortable bras. I’ve lost crumbs and small particles of food in between you. Every time I decide to take up running again you get a thorough jostling. I’ve even cursed your size, tugging at v-neck shirts in an attempt to make you a little more work-appropriate. But in the past couple of years, you’ve gone from purely aesthetic to primarily functional in the blink of an eye. You’ve been latched on to by not one but two greedy babies. You’ve been hooked up to that cold instrument of torture known as the electric pump. (Pit of Despair, anyone?) You’ve been drooled and barfed on. You’ve got stretch marks. You’ve suffered cracks and soreness. You’ve leaked. You’ve been bitten. All in the name of duty.


So I am sorry, dear breasts. It is true – I have valued your function far more than I ever valued your form. And now your form is… changed. I am sorry that I didn’t appreciate you when you were at your best, and I thank you for all your years of dedicated service. From now on I vow to cherish you for as long as we have left together, as I can only imagine that at the rate you’re going, you’ll be somewhere below my waist by the time I’m 40.

But… now that we’re talking again, would you just do me one favour? Would you maybe put the brakes on that inevitable journey down my torso, just for a little while? I promise, I’ll go bra shopping right away and find you something nice. It won’t poke. The straps won’t slip. I promise – I’ll find you the support you need. Because you’ve put up with a lot, and you deserve it.