Friday, July 18, 2008

Feist dates Danzig, and is not Entirely Repulsed.

The American obsession with breasts is heartbreaking to me. That it prompts unnecessary, even insane surgery, makes me want to lay my head on an unadulterated chest and weep and weep. I regard my own breasts, not without affection, as “sacks of fat,” but that perhaps says more about their superfluity to me than anything else.*

Nonetheless, this posture may feel ungenerous from someone who has what some may find to be an overabundance of tattoos and scars, and is now embarking upon the ultimate in body modification. What does it mean, to alter one’s body so dramatically? I’m watching myself at the gym and I see a guy who is really very concerned with what he looks like. Part of this transition holds a desire to conform (within reason?) to a vision in my head. Like many men, my vision looks like Brad Pitt. Also, like many men, I actually do look like Brad Pitt.

I see these guys at the gym; they’ve got the arms cut off their shirts to reveal...what exactly? Something they’re evidently very proud of! You can see the hint of muscle, you get what it is they’re flaunting, but you know what you’re seeing is not what they see in their guy-mind’s eye. I flex in the mirror – sometimes my woman comes out and is like “oooh, lumpy. That’s getting better but oooh, you need to drop about 20 pounds.” But other times I’m sitting, doing shoulder presses with my 30lb dumbbells and I’ll be damned if I haven’t gotten huge in the chest and shoulders, and if that chick at the ab machine doesn’t keep checkin’ me out. This Bicameral mind is not only delusional: it thinks in stereotype.

When some woman drives past me and does a double-take, I always hear my brain say “that’s right, check it out, yeah you want that**,” but the rational, Female part of the mind just shakes her head and gets on with it, noting the more likely possibility that the person in the car actually knows me. My brain halves are so married.

But there it is, the larger question: why are we all needing to change our bodies? The difference between “elective” implant surgery and having one’s breasts removed is profound, but both serve some social purpose, no? Yes I deeply desire my chest sculpted to a more conventional masculine form, but there’s also a social component to that. I don’t want to be perceived as a guy with boobs. That’s not okay for me, although perhaps in the future it will be. I know guys with boobs. I don’t mean moobs, I mean transguys who keep their breastesses.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: transgender people are part of the algorithm by which humanity solves its complex relationship with itself, with gender, with sexuality, with loving. There may come yet a day, when we’re all really okay with ourselves, who we are. I mean, I’m okay with myself, who I am, but I still want the titties chopped. That’s okay too. At the end of the day, I don’t believe I am participating in some social cancer, some malaise that tells women they need different breasts and men that it’s okay to make women feel like crap about their bodies. I believe I was born with a bicameral brain, and the senate is now in session.

*I am also sooo That Guy that wakes up one random Groundhog’s Day morning with boobs and he’s like “YES!” I love my breasts, but not like you’d think…

**I wish I were kidding. I’m hanging my head in shame RIGHT NOW.


  1. Your openness is amazing. Your honesty in writing and sharing this allows others to empathize with you on an equal level. I think about my body. I bet everybody thinks about their body. Your sharing what you think about your body in writing this way is profound. Thank you.

  2. boobies are truly the worst ever. what would my life have been like if i had boobies?

  3. Reading your blogs is like sitting in a stand-up comedy show and an English class. I get a laugh at the refreshing, awesomely-worded honesty AND learn awesome new words like "bicameral."

    Incidentally a song by my friend Devi just started playing on my computer called "There Are No Titties Where There Were Titties Before." I'm convinced my computer is psychic...