If Women Wrote About Their Bodies The Way Men Write About Women’s Bodies

6 minute read
Author: Jo

Lads. Lads. LADS. You know what we’re talking about. And yeah, #NotAllMen yada yada yada, but #YesSomeMen. Some published men. Some men who seem to think we spend our entire day charting the movement of our tits and gaze at ourselves in the mirror at every given opportunity. For most of us possessing boobs, our main concern is how much they get in the way, give us backache, interfere with clothing choices, and itch at inopportune moments. For most of us who go about our day wearing feminine clothing, we run the gamut of discomfort, catcalling, indecipherable sizing, and poor design (FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S SHINY, WHERE ARE ALL THE FUCKING POCKETS?).

And so, a little while ago we went on a wee Twitter rant in response to a heartfelt plea from a long suffering editor:

And lo, this blog was born…

Gif of a woman pulling her bra out of her top and tossing it aside in relief.
  • The moment she got home she reached up the back of her t-shirt, expertly unclasped her bra, yanked it out an armhole, and flung it across the room with a groan of agonised release. The elastic marks would remain on her skin for another hour but at last she could breathe.
  • As she pulled her decades-old saggy yoga pants up over her cellulite-dimpled arse she let out a deep, relieved sigh at the lack of camel toe and proceeded to do a victory MC Hammer dance.
  • Her skinny jeans were beginning to cut off all circulation to her thighs and pelvis as she sat through another twenty minutes of the meeting in which her male colleagues repeatedly echoed her points back to her with their own unique brand of authority.
  • She loved the feeling of slipping on her stilettos – the blisters on her toes; the pressure bruises on the balls of her feet; the cramping of her calves; the bunions and bruised toenails. Even more thrilling was the inevitable threat of a twisted ankle that lingered in her future. She thrived on the danger.
Gif of a woman in high heels walking on a treadmill
  • Her thighs chafed when she walked and the band of her bra rubbed against her ribcage, sticky with under-boob sweat. The cheap polyester of her work uniform, almost melting in the heat, had begun to give her a nasty rash.
  • She wrestled with the sports bra, contorting her body and near dislocating both shoulders as she hauled it over her head, pulling out hair by the roots and scraping off layers of skin as it briefly asphyxiated her on its way past her neck. Half way there, the sports bra resisted, rolling into an immovable band of torture across her upper chest. ‘Is this how it ends?’ she thought, and briefly imagined the words ‘drowned in moonlight’ on her tombstone. With a monumental burst of effort she managed to pull it downward, sweating with the strain, but the final hurdle was still to come. Yanking the elastic as far away as possible, she carefully stretched the sports bra over her heaving bosom, wincing in anticipation of the final stage: entrapment. The bra snapped into place with an impact like a punch to the chest, instantly limiting her lung capacity by at least 25%.
Gif of a woman peeking through the gap in a door saying "could you help me put my bra on?"
  • The feeling of the dress slipping over her pert bottom was tantalisingly strange, because no piece of clothing had ever slipped off her before, because clothes don’t actually do that. She checked the label. Ah yes. Teflon.
  • She folded her arms across her breasts, then under her breasts, then over her breasts, because she was acutely aware of what her breasts were doing at all times. She noticed at the way they jostled when she trotted down the stairs. She watched them defy gravity and stand straight up when she lay on her back. She paid special attention to them when she showered, rubbing the lather in slow, seductive circles around her areola, wishing some lucky man was there to witness it. She marvelled at their ability to take up almost every waking minute of her day with their various and mysterious movements.
  • Slipping on her baggy hoodie she suddenly felt more at ease, as if she were encircled in a soft embrace. She pulled the hood over her head and nestled her hands into the cavernous pockets, hunching her shoulders; a temporary safe haven from scrutinising eyes.
  • As she pushed away the empty pizza box she slouched back, poking contentedly at the distended belly protruding from beneath her crop top. The flesh was warm and yielding and she could feel a satisfying fart brewing in her lower intestine. As she wriggled lower into the couch cushions she plucked out a morsel of pepperoni that had lodged in her cleavage and devoured it.
Animated gif of a 50s style comic depicting a man holding a woman who is crying and hitting him in the chest. A speech bubble above her head says "get me a pizza!"
  • Her tight pencil skirt reduced her gait to a feminine trot, preventing her from running from the looming figure that followed her. She pulled her keys from her bag instead, arranging the points between her knuckles and readying herself to strike.
  • Looking in the mirror she studied her figure – the caesarean scar beneath a gentle droop of overhang, the stretch marks criss-crossing her ribs, the crinkled skin of her deflated breasts. This was a well-worn body, past its prime, rendered all but invisible to mankind. She was thirty-two.
  • Scouring her underwear drawer she finally spied what she was looking for – her favourite pair of greying granny-pants, stained and hole-riddled, soft and comforting, barely elasticated after years of use. The perfect choice for day two of her period.
Gif of Bridget Jones holding up a pair of 'granny pants'
  • She tried on her third pair of jeans, flummoxed at the vast disparity between sizing. She was sure a fourteen was much larger than this a few years ago. She turned this way and that, viewing herself in the three-way mirror under the scorching strip lights, frowning at her reflection in disappointment. And, discovering that the pockets were sewn closed, she sank to the floor and wept.
  • The bikini was clearly designed by someone who had never seen a human woman before.
  • “You know, you’d look so much better in a dress – it’s a sin not to show those legs off,” he told her. She toyed with her drink, feeling a blush creep up her chest and neck, deeply flattered by his wisdom and attention to her appearance. “And maybe lose a few pounds,” he added. She fluttered her eyelashes and silently calculated the calories in her vodka tonic. He was so, so right. She wondered maybe if she smiled more he’d be interested in her.
Gif of Maya Rudolph laughing sarcastically before staring deadpan at the camera.
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