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Mammoirs: Baring Your Breasts Without Losing Your Shirt

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

I didn’t write my first “mammoir” until I was nearly 50 years old. I had signed up for an evening non-fiction writing course at a local community center.

On the first night, the instructor asked us to briefly introduce ourselves and tell the group why we were taking the class. To be honest, I had no clue what I was doing there. Everyone introduced him or herself as a writer or held an advanced literary degree. I defined myself as a stay-at-home mom with little more than an urge to explore my creative side. I also had a desperate need to escape the routine of nightly meal preparation, followed by homework patrol --- at least one night a week.

That course changed my life. It turned out that many of my classmates were focused on organizing and writing their memoirs. I, too, had a story to tell. But it was about my breasts. I called it my “mammoir.” It followed the ups and down I’d experienced from development, through nursing my three children to my (then recent) breast lift. In between I touched on my mother’s experience with breast cancer and my own teen daughter’s concern about her blossoming bosom. It resonated with others and led them to share their stories. I realized that there wasn’t a forum for talking about breasts, only one for observing them on display. I compiled these tales, featured them in my book, bOObs: A Guide to Your Girls, and on my website.

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To continue and deepen this dialogue, I've launched a new, perkier Mammoirs page. It’s more interactive, allowing you read and share all breast perspectives. You can search by specific topics or categories, and by age or bra size. You can also rate and comment on any of the entries, or post your favorites to Twitter, Goggle+, or Facebook. I hope you’ll join The Breast Life conversation and contribute your own unique point of view.

What do you think of the new Mammoirs page? Do you find it uplifting?

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