two little girls
growing out of their training bras…
~Ani Difranco: Two Little Girls~
Breasts are a large part of Britney’s life. It sounds stupid, and it is, but apparently tits more than make up for a lack of talent, so Britney has tits. Britney has specially-made bras, tiny gel-filled inserts, stuffing and wires and fittings to make sure that they lift and push, to give Britney that extra little bit of cleavage. Specially-designed shirts to show just a tiny hint of the pale flesh of her breasts, which is smooth and un-scarred, no matter what anyone might say.
Breasts are so important in Britney’s show business life that when its just her life, on those few days that are Britney days, no press, no photo shoots, no nothing, she covers them up like sacred artifacts and wears bras like she wore when she was a little girl, plain white satin with no wires and a sweet pink bow in the middle. Bras that no one would claim are just sexy little shirts, to be worn in a video or onstage. Her own damn bras, which no one else needs to see.
She tried to explain it once to Justin—how important it was that on her days, her body was her own, that it wasn’t tied down by stuffing or wires or anybody else’s idea of what her breasts should look like. And he got it, sort of.
He asked her once, “Why don’t you just go braless, then?”, and she had blushed.
Britney doesn’t tell Justin everything. They’re best friends, and occasionally lovers, but so much of their history is shared that he seems to think that there was nothing else back then, just Justin and Britney and everyone else in the background, pointless. He doesn’t seem to remember strong bonds, crying all day with Ryan in Jen’s lap, laughing and kissing JC quickly on the mouth during spin the bottle.
He doesn’t remember that once it was Britney and Christina, with everyone else in the background.
She can’t tell him, because it would hurt him. And because, despite his love of scented candles and reading “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” he’s not a girl. He doesn’t know.
She can’t tell him about the first time she wore a bra, white and plain and sweet like the one she wears now, the unfamiliar feeling of something tight around her new and tender breasts. She can’t tell him about elastic digging into her sides, about hugging herself close in embarassment, about hiding beneath her own over-sized t-shirt in shame after one of the older boys on the show tweaked her breast with a mean smile.
She can’t tell him about Christina’s hands lifting that same shirt, alone in their dressing room after the day was over. She can’t tell him about the way Christina’s gaze, heavy with awe and envy, made her blush all over, so that Christina reached out a hand and petted the curve of one small breast, flushed pink next to white satin.
She can’t tell Justin that no matter how many times he lifts her t-shirt and palms the curve of her breast in her plain white bra with no hesitation, no fear, he will never make her feel that way, because nobody can. Christina had touched her with hesitation and fear and something else, something more, and Britney had hummed all over with something that she couldn’t even define.
Now Britney had definitions, words beneath her tongue and on her fingertips, like lust and love and aching and tenderness. Justin has made her feel all of that throughout the rest of her young life, but its not the same. Its never the calm and quiet buzz of Britney’s small hand, guiding Christina’s over the tiny swell of her breast, the bump of her nipple, the tiny pink bow, showing her the geography of Britney’s developing body.
Britney has never felt anything like that again, and she has never tried to explain it to herself. It just is, a moment that exists within thousands of other moments, but somehow it shines. In the back of her head, sometimes, she knows that that small moment in her and Christina’s dressing room will always be the best because it was so new, so tentative. It was the kind of tender and beautiful that has to be tender and beautiful.
Because it can never be anything else.