Jill Di Donato is a writer(Huffington Post), professor, producer . She lives in Brooklyn, New York,.
At the age of 10, when I was in the fourth grade, I -- or should I say my breasts -- were the target of the type of childhood/adolescent chicanery that tends to stick in those recesses of the mind that taunt you forever. At 10 years old, and quite without my consent, my body decided to fill out in the upper chest region. I love how (falsely) people write about breasts budding like roses. I had no such experience. All of a sudden, I was a 34-B. "B" as in baffled as to what to do about these new mounds of adipose hanging from my petite 10-year-old self. I was at once excited by them (and the surge of hormones that accompany the onset of puberty) but also shamed by them (mom and dad told me to wear looser shirts, lest I look like a tart).
Through this confusion, I had to navigate middle and junior-high in an elite private school (Zac Posen, Lena Dunham, Emma Straub and Jennifer Connelly are alumni) where the majority of girls dressed head-to-toe in Benetton. Later, I came to learn that even preppy girls were early developers; they were just better at hiding their, er, developments, than I was. But that's the thing; part of me wanted to hide them yes, yet another part wanted to show them off.
Until one fateful homeroom, when I endured 45 minutes of torture. One of the preppy boys decided to announce to the class, "Look, Jill has boobs! See them!" The boys roared with laughter and pointed, while the girls turned their backs to me. My homeroom teacher for that period was my brilliant, beautiful, history teacher who was demanding of her students and didn't coddle us private school brats like some of our more nurturing teachers. In short, she was my idol. I remember looking at her for some kind of rescue while my breasts were being ogled. She averted my gaze and went about her business of grading papers. Sitting in silence, I burned with hatred for my breasts and the betrayal I felt from my history teacher and women in general for having mammary glands. How could they let this happen? Why was this happening to me? Did this mean I was now a woman?
To this day, I wonder about my history teacher's lack of response to my affront. Did she think coming to my breasts' defense would diminish her authority? Call attention to her own buxom body? Or was she trying to deflate the power of public teasing by refusing to acknowledge it? Most likely, as a young teacher, she just didn't know what to do.
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Posted By: HartBeat |
5/01/13 12:00 PM
Im happy she turned out alright but the teacher should have said something when the class was bullying her.
Posted By: NiceEyes |
5/01/13 12:21 PM
This is why every young teachers that is new to schools should be given courses on classroom bullying