Freaks, geeks, and peaks

I was what you might call an “early bloomer”. Already a lady in the menstrual fashion by 11-years-old, I was the first of my friends for a lot of things, including the dreaded breast development.

I was what you might call an “early bloomer.” Already a lady in the menstrual fashion by 11-years-old, I was the first of my friends for a lot of things, including the dreaded breast development.

Always a good, healthy chunk of a kid, I never didn’t have some sort of breast tissue, but I was about 10 when it became unavoidable that the chub in my front would have to be divided into two sections and plopped into a bra. Pictures taken just before this decision was made, coupled with the fact that my first brassiere was a C cup, prove that it might have even been a little late coming or, at the very least, I shouldn’t have been permitted to wear knits.

Back in the early 80’s, bras were foundation garments, and looked as such. Stark white with substantial straps, padded & pointy foam cups, an industrial grade band with severe hooks that dug into my soft parts. My first bra looked more like a straight jacket than lingerie.

And being the only fourth grader with an official over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder was brutal. There was no way for my classmates not to notice that I had gone from roly poly to torpedo tits overnight, and they whispered and laughed—not bothering to go behind my bound, cinched, and trussed-up back to do it.

And the physical contact was uncomfortable for me as well. Much like pregnancy invites people to touch you in ways that they wouldn’t consider were there not a child cooking in your oven, the fascination with my development emboldened my classmates. Girls wanted to feel what my breasts were like, unabashedly grabbing at me, while boys were fond of the snapping sounds the elastic made when pulled and released.

I learned to slouch over my breasts, protectively, and hide them under too-big clothes. Much like any adolescent with a feature slightly out of the ordinary, even if only in their own eyes, I became ashamed of what, in a few years, the entire female population of my school would be in possession of—in one form or another.

Annie Hawkins-Turner is a unique lady. The 52-year-old mother of two from Atlanta, Georgia who goes by the pseudonym Norma Stitz, has the enormous honor of possessing the world’s largest natural breasts, as confirmed by the folks at Guinness. Norma’s breasts weigh in at 56 pounds each, and have been measured as 102ZZZs.

Norma recently appeared on the UK show This Morning to talk about what it’s like to always have 3.5 feet of cleavage precede her wherever she goes. She said she was teased excessively as a child and is still made fun of every day when she leaves the house. She couldn’t breastfeed her children (her arms, literally, were not long enough) or do jumping jacks in P.E. class and had trouble finding a man who was interested in more than her mammaries.

Yet Norma Stitz keeps smiling. In part, because she is a positive lady who loves life. In part, because she’s sticking it to the man by taking those 102ZZZs and making $$$$$$s. Take that, schoolyard bullies.

Norma is making a living doing nude modeling. Less the kind where serious art students draw you in charcoals and more the kind that is kept behind an “You Must Be 18 To Enter” landing page. But let’s face it. Logistically she can’t sit behind a desk, stand at a cash register, or even make a sandwich at Subway because of her assets. Why would she want to, anyway, when people will pay to see what Mother Nature bestowed upon her?

Lemons, meet your old nemesis…lemonade.

It took years for me to come to terms with the body I was given. But, like Norma Stitz, I eventually made my living by showing the one thing (OK, two things. OK, OK, at least three things.) that I was ridiculed for earlier in life. It’s very empowering to earn a paycheck from the thing that you would pray, every night as you went to sleep, would disappear by morning.

I hear similar stories from people all the time. Whether it was the boy who was teased about being gay because he loved dance and is now a ballet legend or the girl who was pushed around for being nerdy and is now a NASA hotshot. Kardashians notwithstanding, greatness often comes from uniqueness. And, while I wouldn’t call myself great, my baked potatoes where others have tater tots have afforded me opportunity that has far outweighed the heartache.

So here’s to you, Norma Stitz, who is still making naked money at 52. I wish you health, happiness, and a lifetime supply of Gold Bond powder! And to all the different kids at my internet lunch table, make the best of what you’ve got. The URL is available and I expect one of you to use it.

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The Checkout Girl

The Checkout Girl is Jennifer Lemons. She’s a storyteller, comedian, and musician. If you don’t see her sitting behind her laptop, check the streets of Richmond for a dark-haired girl with a big smile running very, very slowly.

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