And does that count as cheating on beauty websites?
First off, I'd like to apologize to Intern Monica for making her get up on a Saturday morning to take photographs of my breasts. Welcome to JOURNALISM, kid.
I'd also like to state for the record that I find all sets of boobs to be delightful and wondrous just the way they are. In fact, I sometimes become so entranced by all their varied attributes that I worry security is going to escort me from the gym locker room.
But it cannot be denied that what nature giveth with one hand (large, weighty bosoms), it taketh away with the other (talkin' bout the droop). That's the great breast compromise to which we all must submit -- you get big ones or you get perky ones and if you get both you may be accused of witchcraft by the local villagers and burned at the stake.
So it is as a woman with the somewhat pendulous variety that I agreed to try the "Facial Breast Lifting" at Graceful Services.The website describes the service this way: "A silk milk lotion cleansing, light scrub, exfoliate and tone the skin. The pectoralis major and pectoralis minor are massaged, excess lymph fluid is drained, make breasts firm. A mask and a cream are applied."
Since boob-jiggling and rubbing are a favored part of my intimate life, my main concern heading into the facial (apart from having my "excess lymph fluid drained") is that I'll find it sort of ... arousing. Is this whole "breast facial" thing really just a way for lecherous ladies to pay a stranger to rub their boobs for 50 minutes? (You don't pay your boob facialist to rub your boobs for 50 minutes, you pay her to leave afterward.)
Luckily, my vagina seems to know the difference between sexy rubs and clinical ones -- I guess it's the same reason I don't get turned on even though my gynecologist is basically fingering me. The whole thing actually feels pretty similar to a breast exam, actually, only with nice-smelling lotions and creams and someone snapping pictures.
After the cleansing and the exfoliating , the technician massages all around my breasts, pressing her fingers into the tissue and rubbing the tops, bottoms and sides. My nips totally get hard. Then she turns on the humidifer and blows steam on them for awhile, before wrapping them up in gauze and glopping a warm, white liquid on top like a grade-school paper mache project. I keep stealing surreptitious glances at my side-boob in the mirrored wall, hoping to see them transforming before my very eyes.
My body is confused -- one the one hand, it's lying on a massage table at a spa, which is relaxing. One the other hand, a stranger is touching its boobs, which is the opposite of relaxing. It settles at low-grade anxiety, which is exactly what you hope to achieve from a beauty treatment.
Toward the end, I do get a few minutes of neck, arm and leg massage, which is nice but does nothing for my breasts.
In the end, when I hop up off the table, my breasts do seem to look a little firmer -- the first words out of Intern Monica's mouth are "I feel like they look different."
But now that I'm looking at the before (top) and after (bottom) shots right next to each other, I think it was just a sweet placebo dream we both got caught up in, because they look pretty much identical to me now. (Also, I never noticed before but I think the right one is bigger.)
For 100 bucks, I'm hard-pressed as to why anyone who wasn't writing an article for xoJane.com would purchase this service. And in fact, the receptionist at the desk at Graceful Services says practically no one ever does.
(But from what I hear, their regular massages are great, so thanks for the free booby rub, Graceful Services.)
Oh, and please direct any mean comments about my breasts to Joe (mama).