Mammals. Mammaries. Mama. Mom. The very class of animals to which we belong is named after the breast. The words "mommy" and "mama" are also the same word. Animal identity equals breast equals mom. In many Latin-based languages like Spanish and Portuguese, the word is actually identical. "Mama" means both breast and mom. In any case, it's clear that breasts, moms and mammalia are very closely tied concepts. Freud famously said "I am the breast," when he described his (maternal) relationship to his patients and ability to heal their psyches.

Breasts are everything. I should know because I never had them. And no, I don't mean that my breasts were a little small or a little saggy, and therefore as a woman I am required to round down to zero. I mean that I had a rare disfiguring birth defect that only became obvious to me during puberty, when my would-be breasts developed into what I can best describe as chest dicks. Tuberous Breast Deformity. Look it up, if you dare.

Today my breasts look like small natural breasts, because I paid a fortune for them, using both my own hard earned money and funding I got from health insurance companies, for which I wrote a series of essays to prove that fixing my chest dicks was a medical necessity. But don't be to quick to indict me, Internet, for spending common pool money on my selfish and therefore whorish desire to have cosmetically appealing breasts. I paid for the vast majority of my surgery my damn self.

I consider my breast purchase to be unlike the cases I see on the internet, which are available for viewing for anyone who fancies a glance at pure tragedy: perfect symmetric natural breasts, slashed and turned into cartoon rubber owl eyes, and timebombs to boot. Why anyone would take such a tremendous gift from nowhere, secularly speaking, and exchange it for artificial crap, I don't know.

I understand the appeal of wanting larger breasts. Breasts aren't just full of cultural significance, they're worth an immense fortune in money terms, I've noticed. I have spent my whole life jealously observing breasts. Maybe I am not so different from other breast envy people. It never escaped my notice after all that women who marry rich partners invariably have spectacular breasts, even if they ruin them a la owl eyes later in life. It never escaped my notice that women can make entire careers out of their breasts, like Pamela Anderson or Anna Nicole Smith, even if those careers end in flames. Breasts have undeniable power.

The power of breasts becomes even more apparent to new moms, who now invariably are guilted into breastfeeding for as long as humanly possible. The WHO recommends two years. That's right, TWO YEARS of living life as an on demand milk dispenser. Be a milk dispenser all day everyday or pay the price: your child's lower IQ, and higher rates of infection, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer, all of the disease we associate with lower class people in developed countries. The message doctors seem to give today is: the breast is destiny. Cut off your child from the breasts on your chest, and your child will also find the world become a dry teat, spelling out a fat ugly stupid life that ends in despair.

Never mind the fact that not all of the studies showing the benefits of breastfeeding are controlled for socio-economic factors. Research cited on or whatever other breast evangelist outlets you read is compiled from a ton of small scale studies that often make no mention of social class and how that would easily skew markers like IQ and health. The culture around breastfeeding in the developed world today is a culture that suddenly recognized its rich women were being marketed pedestrian products, and jealously reeled back: formula feeding is for poor women who must go back to work. Breastfeeding is for rich women who can take a break or pump like mad.

I find myself in the peculiar place again of being an outsider to my own class, and looking in. Through a combination of family fortune and my husbands skill as a provider, I can take time off to breastfeed. I could set up a whole breastfeeding operation. I have that luxury. But I can't because I don't have breasts. I have beautifully sculpted permanent mounds of fat on my chest, which closely resemble breasts, but I don't have breasts strictly speaking.

Initially I felt really guilty for not having breasts. Maybe monstrous people with rare deformities should just remove their disgusting genes from circulation, right? I bought herbs, rented a hospital grade pump, medication from outside the country. I tried everything. And as I tried to feed my clearly starving child with my Frankenstein breasts, I wept and sang him lullabies: Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Regina Spekter, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Flamig Lips, Billy Holiday, Patsy Cline, Janis Joplin, Bob Marley and the Beatles.

At some point I stopped weeping and I put away all of the lactation shit. I was only getting two ounces a day or so and my baby loves the formula. He loves being on my chest and sucking on a pacifier. He loves me. Sometimes I listen to David Graeber talks online while I feed him. For those of you who don't know, David Graeber is next century's Adam Smith and he follows me on Twitter. Sometimes my son looks out at me, over the rim of the bottle in his mouth, down from his balcony in the spacetime fabric, his eyes twinkling with mischief and joy, and I can see that he is good. I see his beautiful little loving gaze and I think to myself, goddamnit mami, YOU ARE THE BREAST.