There’s a reason why I’m not in a Nike or Gatorade ad.
There’s a reason why soccer teams are segregated into Boy and Girl teams, something that bugged me when soccer finally started getting more popular in this country. Why couldn’t a girl play just as hard as a boy? Be just as awesome? All on the same team?
Then I started thinking about my time as a little soccer star and it hit me: BOOBS.
As small kids, there was always a soccer ball being kicked around either in the basement, backyard, or on TV. And when I was 6, I was finally old enough to join a soccer league. It was the 1970s and I was the only girl in the entire league. At first it didn’t really bother me because I loved the game; plus, I was one little shit of a tomboy who wanted to prove to everyone that I could, despite being a girl, play soccer.
|i NEVER wore dresses but .. you get the idea|
I like to think that my love for soccer meant I kicked ass at it, but I blew the one chance I had to prove to everyone how awesome I was when I missed scoring at the most inopportune time. It was the one game where coach swapped me from the back of the field to the front in a matter of minutes.
I was on the right side of the field. There was only one opposing team player and his goalie before me, hounding me with questions: “Are you really a gur-url?” “Is it true?!”
Suddenly I heard screaming from behind and turned to see a ball flying toward me.
It was my time to shine… my time to prove to everyone that I deserved to play an offensive position.
The ball flew closer to me, and soon it was just me and the goalie; all I had to do was stretch my leg out at the right time for my foot to tap the ball past the goalie.
But instead my leg and foot completely missed the ball.
Mortified, I still kept playing and stayed with my team in that league as the only girl for several years. I was, after all, one of them; we ran laps together, we scrimmaged together, we conquered (or lost) together.
Soccer was my life.
Then one day, things completely changed: I woke up bleeding from my crotch; my stick straight, thick hair started getting curly; and I had boobs that required an actual bra opposed to an undershirt.
I was 10 years old and often got leering glances from men my father's age. It was quite disgusting and humiliating, and I soon quit playing soccer because of the lingering looks to the front of my shirt and the teasing I heard when I ran during practices and games.
I hated my boobs so much.