Author: Monica Gallagher
Author website: http://www.eatyourlipstick.com
guest review by Iggy Ousley, student in the “Comics Narratives: Illness, Disability, & Recovery” course, Art Therapy Program, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Remember that song “When I Grow Up” by the Pussycat Dolls? The one that many people thought went like “I wanna have boobies” when it was actually saying “groupies?” Well if you don’t, then you’re missing out, because it’s still a great song almost ten years later. Anyway, I bring that up because this is a review about boobs, or rather Monica Gallagher’s comic Boobage.
Boobage is an awkward and relatable short autobiography of what it was like for author Monica Gallagher growing up. As the title suggests, this aspect of growing up is mostly about her desire for breasts bigger than her own. But as she goes on with her life, she starts to understand what she wants isn’t necessarily what she needs. Through the comic, she talks about her obsession with big breasts from a young age and looking forward to them through her teens. Reading this comic, I remembered that I had the exact opposite problem from the author. Rather than staying at an A cup I went to a D when I started 5th grade. For awhile, I couldn’t understand how in the span of a few months I was suddenly wearing my mother’s old bras. And just as it was agonizing at the time for Monica to realize her breasts weren’t going to get any larger, I recounted the talks my mother had to give me about my own chest when I wasn’t comfortable with its rapid development. As the comic goes on, Monica recounts her modeling career, remembering how she felt sorry for a girl who had bigger breasts and had to model a nude fashion line as she remarks “There were folds in the transparent clothing that my chest had no hope of penetrating…but this poor girl…you could see everything.” Boobage isn’t informative in the sense of medical jargon but it focuses on one of the many factors of self-esteem that society refuses to address. Not only does Boobage talk about boobs, either in their abundance or lack of, it also talks about public images and being okay with yourself, flaws and all. I praise Boobage not only for bold and monochromatic art style but also for its message. Not only is there a universal tone, but in Gallagher’s final remarks, she points out the insecurities that girls feel isolate us can be mutual and bring us together, making all of us models to those waiting for our own Boobage.