Those who thought we were beyond the days of Janet Jackson's FCC uproar-provoking boob slip may be interested to learn that "boob" is apparently the latest pot-stirring four-letter word on the bookshelf. Local author Elizabeth Squires, also known as the Boob Lady, published a book in September that she describes as a "user's manual" for that portion of the population who began to grow funbags somewhere around age 12. Though the book's content is purely informational, the title doesn't seem to be tame enough to satisfy some tastemakers.
When Squires' bOObs: A Guide to Your Girls hit the shelves on Sept. 28, it stoked more controversy than the author expected. According to Squires, Good Morning America refused to say "Boob Lady" on the air, and ABC replaced the word "boobs" with "breasts." What's more, The Seattle Times yanked an article on the book, with Squires being told in an e-mail from a reporter that one of her editors thought the word "boob" wasn't fit for a family newspaper (Times management claims this wasn't the case).
Merriam-Webster defines boob as a "sometimes vulgar" term for breast. According to Squires, boob is a nonsexual term used primarily by women in reference to their own bodies, a sentiment confirmed by a random sample of U District women. In other words, while men use tits, knockers, yams, and hooters, around that time of the month, a woman is more likely to say, "Man, my boobs are sore."
"Forget burning our bras," says Squires. "We need to take back the words that we use for our own bodies."
Then again, jokes Squires, "Maybe I should have called [the book] Sweater Puppies: A Guide to Your Dogs."