Human Growth and Development by Diana Cejas
Managing editor Krys Malcolm Belc on today’s bonus flash: In this deceptively short micro, Diana Cejas treats a pre-teen dressing room moment with a combination of childhood wit and retrospective adult wisdom. I love how much place and voice and meditation on expectation and embodiment is packed into this piece.
Human Growth and Development
Bound and determined to drag us kicking and screaming into the world of grace and femininity, my grandmother stormed the JC Penney pre-teen section, bought the first, satiny-ist training bras she found, and demanded my sister and I wear them. I was twelve. Alexis was ten. She needed the bra far worse than I did. We strapped the foreign things on, modeled them in front of the mirror and each other, and made faces at our reflections. I wouldn’t keep mine on: the lace kept making me itch. Alexis took to wearing baggy shirts. We both wondered why the bow-bedecked things weren’t as cool as that girl Susan in the health promotions video had said they’d be. Still, we held out hope for tampons. Turns out that those weren’t as cool as Susan said they’d be either.
Diana Cejas is a pediatric neurologist in North Carolina. Her essays can be found in medical journals including The Journal of the American Medical Association and Neurology while works of creative nonfiction and short fiction can be found in The Intima and other literary magazines. Her opinion pieces can be found on blogs including Op-Med: Voices from the Doximity Network and KevinMD.com. You can read her own blog at DianaCejasMD.com. Currently, she is working on a collection of essays that describe her life as both physician and patient.