|A lot can change in six years.. mostly improvements in eyebrow quality|
On the 5th of June 2017, I did two big things. I left the house without any makeup on for the first time I can remember in years and I had a kilo of flesh surgically removed from my body. My chest, specifically, though I’d have gladly taken some liposuction to go along with it. And honestly, I’d rather have the surgery than leave the house without eyebrows on ever again!
It’s not been easy. More than the pre-op nerves, the post-op recovery (and complications) – my neurotic researching didn’t prepare me for the things I’d struggle with in the months following my op. Things I still struggle with today.
Let me make it clear, this is not a sob story. I’m not whining unnecessarily. There have been so many benefits to having had the surgery, and I’d have it again in a heartbeat. The back pain I lived with for so long has disappeared, my clothes fit me better than they ever did, I can move without the additional weight on my chest weighing me down. I’m a stone lighter today than I was a year ago, simply because the easiest movement is no longer cumbersome. I’m healthier, more confident. I sit straighter, I walk taller. My surgeon told me at my final post-op appointment that my boobs look exactly right; so good that he’d put them in a textbook if he could. I’ll be updating my Twitter bio accordingly.
Perhaps the self-perception issues I’ve had since the operation are normal in procedures like mine. You wish for something for so long, you yearn for the total removal of something that causes you unimaginable pain and distress for years, and you convince yourself that you don’t care about the cosmetics of the whole thing. You just want the pain to be gone.
But then you wake up – lighter, pain free – and you still feel disappointment. A part of it was cosmetic, as much as I tried to tell myself it wasn’t. I wanted my body to look better. I wanted people who knew me as ‘the girl with massive tits’ to do double takes as I shed the cocoon of that characterisation and emerged, new, shiny and small-breasted. This was not the reality. People who knew me well noticed the difference, but although I’d successfully shed some of that cleavagey identity, I’m still pretty busty. I have to double up on sports bras when I work out, I still have to look for clothes that accommodate a bit of a chest, and I can’t comfortably go braless.
For quite a few months I was tortured by the shape of my new body. It didn’t feel like enough of a difference to justify the years and years of debt I’m going to be paying off.
But despite all the challenges, I finally feel like I’m settling into my body. I have bras that fit properly, I have clothes that aren’t constantly battling to restrain a bulging chest. I may not be small-breasted, but I feel more ‘normal’. I don’t feel like a talking point anymore.
|I think my old boobs could have successfully served as a rain shelter|
A year out, I finally have some perspective and clarity. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my new boobs, but that’s actually a huge step in the right direction (from the loathe/hate relationship I had with them a year ago). My body is never going to warp outside of the constraints of reality to meet my indoctrinated beauty ideals. And if the only problem I have with this life-changing procedure is cosmetic, then that’s pretty good going, I think!
If you’re looking into getting this procedure, my advice would be to really do your research. Look at surgeons in the local area, look at different providers, look at NHS funding criteria for your CCG and look at other peoples’ results online. Make sure your goals are realistic. If you’re from the UK, have a contingency plan if you can’t get NHS funding. If you are a J cup, don’t expect to be a B cup afterwards. Know exactly what kind of support you’re going to need leading up to and in the recovery stages of the op. And if you do nothing else, buy a V shaped pillow and kick your boyfriend out of the bedroom for a month! Trust me on that one.
Most of all, though, don’t let your boobs – big or small – define you. After all, if you don’t love your breasts, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? That’s how it goes, right? Whatever, give me a fucking amen anyway.
Love boobs? You can read more about mine here.