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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

I was nine when I learned that my breasts had the power to confiscate my girlhood. 11 the first time I noticed that grown men looked at my breasts like I was a woman. 12 the first time a man made a comment about my breasts, and 15 the first time a man thought the size of my breasts gave him permission to my body.

Let\'s Talk About Nipples
Adebusola Abujade / Her Campus Media

Two months ago, I got a breast reduction, convinced that this surgery would give me back my confidence. 

Three years ago,  I asked my doctor to refer me to a surgeon to discuss potentially getting a breast reduction. I had been telling him for years that my back hurt. That it hurt too much to workout, and that even if I did workout, I wouldn’t lose any volume in my bust. I had told him that I couldn’t get dressed in the morning without breaking down in tears because nothing I bought ever fit me properly. I had told him that my breasts had made me a target. I had told him that my mental health was deteriorating. Despite everything I told him, every appointment ended with him telling me to do yoga (or some other low-impact exercise) and prescribing me pain medication. 

He didn’t refer me to a surgeon until my physical therapist wrote him saying that the weight of my breasts had given my upper back the kind of trauma that he had only seen in his patients that had been in severe car accidents. 

After the surgery, I remember looking down at my chest and being ecstatic. My surgeon had followed through on our plan perfectly, and for the first time in years, my back wasn’t aching. But then the medications wore off. The surgery had not magically given me back my bodily autonomy, and I was still the insecure girl that went into that operating room. 

Getting a breast reduction has been one of the best decisions I‘ve ever made in my life. It relieved me of my physical pains and has allowed me to live a more active lifestyle. However, what really makes me grateful for my surgery is that it made me realize that my confidence isn’t going to magically appear after I change my appearance. I could have gone my entire life believing that changing how others perceived me would somehow give me something meaningful in return. This lesson is something that I wished I had learned years ago, but the fact that I’ve learned it at all is something that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life. 

Jazmyne Bernal

CU Boulder '23

Jazmyne is a junior majoring in Journalism. In her free time, she loves crafting and hanging out with her dog.
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