“This is a big change for you,” said Dr. Thoa, a Plastic Surgeon at Woodbury Plastic Surgery.
A big change it was. I was standing in the doctor’s office, and couldn’t believe it had already been two months since my surgery. I kept looking at myself in the mirror, I honestly couldn’t believe they were gone. It was like a dream, and I kept pinching myself to make sure this was really real.
A year ago, I decided to get a breast reduction (surprise!). There were many factors that led me to this decision, but one of the biggest factors was my health. For one, my back was killing me and my chest always felt heavy. My bra straps were digging into my skin and I was getting rashes from my boobs rubbing together in my sports bra.
My surgery was never a secret, but in the same breath, I didn’t really tell anyone outside of my immediate family. If people asked, I didn’t deny because, again, it wasn’t a secret. This situation just wasn’t something you go around telling everybody. Seriously, how do you slide in a casual conversation that you are getting/got a breast reduction?
Another reason I didn’t mention my life change to people is because I honestly didn’t want to deal with their opinions (sorry, not sorry). I guess what I’m really trying to say is … I really didn’t give a bleep (rhymes with stuck and starts with an F) about what anyone else had to say because my mind was already made up. Well, at least I thought I didn’t care about what anyone else had to say.
After a while, people who really knew me started to notice something “different” about me. I mean who wouldn’t notice? Before it looked like I had two huge basketballs sticking out of my shirt, and then one day they “disappeared.” People started asking questions, and I started giving answers. However, I wasn’t prepared for the No. 1 question that followed next.
“How does your boyfriend feel about it?” Yes, let me type that again for those of you who didn’t read it correctly. The question that always followed after telling someone about my breast reduction was, “How does your boyfriend feel about it?”
OK, let me get this straight. I spent over 3 hours in surgery, countless hours driving back and forth to Woodbury from Mankato for appointments, found one of the best doctors in Minnesota, got my insurance to cover a $10,000 surgery, went from a DDD to a C and most importantly, there were zero complications during the surgery, and all you care about is how my boyfriend feels about my reduced breast size?
Please, take a minute to let that sink in… Before even asking about my well being or current health status, I was asked about my boyfriend’s opinion on my “new” breast size.
I can say that I did ask my boyfriend (we’d been dating for 3 years at that point) what he thought about me getting the surgery and was relieved when he said, “Whatever makes you happy baby girl, I support you in this.”
Speaking honestly, had his response been negative, I still would have carried out with the surgery. Why? Because it wasn’t about him. In fact, my surgery had nothing to do with him. My choice in getting a breast reduction was for me, it was one of the steps that I made in MY life to alleviate MY health issues. Yet, no one seemed to care about that.
There seems to be this idea floating around that women make changes to their appearances to appease men (yes, I’m going there). A lot of people don’t consider self-happiness and self-comfort as reasons women choose to undergo surgeries.
Before my surgery, I had to do a lot of self loving. There was no way I could have this surgery without learning to love myself and accept my body for what it was, and it took me a long time to do that. I knew that if I wasn’t happy with myself prior, then I couldn’t be happy with myself after.
There is so much power in being happy with yourself, and there’s even more power in making decisions for YOURSELF that make YOU happy.
But, when you’re asked about what your significant other thinks about the changes you’ve made to YOUR appearance… everything that you’ve built and all the power that you’ve fought to gain, is suddenly torn down and taken. I didn’t spend years trying to accept my body for him, I did it for me. I didn’t spend over three hours in surgery for him, I did it for me. I didn’t reduce my breast size for his approval, I did it for me. So, please don’t take that away from me.
Do you still want to know what my boyfriend thinks about my breast reduction?
I didn’t think so.