Why I decided to get a breast reduction at 20 years old

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Why I decided to get a breast reduction at 20 years old

It felt like my body was a dress code violation

Ten years ago I got my first hand-me-down bra from popular tween brand Limited Too. It was purple and unnecessary. I hid it from mother and when I put it on, the cups were empty an inch and a half off my chest. It is not possible for me to articulate to you the lengths I would have gone to as a pre-teen girl to have big boobs.

[in best Ray Liotta voice] As far back as I can remember, I always wanted big boobs.
[in best Ray Liotta voice] As far back as I can remember, I always wanted big boobs

For the next three years, I faked it inexhaustibly. Before dances, my friends and I worked endlessly to perfect the contents of our bra. Sometimes they would be stuffed with tissues and tube socks, but always little else.

In the eighth grade though, I went from flat-chested to full C-cups, seemingly over night. Foreign objects could no longer fit in my bra, and shortly after my bra could not even contain my boobs.

They have not stopped growing since.

Deciding to remove my breasts was like killing off a main character on a tv show: a risky move but it had to be done because they weren’t getting along with the other cast members. On so many occasions, I’ve been told going through with the procedure would be like “slapping God in the face.” What commentators don’t understand is, my breasts were hitting me in my face every time I jogged over five miles per hour. That’s pretty much walking, you guys. I was so used to my back and neck being in constant pain, I barely noticed. Hurting became habitual.

My best friend and I having a constructive debate on the risks of undergoing a breast reduction c. 2010, eighth grade
My best friend and I having a constructive debate on the risks of undergoing a breast reduction c. 2010, eighth grade

I always said I would undergo a breast reduction but I didn’t truly mean it until this year. It was something I felt like I had to say to convince people I could be disassociated from my breasts.

In a lot of ways, I really loved my boobs. Besides the issue of feeling like a milkmaid holding a carrying pole on my neck all day, we had a good thing going. They were pretty, nicely shaped and fun to squeeze. If I wasn’t feeling my face on a particular day, my boobs were my wingman. The month before my surgery, I was starting to feel like my tits were on their death bed and the nudes that resulted were pretty bomb. But when I was younger, it had much more influence on my identity. I’m aware being over-sexualized wasn’t my fault but it happened, and it did affect the way I perceived myself in the exact ways I tried to evade. I felt guilty and it was emotionally taxing, as if having big boobs was immoral or made me a slut by omission.

I was treated like I was much older than I was because I appeared to be and I fully believe having such large breasts at such a young age was fundamental in shaping who I was and who I am today. Is that not the most first-world problem you’ve ever heard? Whatever. It’s the truth. I was thrown into a body that was deemed sexual even in times when I didn’t want it to be. In completely innocent environments, like being in a bathing suit in front of family friends or wearing a tank top when I went for a walk, people would look at me like I was acting inappropriately. I wouldn’t go to the beach without wearing a shirt. It felt like my body was a dress code violation.

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Sophomore year of high school, I had only had my period for six months, yet I was 36-DDD and growing. I had to start buying bras at specialty stores or would have to settle for thick-strapped old lady bras. I couldn’t wear shirts that were strapless, and I could rarely pull off any with thin straps. All of my shirts were becoming crop tops because my breasts reached so far off my body. If I wanted to wear dresses for special occasions, I had to buy them four or five sizes too big and have them tailored in. It was all so tedious. I lost nine pounds in an attempt to reduce them but they continued to grow. That year I gave up on regular bras altogether, opting for sports bras to avoid having too much cleavage. Back and neck problems resulted.

The last year of high school I gained a significant amount of weight and naturally my boobs inflated. But even when I would lose weight, or fluctuate between weights, my breasts still grew. After losing 25 pounds my sophomore year of college, my breasts were still 36-E and at that point I was just so over it. I made a consultation, the doctor felt me up, approved my surgery and we set a date. May 18th.

It has been almost a month since my surgery and I can say I’ve made my first good decision.

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If you are considering getting a breast reduction, you should have an idea of what’s to come. I went into it thinking I would be knocked out, wake up with perfect tits and wouldn’t feel much because of the pain killers. Pain post-op was only so bad for me the first two days, but those two days were long. When I woke up after my surgery, I felt like my chest had been skinned. The day after my surgery, I was instructed to take a shower but the sight of my breasts was so fresh, and to be honest disturbing, I fell on the floor and tried not to faint. My mom was basically my senior caregiver for two days. It was super sad and pathetic. She had to help me in and out of clothes and be near the bathroom when I showered incase I felt light headed again. I did not feel like myself.

The first two weeks were difficult but no where near that of the first two days. I couldn’t sit in cars driving long distances because every stop, turn and pot hole was painful. I couldn’t reach my arms out all the way, and climbing up or down stairs was a slow process because my sense of balance was off. I couldn’t roll over in my sleep and getting up in the morning took a lot of weird positioning. My least favorite part, though, was showering. The incisions around my areola, down from the nipple and across the bottom were not healed and my breasts did not feel securely attached to my body. It felt like the stitches were going to come undone and the sections of my boobs divided by the incisions would fall off. Of course they wouldn’t but taking showers or taking off my bra for even a minute made my stomach churn.

All of it was worth it. My back and neck don’t hurt anymore. I’m excited about clothes again. I feel more confident about who I am and feel less like my body is a statement. I like the way I look. I like the way things fit. I feel like a full person and not 50 percent tits. And of course, ahem, my tits are perfect.

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@mooneyforsure

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