I had a vision of how my breasts would look after having two daughters. Basically: larger than my pre-baby breasts. Not as perky, of course, but bigger.
My once-small boobs grew into actual breasts during both pregnancies, which I loved after years of wearing training bras and getting teased for being flat-chested. At long last, I was able to try on cute bras, in a size so common that I actually had several to choose from. Those are the breasts I’ve always wanted; those are the breasts I wanted to keep for the rest of my life.
ALL HAIL, PREGNANCY BOOBS!
The thing is, I had somewhat naively thought that I’d get to keep them, even after I stopped nursing. But I was in for a rude awakening: My old boobs returned once again after I weaned my second daughter — except this time, they were even smaller. In fact, I’m even tinier than I was in high school, which makes embracing my body after babies that much harder.
As much as I want to be happy with my petite frame and healthy, functioning body, I’m not. All I can see are my non-existent breasts. It’s like being back in middle school, when all the girls would confidently change in the locker room wearing lacy new bras. But me, I would hide in the bathroom stall, too embarrassed that someone would call me out for wearing a training bra. I was a member of the “Itty Bitty Titty Committee,” they would say. Or tell me I was “flat as a board” or “had mosquito bites” for boobs.
It wasn’t until college that I began to feel comfortable in my body, which I mostly credit to maturity and the magical wonder of pushup bras.
But now it’s like my body and brain are at odds again. It’s healthy and functional, all the elements just the right size for my small frame but the smallest elements on my chest seem to taunt me; leading me back to one overriding thought I’ve kept quiet for sometime …
I want a boob job.
I’ve even gone as far as asking for referrals and looking up plastic surgeons. At night, once everyone is in bed, I visit their websites and look at photos of women who went through with the surgery, wondering if I could ever bring myself to do the same.
It’s not the thought of going under the knife that scares me, or even the recovery, really; it’s the realization that my daughters are going to know something is different about my body. And they are going to ask questions.
How can I honestly tell them I had my body altered because the one I was born with made me unhappy? That these specific aspects of my body made me feel insecure and unfeminine? What will I be teaching my girls if I change something about my body that makes me uncomfortable?
I am raising them to embrace their imperfections and am constantly reminding them that beauty is not just about looks. I am trying to show them how to respect and love their bodies.
Wouldn’t I then look like a hypocrite if I changed something about my body?
At the age of 3-and-a-half, my daughter’s main complaints about her body are that she wants “really curly” hair like Merida from Brave or complains that she is too short. She’s asked when she can wear high heels to make her taller or if I can curl her hair for her.
Already she is thinking of ways to change herself. And I don’t want that; I want her to respect and embrace her imperfections which make her unique.
So how do I demonstrate by action if I get breast implants? I’m not sure how to tell my girls without them thinking that they can change anything about themselves that they dislike. I want to explain to them it’s not simply about how I look but how I feel. How my small cup size makes me feel unfeminine, uncomfortable, and insecure.
Stereotypes abound when cosmetic surgeries are discussed. People undergoing work are called vain and selfish. But what’s wrong with changing something about yourself that makes you feel insecure? If someone had gained a few pounds, wouldn’t they hit the gym that much harder? Why not go through treatments to remove acne scars if they bring on low self-esteem?
Of course, I don’t agree with a person changing every single little thing about them, just to resemble some kind of real-life Barbie or Ken doll; that, without a doubt, is excessive. But if altering something that brings on bad memories and insecurities, why not do it — right?
… And yet, here I am; still unsure of what I want to do, and how my choice could impact my daughters.
For the time being at least, I intend to continue researching doctors and gathering referrals, just in case I one day find the words to explain it to my girls. Explain that while I respect my body, I want to be happy with every aspect of it. Even if that means bumping up to a larger cup size.