Throughout my adolescent and adult life, I have been largely defined by my shape. The big bust, the tiny waist, the child-bearing hips. No matter what my weight may have been, my shape remained the same. I struggled as a teenager – women on both sides of the family are well-endowed and while many women wish for it, I hated the fact that at 13 years old, I was already past the pretty bras and into the minimizes.
Trust me, for a 13 year old, no minimizer is pretty. Not when her friends barely need to wear bras and go shopping for the pretty training bras. I think I wore a training bra for a month, if that.
I wore baggy t-shirts and sweaters. I refused to wear bikinis. I sobbed when I grew out of bras and had to move up another size. By the time I was 15, I was wearing a 32DD and my breasts were sagging and ugly. I called them my “granny tits”. My left breast was significantly bigger than my right and I probably should have been wearing a bigger size, but I refused to try anything larger. I hated my body.
My parents watched me hate my body. They watched me slouch – to hide the granny tits and because my back couldn’t take it. I found it physically painful to stand up straight.
So at 15, my mother took me to a plastic surgeon who agreed to perform a breast reduction if I didn’t grow any larger in the next 6 months. He wanted to make sure I had stopped growing. He told me all about the loss of sensation and the fact that I may not be able to breastfeed, but I didn’t care. I watched my chest carefully for 6 months and proclaimed no new growth.
I had the surgery 13 years ago and honestly, it was the best thing I ever did. no regrets. The only problem was that 6 months after the surgery, I emigrated to Australia with my family after a whirlwind process and proceeded to gain weight from then. Not a lot at once, but it all went to my chest. I ended up back at a 32DD but with a better shape (regular boobs, not granny tits!) so while it bugged me that I was still not really able to buy very pretty cheap bras, I didn’t feel ashamed. In fact, I owned the look – the hourglass, the sex-kitten. That was me.
I was the one with the enviable shape. The one who never needed a push-up bra. The one who would complain about guys never looking at her face while her friends groaned. It defined me.
Now, I’m losing that. Literally. I have dropped 2 bra sizes in the past 3 months. I’m down to a 32C for the first time since my reduction 13 years ago. All the sexy bras I’ve accumulated? Look ridiculous. My one cleavage bra? No longer produces cleavage. My empire waist tops now actually fit as they should and not half-way across the breast. I can now technically buy all those pretty bras.
So why am I sad? Explain to me why, after years of wishing I was smaller and more in proportion, I now look in the mirror and mourn my breasts. Why did I feel so sad boxing up all my old bras (not throwing them away yet)?
I’m struggling with seeing myself as I really am now. I still look in the mirror and see the old me – the boobs, the hips. I don’t know how to start seeing the new me and starting really inhabiting her body.