WHY I LIKE BOOBS: PART 2
Last week, I spilled the truth about my childhood fascination with boobs, and how my lack of endowment shaped how I thought. This week, I’m going to delve a little deeper into the emotional side and talk about a couple significant events that lead up to me choosing to go through with breast augmentation surgery.
DISCLAIMER: THIS SERIES OF POSTS IS COMPLETELY CONCEPTUALLY UNFILTERED.
Please be aware that the intent of this series in no way aims to create a spectacle of my experience or to advocate for or against any choice that YOU make. This is a place occupied by me trying to make sense of the way my mind and brain function together and why I am the way I am. This is me digging REALLY deep into myself and yanking those skeletons out of the closet. I’m letting you see them, too. Through providing my personal experiences, I hope to help inspire you to find in yourself a deeper desire to examine YOUR what and why.
For those of you that don’t know me in real life, I think it’s worth our time to discuss the legitimacy of this decision. Women are often thought of as shallow or self absorbed after people find out they get a boob job. The stereotype is pretty hard to climb out of, and they are consequently viewed as overly invested in their appearance and for being, well, plastic.
I’m not at all surprised or angry that this is how current society views plastic surgery, but I think there is a lot more to the story than most people take the time to consider. I want to share my story, and hopefully it will provide context on circumstances that might not quite fit in that box. I know a lot of women in this world are too afraid to talk about this.
In eighth grade, I remember my mom walking in on me getting ready for the middle school dance. I was in the process of stuffing the top of my dress with toilet paper so that it wasn’t so loose, because when I tried to move it would fall down. She opened my door and I stood there, frozen, half expecting her to yell at me and half expecting her to cry. After a few brief seconds, she walked to my dresser and pulled out a pair of socks.
“Let’s try these instead, they’re thicker,” she said as she fixed me. I was both shocked and relieved. Growing up, we were told to love our bodies. We were told that we were supposed to believe that we were beautiful no matter what we looked like. This is lovely in theory, but is an unrealistic standard to set upon any young girl. How can you expect someone who is visibly different than other people to lie to themselves and say they are happy? This caused me to think that I would be shamed by others if I openly tried to alter something about myself that made me feel insecure. I dreaded the thought of a sock falling out and me turning into uni-boob...and people making fun of me. Stuffing my bra wasn’t something I WANTED to do, I did it so my dress wouldn’t fall off.
Sophomore year of high school, I remember asking my mom when I was going to grow into my body. I wasn’t complaining about not having a Playboy rack, I just wanted to have normal proportions. Getting breasts was something I legitimately looked forward to from the age of five. By fourteen, I stood six feet tall and still wore a 34A. We assumed playing varsity water polo and swim had “stunted my growth”, so to speak, because of all the movement and activity. My mom reassured me that by the end of high school I would catch up to everyone else.
I kept playing sports and started working as a lifeguard in Huntington Beach my Junior year of high school. Swimsuits, swimsuits, and more swimsuits. Around-the-clock I was consumed by thoughts about my appearance. The bathroom mirror, my silhouette on the glass window of the lifeguard tower, the locker rooms and every other reflective surface allowed me to continually be the object of my own gaze.
This fixation--this deafening and repetitive measuring of myself consumed my vision and planted an excess of negative thoughts in my mind. Things I liked about myself became less and less visible, and soon my figure became the barometer for my worth. I did things to make my breasts look larger so that I could balance out my frame. My waist need to be smaller, so I went on crash diets, wrapped my stomach and thighs with saran wrap to lose water weight, and I sucked in real tight for pictures. I doubled up my bras to fit my shirts. I opted for tight clothing and cheeky shorts so that I could manipulate how my body looked to other people in real life. I edited pictures for Instagram into what fit my ideal. I tried so incredibly hard to change myself, and to be honest, it did make a difference concerning how other people responded.
The photos I edited got more likes. When I went on the military crash diet, people complimented my body.
“How are you so perfect?”
“Sienna’s the girl that brings vegetables everywhere.”
“Oh my gosh, you should model.”
These statements only fueled the fire. The more confirmation I received for reaching this unsustainable ideal, the more desperately I clawed to “get my body back” each time I “fell off the wagon”. I am in no way intending to blame other people’s sincere compliments for my negative thoughts, I just think its necessary to share just how messed up my head was at the mere age of fifteen.
Time went by, and when I was eighteen I still fit into the same cup size that I did when I was eleven years old. I finished high school and hadn’t gotten past the second date with a guy, knowing a large factor of this was because I had made myself so incredibly unavailable. I was terrified of being intimate with someone and taking off my shirt, way too afraid to expose my lack. I thought of how they would react when they would see me, the real me, a different body than they had expected to see.
At the end of my senior year, I found myself at the core of this isolating predicament. Half of me bullied myself for caring so much about such an incredibly unnecessary first world problem. I had an incredible childhood, but a lot of hard stuff also went down. My dad died, I got into a car accident where I hurt my shoulder and my swim career ended, I didn’t feel at all connected to the people I was about to graduate with, even thoughI spent every day with them. I had all these legitimate concerns...why the heck was I crying over my boobs?
The other half of me felt extremely desperate to fix this issue I was so obsessed with, which is when I decided to look into even more intense alternatives. I tried eating foods and taking supplements that claimed to make breasts grow. I did chest exercises and applied creams for enhancment, but nothing worked. Eventually, I began to fantasize about getting breast augmentation surgery. I researched dozens of articles and judged hundreds of before and after pictures. I read through all the precautions and picked apart all the reviews. I started logically musing about how I would make this happen. Could I actually make this happen?
I knew I needed to be able to back everything up when I was going to tell my mom, so I made sure to find counters for all the rebuddles I thought she might make. When I finally shared with her a few weeks later, I was prepared to get ridiculed or judged for wanting something so incredibly shallow and against how I thought she had raised me. Her reaction, just as every other reaction my mother has ever had when it comes to my heart, was extremely supportive and completely compassionate. She helped me find the best doctor for the most reasonable price, and backed up every move I made so I wouldn’t get myself in trouble.
My first ever real adult purchase wasn’t a car, or a laptop, or concert tickets to Coachella. My first real adult purchase was a pair of boobs, and I made my mom and brother swear they wouldn’t tell a soul about my decision.
Thank you for taking your time to read this, I would love to know what you think! I look forward to sharing Part 3 next week!