Ironically when I developed at the early age of 11, I had the largest boobs in my 5th grade class. I should have noticed that having the largest set actually made me feel more insecure thanks to the awkward stares and the feeling that I was different than my female peers. I remember wearing large t-shirts to cover them up. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that while I had the largest breasts compared to my classmates, they were still relatively small breasts compared to those of adults, and as quickly as those boobies grew, they ceased to grow past age 11.
I was settling into what I believe was a full A cup, (that I later tried to pass as a B), but as I saw other girls blossom well beyond me, I began feeling left out and more and more insecure about myself. I didn’t seem to notice the pattern of feeling insecure about two extremes; being the largest and then the smallest. Hence, it was never about the boobs.
It wasn’t long before my friends began teasing me about being flat-chested because they themselves had their own insecurities and I assume picking on me temporarily made them feel better. While I never appreciated it, I take full responsibility for the continual down spiral of my self-esteem throughout adolescence.
It was impossible for me to see my own beauty as well as the non-physical attributes I had to offer and I remained fixated on this dire need for big breasts. I took water pills, tried exercises, and ultimately I decided to save up money so that I could buy myself implants later on. I was convinced that once I had a large set my self-esteem would escalate and I would no longer feel inferior to my fellow females.
At the age of 20, I stood in a plastic surgeons office as he demonstrated what my size D implants would look like post-surgery. He put two plastic balls in my current Size B bra and I covered them with my sweater so I could pretend they were already in. I smiled into the mirror and felt what I thought was whole, accurately balanced, more womanly. I noticed that my chest felt heavier and I liked it. The balls felt very foreign but I figured of course they did because they weren’t under my skin; the ‘real’ ones would feel like they belonged to me.
When my surgery was complete, I felt horrific, like I had been run over by a train. My chest was so sore, everything was tight and angry. It occurred to me that I just paid a man to rip the muscle off of my chest to put a large plastic pouch inside of me and I felt violated, almost in a panic about what I had done. Yet my emotions were ambiguous as I still had a sense of happiness about the fact that I was fully filling out my sweater.
While at first the implants were hard and looked terrible, they began looking more and more natural and I felt a certain sense of accomplishment. I noticed that they did feel very foreign to me still and I hadn’t yet regained my nipple or under boob sensitivity but I felt confident that with time I would be ecstatic about my choice.
I wasn’t fully aware that my insecurity hadn’t subsided because I was too distracted by the newness of the implants. So distracted that I didn’t notice how enormous they looked on my small frame. What I did become aware of was that I was embarrassed that I paid for fake breasts and I preferred that no one knew that they were fake…I thought the fact that they were fake advertised how largely insecure I was to get them in the first place. Maybe if people thought they were real I would feel better about them.
Over time they began to represent a feeling of shallowness and conformity that I was too weak to resist. If I wore tight shirts or revealing bathing suit tops, I noticed other women glaring at me and I continuously felt judged.
I found other things to be unhappy about as well…maybe I wasn’t thin enough or I had other body parts that didn’t match up to the ideal. Having the breast implants never once made me feel more whole or confident like I hoped they would. If anything I was more self-conscious about feeling fake, having these foreign balls in my body, and feeling noticed only for my breasts. I also never fully regained nipple and under boob sensitivity thanks to the pressure the implant put on my nerves.
I went through the next decade with a love/hate relationship with my implants. On one hand I enjoyed feeling like the world might think I’m more womanly because I had some major cleavage and on the other hand I felt like less of a person for them.
I noticed more and more how when I wanted to be athletic and adventurous they would get in the way, when I wanted to embrace people I loved through hugging and cuddling they were there in between us, when I slept at night I was uncomfortable with the way they moved around, and so on. The breasts I had wanted so badly began making me feel tethered to the superficial physically and emotionally.
Finally noticing that big breasts weren’t the ultimate answer to my unending insecurity, I recognized that I had major inner work to do to erase years of self-doubt and self-rejection. I began learning how to love and accept myself. I began forgiving myself and others and remembering that we are all humans with flaws.
As I got better with this practice I wanted less attention on me, I wanted to be a light in the world for others, to do something powerful and fulfilling. I sought advice on a career that could take me out of my own mind and into the lives of others and I began researching nursing school. I decided to believe in myself and do something I never thought I would be able to. With this extra sense of self-awareness and love, came an obvious insight; I really hated my breast implants. They felt like a betrayal to who I really was and who I wanted to be. It was increasingly evident that I either needed to accept them and the decision I made when I was 20, or I needed to have them removed.
I began looking at explant stories and photos. It hadn’t occurred to me that I wouldn’t be ‘ruined for life’ visually if I removed the implants. I figured surely I would have 80 year old looking breasts and hide behind large t-shirts for the rest of my life but what I saw was amazing and exciting. I saw stories of women my age in my same situation that had them removed without a lift or any reconstruction and they bounced right back to what they had been pre-implant. Could it really be possible that I could so easily erase the mistake I made 10 years ago and be me again??
I made an appointment with the amazing Dr. Marguerite Barnett and discussed my options. Thanks to the perkiness and nipple placement of my breasts, there would be no need for reconstruction and my surgery would be a simple incision in the armpit, (as they were placed), deflation and removal, all under local anesthesia resulting in a super speedy recovery. After viewing numerous pictures of women that had their pre-implant boobies back post removal, with no visible signs that they ever even had implants, I knew this was the right decision for me. I am consistently impressed with the human body's ability to bounce back after undergoing such trauma.
For anyone considering implants just because you have small breasts, I have to implore you to consider all of the downsides. In my experience, having large boobs is very overrated and getting breast implants was NOT worth it nor did it to anything to benefit my self-esteem. Also, your perspective of small boobs as well as anything else that you might find fault in about yourself can be changed and should be in order to enjoy a happier life. For instance, here are the many benefits of having small breasts:
1) Several studies have shown that women with smaller breasts have better sensation and more fun with their breasts sexually versus women with larger breasts. Reason being that the more fatty tissue you have, the less you can feel stimulation in your breasts. This alone gave me something to look forward to since my large implants were putting so much pressure on my nerves that I lost most of my sensation while having the implants.
2) Smaller breasts are way less likely to sag as you age thanks to gravity! Whoohoo
3) Having smaller breasts makes any athletic or adventurous endeavors much easier and more fun!
4) Having smaller breasts means more connection when hugging your loved ones...the less that is in between you, the better. ;)
5) Small-breasted women are sometimes considered to be younger-looking than larger-breasted women simply because small breasts stay youthful and perky and don't cause things like back pain, poor posture, etc.
6) If you have a small indented waist like I do, chances are you look better in clothes with a smaller chest because the shirt or dress fits your frame and doesn't stretch out far over your stomach to accommodate large breasts making your waist line disappear in clothing.
7) Lastly, should you choose to change your breast size via implants, be aware that they will always feel like a foreign object in your body, they aren't much fun to play with as you can feel the difference between the bags in you and your real breast tissue, and there are several risks in the surgery and even afterwards that are worth researching.
Overall I can't completely regret my decision to get implants when I was 20 years old because the whole process has taught me a lot about self-love, acceptance, and the valuable impact that your perspective has on your life. It is my wish that everyone learns these lessons in an easier way than I did so I hope you can find some benefit to my story. Cheers!