My Story: Plastic Surgery (Part II)

January 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm 3 comments

Get the earlier part of this story in Part I.

Puberty came early in the my life.  At the age of 10 – when some of my friends were still receiving visits from the tooth fairy – I got a gift from the boob fairy instead.

I sprouted up about the same time my chest sprouted out.  By the beginning of fifth grade, I hit 5’8″ and towered over the majority of my classmates.  Suddenly, I was self-conscious about everything: my height, my crazy hair, my lack of style, anything that made me feel like I stood out from the other kids.

Most of all, I was self-conscious about my breasts.  I felt as if everyone in the class knew I was wearing a bra, one of the first girls to do so.  Over time, though, as middle school slipped by and we entered high school, that issue became easier as the other girls caught up.  Some – like my friend Jacque – caught up and even passed me in height.  Still, I was larger than the other girls, much too large for my liking.

By the time I got to high school and college, boys were starting to make comments.  Most teenage boys are tactless and thoughtless on their best days; when directly encountering Amazonian-type breasts, certain brain cells start firing that render them insensitive, crass neanderthals.  Ironically, the comments weren’t so much from the boys that were my friends.  Those boys knew me, knew I had a brain, and knew I was much more than the sum of my lady parts.

Instead, the majority of the lewd comments I received were from complete strangers and periphery acquaintances.  Stereotypes exist for a reason.  And the stereotype that plagues women with large boobs is that they must be dumb.  Hollywood only plays into this stereotype.  From Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, to Pamela Anderson and Heidi Montag, the media (sometimes accurately) portrays these women as bimbo-esque sex kittens.

It was astonishing how many young males – who didn’t know me or who I was or what I was all about – bought into that stereotype and felt it appropriate to make comments.  In my early twenties, I briefly hung out with a group in Lawrence.  One of the guys and I were talking one evening when he suddenly looked at me in amazement.  “Wow, you’re really smart,” he said.  “I didn’t know girls with big boobs could be smart.”  Dumbass.  Needless to say, he never earned a place in my circle of trust.

I don’t want it to sound like I made the decision to have plastic surgery just because of a few insensitive comments from people who never mattered in the first place.  While my emotional health was affected by my insecurities, my physical health was also a factor.  I had pain in my upper back and shoulders.  The pain is both from the weight in front and horrible posture, the result of hunching over in an effort to minimize my chest as a teenager.

At the time of my surgery, I was also about 30 pounds overweight.  Bouncy exercise was uncomfortable, even when I wore two sports bras.  I felt physically hindered when I ran or did anything high-intensity.

So I had the consultation with a plastic surgeon, one who specializes in breast reconstructions for cancer patients and breast reductions and basically focuses his practice on boobs.  For me, that consultation was one of the most highly-anticipated uncomfortable moments ever.  I was incredibly excited to get the process underway, but first I had to display the goods.  The doctor studied them, he drew on them, he even TOOK POLAROIDS.  My head was cut off of the picture to protect my identity, but there were my tatas immortalized for posterity.

The doctor shared the risks, as doctors are apt  to do, and I nodded my head and half-listened, as patients who have already made up their minds are also apt to do.

There would be some scarring, he told me, although it would grow fainter with time.

No problem, I said.  After all, they weren’t going to be on public display.  (Scarring would only be problematic if a Playboy pictorial was in my future, and Hugh hasn’t called yet, so we’re good.)

I’d need someone to take care of me for a week or so after the surgery, he said.

Covered, I told him.  I’m staying with my parents.  They’ll take care of me.

You probably won’t be able to breastfeed in the future, he said.

I’m okay with that, I told him.  I was breastfed, and I turned out perfectly fine.  (Before any of you breastfeeding activists start booing and throwing things at me, let me just tell you: I know the benefits of breastfeeding.  It’s a lovely thing and I’m glad that it’s becoming a much more acceptable practice.  But I’m also glad that formula exists.)

My surgery was scheduled about four months after my initial consultation; time was needed both to fit me into the surgeon’s schedule and clear everything with insurance.  There was a chance, he told me, that insurance would deny the procedure on the basis of my weight.  They could come back and say I needed to lose weight first before having it approved.  The irony of this is that most women I know who have had a reduction lose weight following the procedure.  Coincidental?  I think not.

Continue to plastic surgery, part 3.

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Entry filed under: Life in general. Tags: , .

My Story: Plastic Surgery. (Part I) My story: Plastic Surgery (Part III)

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michelle Harris  |  January 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Great story, Amy! Of course I knew that you had this done, but not all the details that you are providing now. I have a hard time seeing you at 5’8″ in fifth grade. I honestly never remembered you being that tall so young. I guess that is because I loved you, admired you and knew that you were older than me. As far back as I can remember, you were the smart one. Great decision for your health and self-confidence. Plastic surgery is not always about being vain, especially if it makes you feel “normal”. Love you!

    Reply
  • 2. My story: Plastic Surgery (Part III) « Blankies & Booboos  |  January 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    […] Read part 1 of this story. Read part 2 of this story. […]

    Reply
  • 3. My Story: Plastic Surgery. (Part I) « Blankies & Booboos  |  January 26, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    […] Continued in part II. […]

    Reply

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