What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. This guest post is by an anonymous reader.
I am an educated woman. I didn't want to look like Barbie or one of Hugh Hefner's girls. I didn't want to be perfect. I just wanted to get back a little bit of what two pregnancies and breastfed babies had sucked out of me. I wanted to be able to walk into a store, grab two or three bras and know that one would fit. I wanted to be able to pick out a cute dress or top and know that it wouldn't look ridiculous on me. On the rare occasion that I wanted a little oomph, I wanted to know that I could get it with a push up bra. I just wanted my breasts back. Not the "deflated water balloons", as my friend so aptly described hers, that were left behind as my children grew. I loved nursing my children and am proud of what my body has done for me, and for my kids, but darn it, I hated what I saw in the mirror from my neck to my waist. No amount of exercising, dieting, or magic bra could fix that.
The problem is, I have three girls. Girls whom I want to love and accept themselves. Girls who I hope can embrace their flaws as they do their perfection. When my first one was born I swore to never talk about dieting, feeling fat, not being happy with the way I looked. I didn't want that to be passed down to them. If I created an image of self-love and self-acceptance then surely they would do the same. I have spent my life trying to come to a place of complete self-love and self-acceptance. I wish there was a trick or a golden ticket to getting it. I certainly don't hate myself or my body. I am happy to be healthy, have legs that get me around, arms to hug my family with, eyes to see beauty in the everyday. I am fully aware that my life as I know it can change on a dime.
Yet, I still felt such a nagging when I saw myself naked in a mirror. I couldn't resist the thoughts that a breast augmentation - or a boob job as I referred to it - would be an easy fix. Yes, I realized it was major surgery, requiring general anethesia, both of which aren't "easy" and they carry risks. I scoured the internet. I read about the good, the bad, and the evil when it came to boob jobs. I looked at before and after pictures and surgery gone wrong pictures. I studied doctors and their licenses and board certifications. I educated myself. I spent years, many years, debating about whether I should do this or not. I wavered between wanting it done and wanting it done now and then felt like I was at a place of accepting what I have and not needing to "fix" it. After 7 years of thinking about doing it I made an appointment with a surgeon. I discussed the surgery and post-op care in depth. I decided to do it. My husband mentioned the size that he liked and I made it very clear to him that this was for me and me only. I had to feel as comfortable with it as possible (and not the size he wanted!). In the back of my mind I had reservations. Was this really what I wanted? Would I feel like a horrible mom/role-model for my girls? Could I look them in the eye and tell them to love themselves when I couldn't do the same? These thoughts ran through my mind constantly, but I convinced myself that I would be so happy with the results that I would get over it.
Long story short, I got the boobs, but I still have the doubts. I like the way they look and I sometimes feel like it's part of my old body that I have back, but I still often wonder if it was the right thing to do. To the point of thinking about having them removed. I tell people cautiously (not many) and wait to be judged. I feel like I have failed both myself and my girls. I don't think poorly of anyone who chooses to have plastic surgery, but I would caution a woman to think very long and very hard about it. To be aware that if she has doubts to pay more attention to the doubts than how she imagines she will feel about it. I would encourage her to feel 110% comfortable with her choice. If she's not totally comfortable about her decision to have plastic surgery, her body "hate" may resolve but it might turn inward... and that can be even worse.