What I Want You To Know About Body Image And Breast Reduction Surgery

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. Today’s guest posts is by Cheri.

Starting a new High School isn't easy. It's especially hard to make new friends, 'fit in', and have everyone like you. Well that was my goal at least. At the end of Freshman year I had grown, and so had my assets. What I want you to know is that life with bigger breasts isn't necessarily a better life. I lost my name. I was no longer Cheri. I was the girl with big boobs. It seemed like every guy wanted to hook up with me because of my breasts, and every girl hated me for being noticed. I felt so objectified, and I didn't want that kind of attention.

Every year my breasts seemed to get bigger and I felt more insecure. Shopping for bras and bathing suits was impossible! I couldn't fit into anything. I used to wear baggy tops, or I would button my sweater over my chest. I just wanted them to go away. Where did they come from anyway? My whole family is small-chested. I also had lots of back, neck, and shoulder pain from the weight on my bra.
The constant comments from boys led me to eating disorders and obsessive exercising. The breasts remained large while my body shrunk away. I hated them. I hated the attention I got from them. I hated the pain. I wanted a name.

I went to see a plastic surgeon who told me that I was large but maybe not enough for the insurance to cover the surgery for a Breast Reduction. He snapped some photos of me and sent them to the insurance company. One week later I got word that the surgery would be covered. At age 18 I knew this is what I wanted to do. So I had the surgery. At first I felt very small at a 36 C, but the doctor assured me that I would fill out over the next year. I had a lot of itching so I went back to see him. He said that my body is rejecting the stitches and he needed to remove them by hand. It was painful but not quite as painful as the scars it left. Due to my body rejecting the stitches, I developed Keloid scarring which resulted in bright red puffy scars. I had two rounds of laser treatment to help the scars but it did no good. Once again I couldn't wear a triangle top bathing suit, but for a different reason this time. And I was still very embarrassed of my body.

I had to look at myself in the mirror and declare that I was truly beautiful, scars and all. I told myself that one day I would find a man who would look past them and just see me. I made the decision to believe that I am unique, beautiful, and made just the way God wanted. I've been able to breastfeed all three of my children and I found a man who loves me for me. I have a name now. What I want you to know is that big breasts don't always lead to a happier fuller life but sometimes just the opposite. I’m glad I had it done, scars and all.

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