I knew my child modeling days were over the day my mother pulled me aside and told me I needed to start wearing a bra. I was ten.
Defeated, I looked to my best friend who was also a model, (who is now 5'9, 110 pounds, and does runway) frolicking joyously in cotton. I looked down at my chest, and it was then I knew that I was different. I would never frolic joyously in cotton, or run, or even go on the elliptical with out living in constant fear of giving myself, or someone within a five foot radius, a black eye.
I shamefully wore a bra throughout sixth grade. I was a full C cup but attempted to shove them into an A, resulting in their jumping out when least expected. I thought I was hiding them well: I hunched, crossed my arms, wore eighty scarves, that is until one day when Henry, who ironically enough is the son of a very famous pornographic magazine editor, approached me in the hallway and announced:
"Damn, you have huge tits!"
I cried in the handicapped stall for the rest of the day.
I continued my flat-chested facade through out the year, but knew I wasn't really fooling anyone. Boys stared, girls laughed, especially Lizzie, the most popular girl in the grade. She constantly pestered me about the size of my breasts, sometimes even asking if they were real, (I was eleven) and would make bets with the girls about whether or not I had already gotten my period.
I ran into Lizzie last summer. She has now gotten both a nose and boob job. Mine are still bigger.
I was raised by a family of huge breasts. My mother is a histrionic, busty blonde Mexican, along with the rest of her side of the family. My father's mother, a very tiny but feisty entrepreneur, is a Double D and only 5'1. And my father's most recent wife was also a Double D -- post surgery, at least.
Basically, I've been surrounded by breasts my whole life. But that didn't stop me from hating mine.
I was a full Double D by the age of twelve, a size I had maintained and grown past (I was an F when I was my heaviest) until just a few months ago.
Being 'the girl with big boobs' has had its ups and downs (insert elliptical joke here) but mostly -- its been downs.
No one takes a girl with a huge bust seriously. And turtlenecks actually make them look bigger.
I call it being "Double-D Listed." People judge you for the size of your breasts and immediately assume you are promiscuous and/or question your competence and/or don't deserve whatever job you're interviewing for. Unless the interview is male.
I've come to terms with it. People, well, mainly other females, tend to be a bit less friendly towards you if you have large breasts.
But really? Why?! Its not like I've chosen to dangle these cantaloupe sized pouches of fat on my chest for the past ten years.
The only woman who ever seemed to sympathize with me was a friend's mother, who ironically enough, had implants.
"Yeah, big boobs are such a hassle," she'd say, adjusting them because one of them was starting to deflate.
To give her some credit, she did get the implants taken out. Her then husband divorced her a month later.
I know I'm supposed to "embrace" my body and whatnot, but sometimes, that's just really hard. Buying bikinis? Impossible. I don't exactly want to 'strut my stuff' in what might as well be a turquoise maternity scuba diving suit, but a small, stretchy piece of waterproof fabric doesn't quite suffice, either -- I need something a bit more supportive than Lindsay Lohan's Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor.
P.E. was always a disaster. I'd either run the mile with my arms crossed, or blame period cramps for being unable to do so. On my cramp days, however, Coach Flowers, a very large frightening man who was later fired for being caught up in a porn scandal, insisted on making me do jumping jacks.
In the eleventh grade, I simply couldn't take it anymore. I begged my family to let me get a breast reduction.
I was taken to Dr. Poletz, a man who smelt like soup and had a receding hairline. What started off as a conversation about what size I would like to go down to, turned into his recommending a nose job, chin implant, and left (yes, only left) cheekbone implant.
I went home crying and offended that a man so ugly would dare insult me. Out of pride I rejected the offer and spent the time I would have spent recovering, living in Uruguay: a happy land full of voluptuous woman and very appreciative men.
Oh and for the record, that whole joke about not needing to worry about college because I can always work at Hooters or become a porn star? I've been hearing that for years. (Anecdote: Hooters has really great chicken wings.)
Speaking of chicken wings, it isn't just having a huge bust that's the issue, its the body type that comes along with it. I can't eat gluten, dairy or sugar with out gaining 10 pounds in a week. And no matter how many hours I spend at the gym or how many calories I count (which sometimes is a lot), I just don't get "skinny" -- at least the kind the LA and NYC crowd approve of. But for the record, my diet consists mainly of chicken wings.
When I do strictly monitor my diet however, my breasts don't go away, nor do my hips or love handles. Its like God created me to look specifically like I am ready to bear children at any given moment.
Because of this, I have spent my whole life daydreaming of being a 'skinny girl.' And I may or may not keep a folder on my computer titled "Rest In Peace Scruffy" (just so no one opens it) containing pictures of women with what I consider to be an ideal body. You know, Adriana Lima, Megan Fox, every other flat chested skinny marketed idealized body type casted woman...
But I have to accept the fact that that just isn't who I am. If I lost any more weight, I'd tip forward. And if I got liposuction (which certain rude people have insinuated I should), I would just gain weight in really strange places like underneath my armpits. This sounds odd, I know, but I grew up in Beverly Hills. I have seen it with my very own eyes. It happens.
So, I may be the always "slightly overweight" girl, but at least no one will ever ask me if I'm dying, and if I was for any reason stranded on a desert island, I would probably survive the longest.
I've always complained about how much I hated having big breasts, but in a way, marketed myself off of them. The older I got and the more getting a breast reduction truly became a reality, the more I feared the possibility I would no longer seem appealing to men if I did go through with it. My whole life had been spent being "Danielle, the girl with big boobs," what would I be if they were gone?
But finally, this summer, I faced my fears and did what I had been dreaming of for years -- I got a breast reduction. With a very kind doctor who told me I didn't need any other types of surgery.
I went from being a 34F to a 34D, which yes, I still realize is quite large, but in comparison makes me look much more normal.
One of my fears did come true -- about 50% of my potential future mates are no longer interested considering that after I uploaded an "after" photo to Facebook, certain males made sure to express their frustration with my decision by commenting endlessly with statements such as, "This is a slap in the face to God." I mean, maybe it is. But I don't really care. I can finally wear bikinis and tank tops without women gasping and shielding their children's eyes!
It took me ten years to finally rid myself of the best worst thing that ever happened to me. I can actually walk down the street without being screeched at, more people look me in the eyes (although men's eyes will forever wander, I suppose), and I can even go without a bra without slaying the man across the street if I hop.
Large breasts are beautiful, curves on women are beautiful. Women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Just because you're unhappy with your physical appearance, does not mean you should go change it. That isn't what I'm saying. My situation was very specific: I really couldn't take it anymore. Everything from the social implications to the fact that I literally could not stand up straight or sleep because it hurt so bad.
A few weeks ago, I was clearing out my computer in preparation for the next school year. I stumbled across "Rest In Peace Scruffy" and found myself disgusted. Rather than pining after these emaciated and airbrushed bodies, I couldn't stand to look. I deleted the folder and cleared my trash. It was at that moment that I realized I am proud. I am proud of once being Double D Listed, although grateful that I am no longer (just D-Listed this time,) I am proud of my body and of everything else I am. And yes, this includes my nose, left cheekbone, and chin, Dr. Poletz.