On August 3, 2009 I nervously walked into the plastic surgeon's office. The nurse calmly told me to change into a hospital gown, and then I sat on the bed anxiously as I waited to be brought into surgery. In only a few short hours I went through artificial puberty. I got breast implants!
Of course, this decision was not taken lightly. I considered having the surgery for years but I was afraid of the procedure itself, the possible side effects, and even more importantly for me was the social stigma. I knew should I get breast augmentation I would encounter many mixed opinions, and as luck would have it I did and still do today which leads me to my frustration with peoples' reactions, (particularly women's reactions) to my body.
The first time I encountered a critic was at work in the ladies restroom. A coworker, who I barely knew, said, "I know what you did and I don't agree." I was taken aback. Who was she to comment on my life choices? I didn't tell her that I thought her outfit was lame. Not my place, right? Well, she kept going on about how I was a poor example to young women and that I was perpetuating the myth that every girl needs to look like a Barbie doll. I shook my head disagreeing with her logic. I don't represent every girl. I represent me. My reasons for getting implants are going to be different than the next woman. I didn't know what to say to my anti-silicone crusader except, "My body... my choice." She walked away clearly miffed. I, on the other hand, was hurt. I never wanted to be the walking billboard that read, "Get Boobs or Bust," or worse, "Conformist." I always took pride on having a healthy self-image yet I worried maybe now others would view me as a woman who was insecure, looking to mask that insecurity with a bigger chest. My fear was realized when I told the news to a male friend of mine. He said only girls who felt badly about themselves go under the knife. He didn't talk to me for a few days later saying he was disappointed in me.
I never imagined my decision to get breast enhancement would rattle so many people. After all, I'm the one who did the countless hours of research finding the right doctor, paid for the procedure, and went through the surgery as well as the healing process. It was my journey. I did it for me; no one else.
I decided to get implants for a pretty common reason. I was born with a 34 B-cup size and I wanted more volume. I had a difficult time filling certain outfits and bathing suits out, every bra I owned was padded to the max, and I take credit for introducing the phrase "chicken cutlets" to most of the women of Northern New Jersey. I simply wanted bigger boobs. Was I someone who looked at my body with dissatisfaction? No. If breast implants were never invented I would have happily gone about my life with a B-cup, but because there is such thing as cosmetic surgery it was an easy goal to accomplish. The moment I decided to get the surgery I was happy to let my family and friends know. Heck, I'll even tell strangers should they ask. Yet, I know plenty of women who opt for the surgery but never publicly admit it due to the fear of being judged as vain, vapid, superficial creatures. I'm here to say judge me if you will, make assumptions about my IQ, my occupation, or my self-confidence. With all the controversy and comments my breasts have garnered, might I say I've never felt happier and more comfortable in my skin than I do now. It was one of the best decisions of my life. The next time someone says, "Did you get implants?" I'll happily and non-defensively say, "Yes."
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