I found this on the Internet. Thought I'd share
I'm sorry that it is huge!
I had 2.4 miles to go on the treadmill when she sauntered down the aisle of the health club. How could she have? I wondered, fixing her with a glare. I had seen this woman many times before, and noticed that we shared the same body type: tall, thin, and completely flat-chested. But now the change beneath her spandex top was impossible to miss. She had been supersized. She had gotten a boob job. And I felt as if I were the last small-breasted woman at the East Bank Club.
Sixteen years earlier, my mother had dragged me into the local intimate apparel shop to be fitted for a training bra. Oooh, honey, soon you’ll come in here for bras my size! trilled a saleswoman with pendulous breasts. But as time went on, my bosoms never filled anything more than a 32 A-cup. Apparently, they were untrainable.
While my breasts never did develop, my attitude toward them changed depending on things as arbitrary as clothing styles and seasons, and as earth-shattering as male attention and popularity. They remained a source of unhappiness and anxiety, deeply embedded in my sense of my femininity. Last year, just before I turned 28, I did something about them; I got implants. This is a choice I share with hundreds of thousands of other women. Some of these women are married, with loving husbands, but I suspect that many, like me, are single. And l bet that many of them once shared my disdain for the idea of getting implants. No two case histories are alike, but this is the story of what brought me around.
* * *
For the first two years of high school, I was on an even playing field with the rest of the girls in my class. By senior year, however, my playing field remained level while theirs had sprouted hills. One day at the bar I was told I had the breasts of a thirteen-year-old. After that, I stopped buying bras in my size. Keep in mind, this was long before the words Wonder bra and water bra were part of my lingerie vernacular, and padded bras in my size did nothing for my chest but protect it from flying objects. So I started buying larger bras, thinking the extra fabric created the illusion of more volume. Until a surprise bear hug would crumple my chest like a collapsed soufflé.
In college, I faced the tribulations of dating with the added burden of raging insecurity about my body. I was built like a little boy and competing for male attention with girls three times my size in all the places that mattered. My one saving grace was that it was the heyday of the J. Crew look, and with it came a hundred ways to camouflage a figure flaw, from draping a sweater just so over the shoulders, say, to wearing two bras at once.
This is where I wish I could say that I wised up after college. It would be nice to proclaim that I realized breasts could not make me a woman, or that beauty issued from within and bore no relation whatsoever to cup size. But I was repulsed by how I looked in clothes without a little help; I felt less than a woman, somehow a failure when images of women’s breasts bombarded my senses, from the Statue of Liberty to Sesame Street’s Susan.
The ink was barely dry on my college diploma when I was hired as an editorial assistant for a women’s magazine in New York. For my first assignment, I was asked to write a variation on the theme that women’s magazines peddle like junk food: what men really want. I was to troll Upper East Side bars over two separate weekends to see how many men I could attract. I would wear racy little ensembles of tight-fitting tops and leather pants. The variable would be the size of my breasts.
On the first weekend, I went out unenhanced, and by the end had been asked out by two men. Not bad, I thought. The next week, I went to the same bars wearing the same ensemble, but this time I fortified my bra with silicone inserts that looked suspiciously like raw chicken cutlets. With my enhanced silhouette, four men bought me drinks, four asked for my number, and one composed a song for me on the spot. I was thrilled by the attention, but crushed by what it signified.
I never did give those cutlets back to my editor, and soon they went everywhere I did. After a while, I realized I couldn’t stop wearing them, for fear that someone might notice the drastic change beneath my shirt. This was especially tricky with new lovers; when they met me, I was a full B cup; when they saw me naked, I was barely an A. It was blatantly false advertising. But the solution to my problem seemed worse than the problem itself.
* * *
When I first considered breast implants in the early nineties, they were still unsafe and looked like overfilled water balloons. Later, when buying breasts became as common as getting a manicure, I was too scared to admit I wanted to do what I had judged other women so harshly for. There was also the bimbo factor to consider. Would a big rack diminish my credibility as a professional? Besides, I didn’t have enough money to finance the procedure, and no means of getting it.
Throughout my 20s, measuring 104 pounds at five feet seven, I believed I was doomed to remain slightly built. So I decided to play to my strengths. Thus began my love of Lilliputian clothes: Tight pants, tiny tops, micromini skirts, and baby T-shirts made up my wardrobe: folded neatly, they could all fit in a shoebox. I was going for an optical illusion; the smaller the clothes, the larger my breasts would seem (or so I thought). I’m pretty sure I looked like a tramp in those years, but I was aching to feel feminine and thought I had found a way.
With the advent of self-help books, I vowed to date only men who loved my body’s flaws and all. Which was ironic, because I didn’t love my body at all. Not a single boyfriend lived up to my magical standards, and I spent six years on what felt like one long bad date. In search of reassurance, I would dissect every look, every move, every gesture my lovers made, and see or imagine I’d seen disapproval. None of them gave me the self-esteem I was looking for. It had to come from within, I realized, but I hadn’t the faintest idea of how to find it.
Then came a man who fell in love with my intellect and sense of humor (OK, so before he went for my mind he had seen me at the gym and lusted after my body). With him, I found a new inner strength and calm.
Then, due to some menstrual problems, my doctor prescribed me a different birth control pill. In two months, my barely A’s went to a sore but full A. I was thrilled. I started shopping for clothes and sexy lingerie, the one I was never able to wear before. The bras actually touched my skin, the bikinis looked better and my sex drive went crazy. I felt like a million bucks. I put on some weight and the strange part was, I kind of liked the new hips. No longer boyish, they looked adult and feminine.
Five months later they shrunk. What happened? I changed BC pills five times, I think I actually tried all of them available on the market. Nothing happened. The bras didn’t fit anymore. They weren’t even sore anymore. The clothes didn’t fit that good anymore. I didn’t feel feminine anymore. After five birth control pills and having to give away all my new clothes, I fell into depression. I was lopsided with the torso of a Girl Scout and the hips of a troop leader.
After a few weeks of weedy salads and pasty diet shakes, I realized it was time to resurrect The Question: Should I have my breasts done? I asked my boyfriend one night as I finished a burrito he had almost thrown in the trash. His eyes widened as he tried to disguise his enthusiasm. I love your body, but I would definitely support your decision to do it; he said. The discussion went no further that night, but he did fall asleep with what looked to me like a smile on his face.
Almost everyone was in favor of the surgery. The only naysayers were a few friends with uncomfortably large breasts, and one Christian Scientist. I went to war with myself in a battle between feminism and femininity. Did artificially enhancing myself mean I was nothing more than a victim of societal programming? Would I lose credibility as an intelligent woman? Did I really want to go the rest of my life not knowing what it was like to have cleavage? Did I really want to go the rest of my life not knowing what it was like to have breasts?
In the end, I couldn’t shake the notion that larger breasts would make my hips look more proportionate. I couldn’t stop fantasizing about strapless dresses, tank tops, and fitted shirts. Mostly, I craved the experience of looking and feeling feminine at the same time.
I found my surgeon by calling the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, and promptly made an appointment for a consultation. My boyfriend and I then scoured men’s magazines for body types like mine and shopped the Victoria’s Secret catalog for breasts instead of bras. Not surprisingly, his taste veered toward the amply endowed, while I favored more petite ladies.
Just a B cup. That’s all I wanted. An enhancement so subtle that no one could tell I’d gone under the knife. You’ll go bigger, my friends predicted. But they knew nothing, I thought. I was a journalist and didn’t think a stripper-size set of bosoms would go over too well during interviews with clergy and politicians.
The morning of my consultation I sat in the doctor’s exam room tapping my foot nervously as my boyfriend paced a hole in the linoleum. Finally, the surgeon entered. Well, now, you certainly are a candidate for breast augmentation; he exclaimed as I stood before him, naked to the waist. Next, he photographed my bare chest and downloaded the digital image into his computer.
Holy crap, my breasts are so small! I blurted.
Next, it was time to pick a size for my new and improved body. The doctor digitally cut and pasted other patients’ breasts onto the picture of my torso to give me an idea of what different sizes would look like on me. By the time I had decided on a C cup (so my friends were right; big deal), my brain was wildly overstimulated and I couldn’t bear to look at any more breasts: even my own. That night, I undressed in the dark.
* * *
I was on an adrenaline high until I had to tell my parents. They were spectacularly furious. In their minds, I was about to compromise my perfect figure for no reason other than vanity. My mother scrounged up every story she could find to discredit breast augmentation, while my father delivered stern lectures about my fiscal stupidity. This was to be the first time I had openly defied my parents. It felt like jumping from the high dive into a very small pool.
Then, exactly a week before the surgery, my boyfriend broke up with me, not because of my impending surgery but because of his need to resolve his issues about commitment. This was horrible, but not as horrible as the realization that with him went my post-op ride home and my caretaker.
I screened my calls that night to avoid another emotional pummeling from my parents. Hello, this is your mother; said her message. Your father will be there on Friday to bring you back to our house and we will take care of you all weekend. Good-bye. I love you. This time, I did exactly as my mother told me.
* * *
On Friday, at exactly 9:15 a.m., I lay down on the operating table. The anesthesia took hold at 9:20, and by 11 I was being wheeled into recovery. At noon, a nurse sat me up and helped me put on my sweatshirt. Holy crap! I’ve got breasts! I mumbled, peering down at my bulging bandages. She helped me off the gurney and out to the waiting room.
There sat my father. My Wall Street Journal–reading, stock-trading, cell-phone-preoccupied daddy, picking up his baby girl after she had gotten the breasts he so deeply opposed. Clearing his throat, he asked, How are you feeling? He tried not to let his gaze wander from my face. Good, good; I said, and promptly burst into a giggle fit.
The laughter stopped when I lifted my arm for the seat belt on the ride home. My incisions were in my armpits, and the slightest movement smarted like hell. I spent the weekend drifting in and out of a Vicodin haze, and on Monday I was back at the doctor’s office having my bandages removed. It’ll be easier to see them if you open your eyes; he said. And there they were: the breasts I had always wanted but had been too afraid to buy.
They were swollen for the first few weeks, like flesh-colored alarm bells, sitting about as high and just as firm. But my new silhouette garnered rave reviews from everyone I knew. And, of course, there were wisecracks.
I fell madly in love with my new body. I dressed every morning feeling proportionate and feminine. The sight of myself naked was a pleasant shock for the first few months, and on a couple of occasions, when I was alone and the blinds were closed, I tried on my old mini-clothes just to give myself a tasty thrill.
Not too long after, my boyfriend and I got back together and fell even more in love. All four of us; my breasts, my boyfriend, and I have softened and settled into a quiet lifestyle.
Back at the East Bank Club after four months of imposed sloth, I tried to distract myself from the pain of stomach crunches with some deep thinking: Which came first, the chicken or the breast? Did the surgery make me feel mature, or had I matured enough to know it was the right choice? Hard as I searched, there were no regrets, no second thoughts. My reverie was interrupted when the woman I had glared at all those months before strutted by, her Ladies locked and loaded in her jogbra. This time, I wasn’t bitter toward her. I was finally satisfied with myself; inside and out. And I owe every ounce of credit for that to me, my surgeon and Visa.