Boobaversary: In Defense of Plastic Surgery

Two years ago today I got a boob job. I feel like blunt is the best way to start this conversation.

Plastic surgery is usually the butt of jokes, it’s what celebrities do to themselves that makes them look like aliens. Sure, there are burn victims and cancer victims who get cosmetic surgery, but that’s just to make them look “normal”. If you’re a “normal” person who gets plastic surgery, it’s probably because you’ve got too much money, are incredibly vain, or have no self-control when it comes to weight. If a woman gets plastic surgery, she is stupid and skanky. If a man does, he’s kind of gay.

If you’re a feminist, you are betraying your sex by succumbing to the cultural pressure of normative standards of beauty.

I am admittedly biased, but I think plastic surgery is great, why shouldn’t we be able to do whatever we want to with our bodies? Tattoos, piercings, hair dye, nose jobs, whatever… why isn’t this a great thing? My reduction is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

I introduced my procedure as a “boob job” for a reason, because it was a more aesthetic and emotional choice than a medical one. Even though reductions seem to be more culturally acceptable than augmentations, the difference is simply the direction I moved on the size scale.

I was a 32H and it was making me miserable. They were uncomfortable, there were no clothes that fit me, I always felt like people were staring at them, and the bras I had to wear were incredibly painful. I would get sores on my shoulders from where the straps dug in.

I hated my breasts. Loathed them. In fits of pique I would daydream about getting breast cancer so that I would have a reason to get rid of them entirely. Let’s just say I didn’t have a healthy working relationship with them.

I was already a D cup in 6th grade. By the time I was in high school, there were no local stores that actually stocked bras in my size.  Open stares were not uncommon.  And then there were the comments, shouts, and open groping from strangers.  I was a freak.

It took me nearly a decade from when reduction surgery was suggested to me and actually going under the knife.  It turns out surgery is really scary and you find that people are going to think less of you if you have plastic surgery.

I can usually weasel out of it because I had a reduction and not some other procedure.  I still feel obligated to emphasize just how much I had to get removed, to try to justify it.  I feel the need to tell you all that there was almost no fat in what they removed, so having more control over my weight wouldn’t have made a difference in my breast size.  I feel obligated to assure you that it was absolutely necessary, that I had macromastia, but in reality, I would have been fine without it.  Just not as happy, not as confident.

And while getting smaller breasts wouldn’t generally strike people as trying to fulfill the normative beauty standards, I immediately looked as though I’d lost 20 pounds. I think I look way more conventionally attractive now, which means that I’ve engaged in a hateful act that some people think is morally equivalent to female circumcision.

“Slicing up the body to conform to a societal ideal is inherently a woman-hating act, whether the offending body part is the clitoris or thigh fat.”

On the other hand, I no longer look like I’m smuggling party balloons under my shirt.  I can run.  I can buy bras that cost less than $150, or I can even just not wear one!  I can wear normal clothing and I am not immediately perceived as slutty for having enormous tits.

I recognize that there are a lot of cultural specifics to what we consider beautiful, but  I wasn’t trying to please anyone except for myself.  I’m still a freak, but now it’s for reasons that have nothing to do with my appearance.

Boobaversary: In Defense of Plastic Surgery