Okay, I’m just going to be honest here. I would love to have smaller breasts. And if I’m going to be really honest, I might like to have none at all. I spent my early teens in denial and refused to wear a bra. They weren’t breasts, it was just puppy fat. I remember some older girls at school, after I’d just competed in the school athletics carnival, telling me it really was time I got a bra. I felt humiliated.
The first thing I do when I get home is take my bra off. But then if anyone comes to the door I have to put it back on. Those girls at school were right. I look unseemly without one.
I’ve never liked my breasts. They are unwelcome guests who came for a visit and refused to leave.
An acquaintance of mine had breast cancer. She had both breasts removed. Completely. She proudly lifted her shirt and showed me the scar. It wrapped around her rib cage. She loved being free of her breasts. She felt liberated. I twanged with jealousy. How I wished to be rid of these things I lug around with me constantly. Perhaps I could get breast cancer too. Or, as in the case of Angeline Jolie, just have the threat of breast cancer. That was enough for her to toss her breasts in the bin.
I’ve researched breast reduction surgery and know someone who’s had it done. Another woman who proudly lifted her shirt to show me her scars. Her only regret was she didn’t do it sooner. While some women bemoan the fact that their breasts are like poached eggs sitting flat on their chests and others pay for silicone and saline to be stitched under their skin, I sigh at the marks my bra leaves on my shoulders. Dents imprinted in my flesh from hauling the weight of my breasts around.
So why haven’t I had the surgery? Sure it’s expensive but I’ve been told it’s worth it. I haven’t had the surgery because I live in hope and belief. Hope that one day I will be able to forgive my body and myself. Belief that one day I will stop judging by body and my breasts. I would like any decision I make about my body to come from a place of love, especially a decision that involves a scalpel. It might take a while because I’ve been my body’s harshest critic since I was eight. My default position is dismay and dislike. Until I can swing that position around to one of acceptance, forgiveness and love I am loath to let anyone, no matter how skilled a surgeon, take a knife to my chest. Perhaps I already have more self esteem than I realise. Perhaps I’m already on the path to believing that I am loved and lovely as I am and that I and my breasts are beautiful.