My Triple K Breasts Nearly Ruined My Life, So I Had a Reduction

Growing up with a freakishly large bust filled my adolescence with emotional anguish, shame, and physical pain.
Author:
Publish date:
April 10, 2015
Tags:
Tags:
body image, self esteem, surgery, breasts, Breast Reduction

I was born wearing a 36 D cup baby romper. OK, maybe I’m slightly embellishing, but I bypassed those sweet n’ wispy trainer bralettes all my friends proudly donned and was forced straight into “over the shoulder boulder holder” territory.

Extreme body hatred set in at the age of 11 when I accidentally overheard my father tell my mother that I had drawn appreciative stares from his golf buddies that morning.

“Get that girl a brassiere right away before she becomes promiscuous!”

I don’t know which word I detested more -- “promiscuous” or “brassiere." And why was my Dad noticing my body anyhow? With my ear still plastered to my parents’ bedroom door, I glanced down at my burgeoning chest and suddenly felt like it belonged on a cheap prostitute instead of a Girl Scout. If I slumped down, hunching my shoulders, could this help matters? The answer was no, but this would become my posture for the next nine years anyhow.

The next day my mother marched me into Macy’s department store where an efficient lady measured me briskly while clucking her tongue. She then paraded size after enormous size of chests of armor into the fitting room (a misnomer since none of these massive Maidenforms ever fit) as I wept over my body’s betrayal.

Inside my head, I was still a little girl. Why was this happening to my chest?

And how did this obnoxious woman manage to break into my grandmother’s apartment and steal all the nasty bras drip-drying next to her girdles on the shower rod? These old lady atrocities had (gasp!) 6 clasps in the back and could never be classified as lingerie, which was such a lacy, delicate French word.

My breasts instantly became more prominent in these bras because they no longer drooped pendulously (but unobtrusively) under my sweatshirts. Now they were supported by industrial underwire and protruded straight out horizontally, forming a sturdy nine-inch shelf. I wouldn’t blame anyone for absentmindedly setting a flowerpot or a picture frame upon my bosoms as they strolled by.

Alas, my father was correct -- men his age were propositioning me in shopping malls and walking home from school daily, I passed a building construction site where crude remarks (that would make sailors blush) were constantly hollered at me.

In 8 grade, at 38 FFF, even though running laps was physically excruciating, it was nothing compared to the emotional pain of realizing I was now a circus sideshow freak. I begged my mother to write an excuse note so I could be placed into the physical education class held in the weight room where kids with casts, braces, and crutches sat around telling jokes.

“What’s your disability?” asked the male gym instructor. “Dolly Parton Syndrome?”

At night I would remove the regulation “brassiere,” massaging the deep grooves in my shoulders from the released weight of the straps, then cry myself to sleep replaying how many mean girls had called me a whore that day. Their smartass boyfriends pretended to bump into the sweater I always wore (in 88 degree weather) during passing periods so they could cop a feel.

When I was sixteen and a (KK cup) I lost three waitress jobs in a row because the managers felt I caused distractions and created a ruckus for the male employees in the kitchen. If you frequently heard a tremendous clattering of broken dishes as you dined in The Magic Pan during the 90s, I was apparently to blame for that. I was also responsible for several traffic accidents as I walked down sidewalks where men apparently couldn’t ignore their peripheral vision.

It didn’t take long until I developed an eating disorder, starving myself for high school dances, thinking I could diet my breasts away. But this only made my already thin waist even tinier, which in turn, accentuated my gargantuan boobs that much more. If Weight Watchers wouldn’t help, maybe doing the opposite would. I binged on Hostess treats with the goal of drowning my cleavage in a sea of Twinkie cream.

But just like Cinderella, I sat home on Prom night because all the gowns featured spaghetti straps. Even if my dress had reinforced whole-wheat lasagna straps, it would’ve been futile.

I realized I was battling breast betrayal in its highest form -- this was a control issue. Would they ever stop growing against my will? Soon I took to escaping under the cozy quilts in my bed, (one size fit all!) while dreams of butcher knives danced in my head. That’s right, I just used the word “dream” to describe the self-mutilating fantasies I lulled myself to sleep with. That’s because the really terrifying nightmares involved waking up to find my horrendous breasts were actually still firmly attached.

By age 18, I had saved up my allowance to prove to my parents I was serious about getting rid of them. To my surprise, our insurance company covered breast reduction surgery (it seems the medical association takes neck, back and shoulder pain seriously) and I was allowed to keep my money for a new pretty wardrobe instead.

On the day of the operation, the doctor asked me if I’d ever considered nursing. Wasn’t it a little late for him to hire a surgical assistant? “No, I mean breastfeeding your future babies,” he said. “Because you won’t be able to do that after I sever your nipples completely.”

“Sever away!” I said merrily as I drifted deeply into anesthesia. Seriously? Who was thinking of having children?

However that particular physician had other ideas. Apparently going from one extreme to another (AAA was my desired breast size) wasn’t healthy for me and he was going to give me a pair of perfect Cs, which he claimed would balance my body quite nicely.

Six weeks later I went to the beach for the first time in an actual bathing suit. I held my breath, slowly peeling off my cover-up and sobbed. But this time they were tears of pure bliss. What a relief and how liberating it was to be able to go for a jog on the sand. But the future wouldn’t always be this carefree and easy.

It seems I had swapped my huge size for huge horror. The scars were beyond ugly, taking the form of red, angry raised welts and in time they reversed themselves, becoming sunken and concave. Once I went on a date to a drive-in movie with a strong, pimply-faced college kid who pinned both my arms roughly behind my back, guffawing as he ignored my screams and tore off my satin camisole.

At first I had no idea why he stopped mid-rip, but as he stared at the deep cracks and crevices, (once stitches), he began to sputter and dry-heave. Continuing to retch, he accused me of being a guy trying to pass himself off as a woman.

“Get out of my car!” he shouted, but luckily I had the presence of mind to grab my purse first. Panicked, I stumbled around on the loose gravel payment, mortified by the other cars honking at me. Ironically, I was blocking their view of the provocative stripper scene in the movie, "Saturday Night Fever."

I took a cab home that night but I remember thinking finally my breasts had done me some good. They saved me from becoming a date-rape statistic. Looking back, grotesque scars and bottle-fed babies were small trade-offs for a new beginning of normalcy that marked the ultimate in body self-acceptance. I even let my husband make love to me without the room being pitch black.

Now I’ve reached a different stage of life, and the hormone imbalances of perimenopause threaten to take me back to all that disgust and shame I thought I left behind. That’s right, just like the proverbial Halloween movie monster that resurrects from the dead or the chilling scene in Poltergeist --“they’re baaaaaaack.” I’m already overflowing to a double D cup and they show no sign of slowing down. Will they ruin my life again?

I simply cannot allow that to happen. This is a battle I’m determined to win. This time rather than physically altering my body, I’ll work on some mind-modification instead. Can I embrace being voluptuous without feeling like a colossal freak of nature? Time will tell.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be empowered enough to dress up as a Playboy bunny at your next Halloween party, but if you see me on the dance floor, please nod approvingly if I give just a slight upper body shimmy.