If the guy you’re sleeping with tells you to get boob job, how do you react? Disgust? Anger? Resentment?
If you’re me, the answer is appreciation. I should know—I had breast augmentation for my boyfriend, and I don’t regret it (for the most part).
When Tom and I started dating about a year ago, I immediately afforded him a level of trust that was well beyond any of my previous relationships. Everyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I have a horrible track record with guys, but Tom felt different. It wasn’t long before I was sharing pieces of myself that I wouldn’t even disclose to my oldest friends. Needless to say, I trusted him implicitly.
The topic of my breasts (or lack thereof) didn’t surface until one innocuous night about a month into our relationship. We were lying in bed talking about nothing in particular when suddenly it just spilled out of his mouth—no context, no icebreaker—just pure, unadulterated candor.
“I think you would look great with a boob job.”
I had no idea how to react at first. I asked him why he thought that, and his response was completely benign—he explained that he could sense my insecurities about my chest and that if I was more comfortable with myself, I’d by definition be more comfortable with him. It would strengthen our relationship and make sex more enjoyable. Or so he said.
To be fair, I think Tom was picking up on a very deep-seated insecurity that I carried around for the majority of my life. It started in high school and only worsened when I left for college and joined a sorority, where I quickly realized that bragging about one’s trips to the plastic surgeon was just a regular day-to-day conversation. Silicone or saline was part of our lexicon.
I’ve never been one to buy into a conventional, cookie-cutter concept of beauty, and I prided myself on accepting my flaws (of which there are many, trust me). However, my early twenties in particular was a constant barrage of painful reminders about my very noticeable AA cups. It was also around this time that I lived with a girl who would print out pictures of Victoria’s Secret models and paste them around our room with the words “Don’t Eat” emblazoned across the images in thick black sharpie. As you can imagine, spring break was among my least favorite times of the year.
While my flat chest was a very real issue for me, I never discussed it with anyone. I almost felt as though vocalizing it would be akin to admitting some kind of weakness or, even worse, a vapid lack of gratitude for all of the amazing things my body did allow me to do. I have always had the incredible fortune of experiencing good health, and it seemed silly to pick myself apart for something so trivial.
So, I kept it to myself and stuffed my resentments at the bottom of a drawer filled to the brim with push up bras and padded swimsuits.
However, Tom’s blunt discussion of my boobs resurfaced every single doubt I’d ever had about myself. It was almost like I was waiting for someone to finally validate what I was feeling—like I needed someone to say it was OK.
I told Tom I was really into the idea, and we talked about how big I should go. This was never something I would want pursue on my own, but maybe Tom was right—maybe this would give me the confidence to really love my body in a way I never had before and, in turn, change our relationship into something even better. In my mind, the positive benefits were endless.
Following our conversation, I immediately did my own research, and it became very apparent that Tom was on to something. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there were 286,693 breast augmentation procedures performed last year alone, making it the second most popular procedure after liposuction. . It’s pretty staggering when you think about it. I figured that if it worked for all those folks, it could certainly work for me.
Three weeks later, I was scheduled for surgery. I had worked out with my surgeon that I would go from AA's to more appropriate D cups. In the course of adjusting my bra size, I thought any and every problem—real or imagined—that Tom and I had encountered in our relationship would be fixed.
It sounds so incredibly naïve looking back, but I genuinely thought he would look at me differently. Maybe he would value me more or be attracted to me more strongly. I thought, in the grander scheme of things, that my future relationships would be more loving and complete. These insecurities about my body that I carried around for years would be a thing of the past.
My surgery went very smoothly, and as soon as the bandages came off I sprinted to the store and bought every new bra I could get my hands on. I flaunted adorable string bikinis that had been stashed away in my closet for years. It was pure bliss. Tom said over and over that I looked much happier. In many ways, getting sliced open and filled with silicone was a blessing.
In other ways, I’d made a huge mistake. One of my main reasons for undergoing the surgery was Tom, but nothing about my post-surgery surge of confidence changed the way he treated me. We still had the same problems we’d had before. Even worse, he seemed to develop a hypersensitivity to the way I interacted with other men during the course of the brief relationship that followed.
We ultimately broke up four months later.
Despite what you’re probably thinking, I don’t regret my decision in the slightest. Sure, I did this for a guy I barely knew, but at the end of the day I won. I’m so happy he pushed me in the right direction. My new breasts helped me find a sense of balance and inner peace with my body while quieting the negative inner monologue I lived with for years. Ultimately, I’m not sure I would’ve had the courage to embark on this journey by myself.
While my friends think that Tom’s suggestion was more along the lines of objectification and an example of the vicious cycle of perfection women are expected to adhere to, I think he was really doing me a favor. I think more men should be comfortable discussing these types of issues with their partners. If a guy comments on my appearance I know to take it with a grain of salt, but I think in this instance, Tom had an extremely valid point.
Would I make the same decision again? Absolutely. I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life, and I attribute this largely to the surgery. I love my new boobs. Does that make me shallow? Maybe.
But, at the end of the day, life is way too short to be unhappy, even if that means getting plastic surgery. Trust me, there are far worse things than finding your happiness with the help of a little silicone.