Breast Reduction Diaries: 3 weeks post-op

boobwarning[Image: Black background with white text reading, “Warning: This blog contains non-sexual pictures of breasts healing after a breast reduction procedure, displayed for educational purposes.”]

Okay, so I forgot to write a blog on my 3 week anniversary. Whoops. I have to say, I stopped writing because life started returning to normal. And not just that. I started grad school! When you’re reading and writing every week for class, sometimes things fall by the wayside. Like blogs.

But the good news is that my breasts continued to heal, I’m not in anymore pain, and I started adjusting to my new body. I also started buying new clothes and became addicted to dresses. Fuck, I love dresses. Continue reading

Strapless

12096265_10100892934040474_2563355395738694269_n

[Image: A selfie I took of myself in a strapless dress. My hair is down around my shoulders and wet. You can see my monogram necklace. I have a surprised look on my face.]

When my breasts were… well… this there were lots of things I wouldn’t have felt comfortable doing because of their size, shape, and due to the asymmetry. If I had tried wearing a strapless dress in the past I would have had the following options.

  1. Buy a strapless bra to wear underneath. Just kidding. No local store carried a strapless bra in my size and ordering one online would have cost me more money than I spent on the dress. Many times over.
  2. Wearing the dress with a bra that has straps, putting a coverup on over it and never taking it off.
  3. Wearing the dress without a bra and adjusting it every 10 seconds to keep myself from being arrested for indecent exposure.
  4. Wearing the dress without a bra and eventually be arrested for indecent exposure.

When faced with these options, I often just didn’t purchase the dress to begin with and left it at that. But now… my breasts are a size that doesn’t hurt my back and their shape leaves me able to support a dress. So I’m wearing a strapless dress without a bra today. Note my surprised face.

Thoughts on the Body

Female_anatomy_1897

[Image: a diagram of organs and anatomy.]

Note: On August 4, 2015 I underwent a breast reduction. Nine days after that I celebrated my 3 year anniversary of my gastric surgery. In the last 3 years I have lost over 100 pounds and had my breasts reduced from a G cup to around a D cup (I won’t know my actual size for several months). It’s been a wonderful, but strange time and I’m still shifting through my thoughts on the changes that have happened to my body. Here are just a few of them.

Being able to walk into a brick and mortar store and find clothing that fits you is a privilege. Sounds ridiculous? It is. But not for the reasons you’re thinking. When I started fitting into clothes in regular stores, I felt so happy and so validated. I was able to do something that I hadn’t before and it felt good. But the truth is that my validation is part of privilege. I am now the size of the average woman and, as a result, I can fit into more clothes.

After my breast reduction, I became acutely aware that I could now wear things that I had never been able to before because of the size and shape of my breasts. My previous breasts were severely asymmetrical and omega shaped. Camis, halter tops, bandeaus, and other forms of clothing didn’t fit my breasts. Now that my breasts are the standard (albeit on the larger side of said standard), I can wear all of the above and more. In fact, I’m wearing a halter dress right now and it looks amazing on me. But it looks amazing because I now have average-shaped breasts and I’m examining my appearance through society’s lens of socially-acceptable beauty standards.

In a sense I feel like my body journey has led me to a point where I’ve reached an incredible amount of privilege and I only realize this because I’ve never had this privilege before. And really, the way I got here, two surgeries, is privileged in and of itself. Not everyone is able to do what I did in order to achieve what I have and I recognize my body has undergone some extreme modifications.

At the same time, I didn’t do any of this to be more socially acceptable. Before I got my gastric surgery I was battling an eating disorder and losing the war. I was out of control and out of ideas and at that point, losing weight was secondary to regaining control of my life and my eating. I had lived with my asymmetric breasts with nipples that pointed towards the floor for years. I hated how they looked, and did consider maybe one day I would get surgery to make them symmetrical and change the shape. But it was just a thought.

What made me get the breast reduction was the sheer amount of daily pain I faced all because of my breasts. I couldn’t exercise, I couldn’t be as active as I wanted, I couldn’t go a day at the tea shop without ending up in severe pain all night. I knew my over-sized breasts were the culprit and, sure enough, once I had the surgery, the pain stopped. But with the reduction came the lift and now my breasts are “standard” shaped and symmetrical.

Sometimes I feel guilty. Not just for my former self, who would probably want to slap me for posting endless selfies in backless dresses, but for all of those who don’t have this privilege. Everyone deserves to have clothes that fit them and feel comfortable and happy with what they’re wearing. But clothing manufacturers make clothes for one body type, again and again, leaving everyone who isn’t that one body type to sort through the leftovers to see what doesn’t look terrible on them.

I recently read a post written but a self-identified fat woman who could rarely, if ever, shop clearance. Larger sizes were never stocked well, so by the time garments hit the clearance rack, they were usually all gone. She pointed out how being able to find your size on clearance is a privilege. Days before I read the post I had raided Torrid and Khol’s for their deep discounts and had come away with plenty of new outfits.

Torrid was business as usual. They carry sizes 12 through 28 sizes and I love their style, so I had been buying from them since before my surgery. But Khol’s was different. That was a straight-sized store. I wasn’t even sure what size I was when I walked in. Between my new breasts and the fact that I had been wearing clothes several sizes too big for years now, I didn’t actually know what fit. I wear a large in Misses. I found so many clothes that all looked amazing on me and I bought it all without a second thought to just how privileged I was to be able to do this.

I’ve been hesitant to say this, even to myself, but sometimes a more conventionally attractive body is easier to love. When you’ve been told your entire life that women look one way and this is the one way, and then clothing fits that one body type, and then friends and family validate you for looking one way, and men find you more sexually attractive when you look one way, and all of the other things that happen when you look this one way, it’s easy to fall in love with your reflection. This makes me wonder just how much of it is what I love and what part of it is what beauty culture’s influence.

It would be naive of me to say that society holds no sway over how I view my body and myself. I live in society, I work there, I go to school there, I am a part of this society and whether I like it or not, it will have an influence over me. On the other hand, it would be completely unfair to myself to say that I only accept my body because it looks more conventionally attractive now. When I was 21 I used to be a size 10 (I’m a 14 now), had fewer stretch marks and no surgery scars. I was more attractive and more socially acceptable, but I was completely filled with self-hatred and unhappiness. I feel happy with myself now and it’s not because of what society told me.

When I used to try on clothes it just made me feel sad and annoyed. No matter how I dressed up or found clothing that flattered me, I didn’t feel pretty or satisfied with my appearance. I would hyper focus on my flaws and ignore all of my good points. I would compare myself unfavorably to models and pop singers. My thoughts told me that if I couldn’t look like Britney Spears, I couldn’t be attractive. The misery would compound on itself as my lack of confidence and determination to find fault in myself made me a less socially appealing person.

Today I’m wearing a blue halter dress with my Tardis blue shoes and nylons. I never would have been able to wear this size 14 dress before my gastric surgery or before my breast reduction. As I’m walking around in it, I started to feel self-conscious about my height. I’m 5’7 with my shoes off and with an extra three inches, I feel almost gangly. I also keep checking my breasts. Before, if I wore anything that was low cut I would have to constantly adjust it and reposition my breasts to keep them in position. Now my boobs are on point and they’re staying exactly where they’re supposed to be. Although my body is different, I’m still the same person and I still worry about my body maintaining its appearance. Although there are no easy answers, I do realize that there are questions and I will continue to ask them.

Everyone calm the fuck down over the size of my tits

ddedit

[Image: me wearing my birthday dress. My boobs look awesome.]

Remember how I said that pre-op that everyone was telling me didn’t look that big? I was a 38G, but for some reason my boobs didn’t seem disproportionate to others. Well, now I’m around a D cup (I can’t be measured until about 6 months out) and I just had the first person tell me that I don’t look like a D cup.

Awesome!

I guess my boobs will never look big enough to anyone. But you know what? I’m done with letting this get to me. I don’t give a fuck what anyone else thinks about the size my breasts. I absolutely love them, they are the perfect size, whatever size they end up being, and I have absolutely no regrets about getting the operation.

I found it really surprising how many people (mostly men) were horrified at the thought of me making my breasts smaller. I had several people tell me not to go “overboard” and get them “too small”. As if their definition of the proper size for breasts was definitely what I should have been doing with my body.

Somehow it never occurred to anyone that I actually knew what was best for my body and what size I wanted my breasts. I had decided to ask to become a D cup as soon as I knew that I wanted a reduction. I was a D cup before I gained the massive amount of weight that lead to the entire oversized breasts fiasco. I felt comfortable as a D cup and I liked having slightly larger than average breasts to balance out my curvy figure and ample hips.

And yes, I am currently still larger than average. Average cup size is a C in the united states. So a D cup is one size larger. But somehow, going from over sized breasts to slightly larger-than-average breasts is still not enough for people.

I’m over people offering me opinions on my body that I didn’t want and didn’t ask for. I love my body. It’s so fucking awesome and so are my new breasts. No one is going to bring me down anymore about what I look like. I’ve spent a lifetime feeling insecure and listening to negative comments about me and I’m done.

Water off a duck’s back, bitches.

Breast Reduction Diaries, 2 weeks post-op

boobwarning[Image: Black background with white text reading, “Warning: This blog contains non-sexual pictures of breasts healing after a breast reduction procedure, displayed for educational purposes.”]

August 19
1:37pm

Went in for my two-week checkup. Dr. Lopes took a look at everything and said I look fantastic! She asked me how I felt and I told her I was overjoyed with my new boobs and the relief from all of the pain that I was in. She was glad. Told me that that’s why she went into medicine; to make people’s lives better.

The steristrips came off and I can see my incisions again. They still look a little scary, but less so. They’re definitely healing fast. This operation has changed my life so much. Not only do I experience less pain and discomfort every day, but I feel so much happier with my body. My body image has really spiked these last few days. I’m really comfortable where I am and I feel good about myself. It’s been a really long time since I could say that. Continue reading