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Last week, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (with the truly amazing acronym BAAPS) got in touch to ask me if I’d be willing to talk to the Telegraph about my breast reduction. They know I’m a massive advocate of the surgery, having had it in 2012 and never looked back. Well, almost never.
The article came out, and I was delighted with it. Fair, balanced, accurate to the word about what I said – and then I scrolled down. I know, I know. Never read the comments. But can you honestly tell me that if randoms on the internet were discussing your body, you wouldn’t want to see what they said?
Well. Now we know.
I wasn’t going to write about this, but those three comments have stayed with me all week. Every time I got dressed or saw my reflection, they crossed my mind. Instead of thinking about how happy I am without three kilograms of extra weight around my neck, I’ve been thinking about these people and their judgments. I say “people” because we can’t be 100% certain they’re men, but… come on.
They were joined by other enlightening outbursts like these:
And I’ve realised I want to respond.
I’m guessing these plankton don’t have much in the way of an attention span, so here’s a quick summary of what I want to say: Get. Fucked.
If you woke up one day and your testicles were the size of melons, would you proudly show them off? Would you endure the pain in your spine and the overt stares because hey, you’ve got massive balls? Or would you go immediately to your doctor and beg for help from the NHS for the heavy, swollen, painful masses on your front?
Are you really, actually suggesting that Ariel Winter and I, and all the other women with comically oversized mammaries, should just deal with it because they give you a bit of a semi-on when you see us on the bus? Do you really think we’re ever going to get naked with anyone who’d say our scars (pale, silver, almost unnoticeable) are ugly? Do you really think we care if you find us less sexy now?
Yes, my breasts are way smaller now than they were before – and they’re also a lot smaller than they were after I had the surgery. Do you know why that is? Because it’s quite hard to do any exercise with the equivalent of two bags of sugar hanging on your chest. Now I’m free to do anything I want, so yes, I’ve lost weight. I can run up the stairs without holding my chest tightly. I can walk without feeling seasick from all the bouncing. I can go to the pool without feeling people’s eyes all over me.
I can live.
I can’t tell you how freeing it is to sit up straight at my desk without having to hunch forward and rest my heavy chest to try and stop the neckache. Or to not have to spend a fortune on massages because the pain in my shoulders was so bad that I couldn’t think straight. Or to wear necklaces because I want to – not because I have to convince myself people are looking at my jewellery and not my body.
I went from a GG to a DD to a C. Now, I personally don’t think you could ever class a C-cup as ‘small’ (teenage me, who was still flat as a board, would have been delighted) but if that’s the line you’re taking, I’ll come down to your level. Here’s the thing.
I love my body now.
Take another look at the before and afters. You can see the way I’m pulling my shoulders back in the first picture so I’m not hunched over. You can see the slightly pained look in my eyes. You can see how a completely demure dress looks revealing just because it’s on me.
And in the second photo, you can see how happy I am. You can see how good I feel to be wearing a size 12 instead of a 16 to accommodate my giant boobs. You can see how I’m standing up straight without even trying. You can see my waist, because my torso isn’t completely swamped by oversized, heavy, painful flesh bags that I haven’t missed once in three years.
Well, Angry Internet Men, your comments almost made me reconsider that. Almost. And then I remembered – you’re just sad, faceless dudes on the internet. I will never meet you, I will never care about you, and you will never get to see my beautiful C-cups in real life. Because if there’s one thing I don’t need in my world, it’s more boobs like you.
Main image © iStock/fatihhoca