A lot of things change after an invasive surgery. In the case of cosmetic surgery, the change is outwardly noticeable. If this is your first time reading about my breast reduction, I have a post outlining my experience here and a collaboration with a friend discussing the process I went through. There were some changes I experienced that didn’t fall under cosmetic changes and were a completely different ball park. Here are five things that changed for me after my breast reduction.
I think it goes without saying that my bras are a lot cheaper and I have more options now (goodbye hideous “nude” bras that look green under white shirts). I can buy lingerie off the rack, and my lingerie wardrobe is 50% bralettes, 30% sports bras, and 20% padded underwire bras.
I was buying maternity tops and dresses for a while because it was the only way I could get something “fitted” that also had room for everything up top. The first thing to be purged from my wardrobe was everything marked “maternity.” In the end, my wardrobe was practically empty. Building a new wardrobe to fit my style and body has been a learning process, but I can actually buy tops and dresses that are the correct size now.
I bought my first itsy-bitsy, teeny weeny (black) polka dot bikini while in Hawaii. After I surpassed Victoria’s secret sizes at 14, I was banished to the one-piece zone. I have a long torso and short legs. Eventually I just gave up and wore shorts and tee shirts if my mom didn’t have time to sew me a new bathing suit top out of a cheap Walmart bra and swimsuit material. Even then I felt embarrassed and exposed wearing anything that showed the largest parts of my body. I just developed a hatred for swimming. I still hate swimming, but I can hang out pool, lake, or beach side in a cute bikini and not feel like moving will cause a fashion disaster.
At 18 I was going into bars with extended family, and actually sitting at the bars without fear of being carded. My cousin said the summer after I graduated high school, “we can take her in, she looks 22!” I was always mistaken for being older than I actually was and initially it made me feel like an adult, but eventually I was just sad that I had never been able to “act my age” because when you look like an adult, people judge you like you are an adult.
Now people mistake me for a high school student. I have been told I look like jail bait. I can’t even think the word “bar” without someone asking for my I.D. At first it was exasperating right after I turned 21, but now I’m genuinely excited that I have a baby face.
People don’t recognize me
So much has changed below the neck, but my face really hasn’t changed. I think because my body is drastically different than it used to be, people who haven’t seen me since after my reduction don’t recognize me because my breasts were definitely my largest identifying features. My mother also says my face has slimmed down, I don’t see it but it might be the real reason.
I don’t get cat-called or harassed
Probably because I look like jail bait (I’m kidding, that hasn’t stopped it from happening before). I’m sure this might have more to be with my location, but even when I take trips, it doesn’t happen. I don’t want to think this is directly related to my lack of boobs, but I wonder. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m thrilled. If I am somehow less objectifiable, then that is great.
In addition, I haven’t heard unwanted commentary on my body outside of “You look great.” No more, “Your boobs are so big!” or “what size bra do you wear?”
People take me seriously
Malibu Barbie is dead. For the first time in my life I feel like people pay attention to me and not my oddly disproportionate body. When I speak to someone, their eyes don’t wander down my face and settle on my breasts for a few moments at a time. People talk to me longer and on serious topics, I’m not teased by my male friends, and I feel respected by my male peers for the first time.