“I liked your body better with curves.” My husband confessed.
I had just asked him the dreaded question: “Do you like the way I look?”
I had recently shed about 15 pounds and was fitting into size zero pants. I had also lost a few cup sizes in my bra.
But, I was feeling myself. My abs were finally showing, my typically thick thighs looked sexy, but the boobs — they had taken a toll. Two pregnancies, nursing both kids for a year and then dropping most of the weight in a short duration had left my girls a little sad looking.
“What if I could keep my body and get my boobs back? What would you say then?” I asked my husband, afraid of the answer.
“I would say, fuck yeah.”
And there it was. The answer I had been afraid of, so I decided I’d get my tits done.
Do people celebrate plastic surgery anniversaries?
It’s been two years since I got my boob job, and I’ve thought a lot about what I’ve learned since I went under the knife.
The reason I decided to celebrate this milestone is not that I want to honor the day I altered my body; I want to recognize how far I’ve come.
Two years ago, I was at the peak of my insecurities. I had suffered for decades with undiagnosed body shame. One thing I always had going for me was that I was voluptuous. It’s one of the first things that attracted my husband to me (he says it was my eyes, I say that’s bullshit).
My voluptuousness is what always attracts men.
I had developed before the other girls, which meant my first day of middle school — when all the other elementary schools finally mixed — was like stepping into a whole new world.
I started getting noticed for my “body.”
I was always embarrassed by my body because I was an athlete before it was sexy to have an athletic body. Not that anyone is trying to be sexy at 12 years old, but I had a hot body.
The discovery of my body happened to coincide with the bodysuit phase of the early-mid 90s. I was rocking tight shirts and baggy jeans and getting older boys to notice me.
Sadly, this kicked off a life-long struggle with a feeling of being used for my body. Men that weren’t interested in my brain or my personality and focused on my exterior assets.
Even though this bothered me, my curves were a crucial part of my identity. You can imagine then how it felt to be an adult to lose this identity.
Literally, losing my tits was like losing myself.
My husband simply vocalized the words that were on repeat in my head: “You are not sexy anymore.”
In the pre-surgery medical exam, I asked the doctor if my bloodwork had revealed anything concerning. I was sure that I was suffering from some undiagnosed ailment. My heart was always racing, and I had stopped getting a period.
“Everything looks good,” said the doctor.
But the doctor couldn’t see inside my brain. I had normalized a constant state of fight or flight, so when my therapist described this feeling as “anxiety,” it sounds ridiculous, but I was shocked.
There’s a stigma associated with mental health issues. I had always considered myself strong in mind and body. This made me feel weak as fuck.
Two years ago, I was suffering from a loss of identity. I wasn’t in the body I remembered, I was seeking acceptance and approval from others, and I was filling myself with negative self-talk on the regular.
That’s another reason why I’m celebrating my plastic surgery anniversary. I’m recognizing that I have come so far from being wrapped up in my ego.
“Let’s try on the bigger size.” My husband said this while I was getting “fitted” for my new boobs.
The plastic surgeon offers various-sized inserts that you can stuff your bra with to see how you will look afterward.
This was probably the only red flag I paid attention to at that time of my life. I didn’t want porn star tits — not that there’s anything wrong with that! But I’m a mother and a professional. I just wanted to restore my body to what it had looked like my entire life.
I successfully pushed back and opted for a natural-looking size. It gave me the appearance I had when my husband met me in my early 20s. It made me feel youthful and not too attention-seeking.
The day I woke up from the surgery, I was wrapped in a compression bandage to heal. I still had no idea what it would actually look like and if this would finally end my constant anxiousness over not feeling feminine any longer.
On the day of the big “reveal,” I got the reaction I wanted from my husband. He loved them. Everyone did. I got a lot of compliments from the other women who knew I had undergone surgery. I had women reaching out asking for recommendations on my surgeon because they looked so natural and tasteful.
You’d think that would be enough for me, right? It wasn’t. I felt like I needed constant validation that they looked good. I switched my wardrobe out to mostly tight clothes or low-cut tops. I posted selfies constantly that showed off my cleavage.
I got a lot of attention. But it still didn’t fulfill me. I had no idea why I still couldn’t feel confident in myself.
To Go Under the Knife or Not?
If faced with the same decision today, I probably would still go under the knife. But not for the same reasons.
As I celebrate my two-year plastic surgery anniversary (a year of which I spent quarantined due to a global pandemic) I realized I’ve figured some shit out through therapy, self-reflection, and healthy coping mechanisms.
Here are the reasons I would still make the same decision — even after everything I’ve learned — and if you’re considering plastic surgery, things you should consider, as well.
You can love yourself and still want to love the body you’re in, but don’t pursue plastic surgery in hopes that it will change the way you feel about yourself — it won’t. I thought the surgery would be a magic bullet, and I would wake up with my new body anxiety-free. Yeah, that didn’t happen.
Lacking self-love stemmed from my childhood. The only way for me to resolve those feelings was to work through the self-limiting beliefs around why I wasn’t lovable. Once I was able to truly love myself, I let go of the need for external validation.
Wanting to feel beautiful or sexy by societal standards is a vicious and dangerous goal to chase. Trends come and go. If you permanently alter your body in hopes that you will meet the socially acceptable way to look, just know that there will always be a new standard that you will feel like you have to obtain.
To feel secure in my relationship, I wanted to make my husband think I was as sexy as when he met me. The need to please him and this insecure attachment style also resulted from my youth. Being used for my “body” is something I allowed to happen because I sought acceptance and approval; however, I could get it.
It’s okay to want to feel better about yourself. I know so many women that have had some work done, and there’s usually a moment of embarrassment when someone asks you if you’ve had a “job.” I view it as a compliment when other women ask me about it. After all, they usually ask for a referral to my surgeon because they want to do it but want to make sure it looks natural.
Instead of feeling shameful about this decision, I recognize this body alteration as a symbol of my growth — a permanent reminder to treat myself with compassion after years of self-loathing.
If you’re considering changing your body, you should consider if you need to make changes to your mindset, as well. If you’re anything like me, you might need a little reminder to love yourself, forgive yourself, and let sh*t go. Let’s raise a glass and toast to that!
I am sending you all my peace, love, and acceptance. May all beings everywhere be happy and free.