‘Inexplicably Happy’ Column: The ‘breast’ idea I ever had


Plastic surgery is superficial.

Jackie Peterson

Jackie Peterson

This is a point driven home again and again by reality shows and popular culture. Getting a boob job is superficial, Jewish girls who get nose jobs are all too common and only girls with low self-esteem want to change themselves anyway.

But guys, I’m going to get plastic surgery in January.

It’s not for a nose job — sorry to disappoint those of you who know I’m Jewish — but it does have to do with breasts. Oh, no. Here we go, she’s going to get a —

Breast reduction.

No, you heard me right.

I’m going to get a breast reduction.

We live in a society that thinks huge breasts are amazing in the bedroom, but have no place in polite society. Tell me, though, what am I supposed to do with them when I’m at a family gathering? Is there some other dimension that I can stuff them in while I’m not filming the pornography I should apparently be in?

Please, let me know. Because in January, I’m going to be shrinking them by force instead.

This isn’t a Buzzfeed article. I’m not going to tell you the “Top Ten Things Every Girl with Big Boobs Knows.”

I’m going to tell you that I’ve been called a slut more times than I can recall. I’m going to tell you that in high school, people accused me of being a man-stealer, of being a whore, of doing a lot of things I never did —because of how I looked. I’m going to tell you that I was cyberbullied for a few months in middle school because of my breasts. I’m going to tell you that I can’t help having cleavage. There is no shirt or bra that will make them look smaller, because they aren’t small.

I’m going to tell you that when I go somewhere nice with my boyfriend’s family, especially with his younger cousins, sometimes I cry because I never feel “appropriate.” I am ashamed of my body. I never feel like I look “classy.” Every shirt I put on pulls at the chest, every v-neck shows just a bit too much cleavage, no dress covers my whole bra. What if they think I’m trying to look like this? What if they don’t like me because of my cleavage?

I’m sorry. I really am.

I often find myself wearing a gray men’s t-shirt and jeans instead of trying to find something feminine that will cover my breasts.

But these superficial — albeit psychologically troubling — issues are just the tip of the iceberg.

We’ve all heard at least once from a big chested girl, “It’s not that great, my back hurts!”

It’s true. Don’t laugh. My back always hurts. But it doesn’t stop there. My neck hurts, too. My breasts are so heavy that I often have to hold them up myself if I’m not wearing a bra. When I’m not feeling well and I lie down, they make me feel like I can’t breathe because of the pressure they put on my lungs. They hurt when I exercise, they can’t be contained by one — or five — sports bras, and they make sleeping on your stomach difficult.

I can’t wear most clothing unless it’s stretchy or an XL, even though I’m a size 6/8. Not particularly XL territory. Clothes shopping is a nightmare, and dress shopping is just as bad.

I haven’t owned a bathing suit for two years, because I can’t find one that fits my chest anywhere. Not even the specialty stores where I have to buy my bras. That means no swimming. No beach trips. Nothing.

I’ve shed a lot of tears over the years because of how much I hate my chest. How much it has ruined me. But it was only this past summer that I plucked up enough courage to do something about it.

It’s going to be difficult — I’m actually terrified — but it’s worth it.

I’m going to have to alter my internalized view of myself. Because my chest will be radically smaller, my self-image will have to change, and it might not be for the better at first. After all, however much I hate my chest, it has been a part of my identity for 21 years.

But it’s still worth it.

So on January 7, 2016, I am getting a breast reduction. I am going to wake up having gone from a size GG to a size C. That’s seven cup sizes smaller. That’s pounds of tissue. That’s freedom.

You can judge me if you want to. But plastic surgery is going to set me free. Free of pain and self-hatred and expectations and name-calling. Free of restrictive clothing and shame. Free of myself.

Comment policy

Comments posted to The Brown and White website are reviewed by a moderator before being approved. Incendiary speech or harassing language, including comments targeted at individuals, may be deemed unacceptable and not published. Spam and other soliciting will also be declined.

The Brown and White also reserves the right to not publish entirely anonymous comments.

Leave A Reply