Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Breast Views Blog: Breast Reduction Story

The following story was written by Talya, one of my calendar models. She frankly exposes her not so positive with breast reduction surgery.
I was always the shortest in my class (always sat in the front row of class pictures) and at the age of 10, my mother took me to a specialty bra shop where they fling open the door and make you walk into the middle of the store so everyone can inspect how it fits you! My first bra was a REAL bra—not one of those nice and pretty training bras—a REAL bra with the clip in the back poked through in a silhouette at the back of my shirt. My mom even wrote a letter to my dance teacher explaining why I was wearing a t-shirt over my leotard!

As I grew up (and the girls who made fun of me for having boobs, turned out to be the last to sprout their own), I came to love and appreciate my breasts as being a part of who I am.
As you remember, I modeled for you in my second year at university (2 years ago). I was thrilled that someone would let me flaunt my breasts on a calendar that was not degrading, but celebrated women’s bodies (thanks for that opportunity, by the way)! A year after that, I went ‘under the knife’. Being the shortest in my classes (still) and having the size breasts I did made my back hurt too much to bear.

I had a breast reduction, thinking this would solve my problems. But alas, my male surgeon neglected to really prepare me for the emotional stress that would ensue and ugliness that I would see my breasts to be. In a matter of hours, my breasts went from being my most coveted body part to my most hated. I hated the scars, I hated the loss of feeling, I hated the shape, and I even hated the fake-looking perkiness of them!

I became very depressed and refused to look in the mirror for months. I was scared I would never know my breasts the way I had before and I no longer touched and massaged them. I tried to find friends who had gone through the surgery who had felt the same way. But they were all too happy with the results to worry about the scars—they didn’t love their breasts the way I did before their surgery. When I asked my sister why I felt this way (she had gone through it 2 years earlier), she said I must’ve done it for the wrong reasons if I didn’t love them better this way… she loved hers.

I spoke to a counselor who did research for me. The only discussion about support she could find was for women who had undergone mastectomies. It was then that I realized what it must be like for women with breast cancer—especially younger women.

I am grateful that I have not had breast cancer (yet), but this experience has given me so much insight and perspective on my own feelings about my body. I am getting used to them day by day. I am forcing myself to love them and hoping that will naturalize over time. But when I think about what the Breasts of Canada calendar can do for women, I am proud to say that I have been a model and celebrated my body; and I would gladly do it again…ugly scars and all!

Sue Richards

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