Photo: Pablo Heimplatz

I Was Shamed For Wanting A Breast Reduction

Sometimes your biggest assists are your biggest liabilities.


I grew up wanting breasts so badly at 9 I started a money jar for breast implants. At age 12 I had already started wearing a B cup. In high school I was the girl with a slender frame and larger breasts, girls envied my assists in the gym locker rooms. I loved my big breasts. By the time I graduated high school I was a full D cup. I wore tight tops on skinny jeans to show them off, and thanks to my mothers genes you‘d think I was a Kardashian. 

By the time I was in college, my breasts fluctuated between a DD/E/F. I felt like a woman with my bigger breasts, I felt more feminine, I felt powerful. I also started to get un-wanted attention, being in college and getting asked what your cup size was before your name by fuckboys made me start to hate my breasts. I was embarrassed by the size of my chest when I was at a beauty store checkout line, the checkout girl was seemingly jolly until, her gaze fell into my cleavage, which was hidden as best it could be in a round neck tank top. The checkout girl looked down her shirt, looked at my breasts and then proceeded to throw my sunscreen and shampoo down the counter with an angered tone of how much I owed. I felt belittled, I felt graceless and I felt more like an object than a woman. 

I felt my back wanting to break, my bras left marks on my skin, and the unwanted attention I got from men and women made me feel uncomfortable. What was worse was I couldn’t find clothing to fit my frame. My bust was a Large and my bottoms were a XS-S. Dresses became things of fantasy, jump suits and play suits didn’t suit and getting my clothing tailored was getting too expensive on a student budget.

The attention you get being born with large breasts is the attention you get when you ask for a Pamela Anderson boob job (without deciding it).

But what really hit my self-confidence in the gut was trying to explain to friends I really wanted a breast reduction. When I explained that every time I got my period I wore XL t-shirts for 2 weeks or that my 5 foot frame could not carry the weight of E/F cup breasts; I was met with not the love and support I envisioned but comments like “You have to feel a bit of pain for beauty”. I decided to put up and shut up. 

I felt alone in my struggle. On one hand I felt my body being crushed by my breasts, on the other hand women are paying for implants that God gave me for free. Surprisingly 300,378 breast enlargement procedures were performed in The US in 2017, a 3% increase from 2016. While only 23,000 women under went a breast reduction in 2013. Almost 5%of women have breast implants, I didn’t have enough limbs for me to count how many of my friends had breast implants. Here I was the girl who got them for free wanting to remove them. My friends inferred I was not practicing self-love when going under the knife, but didn’t criticize when one of the group flew to Thailand to take her A to a DD. Breast reduction and breast enlargement hold a double standard. One I crumbled beneath.

The patriarchal outdated social constructs paint women as having large breasts, tiny waists and larger butts. When you are born with the “perfect hourglass body” and you reject it, you are met with a lot of hostility. In a similar fashion when you have breast implants you are painted as fake or ditzy. I knew I needed a breast reduction for my own health not just physically but mentally too. My breasts make me look a lot larger than I am, they stick out at least 10 cm from my chest. The prevent me from certain work outs in the gym as well as paint me as a ditzy idiot in my profession. I once received a comment about dressing more modestly in a lab when I was wearing a turtle neck jumper and trousers in the dead of winter. 

 My friends, whom I do not blame, had seeded the idea that my partner will not love me as much when I under go a breast reduction. Every time the topic of breasts came up in conversations with friends I was shamed, “oh you can’t comment on this, you don’t even want yours.” When Amber Rose under went a breast reduction and spoke about lollipop or anchor scars, I felt scared. Was I going to have deformed breasts? What would be worse, my friends would ask, deformed breasts or perfectly large ones? Do you want to breast feed, one friend asked me? Not being able to breast feed when having kids was really putting me off getting a reduction. 

In reality only 66% of women with breasts larger than a D cup can breast feed. Surgical techniques have come a long way and now surgeons work on preserving milk ducts for women who need breast reductions before kids. Sure it might decrease your chances of breast feeding, but it is only by a small percentile margin. 

Actually if you scroll through Instagrams #breastreduction tag there are plenty of women whom have had breast reduction surgery before kids and have not regretted it. Breast reduction surgery improves the patients quality of life and is a gate way to a more active lifestyle. Doctors actually prefer you to have a breast reduction before having kids if they are impacting your quality of life.

While I was struggling internally, crying every time I was in a change room and envying smaller breasted women I decided I couldn’t take it any more. I am 26 and I have breast stretch marks, I wear maternity bras when I get my period and I can’t shop for clothes I want to wear. My breasts, being my greatest assists are also my biggest liability. I decided to get a breast reduction. While there are many options out there now like liposuction which can reduce breasts by 50%, and minimal scarring, they are still options you need to consult with your doctor. Surprisingly my biggest supporter is my husband. 

I have not gotten a breast reduction yet, but I am, exploring my options now. Some friends have fought me on the idea, but they are my breasts and my body. I understand a lot of women are going through this struggle. If your friend, co-worker, sibling, a sister in your friends circle is struggling with bigger breasts. Please don’t dismiss her. Beauty is pain, sure when we are talking about waxing, but not something that can cause you harm.