Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Let's talk about Boobies

As of this weekend, our spring vacation is booked and we're jetting off to Florida for a week. In a typical Sarah fashion (which is a foreshadowing pun), I glanced in my closet, excited to pack away all my summer clothes for beach time.

But it wasn't always this easy for me. I actually get excited for bathing suit shopping now, where in the past I used to cry with every mall trip - no jokes. But it was the same with bra shopping. No one carried a 38DD bra or bikini size or higher than that. And if they did, my choices were limited and it was still depressing each time I had to try something on.

Me in late high school. My "before" picture
Yes, that's right, I used to be a DD/E.

And I wonder how many of you actually think there was something wrong with that. I want to tell my story because high school was so brutal for me, and many girls like myself will go through body image issues, so it's important that we talk about things like this. Plus, sometimes it's just nice to get things off of your chest (haha... man, I'm on a roll today).

Starting in grade 10 the girls grew an entire cup size every single year until I was a DD/E. You'd think this would be every girl's dream, but for me it was a nightmare. I was labeled as a huge pair of boobs and nothing else. I would walk home from school, and middle-aged men would be hanging halfway out their driver's side window, honking their car horn at me and whistling at me, to the point where I dreaded every moment that I saw a car approaching me.

Least to say, it was my "identifier" in high school. I would walk down the hallway at school - and I remember this one moment were the hallway was empty except for a group of about 3-4 guys sitting on the floor. As I walked passed them (literally feet away from them), one of them yelled out "Those were the biggest jugs I've ever seen!!!" To which I turned toward them and shot them a dirty look - but it didn't phase them at all. They weren't looking at my face. I felt pretty worthless.

Granted it's nice to get noticed. And I liked the attention for about 2 seconds until I realized just how negative the attention was. The small boosts of self-esteem didn't last long and I realized I wasn't getting noticed for me, just for a body part. And really, who wants to be liked just for their boobs?

It took me a couple years to realize just how ashamed I was of my body. I didn't even want to show them to guys I was dating because I thought my boobs where hideous and was afraid they would have their "hypnotic" effects, making me (or at least my face) relatively invisible again.

When I was 20 I decided I'd had enough. It was hard enough dressing myself - because really, they don't make clothes for regular girls with giant chests - and working out was a joke. No sports bra in the world could have made me feel comfortable while running.

So I saw a surgeon who was able to give me a reduction (thanks to the government's amazing funding... I think it's the only good thing the government has actually done for me), and I was able to start a "new life". Everything was completely different for me and I've never regretted the decision even for a second. I was able to get myself back in shape, and for the first time, I actually felt normal.

Puerto Rico, 2012
Boat Cruise vacation, 2012
 I'm a B cup (if you're curious) and I've never been happier with my body. Bikini and bra shopping are actually fun now. I don't have to scramble through the store looking to see if they even carry DD or larger sizes (sidenote: at the time Jacob didn't carry anything bigger than a C cup - I gave the woman who worked there the most panicked and disgusted look when she said this).

But I think it's really important for our younger generation to realize how we treat others. Just because someone may seem really confident on the outside, doesn't mean they feel that confidence on the inside. There were a lot of times I had to put on a show (so to speak) and act like I was fine with everything, but at the end of the day, when I was home, I was so unhappy.

Treat women like human beings, not like a pair of breasts. And if you're truly unhappy with your body, then talk to someone! My parents were extremely understanding of my decision and supported me the entire way.