“Does feminist mean a large unpleasant person who’ll shout at you or someone who believes women are human beings? To me it’s the latter, so I sign up.” — Margaret Atwood

One day over Christmas I was talking to my aunt, who expressed surprise I had had breast surgery, since she “thought I was a feminist”. I asked her what she meant by feminist, and she said, “Well don’t feminists think breast implants are a form of female mutilation with the end goal of pleasing men and fitting into their ideals of women?” I agreed that some people do hold this view, but that clearly, I am not one of them. And yes, I am a feminist, if feminism means equality for women and fighting for (and celebrating) our right to choose after centuries of oppression.

I was interested in what my aunt said because it’s not the first time I’ve heard it. Of course, I respect other people’s opinions and to be honest, I don’t care if people judge me for my choices, although I see that my defending them vigourously seems like I do…but I just wanted to point some things out.

If you agree with the general principle of people’s (not just women’s) right to choose what to do with their own body then you would agree that breast surgery should be as accessible and popular as it is. You may not personally understand why women do it, but unless you are a woman with little or no self-esteem then how would you understand? Self-esteem is tied to different things for different people–some men have no confidence because they have a small penis, some women suffered years of comments about having small boobs, some people feel weird about a big nose or massive feet. I’m no psychologist, but it’s pretty obvious that if any of these things can be altered, it will make a huge difference to someone’s life. Why is that wrong? So what if someone wants to risk surgery and spend money to feel good? Is it jealousy that makes people resent it?

It’s a safe procedure, when done by the right surgeon. Which thankfully most of them are. The risks are for the individual woman to sort through. So what’s left is the tangled feminism argument, which basically says that women who have breast implants are doing it so men will think they look good, or so they fit into society’s warped ‘ideal woman’ mode. What bollocks. Why should men take the credit for women’s self-image? If we see a woman who looks great and has made an effort to feel good and look great, why can’t we accept she did it for herself and not for some man? THAT is sexism, people, a historical stereotype that still lingers on every woman alive. If a girl dresses in a fabulous dress and six inch shoes and gets her hair done, men assume (sorry, some men) she did it for male approval. We all know that women dress to impress other women, since a. most men don’t give a shit about what’s fashionable and b. a lot of women are veerrry competitive. And of course there are women who dress to impress men, but so what? Should we all be labelled as continuous men pleasers because we want to feel good about ourselves?

Another common argument from those who oppose breast implants, after the safety and sexist arguments are dealt with, is that breast augmentation should be reserved for women who have had the traumatic experience of breast cancer or are similary disfigured. I have obviously not had breast cancer and won’t try imagine the pain and suffering these women go through and I’m not comparing my life with those of cancer victims. But breast surgery is an elective procedure done by choice, is it not a medical neccessity. For anyone. A woman who chooses to have breast implants put in after breast cancer surgery is doing it for the same reasons as a woman with tiny, or no, breasts. Those reasons are for a personal desire for self-confidence and self-esteem, to regain and to have what they believe is and should be their natural right. They, we, do it because they want to look different. Again, someone with breast cancer is of course different to your average plastic surgery patient and I am not taking away from their suffering. But saying breast implants are only OK for women emotionally scarred because of cancer is a flawed argument.

Women who already have big boobs, and have surgery for their own personal reasons–be it their job, because they’ve always wanted bigger boobs–may be coming from a different place but have just as much right. We all have the right to choose. So make your choice and hold your head up high.

One month post-op

December 24, 2007

I made it! Exactly one month ago I was pretty miserable and in stiff, hunch-backed pain. It feels weird when I remember it now, like it didn’t happen. I swear sometimes I forget I actually had surgery, had a boob job. I feel no pain, they have dropped slightly already, and continue to soften up, despite the fact I’m not massaging as much as I should, and that I’ve worn underwire…ahem.

Last night I was joining John Lennon in thinking another year over, and what have I done? I was getting pretty miserable about it–still in the same job that I hate, living in the same place, still boyfriendless…I thought to myself, God I haven’t done much this year. Then I looked down and remembered that I actually DID do something this year, something I’ve been wanting for a long, long time, something that has made me happier…and boy, was it worth it. So if your surgery is looming, take a deep breath, focus on the end result, and just ride through it. Good luck to you, if you are getting it done. It’s one of the best things I ever did.

 Oh, and Merry Christmas 🙂

Breaking rule number one

December 18, 2007

Tonight is my work Christmas party…and believe me, it is HARD to find a nice top/dress to wear that looks good with the unpadded, nipple revealing, comfy bras. So just for today and tonight, I’m wearing my lovely H&M underwired, push up black bra because really, I have to look good tonight. The temptation was too much for me. This is possibly bad because the pressure from the bra might affect my implants or scars. I know this and yet here I am, still wearing the bra…does this mean I am really vain? I think so.
It doesn’t hurt or anything…and it’s four weeks since the surgery this Friday. So I’m hoping this doesn’t harm me. If it does, let this blog post be a testament to my possible stupidity…

EDIT: Almost a month since I wrote this post, and I’ve been wearing underwire on and off since then. So basically, I was wearing underwired bras from one month after surgery on– and there has been no damage that I can see. Or feel. They’re completely fine, and also some surgeons tell their patients they can wear underwire after a week– I really must find out why plastic surgeons have such different advice for the same procedure…

Here’s Johnny!

December 14, 2007

This has absolutely nothing to do with breast implants, or surgery, or anything really…but I found this picture and it’s just too yummy to NOT post on here.
So Happy Christmas!

Johnny

Because we’re worth it

December 14, 2007

Last night I went Christmas shopping, and in the usual tradition of me, ended up buying more stuff for myself than for anyone else. I went into Marks and Spencer and got sucked into buying loads of lovely bras just because I could.
I used to hate bra buying before, it was more damage control than joyous lingerie gathering. I would buy the one that I thought would make me look bigger (most padding) and ones that I thought would give me more cleavage, and they NEVER really did. I spent loads on Wonderbras, on Calvin Klein bras…none of which fit me now of course. But now, I can choose any bra in my faaaabulous 34C size and I know I’ll look good in it. I bought five bras last night…one is a gorgeous padded push up one from M&S and I couldn’t wait to get home and try it on. It looked brilliant on me–I have cleavage and shape and fullness and when I put on a lovely blue dress I could never wear before…I wanted to go out in it there and then!
(I know I’m not supposed to be wearing underwire yet– but trying them on can’t hurt, can it?)
Anyway I should have taken a pic. I was so excited. It probably sounds stupid but when you spend years looking at yourself in the mirror and then trying to hide/change what you see, and then that change happens, it’s an amazing feeling…and it’s all been worth it. The pain, the discomfort, the worry, the money….ALL of it. I would go through it again tomorrow. And even if something did go wrong, I’d do whatever I could to fix it and keep my implants.

Day 6 post-op pic

December 13, 2007

mail.jpg

So here I am, day 6 after my surgery. This picture tells you a few things:

1. I’m bad at taking pictures,
2. I took it myself
3. My left (right in pic) was slightly bigger at first–it always has been, but it’s less obvious now for some reason.
4. I had no bruising and very little swelling.
5. I didn’t get huge implants.

They look different now, only over a week later. They look a bit more natural, it gets better every day. They feel much better now. Plus my scar dressings are gone.
I’ll put up better pics when I get some.

Ow

December 12, 2007

The area all around my scars is sticky because I’ve been wearing big plasters on the incisions for two weeks. So the strap of my sports bra is sticking to the scars. The result is me peeling my bra away from underneath my boobs every ten minutes. I just can’t wear those plasters anymore…

The recent appearance of Janice Dickinson on UTVs “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” was brilliant. Mostly because she is insane, but also because she isn’t afraid to admit every time she has gone under the knife (are you listening, Posh McFake Spice?)
Apparently before she went into the jungle, Janice had a chin tuck, a tummy tuck, botox, a boob lift, face filler injections, lip plumping, permanent make-up, you name it…she has had it.
And she looks OK:
Janice

But, as much fun as she was to watch in the jungle, it was slightly disconcerting to watch her face almost kind of melt when she sat by the fire…

Next in the “yay, they admitted it” list is Sharon Osbourne. I think she looks OK too, I mean a bit odd at times, and very obviously re-shaped, but compared to before she looks great for her age.
Check her out:
sharonosbour_mazur_4541663.jpg

Hmm slightly scary actually.
But at least they admit they’ve had surgery. What is it that makes people ashamed? I’m not excluding myself from this, I don’t really want to admit it either. But before, I thought people were just trying to be secretive or lie, and now that I’ve had plastic surgery, I realise it’s not secrecy but fear of other people’s negative reactions. Which is a bit stupid, isn’t it?

You got a what??

December 11, 2007

So the sad day finally came when I had to strap in the new boobs and head back to work (The less said about my job the better, but just know it sucks, and my boss is an arsehole). I had kind of mentally prepared myself to answer questions about how different I looked, and I also got new hair to kind of deflect from it. But no one noticed much. My house-mate (who I didn’t see for a week, because through luck and my timing, she was away when I had the surgery and then I was away in my parents house when she came back) asked me had my boobs got a little bigger. I just hmmmmd her. I don’t really care what she thinks anyway. But no one in work noticed at all. Thank God. I didn’t go too big, in fairness, only to a C– but if you cleverly pad out your bra a while before the op it will be more gradual and people won’t notice. Say you went on the pill, or changed pill, or put on weight, or whatever. In clothes, and in the support bras, they are not that noticeable. I don’t want them to be, my aim was to have more there when I’m naked, if you know what I mean, and not necessarily look huge just walking around in clothes.
Today is day 18 post-op for me, over two weeks. I feel almost completely normal. I say ‘almost’ because I’m still wearing plasters on my incisions (only until tomorrow) and because at night and in the morning it’s still slightly stiff. Not bad stiff, it’s almost familiar stiff, because I’m used to it and my body is adapting. I can finally sleep on my side, though I have to find a new way to do this, as before I had nothing in between me and the mattress 🙂
They’re much softer now (the left one a bit more so) and I’m starting to think of them as my breasts rather than two foreign objects someone stuck on to me.
I can’t wait until the New Year–when I can wear any bra I want (hopefully) and I’ll really see some results…

Recovery, day 5 on

December 10, 2007

This is where it eased up for me. I could use my arms again (slowly) and I could put stuff over my head. I also tried on a sports bra for the first time. THAT moment made it all worth it for me. At that exact moment, as I looked in the mirror and saw something I have wanted since I was 16, I finally realised that I DID IT! Focus on this moment, ladies.
It’s not all plain sailing from here–but it’s easier. The mornings are still pretty bad. But I kept taking the painkillers as timed until they ran out, then I bought more because I still needed them in the mornings.
I was still wearing the boob tube bandage at this point too, which annoyed me because my nipples started to hurt (they still look kinda squashed!)
I still took things slowly though. Get a lot of rest and don’t over-exert yourself.
After day 7 I could put on a sports bra, THANKS BE TO JESUS because (and this is pretty gross) my boobs had this weird, greasy look and feel because they were cooped up in the tight bandage. I started panicking thinking I had this weird secretion. But apparently it’s normal, just vile. I could also shower after day 7 too, as long as I changed my incision plasters and kept them dry.
At this point I was still kind of worried about complications, I guess I can’t help being a worrier. But it’s pretty normal to have moments of panic I think…So I’m taking it a day at a time. Tomorrow is my last day of covering my scars, and in one month I can wear underwire…YAY. At the moment I’m massaging and waiting for them to soften. One is actually harder than the other (my right) this could be ‘cos I’m right handed…
Also in week 2 I was still stiff in the mornings and couldn’t completely lie on my tummy or side in bed, but that passes.
I’m trying to think of more details, I guess me saying “It hurts a bit” and stuff isn’t much help. I was pretty much back to normal life, which for me is pretty unstrenuous anyway. I wasn’t having sex which you have to wait a while to do and I don’t lift heavy stuff, or exercise, or dance around…wow I’m a poster girl for the good life, aren’t I??
You have to wait about a few weeks to do all this stuff anyway.

Things that are normal, but that you may worry about:

1. Pain in ribs and upper abdomen–I was like “Gah! My muscle has split open!” and stuff. But of course this area will hurt as your muscle heals.
2. Itchy, tingly scars
3. Sudden sharp pain inside boobs (I don’t know what causes this but I asked and it’s normal! And doesn’t last. It’s more like a small, fleeting stitch than a pain.)
4. One breast softening first
5. Uneven scars–I freaked about this–but my left scar is slightly longer, not much. A nurse said to me, think of each breast as a different entity–the surgeon does each separately and manipulates them differently–he must have had to make a bigger hole in my smaller boob.