After reading a random comment online (not directed at anyone), I thought back to my experiences and how I was affected as a child and young person growing up on this subject. I am a women and we grow breasts. That is the simplified version you are taught or get the gist of along the way, you can’t fight it, control it or decide on the outcome.
I’ll set the landscape for this – my mother had huge breasts, double D or F or something crazy like that. She did not like them, did not like the attention they brought her and did not enjoy the back pain that came with them. Exercise was restricted too so really there was not much she did like about them. I however can say, they made great pillows!
Her best friend also had the same stature and top heavy load going on and I was told in their youth they were both called ‘The Fabulous Four’. It was jokey and people laughed, my mother included, what else can you do. Well, what she did was try for a breast reduction at the first opportunity she could. We weren’t well off, but she married my stepdad who was a serviceman and managed to wrangle it with the army. It did not go well. She was squeezed into the surgeon’s lunch break, his assistant apparently doing one side while he did the other.
The after affect was shocking to say the least – especially to me, someone who didn’t even have fully formed breasts at the time. The operation was not entirely a success – if you don’t know about breast reduction surgery, the nipples are removed, to be put back on after (just that little piece of info makes me want to turn inside out). In this instance, they didn’t re-attach them correctly (or possibly in time) so they fell off during the healing process. Fell off! No nipples, can it get more horrifying? She was left with huge hideous scars stretching the entire length of each breast, they were different sizes and had awful scars where the nipples should have been. It was like something from a horror movie.
It gave me a very stern view on unnecessary surgery and that I would never have it, I judge no-one else on this though, just for me personally. But I was horrified that someone a) felt they needed to change themselves so dramatically (I believe in trying to adjust to life mentally) and b) would try and get something so important on the ‘cheap’. This was over 25 years ago now but I see stories like this in the media.
I didn’t take after my mother for body shape luckily, I got my fathers side – but got to experience what she didn’t throughout her teenage years. Not even being noticed at all. I was quite flat chested until at least thirteen or fourteen, and even then it took years for anything to really happen. My best friend at school however was the opposite, she started getting boobs from nine years old!! So by twelve she pretty much had a fully formed woman’s body to us girls. It was odd, and we (even as children), used to refer to her as jail bait. I saw this term mentioned the other day as an awful thing to say, so I apologise to use it, but remembered using it myself in younger years and want to get across to you that even as young teenagers, we understood the implications of it. That having a friend who could pass for eighteen meant you get booze, fags and for some unknowing young men, possible jail time.
A bit later in my life, in my 20’s I ended up working with a friend who hardly had any breasts, flat chested and deeply miserable with it. She made do and put a brave face on but said ‘I just want to feel normal’. It was really harsh to see and I didn’t try and talk her out of it or encourage it either way, I just wanted her to feel OK. Her family gave her money and she had the operation. She was like a new person afterwards, happy, confident and extremely pleased with what she had done. I was happy for her and it showed me first hand how it can go well and change peoples lives.
It took me years I think to even know the impact breasts generally have on men – which I’m sure is another article. But I felt a bit sorry for my stepdad after my mother had the breast reduction op. He said me a short while after
“There are two types of men in this world, you’re either a leg man, or a breast man”
And with a tinge of sadness he said
“I’m a breast man”
(c) K Wicks