Back in the day, in a land far far away, I got breast implants. After years of major boob envy, I was 22-years-old and still failed to fill out an A cup. So I purchased myself an instantaneous rack. Happily apathetic to the notion that embracing oneself as-is is a thing of virtue, I traded in my membership card to the itty bitty titty committee for a perfect set of C-pluses. And it was cool for a while.
But then I went to law school, and after graduating, I learned that professional attire and big ta-tas are not an ideal combo. I struggled to find button-down shirts that fit but didn’t gap 2 whole inches in the bust and noticed that the A-cup girls always looked sleek and tucked-in wearing their business suits. The shimmer of paid for and perfectly sculpted breasts was starting to fade.
Then I gave birth to my first child, and boy, did things get real in the boob department. I quickly became acquainted with the utility of breasts—starting with engorgement.
For many women, it’s uncomfortable when your post-baby milk supply arrives. But try shoving a plastic bag full of saline behind your pectoral muscles and then watch as your breasts swell with milk. It is a torture like no other. When my already stretched skin reached its max capacity and my milk ducts looked like they were on the brink of rupturing straight through my flesh, I wept in agony and longed for the days of natural boobs. And although I didn’t face major breastfeeding difficulties, I knew that supply issues and problems with let-down were real possibilities for me. This knowledge added to the already stressful job of feeding my new baby.
Breast implants also have a lifespan, and each year past the 10-to-15-year mark, their risk of rupturing increases. Mine are exactly 15 years old and have carried me through three children and over six years of breastfeeding. But between flailing kicks from a tantruming toddler, carefree jabs from a wild preschooler, and accidental knocks from a rough kindergartner, my breast implants have taken a lickin’. There have been days when I’ve anxiously waited to see whether or not my boob would slowly deflate after bearing the trauma of a poorly placed blow. And I fear the day when my implants reach their end and must be explanted or replaced.
But beyond these reasons, today I have a daughter. She is 2 years old, and every day I tell her, “You are beautiful—inside and outside. God made you just the way he wants you.”
I believe it, and I want her to believe it, too. I want her to love herself and feel good in her skin. I want her to know that her eventual cup size is in no way a reflection of her worth as a woman, and that beauty comes in a wide spectrum of measurements and forms. I wish someone would have told me the same all those years ago.
Listen, I’m all for individual rights, so if you have a deep burning desire to augment your bust, be my guest. I don’t begrudge you for wanting to enhance your appearance, and I know full well the feelings of self-consciousness that come with strongly disliking part of your body. I get it. And I certainly don’t want you telling me what to do with my boobs.
But today, I have the benefit of hindsight and the hard-earned wisdom of motherhood, and I can say unequivocally that I would strive to talk the 22-year-old version of me out of getting breast implants. “You’re perfect the way you are,” I would tell my younger self. “I mean it. Because while they’ll be cool for a while, the shimmer of augmented breasts is sure to fade away one day—especially after having kids.”