Self Love and Cosmetic Surgery
I posted a photo on my Instagram account earlier this year about the fact that I had a breast augmentation. It’s something that not a lot of women feel the need to talk about, which is completely understandable, but I like to talk about everything - so here we are!
Cosmetic surgery is such a controversial subject and I felt I had to constantly defend my choice - not because people were being judgemental to my face, but because I was judging myself based on societies view on elective surgery. Society has made a huge shift towards self love, spirituality, feminism and body positivity, which is amazing! But I always felt there was an undercurrent of disapproval from all of the “woke” folks, that I must have low self esteem, don’t love myself and had to change my natural body to be happy. I’m going to fill you in on what lead me to having surgery & why it’s important to realise that we all deserve to make these choices without being judged.
If you’ve read previous posts you will know that I had a very difficult time throughout my pregnancies and suffered with Hypermesis Gravidarum. I was on a high dose of steroid to stop me from vomiting, which had the side effect of rapid weight gain. I breast fed my first born for 15 months and absolutely loved the bond we shared. My second baby was born with a cleft lip and palate and couldn’t breastfeed, I made the decision to pump full time for him until he was healed from his last surgery at 9 months old. Obviously this had a massive effect on my mental health, my sleep, my breasts and my weight. I was sitting down 90% of the time to pump and feed, I wasn’t able to attend many social events as I would have to bring all of my pumping equipment, special bottles, steriliser and all of the taping that bub required and my boobs were basically being sucked half way down a pump majority of the time. I was in survival mode for almost the entire first year of his life, all I kept thinking was that once he turned one he wouldn’t need my breast milk anymore and we could start to live life again.
Long story short, as soon as I stopped living in survival mode I completely shut down, I felt like a part of my personality had decided to check out for a while. I had such high anxiety and I felt I had too much energy, I joined a gym to help with that but I became obsessive. The weight started to fall off and I had never been so fit in my whole life. But I wasn’t happy - my marriage was suffering and I couldn’t engage with my kids because I was almost manic. When I looked at myself in the mirror I didn’t recognise the person staring back at me, I couldn’t connect with myself because I was acting like a stranger. I had felt so completely out of control for years that I found comfort in controlling myself, controlling how my body looked and trying to get it back to feeling like “me”. I had lost all of the baby weight and the only part of me that I couldn’t get back was my breasts. It wasn’t only the fact that pumping had made them smaller, every time I looked at them I thought of them as milk machines. I remembered the hours upon hours of pumping and it made me feel physically ill, I wasn’t even comfortable being naked in front of my husband. Pumping 8-10 times per day for 9 months had changed how I felt about my breasts and I felt I needed to do something to help me see them differently.
I had the surgery in 2016 and absolutely love how they look, I feel so comfortable naked and am able to fill out clothes that would otherwise be gaping. I can honestly say that having the surgery has been life changing for me. In the first few months of having surgery there were a lot of articles coming out about Breast Implant Illness, and while I don’t discredit these women and their experiences, I haven’t had any issues as yet. It is important that we are aware of these things but also not let them change our personal experience. I started to freak out after hearing all of these stories and blamed a completely seperate health issue on my breast implants, after a few months I was able to determine that the health issue had nothing to do with the implants at all and was able to seek proper medical treatment instead of freaking out about having to have the implants removed.
I also questioned, is it spiritual to have cosmetic surgery? I’m not sure, but I feel spiritual and more connected with myself now than before the surgery. It’s almost like something clicked for me and I started to get well mentally after healing from the surgery. I stopped obsessively exercising and started to enjoy having a curvier figure, my relationship with my partner improved as I felt comfortable within myself again. Obviously these were all in conjunction with other things - seeing a therapist and starting to incorporate meditation and more self love practices into my life, but the difference within myself was what drove me to make those changes. The so called “perfect spiritual image” is just as judgemental and unattainable as the perfect physical body is.
I feel like you should be able to say yes to whatever you need in the moment, at that particular time in my life I wanted to feel sexy again, to feel feminine, to feel like myself again after years of giving up EVERYTHING to have my children. And when the time comes to have the implants replaced or removed I honestly feel I will have no issues having them removed later on in life, not because I don’t like them but because having them has really shifted how I view my body. Then again, I may want to rock a fuller chest till I’m 80! But it’s MY choice and I try to not let others opinions bother me. The only person who was living that nightmare was me, the only person that is allowed to make choices regarding my body is me. And above all - I need to make choices that make ME feel truly happy and whole.
Note for all of the men - when I’ve had an open discussion with men regarding breast implants, majority of them have stated that they don’t agree with breast implants, they prefer a “naturally” beautiful woman, they could never be with someone with breast implants, and the list goes on. But because of societies standards and ideas surrounding beauty- the natural beauty they want is not as natural as they perceive and certainly not inclusive of all bodies.
Men say they want natural beauty, girls that don’t wear makeup etc etc but then in the same turn women are expected to be hairless, nice skin, long hair, rosy cheeks- all things that’s don’t necessarily come naturally to everyone. Saying that natural beauty is better isn’t uplifting; it’s just another version of policing & judging women and the choices they make with their own bodies and appearance and perpetuating the importance of ‘beauty’. We set these super high standards of what is beautiful then crucify anyone that isn’t miraculously born that way and wants to attain it by other means-makeup, surgery, hair dye, whatever. If you’re reading this and you’re a male, I would like you to put yourself in my shoes (because I can only share my experience.) Imagine YOU are the one who has to carry a child, imagine YOUR body changing so much that it’s unrecognisable, imagine being unable to carry that child without a ridiculous amount of medication, but still feel like you’re stuck on a boat with the worst sea sickness ever for 9 WHOLE MONTHS. Then of course the joys of childbirth, feeding and no sleep ever. And after all that you’ve sacrificed you’re left with empty, saggy boobs. But because in real life you don’t have breasts, imagine it’s your penis. Your penis has shrunk to half it’s size, its shrivelled and saggy ALL THE TIME and just isn’t how you remember your beautiful penis to be pre kids! If you’re cool with your new but smaller penis, AWESOME. But if you’re not and you would like to have a very common procedure done that will help you feel more comfortable within yourself - you should be able to do that without any judgement. Just a little something to think about.
Wow, that was a lot more in depth than I had expected it to be, but I suppose I feel very passionate about this subject. Thank you for taking the time to read, don’t let others judgement bring you down - do what is right for you, because no one else has lived your experiences.