The pressure to get a reduction

Disclaimer: I am not bashing women who chose to have a reduction for whatever reason. It is a very personal decision and I assume they have put some thought into it. That being said, it would be quite nice if they could educate their siblings, nieces and nephews and all and let them know that it is not appropriate to tell a complete stranger how breast reduction changed the life of their sister, aunt or whatever for the better…

Maybe I’m wrong but I have a feeling that small chested women don’t get told to “just get surgery”, neither do people with a very big nose, or women with lots of cellulite. While cosmetic surgery is usually somewhat taboo or looked down upon, breast reduction seem to get a free pass. “It’s different”, you hear time and time again, supposedly because reductions are motivated by “purer” reasons than augmentations or other so called “vain” procedures.

“Women get reductions to avoid catcalls and street harassment.” I guess that’s why I’ve been told, as a teenager, that I should “just get a reduction” and not complain about catcalls, sort of implying that not cutting your body is asking for it. Nice. I happen to think that all women and girls deserve respect, regardless of their size and shape.

“Women get reductions to be able to find bras and clothes that fit”. That is, litteraly, to fit in. While I’m not blaming women who are tired of fighting, what about changing the industry? My motto is that clothes should be cut to fit bodies, not the other way around.

And my very favourite. “Women get reductions because big boobs cause back pain”. It is my observation that back pains are caused first and foremost by bad posture. Now, I’m not saying that a large chest may not agravate that or that a reduction may not relieve it. But plenty of tall men have back pain as a result of bad posture. Funnily enough, nobody suggests that we make them shorter by cutting a piece of their legs or something. Truth is plenty of large chested women don’t have back pain, even when wearing ill-fitting bras, while plenty of men and small chested women have back problems. I wish that people wouldn’t jump to conclusion and assume that anyone with a D+ bust has a damaged spine.

Some time ago, on a predominantly female board, I started a thread for busty women to share bra tips, rants, fitness advice, etc. I prefaced it saying that I wanted to keep it positive and without any talk about reduction. A few pages down, some woman checked in basically saying “Hi, I’m an A cup and I was wondering if any of you considered getting a reduction”. I don’t know. It just seems to be shoved down our throats. A lot.

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19 Responses to The pressure to get a reduction

  1. Darlene says:

    To hear this perspective from someone who is an H+ is SO refreshing. THANK YOU!

  2. astrid says:

    Thanks, Darlene! That’s a topic I feel very strongly about. There are a thousand reasons why people get plastic surgery, but ultimately, most people just want to feel better in their skin, something they would find easier if they didn’t get told constantly that their body needs fixing.

  3. Bras I Hate says:

    AH! This! Yes! I used to long for a reduction when I was 18-20. My mom was supportive but suggested that I think it over for a couple of years. I am so glad I waited because I ultimately came to love my boobs and will keep them for life. But more importantly, I eventually realized that the reasons I wanted a reduction were all wrong. I wanted a reduction because I felt like a monster–my insecurity was verging on body dysmorphia and I was convinced that everyone was repulsed by big boobs. I thought I would never have a boyfriend because guys seemed to hate big boobs so MUCH. (I know, it’s the opposite of what most people experience, right??) I never got any compliments or even catcalls or pervy comments, just a few females saying “That’s so weird. What do your bras look like?” These things were really the only reasons that I hated my boobs, and once I grew out of my body hatred, I realized my insecurities weren’t founded. I still hate the fact that no one ever told me my body was nice when I was young enough that it would have really made a difference to me. I guess people were trying not to make me feel uncomfortable. Anyway, it really saddens me to read of young girls getting reductions when they are as young as 16, 17. So many of those girls never get the right guidance or the right time to properly make a serious choice which is for life. The worst is when women get breast reductions without ever learning about proper bra sizing–someone who should be in a 30GG will obviously be miserable in a 38DD but lots of people never learn that, and doctors don’t know that. I do believe there are plenty of “right” reasons to get a reduction but plenty of women still get them for the “wrong” reasons.

  4. Hater, I think your mom is awesome for both supporting you and encouraging you to wait. You’re so lucky to have avoided catcalls and pervy comments, but I think lots of big-busted teen grow up feeling the same as you did. Big boobs are not depicted as beautiful but as sexual. When I was younger, I was quite convinced that small perky breasts were what was considered aesthetically pleasant by most people and if someone had claimed the opposite, I would have thought they were being insincere.

  5. Alcestis says:

    I can’t say I agree that small-chested women don’t get told to have surgery. Growing up, I was small-chested, and I was often told to get implants by friends and a boyfriend (I’m kicking myself that I stayed with him for two years). I was teased, and made to feel like less of a woman because I lacked what other females had.
    I think that breasts are something many people don’t have qualms about criticising. They’re always too big, too small, too saggy, etc. And yet, it’s uncomfortable to compliment a person’s breasts? Of course we’ll develop self-image issues.

    • astrid says:

      Thanks for your perspective. I’m sorry you had to go through this. I hope I didn’t come across as saying that small breasted women and especially teen-aged girls don’t get teased, sometimes viciously so. I just thought (hoped) people didn’t push surgery on them, because they could not pretend to worry about their health and because breasts augmentations are somewhat looked down upon.

  6. Luiza says:

    That might have to do with how most people feel that a woman’s body can be discussed freely, like it’s no big deal. Everyone can have an opinion about a woman’s body, as if it was public property… it is part of everyday behaviours, but it is, of course, very damaging. We’re never going to be perfect. Someone will always tell you that you’re not thin enough, you’re not busty enough, that your butt is too big, your boobs too saggy.

    Of course this goes down to how ridiculously sexist the world we live in is, where a woman’s body is seen as public property. Unfortunately this is something even harder to eradicate than badly fitting bras đŸ˜¦

  7. Ms. Pris says:

    WRT to back pain and bad posture, I used to have really good posture, and then my boobs grew. I struggle with posture now: they are heavy and drag my body down. I have back pain when I try to maintain good posture, not when it’s bad. A good bra helps, but it doesn’t reduce the total weight of these things.

    • astrid says:

      Yes, and I’m sure you are not the only one. I just think that it is not as common as it is portrayed to be. I once had a doctor insist that I MUST have back pain because of my breasts. After, I told her for the third time that I didn’t, she said I would once I would get pregnant (not that I said anything about planning on babies). I ended up lecturing her about self-fulfilling prophecy and how she might convince her perfectly healthy patients that they have back pain by repeating it over and over.

      • Ms. Pris says:

        Wow, what a rude doctor! I have never encountered assumption that my breasts are a problem, but the whole “Oh you WILL have problems” is extremely condescending. So is the assumption that you will be pregnant. I’m glad you talked back đŸ™‚

  8. Dominique says:

    Well I’m 15 and I just had my baby about 4 months ago and I’ve always had big breasts and my mom says there not “normal” and she set up all these appointments and I’m approved and my date is on September 7. But the thing is I’m afraid. I don’t want to regret this. Im already really insecure about my weight. And I feel like when I go down to a B I’ll look really odd since I’m currently a DD. or what if I get is surgery and my boobs grow back? What will my classmates say? I need advice

    • astrid says:

      Wow, Dominique, I’m sorry you have to go through this. There is no such a thing as a “normal” size. You might wanna read this post on the subject and maybe share it with your mom http://blog.lindasonline.com/2012/07/17/braducation-tips-whats-a-normal-cup-size-for-teens/
      While a breast reduction might be a good thing for some women, I don’t believe anybody should get one at age 15. You are still developping and yes, chances are they will grow back. You might also lose the ability to breastfeed a child or sensation in your nipples, not to mention that breast reduction is a major surgery. In any case, you can still have one in a few years if you (and not your mom, your boyfriend or anybody else) want to. It is your one and only body and the decision is for you to make.
      Lots of big-breasted women considered surgery in their teens and are glad they have not gone through it.

    • Hey Dominique, I have to agree with astrid on this one. You should wait this out, at least till you are 20. Your body will change a lot — also, now after having the baby your body needs time to recover (it takes 1 to 2 years for a body to get back to “normal” after having a baby), so don’t stress it with surgery. Also, you might have problems with feeding the baby. Anyway, there are chances that your body might change in the coming years — you might lose the pregnancy weight, and your breast size might go down during nursing. I’ve been pregnant twice, and believe me — the size I had 4 months postpartum was much different to the one I had 12 months postpartum.
      Also, are you wearing the right bra size? Most women don’t even the ones that have been correctly fitted. Here is a nice guide: http://boosaurusbras.blogspot.de/p/bra-fitting.html
      Wearing the right size will lift your breasts and make you look optically slimmer.
      There is no such thing as a “B” or a “DD” cup — cup size is relative to band size, so a 28DD will have much smaller cups than a 34DD. And a 36B has a bigger cup than a 28DD!
      I think you should tell your mom that you’d prefer to wait till you are a little bit older. It’s your body, don ‘t let anyone else decide what to do about it.

    • Sweets says:

      I’m really sorry you feel stuck in this situation, Dominique. I agree with prior commenters that you absolutely should tell your mother of your fears. If your mom wants more information, http://www.amazon.com/Busted-FabFoundations-Guide-Flatter-Fantastic/dp/1936984040/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344690913&sr=8-1&keywords=busted+ali+cudby is a really, really great book that talks about bras and breast health, and might open your mother’s eyes to reality that boobs come in many, many different sizes, none of them “abnormal”. In response to a mother who wrote to ask her about a reduction for her daughter, the author writes:
      “Please don’t rush a teenager into a breast reduction, even if she is uncomfortable with her breasts. Your daughter’s body is still developing, and she may want the chance to make this irreversible decision
      for herself. Wearing quality bras that fit will keep your daughter supported and comfortable, which will play a significant role in what she decides to do. While a G-cup may seem large to you, your daughter will benefit from finding the right bra for her, and feeling reassured that you love her and respect her for exactly who she is. In my experience, supporting a positive self-image will be more beneficial than any surgery.”
      I question why your mother wants you to undertake the financial and potentially emotional costs of surgery at such a young age, and I absolutely agree that waiting on surgery, considering your fears, your age, and your new baby will probably be a wise decision. I hope everything goes well.

    • bybabysrules says:

      You are in such a difficult situation. I was in the opposite, like a commenter above. I had no breasts through school and was often teased about getting implants. In reality it was something I wanted, but I put off doing it for years because I didn’t want to look like I gave in to that pressure. But I did what I wanted! You are young still, but you have to be able to stand up for what you want..
      Like others have told you, your breasts are in for a whole world of change. I’m pregnant now and at times I’m completely shocked at how my body and breasts are changing. That will be the same once my baby is born. Add that to the fact that you still have years of normal development and it is hard to say how your breasts will end up by the time you are in your mid 20s. A woman’s breasts are changing through her entire adult life, from her teens past through menopause.
      I’d highly suggest searching for some patient support resources. There is a lot of you to consider. How will it change your ability to breast feed future children? What is the likelihood that your breasts are still growing? Will they grow back? How will the scar tissue change the look of my breasts? Most importantly, anything and everything that you are concerned about. You shouldn’t feel pressured into doing this, even if you are a minor. It should be about what you want, not your parents or your classmates.
      And please try and get a good bra fitting! It may help you (and your mother) feel better about how your breasts look. The size may be a shock, but the support and confidence you’ll gain in a properly fitted bra may change some thoughts on whether or not a reduction is right for you at this stage in your life.

    • The other ladies have given you some wonderful information, Dominique, and I agree that 15 is not a good age to have a breast reduction. Several of my customers have had the surgery before, and they have all mentioned that it is painful with a longer recovery time—something you don’t need with a four month old child. Furthermore, in many cases, breast tissue will return, and the surgery will have been for naught. Share some of these resources with you mom and encourage her to take you for a proper bra fitting. A bra that fits well can act as a minimizer and will ensure you stay comfortable and supported throughout the day. *hugs*

    • Big breasts are perfectly normal and your body is still changing! Please don’t get surgery if it’s not something that you really want to do!

      In fact, you should try a really well-fitting bra before doing anything. Try out this calculator: http://sophisticatedpair.com/bracalculator.htm. It’s usually pretty accurate. And don’t worry if it says that you’re above a DD cup, I currently wear a 28HH (US 28L), and I’m not huge!

      I really hope this helps! Feel free to message me on facebook if you want to talk. My facebook name is Queue Lyla.

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