health

"I had a breast reduction surgery aged 19. And men hate me for it."

When I was 13 years old, I wished for the same thing most flat-chested teenage girls wish for: Boobs.

Boobs that were perfectly round and perky. Ones you’d see on blonde girls in red swimsuits as they ran down beaches in slow motion. Boobs that would bounce, jiggle, and give you the womanly figure that all men apparently desired. 

And apart from wishing for a boyfriend that looked like one of the members of One Direction, all I wanted in life was to have big boobs. 

And as I got older, I learned why people throw around that classic saying, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ 

Watch Charlotte Crosby talk about surgery on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here. Post continues after video.


Video via Network 10.

By 14, I had developed full C-cups. I had the biggest boobs out of all my friends who envied my struggles of having to change into a sports bra in Year 8 P.E. and going bra shopping with my mum. My boobs were like two little oranges. Perky, petite and zesty. 

The following year my oranges had turned into mangoes. I threw away my push-up bras and traded them in for under-wired brassieres to support my ample D-cups. In Year 9, a boy got the privilege of being the first person to touch my boobs behind the local aquatic centre. He thoughtfully pointed out that his last girlfriend had ‘only been a B-cup’ and my boobs were the ‘biggest he’d ever felt’. I was the luckiest girl in the world. 

Until I turned 16. My ripe mangoes had morphed into saggy melons. I learned that bra manufacturers must have run out of colourful dye when making bras larger than an E-cup. Bras in my size came in three colours. Beige, black, and a slightly lighter shade of beige. 

Whilst all my girlfriends were buying hot pink bralettes in Supré, I bought ridiculously overpriced supportive bras in the ‘Fuller Bust’ section in David Jones, browsing alongside women the same age as my grandmother. 

Image: Supplied. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Safety pins became my new best friend after I accidentally flashed my Year 10 English teacher as the sheer size of my boobs popped the buttons of my school blouse and sent them flying into her face.

In Year 11, I was cast as a lead in the school musical. Before trying on my costume, I heard the dreaded word no busty person ever wants to hear: Strapless.  

At this point, I was an F cup, and to fit into the beautiful white strapless dress the costume ladies had made me, I went through a process of binding my boobs with bandages, securing it with a ridiculous amount of sports tape, and finishing it off with a strapless spandex suit that eliminated any evidence of what my sister called ‘the butt on my chest’.  

I used to laugh at that one scene in the Breakfast Club where Molly Ringwald puts on lipstick using her boobs because at this point, I could’ve done my whole makeup routine using my knockers as a beauty blender.

If you looked at me from the side, I looked like the letter P.

I had bazonkers, chesticles, over-the-shoulder-boulders – whatever you want to call them. My boobs were huge. 

In Year 12 I was a full G-cup. I no longer referred to my breasts as anything resembling a circular shape. They looked like the balloons that clowns used to make balloon animals. They reached my upper abdomen, just above my belly button and disappeared into my armpits whenever I laid down. 

Sometimes at the end of the day, I’d take off my bra and find crumbs, earring-backs and little things that had fallen into the endless abyss that was my cleavage.

ADVERTISEMENT

Image: Supplied. 

At this point, I had developed chronic pain in my neck, shoulders and upper back. My posture was so horrible that I was diagnosed with mild scoliosis as a result of the large weight I had been carrying on my chest.  

I always felt guilty complaining about something that most teenagers desired. My friends would always tell me how lucky I was; I had amazing cleavage, tight tops always looked good on me, and they wish they had boobs like mine. 

But I hated my boobs. I hated that I couldn’t wear the pretty spaghetti strap dresses my friends wore to parties. I hated that I wore rashie tops to school swimming carnivals because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I always felt like I was quite literally carrying around this big shame on my chest.  

It was when I was 18 and a 12G that I started looking into breast reduction surgery. 

Speaking of surgery, here's everything you've ever wanted to know about Kelly McCarren's nose job. Post continues after podcast.

My breast reduction – A massive weight off my shoulders.

I had no idea even where to begin researching into breast reduction surgery until someone recommended a breast reduction Facebook group to me. And it was there I discovered 5,000 women just like me, all struggling with the same issues I had been for years. All my concerns were finally validated. 

There were girls my age who had gone from GG-cups to C-cups. There were women in their 50s who wished they had done it before having their three children. But the best part about the group was the support network – all these women congratulating each other on their surgeries, giving away their old bras, sharing their best post-op tips and recommending their surgeons. 

ADVERTISEMENT

And after reading all of these recommendations, I booked an appointment with my surgeon and got my breast reduction in October 2020.

The surgery itself is quite straightforward. It’s a three-hour day surgery with a one-night stay in hospital. Waking up after my surgery, I looked down and still being drowsy from all the anaesthesia, I turned to my mum and said, ‘I have itty bitty titties’.

Image: Supplied. 

Recovery took about three weeks. The first week was the hardest. The side effects from all the painkillers left me so constipated that it took NINE WHOLE DAYS before I made a single bowel movement. I couldn’t lift my arms above my head, so button-up tops became my favourite fashion accessory, along with the extremely sexy post-surgery bra that I had to wear for six weeks. 

Once the six weeks were up, I went on my first official shopping trip as a 19-year-old with C-cup boobies. I have to sincerely apologise to the worker at my local Supré who witnessed me crying happy tears after I finally got to purchase the one item that I had always wanted to wear as a big-busted teenager. I finally bought that spaghetti strap dress. (And, yes, I looked bloody amazing in it.)

Image: Supplied. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Only after getting the surgery did I realise how much easier life was without the additional 4.5kg that used to live on my chest. I could finally go on shopping trips with my friends because the clothes that were targeted to teenage girls actually fit me now.  

I was no longer confined to only looking at the ‘maternity bra’ section in Cotton On Body. I could run to catch the bus without giving myself a black eye in the process. My waistline was finally visible, and I realised I was actually quite petite – a word I had never used to describe myself before. 

I felt sexy, beautiful, and more confident in my own skin than I ever had before. Unfortunately, not everybody thought that way. 

The male opinion (that no-one asked for).

A few months ago, I made a TikTok sharing my story of getting a breast reduction, showing the sudden growth of my boobs from 14 to 18 through a series of old photos up to my surgery last year. The TikTok racked up over 450,000 views and 17,000 likes. However, it landed on the For You Pages of men who believed I had made a terrible decision. And they weren’t afraid to let me know.

Some of these helpful comments included:

  • Mutilate yourself for no reason. Must be forbidden.
  • It’s like slapping God in the face for giving you such a wonderful gift. 
  • There goes your golden age.
  • You went from gorgeous to invisible. I’m literally crying.
  • Went from 0 drinks to almost black out drunk.

And my personal favourite:

  • Could’ve just trained your back muscles if back pain was the problem, but no! Rather get surgery. Daddy pays!

Some of the comments even got into arguments about what age I looked my best, one commenter kindly noting that ‘I peaked at 14’.

@natkatpat

when people ask me why I got a breast reduction I show them this #firefox #breastreduction #breastreductionsurgery #sydney #fyp #xyzbca

♬ Fire Fox - :)

It makes me nervous to think there is a large community of people online who believe commenting on and sexualising teenage bodies is okay. And being 20 years old now, it’s crazy to realise that I was catcalled a lot more as a 14-year-old girl than I ever am today. In 2021, we still have a long way to go in changing society’s attitudes and opinions towards female bodies, especially teenage bodies. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Because the only person who needs to worry about your body is the person who is living in it. 

Maybe it was my spike in confidence after the surgery, or the fact that I no longer have massive breasts partially obstructing my vision, but I can now clearly look past any unwarranted remarks or opinions that people make about my appearance. 

Being a person who finally feels at home in her body (surgery scars and all), I couldn’t care less about what men (or anyone for that matter), has to say about my boobs. Especially because… they’re just boobs! We shouldn’t place any higher value on a person whose body developed a little more fatty tissue on their chest than the next person.

I love my boobs. Even when I had G-cups, I did have a special spot in my heart for my boobs. They were part of my ‘identitty’. And after going through with my surgery, I learned that there are always going to be people who want to have an opinion about our bodies. 

Whether you have itty-bitty titties or monstrous bazonkers (or have experienced both like I have) - we should be proud of what we look like and not let anyone else dictate that for us. 

Because now, nearly a year after getting my surgery, if a person ever makes unwarranted comments about my boobs, I just remember that the only ‘boob’ that is unlikeable, is them. 

Feature Image: Supplied. 

Calling all home-cooks! Like a $50 gift voucher for your thoughts? For your chance, take our quick survey  .
MMSurvey