From an early age I have always had boobs. That’s right — I said it. Boobs. Breasts, tits, tatas; I’ve heard them called every word in the book. Mine in particular have had many names over the years — most of which I don’t dare to say. I’d rather not remember.
In fourth grade, my mom took me bra shopping. She made it fun.
She acted like it was okay that I was developing so early.
I bought my first sports bra that day, but the humiliation at school the next day is all I remember. I can hardly recall the excitement of actually purchasing the bra the day before. You could see the bra outline through my uniform school shirt.
In middle school, the perverted, hormone-driven boys took notice. They were going through changes, too. “Boobs mean you have sex a lot,” one told me. Sometimes I’d go to the movies, and a boy would try to grab one in the opening credits.
I was a C cup. At age 13.
High school brought on more boys with bad intentions, and more clothes that didn’t fit my big bust. I was a D, then a DD.
Rounding out my time in high school I was becoming a DDD. My back pain was intense, and my self-confidence was at an all-time low.
I was very petite and I felt like my large breasts were the center of attention. They had come to define me. If I wore something too low cut, I looked slutty. Something too tight made me a whore. Something too concealing made me a prude. I had been told for my entire life to “put them away.” I couldn’t be myself because my breasts would make the first impression all by themselves.
In college, I became more unhappy with my body.
The summer before my sophomore year, I decided a breast reduction could be the answer to my problem.
I set up a consult to find that my insurance would cover it in full.
My family understood, but others didn’t.
Finally, during winter break, the day of my surgery came. I was at a hospital at 7 a.m. four days before Christmas, ready to have my boobs taken from a DDD to a C. I was so nervous — but mostly excited. I woke up after surgery in a fog; I was taken home with an ace bandage over lumps on my chest that looked like the ones from my middle school days.
A week later, my bandages were removed. I cried for a solid ten minutes when I saw my new breasts. I had never been happier. I could already see myself wearing the V-necks I was never allowed to put on, and the dresses that my mom made me put back in high school.
This surgery has already had a dramatic effect on my life.
I have a confidence I never had before, and for once, my body is my own. My breast reduction was for me and no one else.
I will never have others label me for what I cannot control. This surgery gave me the courage to put my foot down and tell the world one thing: I am not an object. My breasts do not define me.
Miranda P. Culver is a Kentucky girl at heart with big city dreams. An avid clarinetist and full time musician. A lover of Kentucky Basketball and French fries. Her dogs are her best friends.