Monday, March 26, 2012
I can't believe I am about to write the following sentence.
I am 2 days away from having a boob job.
Actually scrap that. It’s not the writing of the sentence which I find so preposterous, of course it’s not. I just find it hard to believe I am actually going to have surgery to enhance that which God chose not to bless me with. I mean ME - the woman who has been so outspokenly against cosmetic surgery of nearly every description. Not that I don’t believe in a woman’s right to choose, of course. But I have always assumed these women to be fairly vacuous, highly impressionable and most definitely shallow.
Judgemental? Moi? Yep, that would be me in a nutshell.
And now this 180 degree turnaround. What on earth is going on? Fucking hell, the outstanding selfishness and vanity of this decision! It is so grandly out of character. So hypocritical. And in making this decision - which I have to admit has been incredibly swift and without great deliberation - I feel overwhelmingly liberated.
Boob job. Ugh...I really do hate that moniker. In my own head I prefer to quash the pop culture terminology and use ‘Breast Augmentation’ instead. Sounds much more Guardian and far less The Sun, don’t you agree? Far more like the type of procedure an educated, literate, elegant woman of the world would decide upon, rather than the next 20-something hopeful for TOWIE. After all, I am far more Claudia Winkleman or Zoe Ball than Amy Childs. Aren’t I? (Though admittedly less successful, not as well connected, hardly to be described as a household name, definitely not rich and only as good looking when viewed with a squint after a skinful.)
I appreciate I am kidding myself. It all amounts to the same thing. The words themselves are pretty immaterial. In just 2 days time I will no longer be able to claim that what you see is all a result of Mother Nature. My boobs will be man-made. I will have false tits. My God, I will have TITS. Period. Oh, Naomi Wolf and Germaine Greer you can shoot me now...because I am having a boob job and I can’t bloody wait.
Maybe one of the reasons I don’t align myself with the term boob job is simply because I have never equated my body with ever having boobs. Boobs imply big breasts, in my mind. Ample bosoms of page 3 proportions at the very least. Boobs imply cleavage can be generated without the wire and gel reinforcement of Victoria’s Secret most enhancing brassiere (of which I own a bloody drawer full...my God, it is going to be a distinct pleasure to finally burn them all).
I do not currently have boobs. I have breasts. Small breasts. Not exactly non-existent (my previous descriptions of two raisins on a rib cage is a slight exaggeration, I confess) but hardly what you would call a decent handful either. Well, certainly not a grown adult’s handful, that’s for sure. I have always been quite self conscious about their lack of volume...although read enough feminist literature in my 20‘s to appreciate this should never be acknowledged aloud lest my persona as a woman confident in her own sexuality was diminished.
Secretly, I always wished my breasts were bigger but at the same time was grateful not to be lumbered with hulking great mammary glands which hampered my athletic nature. Given the two extremes (small vs. massive) I reassured myself I was glad to be on the small side. Or so I thought.
Then I got pregnant in my mid-30‘s and the boob fairy finally made an appearance...and it was amazing. Revelatory. My whole perception of my body changed. My breasts looked - well, to be honest they looked bloody marvellous. Even when copiously engorged and mapped with blue veins they were, in my view, absolutely spectacular.
I went from an A cup to a fully jettisoned C and, all of a sudden, I understood what all the fuss was about. Why men are driven to distraction. Why women are pre-occupied with their boobs and the lack or abundance of them. My husband - supposedly more of a ‘leg man’ - was fascinated and enthralled.
Now I had them I finally understood the attraction and lure of them.
My god, they were so compelling I could have stared at them all day and - given that I was on bed rest for 4 months - sometimes I did just that. I have never spent so much time top-less in front of mirrors, in my life. Once I was breast-feeding, many more people got to stare at them because I would pop out those puppies at any given opportunity.
During that time I felt a confidence in my body that I had just never experienced before. So sensual, so motherly, so feminine, so womanly, so powerful. My body had a sense of proportion that it had always been missing, I just hadn’t realised it. I felt infinitely different about myself. Softer. Sexier. I couldn’t deny the fact that I really loved having fuller breasts. It was galling, given my overt and typically outspoken feminist stance on female sexuality, and something I didn’t even want to fully acknowledge, even to myself.
Now, here I am over 6 years later. A single parent. Two incredible sons and much in my life to be grateful for. I am healthy, I am happy, I feel inherently confident and optimistic about life. I don’t have any underlying angst about my body. In fact, quite the opposite.
So why a boob job and why now?
I guess I could list a myriad of reasons, both emotional and rational, which have led to this decision. But at the end of the day, most of them would be a combination of bollocks and flannel. I just suddenly realised - in a flash of clarity and honesty - that I wanted them. That I really wanted to spend the rest of my life enjoying the novelty of having fuller breasts. It was like making a decision usually credited to a selfish child. I want them. I have the means to buy them. Sod it, I’m going to stop denying my latent desire and I will have them.
I think being in America for so many years has influenced this decision. Most of my American girlfriends consider invasive and non-invasive cosmetic surgery a normal part of their beauty routine from their mid-30’s onwards. Botox and fillers are commonplace and as standard as getting your teeth cleaned every 6 months. I felt I was taking a stand for global female beauty by refusing steadfast to participate. My girlfriends didn’t care. (Well...it didn’t register in their facial expression if they did...)
Two of my friends - both mums - had boob jobs. I was quite vehemently against the idea. But I was surprised at the simplicity and speed of the procedure and the relative ease of the recovery. I was even more stunned by the results. As much as it pained me to acknowledge, their new breasts were gorgeous and much more natural looking than I had envisaged false boobs to be. Even more interestingly, these women - both intelligent, funny, well-rounded individuals who were amazing mothers - were deeply happy with the results. And within just a matter of months, their new boobs were just...well, their boobs. No more a novelty. It was as if they had always been a part of them.
And in the years to come, that’s how I envisage my new breasts to be. Just a part of me, as if they had always been there. Something that I no longer have to give much thought to, one way or the other.
I look at my body appraisingly in the mirror and it is strange to think that in 2 days time my silhouette will change forever. I am overcome with curiosity and a deep seated sense of anticipation. I’m pretty certain it’s not going to change my life. At this moment in time I am not sure it is going to change anything apart from my cup size. But I can’t help but be excited.
Slightly mortified that this radical *cough* feminist is changing her stance, almost on a whim? Yes, but predominantly liberated it has to be said.
Bring ‘em on.