Plastic Fantastic

21 Aug

Letterbalm Venus de MiloDear LetterBalm: I want bigger breasts. There. I said it. Since high school, I’ve been disgusted by what I see in the mirror. My breasts look like two little quilt squares, like the breasts of a 10-year-old girl. I’m 28 now, and I’ve saved my money to get breast enlargement. I don’t want anything extreme, just some decent cleavage so I can wear clothes better and feel good about myself in a swimsuit. I made the mistake of telling my family, and now they’re in my face about how plastic surgery is for phonies and how I’ll attract the wrong kind of guys. My mother had a meltdown last week about how I was rejecting her as my “natural mother”, whatever that means. I need to move ahead and stop this nonsense.

–Tit for Tat

Ms. L.B. dislikes the term “plastic surgery.” Body image is a pervasive issue today, and it shouldn’t be dismissed as skin-deep. You have valid concerns, and you have the means to do something. Do your research, find the best cosmetic surgeon you can afford (and grill his/her former patients about their results), enlist at least one trusted friend to see you through the process, and talk through your issues and concerns with your doctor and/or your therapist until you’re 100 percent satisfied before you go under the knife. A reputable surgeon will be supportive and answer all your questions. Your doctor will want to have reasonable assurance that you aren’t experiencing body dysmorphic disorder, where a patient is obsessed with an imagined bodily defect. And, say this to the boobs in your family:

Folks, there’s been entirely too much talk about my breasts these days. I’m having the surgery, paying for it myself and finding the best cosmetic surgeon to do it. There will be a painful recovery period, and I’m prepared for that. I have been anguishing over my body since I was in middle school, and now I can take steps to change this. I had hoped you’d understand and support me and not make this about you and your ideas about cosmetic surgery. What I’m doing doesn’t mean I love any of you any less. I will always love you all to pieces, you know that. But it also means I won’t discuss this again, and I won’t be drawn into silly arguments about my body. End of story.

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