I have fake boobs.
[Pauses for dramatic effect]
I grew up surrounded by well endowed female adults. On top of that, I was a reasonably solid build. So I took it for granted that I too would hit that magical, awful, awkward stage of puberty, and come out of it somewhat unscathed, and sporting a fabulous pair of my own knockers. But the damn things wouldn’t grow.
Well, one of them did, somewhat more than the other. So I sort of had one boob, but even that boob was pretty disappointing. I would optimistically say that I was capable of filling out a ‘B’ cup, but the reality was that the only thing filling it out was the shoulder pads I had cut out of an op shop blouse that I had bought because it was “totally grunge”. I hid my shame, and my lumpy, shoulder pad filled bras, under baggy band t-shirts, and flannelette shirts from Lowes – it was the 90’s and I was the epitome of 90’s angsty teen fashion. I convinced myself that I was a late bloomer.
I was not a late bloomer.
My state of flat-chestedness became an all-consuming preoccupation. I would not wear singlets, they were too hard to pad convincingly. I loved playing sports, but I hated wearing sports bras- they took what little I had, and made it non existent. So I wore padded bras under sports bras, much to the amusement of teammates when it was discovered. Even as I grew into a young adult, I was painfully aware of my titless status, and my wardrobe was carefully and painstakingly chosen to conceal my exiguous chest- draped tops, halter necks, cowl necks, any neck, as long as it alluded to the illusion of breast tissue.
Being a titless wonder affected me socially. I was terrified of intimacy. I would complain to my friends that I was perennially single, while simultaneously sabotaging any opportunites of the relationship kind that arose. I was terrified, that if I let a man too close, he would discover my secret, and that I would be exposed, both physically, and as the breast fraud that I was. It terrified me right through the first couple of years of my relationship with the man who became my husband.
It wasn’t just the lack of cleavage. I am tall, broad of shoulder, and until having three kids, reasonably slim of hip in comparison. I had other friends as titless as me, but they made up for their lack of breast with distinctly feminine figures, broad hips, narrow waists, slender legs. It felt to me that I had lost the lady lottery, in all respects. Instead of curves, I had leg muscles and a pair of shoulders that could carry a small fridge with ease. As practical as that may be, I felt epically ripped off.
On more than one occasion, I was addressed by a stranger as “sir”.
It probably didn’t help that I worked in a traditionally male industry. It also didn’t help that this industry required me to wear a uniform that was pretty masculine in appearance.
Most of the time, when a random male (it was always men) addressed me as such, it was usually to my back, and they would recoil in embarassment the minute they realised, apologising profusely, muttering about my hair being tucked under my cap, or something similar, as they made their hasty retreat. But occasionally, the commenter was a real arsehole, and would laugh in my face. Or even worse, call out to their mate.
“Oi, Davo! It’s not a ‘he’, it’s a ‘she’!!!!”
“No shit, Bazza!”
Chuckle, chortle, snigger. You get it.
I mean, it didn’t happen often. But it bloody well did happen.
At 25 years old, I did what I always promised, and nobody expected: I took myself off to the hospital, and got myself a boob job. It wasn’t a secret. It was a celebration. I gave my boobs a party, complete with champagne and a titty cake. I bought them a new wardrobe, complete with padding-free bras, and plunging necked tops. I wore those silicone beauties with pride and confidence.
I’m 34 now, and I have had fantastic boobs for nearly ten years. Three pregnancies have definitely changed them. I still love them. The shiny newness has worn off, and these days I guess it isn’t common knowledge that my assets are far from natural. Generally, when I mention my boob job in passing conversation, it is met with complete surprise.
“Wait……. whaaaaaaat? You had a boob job?!?!!!”
[look of shock] “You’re kidding me, right? You?”
“Can I touch them?”
“You have fake boobs? But you don’t seem like the type!”
I get the last one a lot. I’m not ‘the type’. Since I have fake boobs, I guess I am ‘the type’, but I do understand what they mean. ‘The type’ is pretty, perfect. With a 365 day spray tan. ‘The type’ always has their eyebrows waxed, fingers manicured. ‘The type’ doesn’t only wear makeup when she can be arsed to slap it on, she artfully applies it every day. Her hair is shiny and straight, and is only shoved back into a pony tail while she does yoga in a fancy gym. ‘The type’ is always dressed in clothing that is 100% on trend. No, I am certainly not ‘the type’.
I also find that people like to question why I bought boobs. Like, did I do it to attract men? No, I really didn’t. I was already in a long term relationship, with a man who already loved me. I didn’t need boobs for that. I have even been asked if I was trying to prove something – a question which confused me. Prove what? And to whom? Again, no. Not the reason.
I did it because when I looked in the mirror, the person who stared back didn’t look like me. In my mind’s eye, I had breasts, not porn-star big, but big enough, all along. I did it because I was tired of feeling like my body didn’t accurately represent the person I wanted it to. I did it because I am a woman. I did it because I wanted to.
Plenty of people find the idea of plastic surgery abhorrent. I am sure that many people who are reading this think that I’m vain. Or conceited. That’s OK.
I don’t care.
You can think what you want, about me, about my silicone breasts. It doesn’t actually matter to me. Because my boobs are one of the best damn things I have ever done in my life. I’m proud of them. Proud of myself for making the decision to do what I wanted.
This is my body. I am privileged enough that I had the chance to do what I wanted with it. I still have that privilege every day – I dye my hair bright purple, wear the clothes that make me feel happy. I don’t have tattoos (I’m pointedly ignoring my obligatory tramp stamp), but I wouldn’t discount me getting some in the future. They are my choices to make. My choices. My body.
Plastic surgery is more common these days, even more than it was ten years ago. You can get rid of your mummy tummy, buy a designer vagina. You can even get the fat sucked out of your arse, and injected into your breasts, like every old joke about migrating fat turned into reality. And perhaps, it isn’t for you.
But maybe it is, and that’s OK too.