A Letter to My Breasts

Well, this is it. My surgery has arrived. I’ve been anxious for weeks. I sit here writing this knowing my breasts will be emptied out tomorrow and my hands are shaking. But first I wanted to address the elephant in the room. Something no one really says that’s obvious so let’s just get it out there. Alright. Here it is…I have big boobs.

Some backstory: I developed at an early age. Some people said I was “blessed” but I thought it was a curse. I was a C cup by 12-years-old. In 6th grade, a boy grabbed my boobs on a dare because my classmates thought I stuffed my bra. I screamed in pain and saw the shock on his face turn to pure awe. A friend would get mad at me for wearing tank tops around her boyfriend because he’d stare. A male classmate gave me a mean nickname that made his buddies laugh. Teachers would reprimand me for wearing tight tops because it “distracted” the boys but really it was just hard finding clothes that fit me properly. And any time a guy asked me out, I didn’t know if he was actually interested in me or just wanted to see how far he could get so he could brag in the locker room.

My entire life I’ve been programmed to feel hate, shame or embarrassment about my body by the people around me. Clearly I couldn’t help it; they kept growing. My freshman year of high school I was a D cup then by senior year a DD. For over 10 years, I was a 38DDD and my weight would fluctuate but I never lost anything up top. Then last summer I lost over 20 lbs (not really healthy as I was severely depressed) and for the first time ever I went down a bra size. I’ve been a 36DDD since July.

Now, I’m older and wiser and I think that’s why I’m so outspoken and loud – it’s compensating for my teen years when I was so passive and meek. Looking back I should’ve slapped Brian for grabbing my chest. I would’ve told my friend to get after her shitty boyfriend. I’d tell the teachers to inform the boys they should respect their female classmates. Those things weren’t my fault and my only power was how I dealt with it.

A month ago I was at Top Golf with friends when I first heard the word “previvor.” My friend Brittany said “that’s what you are” so I looked it up. The word is defined as “individuals who are survivors of a predisposition to cancer but who haven’t had the disease. This group includes people who carry a hereditary mutation, a family history of cancer, or some other predisposing factor.

I’ve hated my body for over 20 years of my life. But that day when I learned of the word previvor, something switched. I looked down at my chest and really appreciated what I had. I’m giving up my breasts for a chance that something will happen. I felt a genuine sadness and loss for what’s being taken away because there’s also a chance it won’t happen. Having a large chest is part of my identity and I feel like I’m losing who I am. Whenever I meet a person and someone is asked to describe me, they’re like, “Oh that girl with the big boobs.” What I am going to be now when they’re different? Will people even recognize me?

It wasn’t until two years ago I truly started to embrace my body. As I learned how to enjoy my assets, I began wearing low-cut tops and fitted dresses. I have my friend Stephanie Colorado to thank for helping me feel more confident in my skin. Now, I appreciate my breasts giving me an identity and allowing me to stand out. I’m not ashamed anymore and love my body. I’m only sorry it’s taken so long and such drastic measures to get to this point but I’m here now and that’s what matters.

So, the day before my surgery, I wrote a letter to my breasts and wanted to share it with you:

To my family and friends, I love you so much. And thank you to you for always being there.

All my Love, Jess

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