Should you get a breast reduction?
Colossal cans, humongous hooters, tatas ’til Tuesday… Suzann Paterson, 46, has heard it all. The married mother of two from Oakville, Ont., has always found such euphemisms somewhat offensive, but tries to see them as silly-worthy of an eye-roll, say, versus an icy glare. She’s happy those days are behind her and the comments are no longer being directed at her.
Suzann hails from a long line of large-breasted women. “All of the women on my mom’s side are large breasted. In fact, we jokingly call it the family curse. But for me, it wasn’t funny. I hated having big boobs, and by the time I was in my mid-20s I couldn’t stand it anymore.” So just over 20 years ago, she had a breast reduction-and it changed her life.
For those who wish their breasts were bigger, it may be hard to wrap your head around why a woman would want to go down in size. After all, aren’t big breasts attractive? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an attribute that sets you apart? Wouldn’t you secretly enjoy showing up at pool parties and watching the faces of other females fall? No, no, no, says Suzann. It is utter hell.
For one thing, Suzann has always been fairly petite. She describes herself in middle school as an athletic, happy-go-lucky tomboy who, at five foot four, wore a size 2. But then, when she was 14, she went from a training bra to a 34D seemingly overnight. “It happened so fast,” she recalls. “And because I stayed small everywhere else, my breasts really stuck out. I remember they felt foreign, like extra appendages. Running really hurt, and I was so embarrassed by the way they flopped around that I quit sports.”
As Suzann’s breasts continued to grow, her self-esteem diminished. She became shy and self-conscious. To hide her body, she wore baggy clothes. Throughout high school, she had female friends, but rarely went on dates. “I didn’t want to be touched sexually, so I pretty much stayed away from boys.”
By the time Suzann was in university, her breasts-36E by then-were starting to take a toll on her physically as well. She experienced neck and back pain, and the pressure of her bra straps left grooves in her shoulders.
One day, she decided she’d had enough. Her family doctor gave her the names of a few plastic surgeons and after doing some research, she settled on the one she felt most comfortable with. “By this point I had a boyfriend, who is now my husband. I told him I was going to have the surgery; he didn’t think there was anything wrong with my breasts but he knew how much they bothered me, so he supported my decision.” And how did he feel afterwards? “There were no complaints,” she says. “That’s for sure.”