“We have a little sister, and her breasts are not yet grown” (Song of Songs 8:8). I’ve hated that verse for a very long time. No matter what my age, I’ve been the “little sister” in breast size, instead of that wonderful Beloved from the Song of Songs whose breasts are described as “two fawns,” “clusters of fruit,” and “towers.”
In my last post, I explained that I never thought I’d have breast augmentation. I kept hoping to have actual breasts someday…but, despite waiting, wishing, and weeping, they never arrived. So the surgery is scheduled. Here’s more about how an otherwise modest Christian woman decided to upsize her mammaries.
I started researching the prospect online. Thankfully, the Internet has unlimited information about this procedure, from explanations of the surgery, to before-after images, to chat-room Q&As, to extensive plastic surgeon and implant manufacturer websites. As I researched breast augmentation, I saw that breasts come in all sizes and shapes, and many women are simply trying to achieve normalcy.
There are numerous reasons for breast surgery–small breasts, excessive sagging, differently-sized breasts, heavy or extremely large breasts, odd nipple placement, extra skin, etc. Plenty of women who get breast surgery aren’t doing it to draw gaping looks from men or to grace the centerfold pages of a skin magazine. Perhaps we just want to feel good about ourselves in a cotton tee, a swimsuit, or naked in front of our husbands.
I spoke candidly with my sisters, my mother, and my closest friends about breast augmentation. They were supportive. Knowing how long breast size had frustrated me, they recognized how important a normal-sized bosom could be.
My husband was the last to come around. Thankfully, he couldn’t care less whether I am as flat as the Sahara or as mountainous as the Rockies. And he was reluctant to risk my health for unnecessary surgery. But he was persuaded after a shopping trip with me, in which I tried on much and left with little. He realized that it took forever to find clothes that fit me, and even those that I owned would look better with more on top. My husband saw the practical side of having bigger breasts and agreed that I should do it.
I set consultation appointments with plastic surgeons. My husband accompanied me. (Yes, it’s awkward to have a doctor give you a breast exam in front of your husband, but we both thought he should be present to aid the decision.) The patient care consultants and the doctors explained the surgical process and my options, answered questions, and let me try out sizes. I also looked at photos (with no name or face) of before-after breast augmentations the surgeons had performed. I chose my doctor and my implants, scheduled the surgery, and paid my deposit.
A verse kept coming to mind as I contemplated my decision: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). Some basic questions ran through my mind as I determined whether I could have plastic surgery and honor God through the process:
1. Am I being a good financial steward? Plenty of people spend the same amount of money on vacations, furniture, home renovations, etc. That’s okay, as long as we are taking care of our families’ needs and giving generously to our local church and those in need. I had to know that we had money to use for this event and weren’t taking it from another, essential area.
2. Am I seeking a vain, unrealistic ideal? God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7). If we believe that our worth is driven by external beauty, we’ve missed the point. I get that. I’m not determining my worth based on that. You see, I don’t want to win a wet t-shirt contest, just shop in the women’s lingerie department.
3. Am I choosing a size consistent with the body God gave me? Women do lots of things to enhance their beauty–from make-up to Botox to liposuction. Where’s the line? I don’t know! But I’m pretty sure that a woman slapping in implants big enough to don an F-cup results in the wrong kind of attention. So I’ve done what I can to keep myself in check–choosing an implant that will take me to a reasonable bra size.
4. Am I able to help others in the future with this issue? I think so. Sure, there are times we’d all like an extreme makeover, but my experience might help others sort through the actual issues involved. You gotta ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Is it pure vanity or something else?
I took my sweet time considering this operation–making sure that I was sure. But my time has arrived. And I’m looking forward to my chest bulging forward very soon.