Here I am, minding my own business - putting my teabags in the food recycling bin, reusing my 5p plastic carrier, buying organic and trying to remember not to flush my makeup wipes down the toilet - you know, just generally trying to be an all round, good human being, when I’m told of a mutual friend bringing me up in conversation to someone from our hometown. I balked when I heard what she'd replied to the mention of my name, and almost dropped the dog biscuits I had saved for the charity bank in Tesco.

“Oh, you mean the girl with the fake tits?”.

I’m positive homegirl only knew of me through social media, and honestly, as a firm believer in 'the damned if you do, damned if you don’t' theory, I decided early on to be pretty open about the fact that I had my boobs done so it’s no surprise she knew.

And whilst I’ll actually be the first to admit, I do post selfies baring my cosmetically enhanced, ample, scantily clad tata’s every once in a while but then again, I also post about the numerous other things which float my boobie boat.

Like all the trips I go on to art galleries, the vegetarian food I’m cooking, and the books (Dickens! Voltaire! Austen!) that I’m reading, but for some reason or other, all this fellow female could remember about my diverse characteristics were "The Fake Tits.”

Imagine my dismay.

Looking in the mirror I asked myself, are these all they see? The lady lumps on my chest? An ID badge for the insecure and vain?

“But what about my brain?” I questioned, “What about how good I am at Sudoku? And how about my amazing theories on Capitalism?”.

My brain was shouting, “I’m here! I can hold good conversation, and I know how to make a great Thai curry! I know when you could do with someone to listen to you, I give great advice, I know some fascinating facts about European history and I’m a whiz at Maths!”

But were my boobs drowning my brain out? Were they saying things about me that just weren’t true?

Lets face it, women having breasts is what defines them apart from the men.

When living with a chest as flat as a boys, who could judge me for wanting a more womanly shape?

Just as a Transgender person shouldn’t be shamed for wanting to look more like the sex they identify with, why couldn’t I, after lots of thinking, researching and saving, make the informed decision to undergo a fairly common procedure, in safe hands, and not be judged?

My decision wasn’t about attracting male attention, or conforming to the medias body standards, it was just something as instinctive as wanting to identify with my femininity. But by choosing to have some plastic surgery, were all my other attributes now null? And what did it mean anyway, to be plastic?

In  the medical community, the term “plastic surgery” has very little to do with plastic as a material, but instead refers to plasticity as something that can be reshaped and remodeled. Why then has the term Plastic Surgery been redefined as a derogatory insult for women and men to slam at those of us who choose to go under the knife.

“Plastic!” “Fake!” "Vain!” “Self-Obsessed!” “Anti-feminist!” “Bimbo!”

A quick Google search for “inspiring women with BA’s” came up with very little other than the generic celebrity “did she, didn’t she?” tat. So where were all the great women I wanted to identify with?

Why couldn’t I find anyone who was successful, intelligent, and accomplished lady heroes and girl bosses, who just wanted some damn boobs and was proud of it!

I'll tell you why - I found that think tank, Demos, carried out a study on Twitter, and found large scale misogynist (prejudiced against women) comments across the board. Over a week period, 6,500 unique users were targeted by 10,000 Tweets.

50% of those were from women. Let’s let that sink in.

Half the negative comments aimed at women, came from women. And this isn’t just Twitter. It's prevalent across all social media.

So it really is no wonder that I didn’t find many women who were shouting out online or elsewhere, saying “Hey! Here I am! Me with my new boobs, I love them!” or “Hello there! I lost 5 stone, and had an uplift, and I’ve never felt so good!”, and “Hi, I'm a Yummy Mummy, but my milk bags were looking a little deflated. Now me and the rugrats go swimming every week because I have my confidence back!”.

Nope, I didn’t find this, what I did find though, was the writer who wouldn’t put her name on an essay, in fear of someone in the industry taking her less seriously, and the girls who don’t feel brave enough to talk about the obvious increase in their breast size, girls who didn’t want to tell their parents, and plenty of celebrities who don’t want to come clean and free the fun bags with honesty.

Really girls. It’s 2017. We've made so many advances in womens' rights, we are the strongest and most educated we’ve ever been.

And at this time, statistics show BA’s are the most common cosmetic procedure. You can’t tell me every modern women choosing to have her boobs done is just about the “fake tits”, and not about the right to do something that will make HER feel better FOR herself and know that it doesn’t outshine the rest of her complex, interesting personality.

Here’s what I’ve learned. Here’s how I managed to rise above the misconception and stereotype of “the one with fake tits”. By realising I already was above it.

WE DON’T NEED TO FEEL ASHAMED.

You can be proud of yourself, and your body, and you don’t have to admit defeat to patriarchy, or feel like your letting the hashtagbodypositive team down.

You can still say “Hey! You there! I HAVE BREAST IMPLANTS BUT I"M STILL A GOOD PERSON!”, and how do I know this?

During my MYA Journey, I have came across women from all walks of life, who made their decision to get a BA for all kinds of reasons.

They are all amazing women, who have done brilliant, awe-inspiring things, and guess what - they all had cosmetic surgery!

There’s the 25 year old studying a Masters in Criminal Justice, she works in the police force, runs marathons in her free time, and just bought her own house. There’s the inspiring 20-year-old studying a business course whilst also doing a full-time degree. She plays guitar and writes her own music, and contributes to mental health charities. There's the wonder woman who has a career in digital marketing and mentors apprentices,and raises 100’s of £’s for charity through her marathon running.

There’s the nurse who works in the ICU, and the personal trainer, and the mother of two who also runs her own business from home and works part time. Between them they enjoy politics and travel and vintage clothes and photography.

It doesn’t end there.

There’s a whole breasted army of us, who are proving the stereotypes wrong.

We shrug off the troll comments, and they roll down the silk of our DD Victoria Secrets (I’m lying, mine’s Primani but who can tell?) bra, like water off a ducks back.

Now, when we come across that girl (the one with hair and nail extensions, wearing lots of makeup and tan) ironically asking on her Facebook status “Why can’t girls just be happy with their natural selves?”

Kill ‘em with kindness (metaphorically of course, don’t actually tickle them until they can’t breathe or anything like that). Push up your bra and prove them wrong.

Go be that plastic person, remold and reshape yourself into something better every single day, in any way you like.

It’s your choice, it’s your right, and you’re not alone.

We’re all behind you, reading our books, raising our kids, travelling the globe, running charities, signing petitions, making music, expressing ourselves with art and dance and makeup. We’re caring for the sick, flying the skies, policing the streets, grafting like the boss ladies we are, and feeling good about ourselves the whole time.

 

They might try to knock us down, but at least they can’t knock our knockers. (Because they’re amazing, and we know it).

Candice Taylor (.)(.)