Yesterday, two people told me that I looked good (without any prompting!). Today, a mother at my son’s preschool said, “Lookin’ good” after asking me how I was feeling.
Why do I mention this? Because even though tons of people ask me how I feel each day, these are the first three instances of anyone commenting on my appearance since my surgery. I have been back at work now for four and a half weeks. This means I’ve been wearing my nice clothes, the ones that actually fit my body (not the sweatpants and hoodie I lived in while recovering), and yet still no compliments.
I know it will sound arrogant, but I’m sort of surprised by this, and clearly it’s been on my mind because when it happened yesterday, my first thought was, “finally!” Half of my stomach is gone! How is no one noticing that I look thinner? Perhaps because I still have my wide flat ass and thunder thighs? My breasts are up higher (where they’re supposed to be), rounder, and smaller, thus making my whole chest look a lot nicer, or so I think. Is no one noticing that my boobs have shrunk? Over Passover, I saw at least seven relatives who I hadn’t seen in over a year – all of them knew about the surgery – not one person commented on my appearance. Not even my mother has commented that I look nice or that I look slimmer or anything!
Maybe I don’t really look any better. Maybe I just look the same. Or maybe people just weren’t paying that much attention to my appearance before, so they don’t have a basis for comparison. Maybe people are worried that if they comment on my appearance, I will take it to mean that they’ve observed my breasts in some inappropriate way. Or maybe they’re worried they’ll offend me, that after having gone through such an emotional experience and health scare that aesthetics is the last thing I’m worried about.
Well, it’s not. I’m surprised to admit this about myself, but even though my reason for the surgery was not aesthetic, nicer boobs and flatter tummy were supposed to be the fringe benefit. And I want people to notice.
All this said, even if others aren’t noticing, I am. I feel a hundred times better in my clothes. I feel like people can see my face instead of my breasts. I feel like I look more professional and put together and I’m braver about walking around my classrooms. I’m more confident about my body (well, with clothes on at least). And here comes the big cliche ending: I guess how I feel about myself really is what matters most.
But come on people – give a girl a break! After all the crap I went through, after the drains and the gauze and the binding, all the oozing and tearing and pulling and pain — can’t you just tell me I look nice? Don’t worry – I won’t accuse you of sexual harassment because you might have noticed that I still have breasts!