Posted on 3 min read

The other day I heard a woman say she wanted to re-do the boob job she’d had before her last child—“I didn’t pay all that money not have them look perfect,” she huffed.  

Then I had a conversation with a woman at my gym. We were discussing a mutual friend who had recently had a breast augmentation. To my discerning eye, the friend had a great body before surgery. The new boobs seemed unnecessary to me.  “We women should be careful not to allow the media to dictate our personal definitions of beauty,” I declared. The woman I was talking to had been under the knife herself. English was her second language; and she’d served in the army in her homeland as a teenager… one tough broad, right?

Not so right. Let’s just say she took my comments the wrong way. She stormed off and began talking about me to another gym member within earshot. 

I should have let it go, I know, but I grew up in DC, and I’d fought scarier women than her in the past for even flimsier reasons I am sure, that’s just how I roll.  Like a warrior I screamed across that gym: “Shut the fu ** up before I kick your her mother-fu**ing ass.”

So much for women achieving a higher level of bonding and understanding. (I was raised by a male until I was 12. Does it show?) 

Another woman I know regularly does all kinds of things to her face—Botox, collagen, laser peels, you name it. I asked her when she thought her face would be “finished”.

She looked at me like I was crazy.

I have to admit I’m not perfectly Zen about aging. I’ve begun looking at my body more critically recently.  I’ve found myself nudging, testing, wondering secretly whether I should get a little of this or a little of that…my boobs lifted a tad, my wrinkles “relaxed”, my lines filled.

I had back surgery about eight years ago, and it was a terrifying experience for me.  Not to mention two friends of mine who weren’t fortunate enough to choose whether or not to have surgery. They lost their breasts to cancer.  I don’t think you’re going to see me ELECTING to have surgery anytime soon. I’m an idealist, yes. But even more, I’m a wuss. 

That and the expense. A spare ten grand could go a long way in my household.  

I color my hair to keep from looking gray and old. I buy expensive bras to lift the girls up. I work out and watch what I eat so that I don’t get fat. I go to the doctor and get blood work done to make sure I’m healthy on the inside.  I get my teeth cleaned every three months so I don’t lose them. My mother was born in England, at a time before fluoridated water. At a young age, she was relegated to keeping her teeth in a glass. 

Surgery is an extreme my vanity can’t rationalize.  At some point, what I have naturally has to be enough. I have to be enough just as I am.  

Three weeks before my mother died she showed me the incision on her chest from bypass surgery. I felt it was inappropriate at the time. Ironically, it was then that I noticed the infection that would kill her only weeks later.

 The funny thing was, one of the reasons she was showing me her chest was to give me a glimpse of her breasts, which she was very proud of, even at the age of 65.  Looking back on that moment, my breasts look kind of similar today—which is maybe why I’d like to change them, and probably why I never will.




  • Lee Anne Davis
    December 31, 2009

    Bravo, Rebekah! for speaking out about all the unnecessary breast augumentations going on around us-especially in this part of the world-where it seem to be all too common and women seem to overlook the health risks involved for vanity’s sake. you are a beautiful person inside as well as outside. thanks so much for being you!

  • Jan Walker
    December 31, 2009

    Rebekah, I loved every bit of this article. Your behavior in the locker room to your reflections on your mother’s pride.
    You are a fearless justice seeker, full of wit and wisdom, and most of all a truth-teller. When you find a friend who is a truth-teller, it is a gift beyond compare.