Like Ariel Winter, I Decided To Have Breast Reduction Surgery When I Was A Teen

A YouTube beauty guru tells MTV News why she chose to have the controversial surgery and why her decision matters.

These days Makenna Smith is all smiles, making awesome makeup and style videos on her Youtube channel. But, back when she was a teen, she made the decision to have breast reduction surgery -- for both her physical and mental health. She shared her story (and some words of wisdom for other girls) with MTV News. -- Katherine Speller, Issues Writer, MTV News

By Makenna Smith

I come from a family of larger-busted women, which resulted in me becoming a bigger-busted woman -- by the age of 14 I was already a double-D.

It was no surprise when everyone noticed the size of my boobs, but I was insecure and embarrassed about it. I would wear larger T-shirts to disguise my physique and would double-up on sports bras in hopes that, as I was running the mile, my boobs weren’t flopping all over the place.

My physical image wasn’t the only off-putting part about my large breasts. For as long as I can remember, I have been involved with sports and dance. But because of the weight of my breasts, participating in physical activities became very difficult. I did ballet -- in ballet you’re expected to be graceful and have perfect posture -- but my boobs were weighing me down so much that I couldn’t stand up straight. When I would try, my back would feel so uncomfortable.

I first heard about breast reduction surgeries when I was a sophomore in high school. I actually discovered the procedure on YouTube. After watching a couple videos, I was 100 percent convinced that it was what I wanted. I went to my mom and told her all about what I found: She knew how I felt about my boobs at 15 years old and she knew that I wasn’t going to stop talking about it.

I went into my first doctor’s appointment expecting it to be a breeze but, to my disappointment, I didn’t get to have the surgery right then and there: The first thing my doctor did was refer me to physical therapy to strengthen my back. For six long months, I went twice a week as the doctor ordered and (just as I suspected) it really didn’t do much. I was still set on the idea of having the surgery.

By my junior year of high school, I was a large triple-D. Boys at school would refer to me as the “girl with big boobs” and I would have strangers come up to me and grab my boobs. I went home crying to my mom that I needed this surgery; I had finally had enough. Not only were my boobs mentally unbearable, but by this point I couldn’t stand up straight and my bra straps were creating indents in my shoulders.

My doctor didn’t want to refer me to the surgeon until I was 18 because she wanted me to be a legal adult and for my boobs to grow more before I potentially got the surgery. As soon as my 18th birthday approached she sent in the referral to my insurance.

Next came the consultation. They measured and took pictures of my boobs and asked why I wanted the surgery, sending it all off to my insurance company with a letter that I wrote explaining why I needed the surgery. It was a month-long waiting game after that.

It was the beginning of my second semester of senior year when I finally got the 'OK' to schedule my surgery. I took the soonest date possible -- which happened to be the week before I graduated high school. By the time the surgery came around, I was a little larger than an F and couldn’t have been more ready to get those things off my body.

I wasn’t nervous at all when I got the surgery. I really think that was because it was something I had wanted for so long and I knew that I was going to be so much more comfortable once the surgery was over.

I guess the anesthetics they had me on made me a little violent and they had to strap me down at one point, but besides that there weren’t really any complications. After the surgery I was on some pretty heavy painkillers, so I didn’t experience much pain and was more uncomfortable than anything else. That didn’t last long, though -- a week after my surgery I was back in school and participating in all the senior activities!

I know that breast reduction surgeries are a little out of the ordinary. You always hear of boob-jobs, but getting smaller boobs on purpose? There’s definitely a lot of negativity surrounding the idea of a breast reduction surgery and that’s why I think it is so awesome that Ariel Winter has been so open about her decision.

It is so comforting to see girls -- especially girls in the public eye -- being open about their insecurities and not conforming to what society expects of them. Ariel Winter made a decision that most people don’t understand, but it was a decision that resulted in her becoming more comfortable with herself and her body. And I think that is great.

From my initial decision (at 15 years old) to get a breast reduction surgery, I heard many opinions about what I wanted to do -- some good and some not-so-good. Honestly, I never let any of that phase me. I knew that I wanted this surgery and I wasn’t going to allow anyone to tell me otherwise. If I were to do this all over again, two years later, I wouldn’t change a single thing.

For people considering a breast reduction, do what you think is right. Do your research, look up other peoples’ stories (YouTube is a fabulous place to do so) but, in the end, do what you think would be best for you. Your happiness is the ultimate goal.

You Can Find More From Makenna On Her Youtube Channel.