Laney Faith Mesa from the UK had to learn to love her figure because she remembers many unpleasant memories during the time when she was a teen. Laney was 14 years old when she began recalling pain and discomfort from her breasts.
Now a university student at the Canterbury Christ Church University, Laney talked about how she was denied reduction surgery despite how she's been going through severe pain.
Laney was, in general, bothered by those around her because of her big breasts. Despite her rather uncomfortable school days, she was on an attendance roll.
"I never missed a day of school but I used to sit upstairs in an empty room because I was in so much pain and nobody could understand why."
Her classmates, especially the boys, made her days at school hard.
"Kids are awful. I don’t think they understood, and when I look back on it they just had no idea what I was going through."
"They just saw a girl with big boobs, and they thought it was hilarious to throw stuff down my top," Laney, from Gravesend, Kent, recalled.
Now 20 years old, Laney has been asking NHS to get her 32K breasts reduced, but she kept getting denied because of her BMI level.
The doctors told her that she needed to drop her BMI level before the option became available. Laney thought that was just "impossible" because her breasts alone were heavy.
Laney maintains a healthy lifestyle now and works out three times a week. She's also started fundraising to get her own surgery outside the NHS, aiming at £8,000. She announced it, but while there was plenty of support, there were also men making inappropriate comments about her choice.
"Men message me saying ‘don’t do it’. This is my body… I don’t understand why people think they have the right to message me things like that. Men think that because boobs are sexualized," she spoke.
"That’s what people get when they speak about this issue. It is still a stigma," she continued, adding further that it wasn't just the men. She spotted women who made similarly unfortunate comments about her body.
"You expect women to understand, but I've had some say I shouldn't do it, and it's not a problem because they would love to have big boobs."
"They say I should try living with small boobs. People see it as something to be idolized, and then they can’t see any of the issues that go with it. Even women with small boobs, you’d expect them to have some kind of empathy."
But her biggest plague right now was still the physical pain that her breast causes. She said, "The pain is horrendous, and you just never know when it will come."
"It’s just agony all the time and everywhere hurts. There are days I know I have a day off and I can’t get myself out of bed because I don’t have to so why would I put myself in pain."
The weight was putting her in pain, but as she was required to lose her weight, Laney found her confidence shattered because of their comment. She said, "I was happy in myself and confident before the consultation. But after I just hit rock bottom. I was 18 and I stopped wearing skin-tight clothes, jeans, and crop tops."
"I hid every part of my body because I was so ashamed of what I felt I looked like and it caused me to have symptoms of body dysmorphia. They just didn’t seem to care and said I was too big for it and they never put it on my medical record."
"I had been on antidepressants during the start of the pandemic like a lot of people but I had managed to come off them. But that made me go back to the meds, and I went to therapy."
She's switched her doctor, and it was still determined that her BMI was too high, She shared, "I didn’t want to fundraise because I felt like I didn’t deserve it because there are so many other issues in the world."
"But this is something that really affects me. It would mean more than I can even explain. “I know it’s something I will do no matter what. My life is on hold until then."