Daily Express, July 2009

dailyexpressjul09Monday July 6, 2009

OUR WEDDING DRESS DILEMMA

By Lucy Benyon
TWO women took drastic action to make sure they could wear their dream bridal gown.

I HAD TO HAVE MY BREAST REDUCTION

Becky Alexander, 33, had a breast reduction before marrying Joe, 32, last summer in a dress she designed. The couple live in Ipswich where Becky runs a clothing boutique

I’ve never been a particularly girly girl and as a child I preferred playing football and climbing trees to sitting around dressing dolls. However, when I hit my teens and needed my first bra I soon realised my days as a carefree tomboy were over.
I am a self-confident, outgoing person but as a teenager I developed a hang-up about my 36G chest. I lived in baggy T-shirts and when I went out I hated the fact men would stare at my cleavage.
At university I became the queen of camouflage, living in huge tops and colourful scarves. When I went on holiday I’d never wear a bikini, preferring to blend into the background in a swimming costume under a full-length beach dress.
I dreaded going shopping as my disproportionate shape made it difficult to find clothes. I was a size 12 on my bottom half and a size 18 on top which meant it was impossible for me to buy a dress.
By my early 20s the weight of my chest was giving me terrible backache and it wasn’t long before I was having sessions with a physiotherapist almost every week to try to relieve the pain.
I was 22 when I met Joe. I’d just moved back to my home town of Ipswich after finishing university. While I’d been away my mum Maureen had become very good friends with Joe’s mother Lynn and they decided to introduce us.

There was an instant attraction and we were an item within a matter of months. I could tell Joe anything and it wasn’t long before I was confiding in him about my body issues. He was reassuring and told me he loved me just the way I was. Even so, I still felt ashamed of my figure and I would agonise over what to wear whenever we went out.
When Joe and I had been together for eight years we decided to start a new life together in Australia and moved to Sydney. We’d been there only eight months when Joe was told he had an incredibly rare tumour growing round his heart.

At first doctors believed it was incurable and we moved back to the UK so Joe could spend his last few months close to his family. However, against all the odds, after a year of treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London we were given the wonderful news that Joe was in remission. It was as if we’d been given a second chance and right out of the blue Joe proposed. I was amazed as he’d always made it clear that although he knew we’d grow old together, marriage wasn’t for him.

I was delighted he’d changed his mind but there was one problem – the wedding dress. With my huge chest there was no way I’d be able to find anything off-the-peg that would suit me. I knew I’d feel self-conscious about my curves and it was then I decided to bite the bullet and have surgery.
In April 2008 I travelled to a Harley Street clinic to have the £6,000 operation and after three hours of surgery I came round feeling sore but excited about my new body.
It was another two weeks before the bandages came off but when I saw my perfectly pert 36D chest for the first time I couldn’t contain my tears. The first thing I did was to rush out and treat myself to new underwear.
I loved my new figure and couldn’t wait to show it off in my strapless size-12 wedding dress. It was made to measure so I didn’t even need to wear a bra underneath when I married Joe in August last year. I can honestly say I felt like a beautiful, blushing bride.
Because I was so delighted with how I looked, Joe and I spent £3,000 on our wedding pictures and we now have them hung all over our house. They’re not just a showcase for a beautiful dress, they’re a reminder of everything we went through to get to where we are today.
To find out more about Becky’s surgeon Professor Kirwan go to cosmeticplasticsurgery.uk.com

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