Thursday, June 3, 2010

Too Big For Tennis

Simona Halep may not be a household name but this Romanian teen tennis player has a lot in common with many American teens, and women of all ages for that matter. In the summer of 2009 Simona's breasts seemed to get more attention on the court than her backhand. She had developed into a 34DD and the player went on record numerous times stating the weight of her breasts interfered with her ability to move around the court. She was very open about her desire to have breast reduction surgery and I am sure part of that wish stemmed from the jokes made about her in the media. All it takes is one google search to find endless "how does she not have black eyes" comments and for a teenage girl this can be detrimental to her self esteem.

Last summer Simona followed through with her decision and she recently made her post breast reduction debut at the French Open. She looks so much lighter and more athletic post surgery. She must feel like she is flying around the court with all that weight literally lifted off her chest. I hope she is as happy with the results as I am. Her tennis game is sure to improve and more importantly her self esteem. Teen athletes are often forced to grow up quickly, but at the end of the day they struggle with the same issues as do all other adolescents. The added competitive pressures and media attention only adds to the difficulty of this awkward time.

Simona is a great role model for any woman struggling with athletic limitations due to the size of their breasts. I have seen time and time again women losing a great deal of weight after having breast reduction surgery. I think the surgery itself serves as a motivator and the increased athletic ability post operatively allows people to follow through. I wish Simona all the best with her tennis and personal life, and hope she takes a little time out to be a regular teenager. After all, you only get to be 18 once...

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