We've covered the What’s Underneath Project video series from style site Stylelikeu before: In it, individuals from all walks of life remove their clothing as they tell the camera what their style means to them — and talk about their relationships with the bodies they dress every day. From an artist recovering from anorexia to Tallulah Willis herself, the individuals featured by What's Underneath have shared their self-image setbacks and triumphs.
The latest video from the Project offers one of its most devastating — and ultimately uplifting — narratives yet. Personal stylist and co-founder of White-Starr Aesthetic Consulting Karyn Starr appeared on What's Underneath at nine months pregnant to speak candidly about her complex and evolving relationship with her body. Early in the episode, Starr discusses her decision to undergo breast reduction surgery, a procedure that some still find hard to understand — aren't big boobs a blessing? Karyn didn't take her decision lightly: As early as the age of 18, she registered that due to the size of her breasts (30 F or H), she might have a difficult time breastfeeding — something she knew she wanted to do one day — but she hesitated to take action.
When she went away to college, though, the attention her frame attracted (especially from men) grew almost unbearable. "Once, while I was out dancing in the middle of the night, some guy just came up to me and grabbed my tits," she recounts. "I would walk four blocks to the subway and I would have at least 10 people comment — 'Check her out!' 'Look at the knockers on her!'"
Karyn's breasts started affecting her physically, too: "I really started to get terrible back pain," she recalls. "I would take Advil, which ended up giving me stomach ulcers. But, I had a hard time making that decision [to have breast reduction surgery], because, I mean, come on, it's your breasts! It's one of the physical attributes of being a woman." Karyn says that once she finally opted for the procedure, though, she felt present in her body in a way she hadn't in years. She was also able to nurse her child. Watch the video above to hear Karyn open up not only about her surgery, but also about her struggles with depression and miscarriage, and the peace of mind she has now achieved.