Moms and Moobs
Unfortunately, guys who suffer from moobs are usually no strangers to ridicule. It can start in school, when the onset of gynecomastia is in adolescence (which it often is). Later on, friends at the gym or on the pool can give a young man a pretty hard time. In our New York gynecomastia consultation room, we’ve heard story after story proving how cruel people can be.
But what if some of the most damaging comments come from a guy’s mom? That’s the reality for some, and the remarks range from mildly critical to potentially devastating. Here are some real experiences shared by members of gynecomastia.org (spelling and grammar not corrected):
I told my mother: “And if they will not go away?”… “Well, I will buy you a bra”, was her simple answer.
I was once taunted to lose weight by my Mom so my T shirts won’t look like that.
…my mother turned to my grandmother and asked her opinion about my breasts as she pointed at me.
When I finally anty up to tell her about my problem, she just laughs and tells me that I’m ridiculous…
We’re pleased to report that these mothers who don’t seem to care about their sons’ suffering—or at best, don’t understand it—are in the minority. Far more parents have empathy, at least. Many support their sons with doctor visits and even surgery, and some take the lead when youngsters hesitate to approach them first.
If you have one of the less supportive moms, be assured that all is not lost. There are ways you can take care of yourself and be proactive about your case of man boobs.
Here are some steps to take to empower yourself to chart your own course forward. As you get started, we want you to know that no matter how alone you may feel, that is not the case. You can find support, and there is hope.
1) Do all the research you can online about gynecomastia as a medical condition. Look for information from reputable sources like the Mayo Clinic. The more you understand about moobs, the more you will know how common they are and that they are not your fault.
2) Find guys like you online and share your thoughts. Gynecomastia.org is a great place to start. In the forums on that site, you can ask questions and gain support from those who have had male breast reduction surgery and others who have chosen to make peace with their man boobs.
Even though it can be tough to do, we also suggest you try to share your thoughts and feelings in person with someone you trust. It’s an important step in taking care of yourself. If you don’t believe you can talk with your parents, you might feel more comfortable with a different family member. You can also consider approaching a school counselor or member of the clergy.
In a visit to your family doctor you could ask for a private few minutes to discuss gynecomastia with him or her. Be advised, however, that not every M.D. is knowledgeable about man boobs. Many young men hear that their enlarged breasts will eventually disappear when that may or may not happen.
3) We encourage you to educate yourself about surgery for moobs. Not because we think you should have the procedure, necessarily, but so you know that there is something you can do to get rid of your man boobs should you decide to go that route. If your condition is holding you back and impacting your self-esteem, it may comfort you to know that there’s a solution you might choose at some point. Good places to start are the websites of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
You can also look over the information pertaining to adolescent gynecomastia on this site and the story of one of our young patients. Our blog posts offer advice on saving for and financing man boob surgery (it can be done!) and talking with your parents about your moobs.
As pioneers of surgery for gynecomastia in New York, we are committed to supporting every guy with man boobs no matter what choices he makes. The important thing is to get informed, take care of your physical and emotional health and move forward! Email us if we can help.