She’s put on a few extra kilos, but Juliet Harding is loving her curves. The Goodluck singer sports a fuller figure in the band’s new music video, Waiting for Summer, and in a world obsessed with weight, she admits it took some courage to strip down to her bathing costume.
“I have no idea where this ingrained idea of which body shape is acceptable or attractive came from, but I’m not holding onto it anymore,” she says.
“For the first time I’ve been brave enough to rock my curves – and I’m glad I did. I will love this body no matter what.”
It’s taken the 34-year-old singer some time to feel comfortable in her skin. Last year she underwent breast-reduction surgery, going from a 34G cup to a 34C cup. It was a tough decision to go under the knife, but Julia felt she didn’t have a choice.
Her big breasts were causing her too much pain, especially when she performed her high-energy moves on stage. “Cutting out a piece of yourself is not an easy choice, but having large breasts was very painful for me because of all the jumping around,” she says.
Having the surgery was the best decision she could have made, she tells us. She’s a lot happier, can move around on stage with ease and her clothes fit better. “It’s been life-changing,” Juliet says. “After I had the procedure, I realised how debilitating it actually was and how much it affected my body confidence.”
Now she’s using her voice to start conversations on women’s health. “My breast-reduction surgery improved the quality of my life, but it’s an expensive surgery and not everyone can afford it,” Juliet tells YOU.
“I’ve heard of women having such huge breasts that their bra straps keep cutting their skin and making their shoulders bleed, and mothers who won’t be seen in family a photograph because they’re so insecure and embarrassed about their large breasts.”
She’s met with senior officials from several medical aid schemes to persuade them to see breast reduction as part of a woman’s health, and not as a cosmetic procedure. With a little luck, the conversations will lead to a review in policy and relief for many South African women.