Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Breast Implants


The number of breast augmentations increased 39% from 2000 through 2010, according to new data from the gleeful American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

I read about the study the morning after a friend, a breast cancer patient, told me that she had just had her saline sac removed because of an infection. her troubles made me wonder why anyone would put herself through surgery if her breasts were actually healthy and intact. I did some browsing on the web and found another stat that shed some light on the situation: women who get implants are more likely to be depressed and suffer from body image problems than those who don't, and are 3 times as likely to commit suicide, according to 7 studies.

I once hugged a friend and realized with a flash that her unnaturally hard breasts were not real. We exchanged a glance, and that was that, but I never thought of her the same way. Years ago, I knew a girl whose father bought her implants as an 18th birthday gift. He looked at her and said: "You're a little out of proportion. Let's get you some implants." Amazingly, this girl grew up to be a productive member of society.

Not that you asked, but I myself have smallish breasts (34 B). They get the job done with a minimum of fuss. I did enjoy the novelty of wearing huge hogans back when I was breastfeeding, but I never felt like shopping for a permanent set. I have a thing about squandering my children's education fund on paying someone to cut open my body and insert foreign objects into it. But also I appreciate the excellent job my breasts did feeding my children, and I'm grateful that small breasts remain perky for decades longer than is really fair.

Other than the creep who bought his daughter a new pair, I have never heard of a man who likes implants. Listen to my friend Bryan, a known pervert: “Like many others, I think breast implants are sad. For nearly all men who actually touch breasts (as opposed to that greasy cohort whose acquaintanceship with breasts is relegated solely to computer screens and strip clubs), implants are a huge turn-off. I do totally love big breasts. But I also really love small breasts. They're all awesome. Most of all I think that the breasts of adult (rather than 18-year-old) women, post-childbirth, sag and all, fully set the bar for beauty. I am a guy's guy and an authority on this issue."

Mike, a fan of adult entertainment, is also repelled: “I do NOT like breast implants. I just think that after a certain point, bigger is not better. The irony of breast implants is that way more often than not it's someone going from a 34B or C to a 44D or E, and winding up looking like a caricature of femininity. The poster girl for this is, of course, Pamela Anderson, a stunningly beautiful woman who turned herself into a cartoon. Implants just don't tend to look very good or very real. At best, they tend to result in an unnatural roundness, like someone stuck half of a coconut shell under their skin. At worst, and over time, it looks more like a hockey puck.”

Ergo, if you are getting implants to attract men, then it may be an exercise in futility. Although I do dye my hair and apply various creams and potions in part to be more attractive to a man--my husband--so it's not like I exist in some patriarchy-free bubble.

The ASPS didn't release any stats about women getting implants to attract other women. But I'm curious about it. I couldn't really find any studies about this online, so if you're a researcher, there's your topic.

One last thing: don't try and tell me you got implants "for yourself." I'm not buying it.

18 comments:

  1. While I will never get implants (because I too am against plastic surgery, and because I'm terrified of going under the knife), I have to say that after I had kids I finally understood why one might want to. Small I don't mind. Small and saggy--that's another thing entirely. And honestly, it truly is all about me--I don't think my husband cares and I don't care if he does. But I miss the days of being able to go bra-less if I felt like it.

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  2. Wow, tell us how you REALLY feel. But I totally agree.
    But then again, I have naturally large ones. So I have no empathy for those who wish for larger ones. But if I keep watching every iteration of "Real Housewives", I know I will end up getting some kind of "work done". I did recently purchase a push-up bra for the first time (at actual Victoria's Secret), and I will admit I like it.
    What really bothers me about fake boobs, aside from the "globes sitting on top of your chest" look, is the fact that they are often three inches apart form each other. Don't you want to have cleavage?
    I have heard perhaps apocryphal tales of girls being offered (by their parents!) choice of nose job or boob job upon turning 18.

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  3. I do read the east coast has the least amount of breast implants.

    Working in Hollywood it seems EVERYONE has implants. I don't get it. Then again this is a town where a actress like Carey Mulligan is told she should get Botox. I'm not sure if she's turned 25 yet.

    Perhaps L.A. men are more shallow than your male friends. The men here seem to like that impossible look of huge breasts but with small shoulder and boyish hips.

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  4. Sadly, I know a few women who say that they got breast implants for themselves, and I think they really did. Their husbands both told them that they loved them just the way they were, but the women went ahead and got the surgery anyway, as a "gift" to themselves. I always told myself that I wasn't going to judge them, but in truth, I do. I wonder why they just couldn't look in the mirror and say what their husbands said: "I love you, just as you are." Plastic surgery really isn't about the body; it's about the mind.

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  5. i wouldn't personally get plastic surgery (i don't really think anyone needs it with few exceptions- car wrecks, burns, that sort of thing). In my line of work, i've seen the, shall we say, "undesirable" effects of surgery in general and plastic surgery in particular and to be honest i just don't hate my body THAT much. i'm not perfect, not by a LOOONG shot, but surgery has to many risks. Leave yourself alone.

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  6. Not to be too persnickety about this, but most plastic surgery you never notice. The real life applications and the stuff that gets talked about (breast augmentations) are two different things. Most of the time plastic surgery is about removing scars and moles and lumps, reshaping earlobes, toes, sagging chins, cleft palates.. stuff that doesn't get mentioned in the news. I'd also suggest that at least half of all procedures are done because of actual medical reasons.
    I do wish there was more emphasis put on the research and uses of plastic surgery as a genuine life-improving medical field. I didn't really got to thinking about it all until my aunt had a mastectomy and I started reconsidering the role of breasts in my own woman-hood. I know my own desire to get my visibly lopsided breasts to match is not as pressing as for her to have two breasts again, but it's still important to me just as other physical features are important to people. Why? I guess it's because the body and the spirit are not two different things.

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  7. Thanks, Mireille. I wasn't referring to actual medical plastic surgery.

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  8. After having bigger breasts while nursing, I do kind of "get it"--mine never got HUGE, just maybe a full C, and I felt like I looked better. My clothes fit more smoothly, my waist and hips looked smaller, and I have to admit that it was nice. But I didn't like them enough to undergo costly, painful, and unnecessary surgery for them.

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  9. Why would you ever want your hips to look smaller? WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE????

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  10. Breast implants isn't a bad idea at all. Everything people do to make them feel better it is up to that person to decide. Otherwise, anything done excessively is bad.


    -Katie Hallison

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  11. why exactly does it matter to you what another woman does to her body? if it makes her happy, seriously, what harm is it doing you? now there's a difference in one or two surgeries and going overboard and looking like a different, plastic nasty person. and you said you're anti plastic surgery partially because you could be putting the money to your kids' college funds, but what if these women have no children? what if they have enough money/inheritance that they don't have to worry about their children going to college? what if that will truly make them HAPPY with themselves? who are you to judge? why does it matter to you and why does a physical trait change the way you look at a person on the inside? it's a very shallow point of view.

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  12. "i never thought of her the same way" says that perhaps you need to re-evaluate what criteria you use when you look at people. your "friend" was probably much better off without someone who would judge her for a decision she made for herself and her body. i don't mind what my friends do with their bodies so long as they are content. it's not my body, not my tattoo/piercing/breast implant/nose job/scarification/whatever. they live with it. not you.

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  13. and as a statement about the implants not being for yourself, well, i'm single, and i have a daughter. i loved the way my breasts looked when they were bigger and i was breastfeeding. i have been self-conscious about them my entire life, simply because i don't particularly like the way they look. i want implants so i can be comfortable in my own skin like i was then. it was the only time in my life i truly felt as though i was happy with my body and how it looked. buy it or not, for some women, it's a big issue.

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  14. Well, we all do have different preferences regarding the aesthetic value of implanted breasts. I find nothing wrong with breast implants, as it is a way where one can gain confidence and self-esteem. But it is important that the procedure is done without risking the patient's health.



    Dennis Rode

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  15. Enhancing the way you look is a personal choice. As much as there is a societal standard for what is considered beautiful, there is also a personal standard, and this usually influences a person's self-image. Developments in the area of cosmetic surgery have made it possible for people to improve the way they look so as to boost their self-image.

    Jack Sebastian

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  16. More and more women are not satisfied of their breasts size and they want to undergo a Toronto breast augmentation procedure. I'm also one of them, because I'm absolutely flat, I don't have anything feminine and I don't like it at all. I want to be satisfied of myself and only a procedure like this can help me!

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