Breast Implants Have Grown In Popularity

Image: Breast Augmentation

Breast implants are still the number one cosmetic surgery in the United States, topping and liposuction. Small-chested bombshells like Iggy Azalea, and allegedly Kate Hudson, are going under the knife. There’s even ads for breast implants on the New York subway, with the tagline “dream big.”

It was the year 1962 that the first silicon breast implant surgery was performed successfully. This was only three years after the Barbie doll hit the scene. In the 90’s a series of women suffered dangerous complications, making its popularity decrease. That is not the case now. Last year, nearly 300,000 women got implants in the United States. Why are so many women suddenly opting for implants?

 from Vogue tells us some of her personal opinions on this matter.

I don’t want to criticize women who modify their breasts. I believe in total body autonomy. In my mind, feminism today is evolving beyond a desire for gender equality and toward a desire for the freedom to be an individual, whether that means rejecting female tropes altogether, getting surgery, being gay, wearing a microdress—whatever. Who is anyone else to judge, really? But in order for these choices to be recognized as truly free, we have to examine the social environment in which they are made, one in which we feel obliged to pursue a “sexy” and “perfect” body to the point of undergoing surgery. It’s a catch-22: While I sometimes feel guilty for thinking it, I can’t help but feel that getting breast implants means that you’re wearing your insecurity on your chest. Literally.

Of course, I’m not above the impulse. I have big boobs that also happen to be quite droopy. (I’ve started saying “droopy” instead of “saggy” because it somehow sounds more chic). In order to lift my breasts to the right place, I have to wear an enormous, specialty support bra that looks like a piece of orthopedic armor. Unsexy. For years I wished my boobs were perkier, but never enough to seriously consider changing them. Until a few years ago, when I began casually sleeping with a thirty-something publisher. One evening after sex, he asked me if I’d “ever been heavier.” I told him no, aside from weighing about fifteen pounds more in my early twenties. He replied, “Oh, because you have the breasts of a woman who’s lost a lot of weight.” Aka, deflated boobs.

For months afterward, I was obsessed with Googling photos of breast lifts: how bad the scars were; how much it would cost (around $6K for a good New York doctor, which was out of my price range); whether I would lose breast mass or nipple sensation. I was seriously considering this, all because of the opinion of some idiot (who, by the way, has a disgusting amount of body hair, which I never mentioned because I am a decent person, but which I actually might tell him in an email right now). I never went through with it, thank god—and this is similar to the thanks I feel for never having gotten that star tattoo on my wrist at nineteen, in order to seem punk. Also? Boobs are supposed to fall into our armpits when we lie down! But of course, if I had decided to take the plunge, any plastic surgeon in the world would have deemed me a “perfect candidate.” Everyone’s a perfect candidate for surgery, no matter what you look like, in a world so skilled at making women feel like we’re never good enough.

Although women are constantly bombarded with what true ‘beauty’ is supposed to look like, some are confident enough in themselves to not let any of that phase them.

What are the men’s opinion on the matter? Sciortino interviewed a close male friend of hers:

I was curious to get a man’s opinion on the subject, so I called up an art director friend of mine—I’ll call him Steve—in his mid-forties who has dated a lot of women. He told me, “A couple years ago I was dating a model. She had to go to a lingerie casting, and her agent told her to put cutlets into her bra, which took her from a B cup up to a C. Well, the difference walking down the street with her with just one increase in cup size was extraordinary. She got so much more attention, from both men and women.”

Despite this little experiment, however, Steve says he’s ultimately not a fan of implants. “Fake breasts are all about first impressions—that ba-bang,” he said. “But for me, when I’m with a woman who has fake breasts, or even a nose job or whatever, on a much deeper level, it just makes me think that person is insecure. It might be initially appealing, but when you find out they’ve actually altered their body, it’s an immediate turn-off, because, really, being confident is the ultimate power of seduction.” In the end, Steve said, “It doesn’t matter what you look like. Some people know how to work what they’ve got, and some people don’t.”

It is safe to say that a confident woman, doesn’t need to go to these extremities to feel good about herself. A love for one-self isn’t found on their outer beauty, it is found within your heart and mind.