Breast implants~ Does society really have anything to do with it?

A recent Twitter conversation brought up the subject of how society pushes women to get implants. How society has an impact on the body image of many women. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to give some information and perspective on this.

First I want to start with some information about me. For anyone who is not familiar with my blog, I have breast implants. It’s a choice I made on my own and I fall into one of the normal categories that many women who get implants fall into. Now for my educational background and why I feel qualified to write this post. I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Psychology. Now what exactly does that mean? That means I have studied the both psychology of the individual and the psychology of society as a whole. Now, on to the fun stuff.

What started the Twitter conversation was this blog post:

http://brasandbodyimage.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/breast-implants/

Now the girl in me wants to immediately get offended and hurt. Many people are very judgmental about breast implants, not realizing that there is a good chance that there is a woman that they know that has implants. Now that is not what this blog post intended by any means. So please do not think that I am in any way arguing with the author. I do hope with this post to provide some education about the reasons why women get implants and how exactly society influences the decision to do so.

First we will start with some statistics about breast augmentation. These have been taken from www.loveyourlook.com from research done by a San Fransisco plastic surgeon, Dr. Donald Brown.

*As of 2011 there is an estimated 5,083,717 women with breast implants.

*In 2010 the majority of women who had breast augmentation surgery were between the ages of 35-50, with 44% of surgeries.

*Of all women who get implants, 90% do so after having a child.

So next is why women get implants. There are several reasons, ranging from medical to the psychological. The psychological reasons range from bettering body image to increasing self-confidence. Medical reasons could be breast reconstruction, repair of deformities such as Tuberous breasts/constricted breasts, Poland’s Syndrome, Pectus Excavatum or Pectus Carinatum. There are also reasons that are a combination of psychological and medical. Breast implants are often used to repair deflated breasts that result from massive weight loss, to provide additional lift and fullness to breasts deflated from breast-feeding, severe asymmetry, or ptosis from age or lack of support. Last but not least is women who get implants because they have a complete lack of breast tissue. Many times this is just considered just psychological, but it can be considered a medical need for implants.

Cosmetic reasons do account for the majority of augmentations, with 40%. Approximately 25% of women get implants to fix a pronounced breast asymmetry. Medically, 10% are conducted to repair Tuberous breasts and 10% to correct Poland’s Syndrome. For those who are wondering, Tuberous breasts appear as triangular-shaped breasts that have more sag then normal. They often have puffy or herniated aureola. Many women say they are pointy shaped breasts with no ability to form cleavage. Poland’s Syndrome is more rare in women, and results in the malformation of one breast and the pectoral muscles. Pronounced asymmetry, Tuberous Breast Deformity, and Poland’s Syndrome are all conditions in which some US insurance companies will pay for an augmentation as part of the repair. These reasons total 45% of surgeries, more than augmentations done just for cosmetic purposes. The remaining 15% of augmentations are done to restore breasts after weight loss, breast feeding, or pregnancy.

With these numbers in mind we can consider society and how it can impact a woman’s choice to have implants. The reality is that only 40% of surgeries are done for purely cosmetic reasons. Yes, restoration of breasts post weight loss or breast-feeding does involve an implant that is not a medical necessity. But these are women who are restoring what they once had, not what society thinks they should have. I’m sure many would argue that society urges these women to have youthful looking breasts and that is why they choose implants. It is obviously not a NEED by any means, a bra can drastically improve their appearance in clothing. But that is not the issue. The issue is how the woman feels in her own skin, which is determined by more factors than just society and its image of women. So could society have an impact on a woman getting implants to gain back what she lost? Sure, but chances are it is more the woman wanting back what she had before. Ask any number of women who have had children and they will tell you that pregnancy changed a particular body part, stomach or breasts being the most common. It’s not society pushing them, it’s knowing what they had prior to surgery.

So now back to that 40% who had surgery purely for cosmetic reasons. Have you noticed how the “popular” breast size changes as pop culture changes? Society’s views on breast size fluctuate depending on who the hot ticket stars are. Can this influence a woman’s size choice? Sure it can. But we are flooded with images every day of Victoria’s Secret models in badly fitted bras and Lane Bryant commercials filled with full-figured women. Two amazingly different body types. Factor in the waif model look, the muscular athletes that are currently idolized and you have two more amazingly different body types. There are so many different body types out there, and it seems like there is one that each woman can identify herself with. Society may be providing these images, but it is the individual that identifies with the image. What is it in the individual psyche that encourages a woman to identify to a certain body type? Is it nurture, how she was raised, her environment, and her peers? Is it nature, what she feels works best for the body she was born in? The debate could continue on nature vs nurture for years with valid points on each side. But the main point is, how can we identify one thing that makes a woman want implants? I do not think that we can. There are so many factors that go into the decision, not just one that can be pointed at.

Breast implants are not for everyone. But then neither is a tummy tuck, Lasic eye surgery, hair bleach, tanning, tattoos or body piercings, make up, hair extensions, waxing, high heeled shoes, or many other things an individual does to make themselves feel beautiful. But they are around because the desire is there. Just because you do not want one of these particular things does not mean that you should point out women that do. Leave the choice up to them, and support all women no matter what they choose. It is their body, their image, their choice to make.

In the comments below please feel free to share your questions about implants. If I can’t answer I’ll find a resource for you. You can also share why you had breast implant surgery or why you decided it was not for you. And because we have talked about society’s impact on choices, so please share what you think about that and how it may have had an effect on your decision. **Please remember that we are talking individual’s bodies, so keep things classy.

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27 Comments

  1. I am asking for comments and what people think, so I think I should probably share my own reasons for getting implants. I fell into the category of women that physically did not have breast tissue. Literally not a drop, no breast crease, no roundness. It was pointless to wear a bra because all it did was indent in and make me feel like I was deformed.
    I actually considered implants a few times before actually getting them. I discounted out of fear the first time. The second time I would have let society dictate my size, and would have ended up smaller then what I really wanted. After finally deciding to have surgery I went with what I thought would look good on my body. And I will say that I am glad that I did. What I have right now are my breasts, on my body, and are perfect for me. I would not change a thing. Well, except I’d make bras in my size more available. I went from one impossible size to another, but I’ll live with that. I have my ideal breast for my body, and I could not be happier!

    • ForeverAnon

      What an informative post. Before reading this, I too would have been one of those people inwardly saying that breast surgery is not really “necessary”, and that one should really get a proper fitting, and you won’t need surgery. But it’s not easy to generalize women’s reasons for getting implants (or other procedures, for that matter). There are a lot of different reasons, and like a poster below said, we don’t bat an eyelash when kids choose to get braces, or when people choose laser eye surgery so they won’t need glasses.

      I have had major self-esteem issues when I was a teen because I thought I was so flatchested. It’s not that I was a late bloomer, but rather, an early stopper. I started developing at 10 and probably stopped at 12 or 13. I really hated how there was extra room at the chest area in tops, hated how my stomach stuck out more than my chest.

      Flash forward to my last year in college-I got a bra fitting at Intimacy, and discovered that I had more boob than I thought I had; it was the loose bands and incompatible cup shapes that made my boobs seem smaller than they really were. I thought I would be a 32AA, but it turns out I was a 28C! And now I’m in the movement for better awareness about proper fitting and demanding a more variety of sizes in the market.

      I learned that for me, I won’t do surgery, but for another woman, that may be just the right thing for her. Sure, some people still have low self-esteem even after surgery, but that’s not the case for everyone. We should be willing to listen first and refrain from judgment.

      Also, I am wondering: what was your reason for going to size 28H in particular, as opposed to say, a less “impossible” size like 28E? I’m not judging, just curious.

      thanks!

      • Forever,
        I was you, except I got little nipple bumps at the age of 11 and that was it. The way you felt in a shirt was the same as I felt. I just continued to buy what ever bras I could to make it look like I had breasts, I knew nothing about bra fit.
        I have had two breast surgeries. The first I had done in 2009, wanting to have a nice 32C. I thought it would be a perfect breast size for me, and easy to buy bras. It wasn’t until I started bra shopping that I realized I was not a 32C. Augmentation sizing is not exact, what gives one girl a C may give another a B, then throw in bra sizing on top of that…. Well, I looked like a 32C, but I wore a 30F (or 28FF). It’s really not that large, even if it sounds that way.
        My second surgery was necessary due to a complication. After careful consideration I decided to increase my size again. It is hard to find implants that match your body perfectly. My first set were a little wide and lacked the forward projection natural breasts have. With my second surgery and complication repair the doctor was able to give me that look, a more natural look. The intent was to be a manageable size like a 28G. In clothes on the street or even a bra you would never know that I have enhanced breasts.

        Anyway, thank you for your comment. You are exactly right with what you say. I agree with what you wrote completely. And thank you for joining the sizing movement! The more people educating others on proper bra sizing the better. You should check out Busts For Justice, she fights for many breast related issues, including proper sizing.

        http://busts4justice.com/

  2. Oh my, very interesting post! Definitely good to hear from another (slightly more informed :p) viewpoint. Just to clarify again, the intention of my post was definitely not to judge, shame, or offend anyone who has had implants (or any other surgery). It is a personal choice, different for every individual, and I hope it can be read as the encouragement of self-love I intended it to be.
    Now…In a similar vein, I’ve been thinking for years that my stretchmarks are ugly and unsightly, and I suddenly thought, well, why? I’ve only ever thought this because it’s what I’m told every day, by…just about everyone. I don’t understand what is so inherently ugly about them. As I said, I can appreciate them for the story they tell, and I think they are beautiful in their own way. For me, the same would apply to breasts after children. Of course, I can’t know for sure as I haven’t had kids yet, and everyone will feel differently.
    I think the thing that annoyed me was not my sister saying she wanted implants, it was my mum agreeing that my sister “needed” them, and similarly told me years ago that I “need” a reduction. I just feel there is not enough done to say that bodies are beautiful, no matter what shape they are or changes they’ve gone through. If someone wants to change it, of course that is entirely up to them. I only intended to offer an alternative viewpoint.
    …This comment took far too long to write and it’s turning into quite a waffle-y essay. I don’t think I’m quite as coherent at 3am…right, to bed.

    • I certainly hope no one takes your post as judgmental! We are a sensitive society when it comes to even the slightest feeling of being judged. I wonder where that comes from? We all have to take a step back sometimes and remind ourselves that written and spoken words can be interpreted differently. We have to consider the speaker/reader and ourselves before responding. It’s about repeating viewpoints and creating a good dialog, sharing education.
      Now the comment about stretch marks is interesting. It shows how different parts of the world or different families place things. For you they were something to be hidden or ashamed of. For me it was a sign of growth and becoming a woman. I remember getting my first stretch mark and having no clue it was suppose to be bad. But now I know that we are supposed to feel the need to hide them an I have the urge to do so.
      As for your sister, does she need implants? Probably not. She’d fall into the category of women that just want to repair their breasts to what they had previously. I have heard one thing from so many moms, breasts are for nurturing the young, by once their job is done they take on a new job. This job is important in a different way, but crucial to a woman. The change of breasts from nurture to sexuality is a complex topic, too much to get into here, but it sounds like your sister (and maybe your mother at one point) may be facing this. You may too someday, and see things differently. Unfortunately there isn’t a way for them to experience the beauty of your naturally larger breasts, they cannot understand why you’d never consider a reduction, much less how you could not possibly need one.
      -Sorry for the wordy reply. There is so much to discuss around this topic. So many interesting points from different views. :)

  3. Jenn

    As someone who doesn’t have implants…yet, I wanted to comment. Although I do have plans to get implants in the very near future, I also can see where society seems to fall into play.

    For me, my decision to get implants is, like many others, due to wanting what I once had. I have had two children and have lost a lot of weight. This has left me with very small, very deflated breasts. I don’t feel like I look womanly in clothes and even worse, I don’t feel attractive when I am in an intimate situation with my husband. I want to get implants to allow me to feel like a woman and once again have full breasts when I am naked. I am tired of having the illusion of breasts due to a padded bra that disappear when I am naked.

    My thoughts on where society fits in are very much centered around the younger generation and realistically come from the fact that I am the mother of a young girl.

    I see more and more young women who are in the 18-21 category that are desperately wanting and getting implants. I feel that at this age, generally, we are not fully developed either physically or emotionally. Society today seems to have influenced young women to believe that in order to be beautiful, meet a great guy and have a successful life, that they need to have a hot little body with huge boobs. I can understand having an augmentation at a young age due to a deformity or lack of breast tissue, however, I cannot understand having an augmentation at a young age simply to feel like you will finally fit in to society’s idea of beauty. In my opinion I would hope that women would spend their time as young adults finding out who they are on the inside before they start trying to change themselves on the outside.

    We all have our reasons and we are all beautiful in our own ways. If a woman chooses to get implants, it is her body and her decision, I always just hope that when someone is young they are getting implants for the right reason. Although, I do understand that my right reason, may be, and probably is, totally different than another person’s right reason.

    I apologize if this became more of a rambling rant than a true comment to a post. I guess I’m a little more sensitive to the subject than I realized.

  4. Turbo

    Hi,
    I think this is an incredible informative view of what Breast Implants can mean to women and the facts and statistics here backing them up are a great way to show the variety of reasons and women that choose this procedure. Thank you for taking the time to write.

    I for one am a Mom who has been up and down with my weight through pregnancies and the weight gain after. My breasts, to me are a very important part of my womanly feminine nature. They don’t define who I am but they certainly have an affect of how I feel about myself. Because of the fluctuation in weight and a recent 30 lb weight loss I am left with saggy deflated flaps of skin. (sorry if this is TMI) Wanting Implants is not only about the visual appearance for me although it is part of it. Wanting implants and a lift for me is more about the actual physical lack of comfort when I am trying to relax around the house in my pj’s without my bra, when I walk down the stairs to fast and the skin “claps” onto my sternum and when I want to be out in public in a bikini and have to crank the strings so tight that I have a neck ache by the end of the day to hold the tissue I have up. My breast lay on the top of my ribs causing sweating and a very uncomfortable feeling. I also don’t feel sexy anymore ( not because my husband or society is making me feel that way). I am all about battle scars and embracing the fact that I am an amazing woman for birthing 2 children and losing 30 lbs. BUT just because I did these things doesn’t mean that I should have to pay a price by dealing with this uncomfort and the unhappiness that I feel when there is a solution to fix it.

    I think just the opposite about Society’s views on Breasts and Augmentation. It has always been so Taboo. Not accepted very widely at all. Women who have gotten them are often stereotyped immediately into a certain group or thought of as slutty etc. While men are left to pop as many viagras as they need in order to alter their bodies.

    Getting Braces is a form of altering the body. Hasn’t society dictated that crooked teeth are not acceptable? We are all lining up our teens to get their teeth fixed and no one seems to blink an eye?

    Women that have not had children often form a lot of opinions about how things should be or how they will parent or not do certain things the way other parents do. I know this is getting off subject, BUT the point I am trying to make is that you don’t know what you will do until you are in the situation. After having children sometimes a Mother feels as if she has been stripped of her identity and has lost herself. This is why the Blogger’s Mother could relate to her sister, because Mother to Mother they share a common knowledge that those who have not experienced that have no clue about. Breasts and a woman’s body have always been a part of being a woman. You can go back thousands of years and know that women have always given themselves treatments to feel prettier and sexier.

    Anyhow, I just thought I would leave my two cents….

  5. If you ask if bigger is better when it comes to breast implant sizes, you are more than likely to get a different answer from men than from women! However, the woman is the one who has to undergo the operation, go through the recovery period, and adjust to her new look. If you are considering getting this type of cosmetic surgery, then you need to consider all of your options when it comes to breast implant sizes. While the man in your life may have his opinion, the final decision is up to you!

  6. IStillExist

    The whole thing is so idiotic that it defies belief. As a society, we put women who look like Christina Hendricks up on a pedestal because of her shapely, womanly breasts and then turn around and criticize women with implants who never developed breasts or mothers who have given their bodies to their children or women with deformities. Then this same society talks out of both sides of their mouth and calls women who look like Christina Hendricks “fat” and glorifies thin women with implants as “ideal” and subsequently plasters them all over the pages of print media. It’s absurd!

    What it boils down to is that we, as women, are expected to walk around polite society with our collars buttoned to our ears and our breasts modestly concealed in tasteful clothing, only to rip them off later to reveal some huge heaving sexy scantily clad lingerie encased set of double D’s for our partners to ravage at their leisure. And it’s not the MEN holding us to this standard! It’s other WOMEN! It’s our MOTHERS, our FRIENDS, our COWORKERS and our casual tacit approval of the behaviors of the people around us.

    Too many of us partake in childlike competition. We are catty and judgmental and disrespectful of the bodies and choices of other women when it comes to their bodies. We do not support one another often enough in bettering our bodies. At the end of the day, it is no one’s business but my own if I rip my shirt open to reveal a chest full of sexy silicone or a chest full or curly hair or a chest full of stretchmarks and skin or a chest full of baby spit up and cracker bits and stuffed animals.

    I HAD Christina Hendricks breasts from the age of 14 on and people judged me heartily for those and after breastfeeding and running, I had them lifted and reshaped with implants into smaller, perkier models that better fit my lifestyle. Why would that be anyone’s business but my own? At the end of the day, the most important thing for me is that I feel beautiful and confident in my own skin. It makes me a better person and a better woman. I don’t have to justify the reasons that I got them done, but I will say this: don’t knock it till you try it, bitches. ;)

  7. Breast augmentation is reported as the most common surgery done by women in United States. This is based on the statistics in the year 2002 where more than 200,000 women underwent this operation.

  8. Jessica

    While I agree with what you say, I believe you also have to acknowledge that small breasts are seen as a ‘correctable flaw’ by society. I wear an ‘A’ or sometimes ‘B’ cup bra, yet I’ve often been made to feel ashamed of their size, even though they are a nice shape and suit my small frame.
    I’m happy that there is augmentation surgery for the reasons you stated above, but I can’t help but feel resentful of the pressure that is put on women to look a certain way.

  9. Art

    Very interesting and thoughtful analysis. As a guy, it’s a different perspective for sure. When I was younger there was a perceived idea that enhanced was somehow fake and inferior and therefore less desirable. As I am sure you have heard, a lot of people, especially women, like to say that women who get implants are insecure. As I grew older, and actually became friends with women with implants, I realized that this was a completely incorrect view of women with enhanced breasts. I actually have a completely opposite opinion now. It boils down to a person doing what they need to do to be happy. That takes confidence and security, not the other way around. Staying the same and being unhappy is more cowardly than taking a risk and changing something you are unhappy about. I feel it is very wrong for a person to make a change because somebody tells them to do it or because society tells them so, but if it is an internal motivation, then more power too them. Of course, society tells us all to be more attractive, but I truly believe this has little to do with implants. It’s really more about having the confidence to make a change to be more comfortable in your own skin. I’ll admit I find enhanced breasts more attractive than natural ones, but that is as much a function of shape as of size. And on top of that, I admire and respect a woman more who has chosen to look the way she wants to look, rather than simply having been born with the genetic makeup to look a certain way. What’s the difference between hair color or style, nails, body hair removal, diet and excercise and fashion sensibilities and style when compared to breast implants or any other cosmetic surgery procedure for that matter? None as far as I can tell. A woman who chooses great looking breasts deserves the same amount of compliments and appreciation as a woman who chooses a great looking dress. I’d rather be with a woman with implants who feels sexier and more confident about herself than someone who is happy and stays with the status quo of her less than ideal natural breasts. Just my thoughts!

    • Art,

      Thanks for taking the time to leave your reply! It is great to read the perspective of a man. I know everyone has their own opinions, and chances are that another man would say something different. I do agree with your point of view and enjoyed reading your response. It is interesting! Thanks. :)

      • Art

        You’re welcome! Believe it or not, guys who admit this preference sometimes receive the same type of negative attitudes that women with implants get.

      • I completely believe it! I have been fortunate and have not experienced much judgement directly until recently, with the company Curvy Kate not allowing women with implants to enter their modeling competition. My husband has not experienced it either. But we know it could happen at any time, it’s best to be prepared for it.

        As a society we like to judge others. Give any small reason, and members of society will attack with sharp teeth. I have seen it in more then just implants. The term “chubby chaser” is the first that comes to mind. It’s all about personal preference not society’s ideal image.

  10. Art

    I can’t stand judgmental people. By the way, I am married and my wife has implants and she is a senior partner in a major law firm. Surprisingly, she has gotten an overwhelmingly positive response! Buying bras is a major hassle though, at least really good ones, we have tried Intimacy, but recently she has lost a lot of weight and they are looser again and she needs more. How did you get into this specialty?

    • I’m assuming you mean how did I get into blogging? It is a fairly new venture for me, but I have been building as much knowledge as I can about bras and fit over the past few years. I got my first implants in 2009 (and a complication repair about 12 weeks ago) and realized I knew nothing about bras. I couldn’t find a comfortable bra to save my life, so I started researching. Much of what I found applied to all women, no matter what their breasts are, but there was no one out there talking about bras and implants. After fitting myself, friends, and countless women with implants I figured I should start sharing what I knew. Plus I want women with implants to know what works for them in a bra, I wanted to give a voice to the need. So, here I am, building my little blog up and trying to reach as many women as I can.

      Your wife is stuck right in the place where she needs fitting! Weight fluctuation is the biggest reason women with implants end up getting a fitting. She sounds like she is needing a much smaller band to give her proper support. Intimacy is a good place, don’t get me wrong, but they tend to push an incorrect bra with the promise altering it to fit. Not the best solution for any woman! I have also read that they tend to increase the price over what many other retailers do. She is in a similar situation to what many of us have been in. There are places that do virtual fittings now over Skype or through email by measurements and photos. A hands on fitting is always best, but unless you can find a lingerie boutique near you that is experienced in fitting you may not have that option. But once she knows her proper size there are more then enough options for pretty bras! I don’t think it is possible to have too many bras!

      • Art

        Is there a particular brand you would really recommend? By the way, she has silicone moderate implants, 400 and 450cc, was a natural 34A/B.

      • I’m sure with her weight loss that she is probably now smaller then a 34 band. Many women actually wear a bandsize that is 2 or more sizes too big. If she was a 34A/B before surgery then she was probably at least a 34D (maybe DD) after surgery. Silicone moderate implants tend to be wider, so she’ll want a brand that offers more width the to cups, something by Panache may work well for her.
        Panache is carried at some Nordstrom stores (their fitting is hit or miss, but it wouldn’t hurt to try). If you have one close by I’d start there. She should try on the band first and make sure it is nice and snug, two fingers should fit in the back and be able to lift two inches max. I would start with a 30 and a 32, but be prepared to go down in band size. Then she’ll try cupsizes to see what fits. Maybe a 32DDD/E (F in US sizes like Chantelle brand bras) or a 30F.
        Either of you can email me if you’d like, email is on the contact page. I’ll send a list of questions and ask for a few measurements. Then I’ll make a range suggestion for her to try based on the answers and measurements.

        http://bybabysrules.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/bra-fitting-with-implants-its-the-same-but-totally-different/

  11. Fascinating post! I have friends and family who have has breast surgery (both augmentations and reductions). It’s really be a non-issue for them (as far as I know) and all of them were quite happy with the results. Unfortunately, none of them currently wear the bra size, despite my best efforts. :(

    Growing up it seemed like a given that once I was done having kids I’d get a reduction. This was before I knew about proper fitting and I felt like my breasts were a constant source of pain and embarrassment. Now that I know how to get bras that fit (and find clothes that are sold by your bust size!!!), it’s really changed my perspective to the point that I no longer want a reduction. That being said… I haven’t completely eliminated the idea of a breast list/tummy tuck. If I decide to go down all the way to my planned goal weight I’ll have lost 100lbs all together from my highest weight. Add in 2 years of nursing (and we’d still like another kid…), that’s a lot of changes for one body! For the most part the loose skin isn’t too bad, but it’s there and I still have about 20lbs to go to reach my goal. Once we’re 100% sure we’re done having kids then I’ll re-evaluate from there and decide. I go back and forth on it constantly, though, so who knows if I’ll ever decide for sure. :) Then again, (especially on my breasts) the loose skin is enough that it’s made it difficult to find well-fitting bras, it itches, wrinkles up, and I’ve constantly having to rearrange myself in any bras that are remotely low cut because my breasts are too soft to stay put!

    I DO wish that women were required to at least try on properly fitting bras before any type of surgery and that there was better education on how to find well-fitting bras after surgery too.

    • Thanks for your post June! You are a perfect example of what a woman should do, personal and life assessment, before deciding if surgery is right for them. It is not often that you find women willing to share their feelings about the subject openly. There are so many women who have some form of surgery to correct skin from weight loss or breast feeding. My own wonderful sister (whom you’ll see guest posting soon) is a natural 34H, is in the process of loosing weight, and is a very similar story to what you tell in your blog.
      As for proper fitting, I 100% agree!!! I struggled in discomfort in a badly fit 32A bra. It was hell in the best conditions but by far worse while deployed in the Middle East. I should have probably been a 28B. My twin sister willing submitted to a fitting to find out she should be a 28D/30C, not the 34A she was in. It’s a realization that can change a woman’s life, much more then surgery can. I’m sure proper fitting in the US could completely change the number of reductions done each year and give so many women a sigh of relief. Post surgery wise, I hope to help women with implants get that fit. I don’t feel I know enough to give a woman with a reduction a better fitting then she could get elsewhere. I do wonder if there is a resource for post reduction women and bra sizing.

  12. Lou

    I must admit that, as someone who has both lost weight (and therefore breast fat) and has tuberous breasts, I feel that the “breast issue” shouldn’t be one for women and that, ideally, they should embrace their appearance and learn to accept the change throughout the time.

    I am not against comestic surgery and I understand why some go through this as I have thought about it when I was young (between 12 and 18 years old, strangely enough, I wanted to get rid of my breasts rather than get implants).

    What I think is the problem is that the society does put too much pressure on our appearance. Sure, some women will want to have back what they used to have, but I don’t think it’s purely personal and completely unrelated to peer pressure (and peer pressure is probably older than dirt since physical appearance plays a big role in reproduction theoretically).

    I think women should get psychological help more easily and not be ignored for body image issues, it is very important and can ruin your life. Unfortunately, it is often seen as secondary in a world that is constantly judging people on their appearance (“real women have curves” or “you’re too fat” ?).

    We are women and keep our identity as women no matter what we look like or what kind of life we had.

    It took me a lot of time to think about what I should do about my body. I felt so bad that I got fat, then thin again.
    I had to accept so many things : my large frame (even at my thinest, my bones are rather wide and stocky according to my doctor, the smallest band size I could fit would be a 28 and I’m a size 8 -UK), my tuberous breasts, my stretch marks and rosacea.

    I found out about bra fitting, I still haven’t quite found the right size as it took me some time to accept that my “small breasts” were not small (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried on a 32B just because it felt like I should fit this size), just has an unusual shape.

    I think it helped me a lot with my body image because nobody can see my tuberous breasts when I’m wearing a bra and lots of people believe that I have beautiful breasts (though it makes me uncomfortable to hear that).

    Also, thinking about what a woman “should be”, learning about body shapes and everything helped me a lot realize that it was “all in my head”. I’ve also had the chance to have support from my friends, one of whom has tuberous breasts as well (but not exactly the same shape) and the other has very visibly asymetrical breasts.
    The three of us realized that we should not be defined merely as a pair of breasts (or a buttock or anything) and that we were fully grown women with their own identity and personality, not just a cute empty package.

    I find the condition of women and men to be very hard in this society, at least in my country (I live in France) and I can see how hard it could be to find your place or see yourself as… well, something else than a body or truly yourself.

    I somehow wish that this kind of surgery wasn’t so prevalent because it’s still somewhat dangerous and it doesn’t help with the real problem -which isn’t the bad feeling people have about their body, but the causes of this feeling.

  13. Amy

    Hi, love the post. My personal opinion is that our society is founded upon non-natural lifestyle – the cars we drive, the houses we live in, the clothes we wear, the makeup we wear, our hair, nail, and other cosmetic add-ons . . . braces, contact lens or glasses, hats, jewelery, tatoos, piercings, watches, shoes . . . the list goes on and on. Quite frankly with the rare exception of an isolated tribe here and there – everyone has altered themselves to some extent. What may be seen as extreme to one may not to another. It is not my place to judge another, well – unless you do something to me or that directly affects me :) – and many people do things for the wrong reason. So many people won’t wear anything but name brand – clothes, purses, etc… lol I am lucky if I paid more than $15 for an item of clothing that I wear – neither is right and neither is wrong. Yes, our appearance is important to us becuase yes we are judged by our appearance . . . because our appearance is an expression of ourself. I never ever EVER thought I would get breast implants – not because I disagreed with them but because of the cost. I was never unhappy with my breasts . . . but after getting a little older and gaining and losing some weight yeah they could be better… but could be worse too. I don’t chose to cut or color my hair (lol lucky if I cut my hair 3x a year), no nails and makeup is come and go – don’t spend on clothing and don’t dress to impress – but after losing my father I realized that life is short and money is not what is important in life. So, among other changes I made in my life, I eventually decided “yes” I would enjoy having breasts – so I did it. Not for anyone else but for me. I am not sure that anyone can even tell that I had it done! My family was – much to my surprise – so very supportive.

    I am writing this after receiving a very hateful comment on a running list serve where a few of us gals who had BA’s were chatting about getting it done, running with them, etc. It hurt – all of the nasty comments this one poster made. But it did not last :) I want to say “thanks” to everyone on this site for the thoughtful comments. I also want to add that I believe that yes, BA is superficial – but I believe that all of human society is superficial. My BA did not give me self esteem or self confidence – my parents did :) My BA gave me boobs that I enjoy – just me, well and my boyfriend too. I am 35 years old, and would have been happy w/o them but am happy with them. Yes, it was a purely selfish decision. And I deserved it. After living so many years of my life with low self esteem, and I mean LOW self esteem – in the last 10 years I learned how to love myself and to become a person that I can love. I never thought I would say that I deserved anything and I love that I can.

    “Everything I need may be found in my own hand,
    If I choose, it holds the one that I love,
    If I choose, it reaches out to support my friends,
    If I choose, it works hard to build and to create,
    It is stronger than I realize . . . but only if I choose for it to be that way. . .
    I am so lucky to have such a hand in life.”

    • Amy,
      Thank you for your perspective. I love reading about other women and their story. I am so sorry that you experienced hateful things. I try and keep this blog and the Facebook page as positive as possible, not just for ladies with implants but for people who may take just a small piece of what is said and learn from it. I absolutely love your comment and your absolute honesty. So many women think “never ever” until they realize that they want something to be happy. I thought that, but I am more “me” now with my implants then I was with out them. My breasts do not make me, but they are a part of me, my self image, and my happiness.
      I love the quote too. Do you have a source for it? Something in it really touched me.

Trackbacks

  1. Saturday Spotlight: By Baby’s Rules | A Sophisticated Pair
  2. Wait a minute…. Breast implants are mutilation?? « By Baby's Rules
  3. Top Reasons Why Women Go for Breast Surgery | Health Care Information

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