Do you need breast implants?
The majority of American women are not happy with their breasts, and that
makes the majority of women potential customers for the breast
augmentation/breast implant industry. The media and the ads may be the
main influence in getting women to believe their breasts are "inadequate" but
breast augmentation websites and breast implant industry are happy to feed the
fire with their usage of language.
In essence they want to leave the impression that asymmetrical breasts, small
breasts, sagging breasts, large areolas, small nipples, etc. are deformities
- something supposedly not formed well, out of form - or instances where the
breast didn't "fully develop" or is "underdeveloped".
By classifying many of these normal variations in breast shape as breast
deformity, the surgeons can then be ready to "correct" these "problems"
and "deformities" and "lack of development".
Shouldn't we rather classify breast development in terms of milk ducts and
the milk producing cells - the glandular tissue??
See for example these examples taken from various breast implant websites.
(You'll need to copy & paste the web addresses to your browser's address bar;
we're not going to link to them directly).
"Breast deformities can be developmental or post surgical. They can be
associated with size differences, shape differences or scarring related to
implants or previous surgeries. Developmental Deformities ...can present during
puberty as asymmetric breast development with one breast being much larger then
the other or associated with strange shapes of the breast."
"Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure to
increase the size of the breasts. It is usually performed to enlarge small,
underdeveloped breasts that have decreased in size after pregnancy. It can also
be performed in cases of breast deformity, or where one breast has not developed
in proper symmetry with the other."
About 60% of women have a bra cup size A or B so in reality "small" breasts
are the majority and cannot be called "underdeveloped". If the only
standard of beauty are the supermodels with huge breasts, it is no wonder
everybody has started considering the normal and the usual breasts as 'small'.
Also, the majority of women have (at least slightly)
asymmetrical breasts (just as most men have one testicle hanging lower than the
other)- so in reality asymmetry of the breasts is the norm and symmetry is the
rarer occasion! We need to wake up from the fallacy that media and plastic
surgeons are airing to us!
Now, it is possible to have true under-developed (hypoplastic) breasts
where there is little glandular tissue. This is a congenital deformity,
showing as very small, widely-spaced breasts with a tubular shape
(see a picture on a different page).
Women with hypoplastic breasts often have milk supply problems.
In the US society such a woman is very likely to feel a need for breast
implants to look normal - and nobody can blame her for that. If the media
culture didn't value breast size to such an extreme, even these women would have
it easier and not feel such a pressure. (Personally, I
wouldn't choose breast implant surgery in any case because of the very high
complication rate, a definite risk for systemic health-crippling disease, and
the fact that it would only further diminish the chances of successful
The breast surgery physicians are not excluding children and teenagers; on
the contrary it sounds like at least some of them welcome young patients:
All teenagers are self-conscious about their body
image. But no adolescent, girl or boy, should have to constantly worry about
their breasts. Boys shouldn't have to bind their breasts to flatten them, and
girls shouldn't have to pad their bras or fear the padding may move or fall out.
Plastic surgeons can remove at least those pressures from these teens' lives.
But the worst of it is perhaps how The American Society of Plastic and
Reconstructive Surgeons wants us to believe that small breasts are a DISEASE!
This is what they wrote in their petition to FDA in support of breast implants
"There is a common misconception that the
enlargement of the female breast is not necessary for maintenance of health or
treatment of disease. There is a substantial and enlarging body of medical
information and opinion however, to the effect that these deformities (small
breasts) are really a disease which in most patients results in feelings of
inadequacy, lack of self-confidence, distortion of body image and a total lack
of well-being due to a lack of self-perceived femininity. The enlargement of the
under-developed female breast is therefore, often very necessary to insure an
improved quality of life for the patient." (emphasis mine)
This would mean (according to the organized plastic surgery) that most women
have a disease and are in need of a breast augmentation procedure. The
TRUTH is quite contrary. The "small breasts" they are talking about are
the average and typical breasts. In fact, it sounds strange, but the
breast augmentation websites are great places to see normal female breasts.
The BEFORE pictures in their before/after galleries usually show a collection of
perfectly average size breasts. It is as though the surgeons wish to point
out to the reader that "This is the size of breast that needs augmented", when
in reality those breasts were just fine-looking and AVERAGE size (cup B) before
surgery. The fact that all those women chose breast implants shows sadly
that many American women have internalized the doctrine of BEAUTY = BIG BREASTS
that the beauty industry and organized plastic surgery constantly present to
them in the media images.
Now, a little thinking experiment. Picture a head, hands, and feet to
these upper torsos. Imagine it is your sister, your daughter, your mother,
your friend - someone you know.
|If she was your friend, would you advice her to have
surgery to have her 'boob job' done?
||If she was your sister, would you feel she is less
intelligent or less of a person, or lacking somehow, because her breasts have a
'lack of development'?
||If she was your mother, would you feel that the
breasts that fed you are deformed and need 'a lift'?
Yet that's exactly what the breast surgery proponents, ads, and media forces
try to say to women - not outright or in those words, but in implications and
indirectly. If you wouldn't comment on your friend's, sister's, or
mother's breasts in such a way, why let the beauty industry and organized
plastic surgery tell you that exact message?
You talk about a money-making scheme in a medical community, there you have
one! And surgeons doing breast augmentations are faring well. In the
year 2002 over 240,000 women got breast implants. In year 2003 it increased to
280,401 women - a huge increase from 32,607 in 1992.
The public has been led to believe for years that breast implants are safe
and that they practically are life-long devices that need no care. That is
simply not true - and never has been. Implants do rupture at some point;
the more time passes, the more probable it becomes. They will need
replaced or removed. The local complication rates are high and within
10-12 years, most women will need at least one additional surgery.
Even the myth of breast implants improving mental health does not hold water.
Inamed’s (a breast implant manufacturer) recent "core study" of silicone breast
implants studied complication rates and also evaluated patients' mental health
and quality of life before and after receiving breast implants. It was
found that on average, women reported poorer health or mental health after
implants compared to before. Almost every measure of emotional and
physical health, including social relationships and self-esteem, declined after
getting breast implants. The only improvements were in self-reported
It is high time we quit believing that an anorectic ally thin female body
with huge 'boobs' is "beautiful" or "ideal". Hopefully you have visited
the breast gallery page on this site and other pages, and can agree that
normal and typical female breast varies a lot in size and shape; that most women
actually have asymmetrical breasts; that breasts are for breastfeeding and not
to make products sell better.
And it isn't enough to just not believe this mentally, because the pictures
surrounding you still affect your mind on subconscious level. To spare our
daughters, we need to protect them from exposure to most women's magazines,
to television soap operas, and other warped presentations of woman's body,
and instead provide some healthy materials body-image-wise for the developing
One good alternative is
New Moon - an advertisement free magazine for girls ages 8-14. If
you know of other resources and materials for kids and teens that support
healthy body image, let us know and we will publish them on the site.
Sources & resources
FDA’s October 2003 Summary of Research on Inamed Implants. Complications and
BREAST IMPLANT RISKS from FDA.
Breastimplantinfo.org - The Implant Information Project
A web site sponsored by National Center for Policy Research (CPR) for Women &
Families. The Implant Information Project tries to give women access to
accurate, unbiased information.
Silicone Holocaust website talks about the dangers of breast augmentation
surgeries and has some extremely graphical pictures. Not for faint-minded.
Recent trends with implants
8.3 Million Cosmetic Procedures in 2003: American Society for Aesthetic
Plastic Surgery Reports 20 Percent Increase
Nothing? A Look at the Ballooning Cosmetic Breast Implant Industry by Mary
You can't wear your self-esteem on your chest
News article how record
numbers of parents are giving their teenage daughters breast implants for high
An Imperfect Solution
Saline breast implants are touted as a safe alternative to silicone. But some
women still get sick from them.
Other interesting websites
Tit4Tat - Stomping
on breast implant hype with the "no silicone, no saline, no sir!" attitude. They
also have humorous
Safe breast implants pictures