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. Images in the media and in the advertisements may be the main influence in getting women to believe their breasts are "inadequate," but breast augmentation websites 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," "deformities." and "lack of development."
See for example these excerpts taken from certain breast implant websites:
"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 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."
Shouldn't we rather classify breast development and normality in terms of milk ducts and milk glands (the milk-producing cells)? In that sense, nearly ALL breasts are normal (the exception being true hypoplastic or underdeveloped breasts that lack milk glands).
Your breasts may be small, but the milk ducts and milk glands don't take up that much space when you are not lactating. The difference between small and larger breasts is in the amount of FAT in the breasts—not the amount of milk glands. SMALL breasts do produce milk in same quantities as larger ones. Breast size does NOT define normalcy, and neither does breast shape!
Considering breast shape, 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! Also, "sagging" is a perfectly normal process that happens to all women, sooner or later, unless the woman has fairly small breasts.
We need to wake up from the fallacy that the media and plastic surgeons are airing to us!
Hypoplastic or under-developed breasts
Now, it is possible to have true under-developed (hypoplastic) breasts where there is little glandular (milk-making) tissue. So we could say this is a true deformity (possibly congenital) where the breasts do not contain enough milk glands.
Outwardly it shows as small, widely-spaced breasts with a tubular shape (see a picture on a different page). Women with hypoplastic breasts often have milk supply problems since there is not enough milk glands to be making the milk. Please read more about this condition here.
A woman with this condition is very likely to feel she needs breast implants to look normal - and we can't blame her! The following comment is from such a woman:
I have had breast augmentation to correct tubular, asymetric small breasts and without it I would have died from depression. Plastic surgery is not wrong, it is a personal decision and for me it saved my life and made me feel complete and normal. Although I had complications it was nothing that couldn't be sorted out and was entirely worth it as it was a matter of life and death.
There is no way I could ever have accepted my breasts before surgery, I cannot put into words how badly it affected me psychologically and even made me feel physically sick as I felt so abnormal.Read the comment in its entirety
Now, if the media and the culture didn't value breast size to such an extreme, even these women would have it much easier, and not feel such a pressure to have breast implants. True, this condition IS a true deformity, but how a person with deformity feels about it is largely influenced by the society around him/her. Wouldn't we all feel so much better about our bodies without these totally fake media messages?
Teens are welcomed, too
There is a sad, recent trend concerning teenagers and breast implants: receiving them as a high school graduation gift is becoming more and more popular.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons officially recommended the augmentation surgery only for teens 18 and older, but is not enforcing this recommendation. So while some surgeons wisely turn away teenagers, others don't.
The problems with teen girls and breast implants are many-fold:
- Teens are often overly optimistic, glossing over the negatives, and cannot fully realize the long-term consequences of this surgery, or the possible risks. Teens can regard it as having your hair done. No matter how "mature" the teen says she is, research has proven that a certain part of our brain that has to do with judgment and taking responsibility for one's actions does NOT develop fully until well into one's twenties.
- Teen girls' bodies and breasts may still be developing. There are lots of women who can gain a cup or two even after they hit eighteen.
- Almost all teens in the USA are self-conscious about their body, and a teen who gets implants in order to "fix" this one body part may later go into depression if the results aren't as desired, or continue feeling bad about some other body part of hers.
Small breasts = disease ?
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 in 1982:
"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.
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 2006 it had increased to 383,336 women - a huge increase from 32,607 in 1992.
Are implants safe?
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 at some point. The local complication rates are high, and within 10-12 years, most women will need at least one additional surgery. You may even get seriously sick with an autoimmune-type of disease. If you get breast implants, please have an additional $6000-$8000 saved up so you can have them removed in case that becomes necessary.
Even the myth of breast implants improving mental health does not hold water. Inamed's (a breast implant manufacturer) "core study" of silicone breast implants studied complication rates (which were high), 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 sexual attractiveness.
Time to celebrate normal breasts!
It is high time we quit believing that an anorectically thin female body with huge 'boobs' is "beautiful" or "ideal." Hopefully you have visited our gallery 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 a 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 women's bodies, and instead provide some healthy materials, body-image-wise, for the developing minds.