Breast implants

A couple of weeks ago something happened that really annoyed me. I’d taken my mum to fit her for new bras, and my older sister had come along, who also needs fitting. She’s had two kids, so she’s lost a lot of fullness in her breasts.

The thing that really annoyed me was that she was talking about this, and announced that she needed implants. When I disagreed, and said there was nothing wrong with her breasts, my mum argued with me and said she understood what she meant, and my 24-year-old sister did indeed “need” implants. Since then, she’s also decided that she will get them as part of her new year’s resolutions, along with a tummy tuck.

Now I understand why she might want them – but it still got to me. I’ve been coming to the realisation that, well, what’s wrong with saggy breasts? What’s wrong with stretchmarks? Mummy tummy? Excess skin? A lack of fullness? What’s wrong with being chubby? It might not be the societally perfect image of how a body should look, but who says that image is right? To me, all of the above tell a story – a lot of them, in this case, of having children. I can see why she might prefer it and that’s her choice, but it really upset and annoyed me how she said she “needed” them – and my own mother agreed.

To me, every body is beautiful, and the fact that we’ve got to a point where something as natural as a woman’s body after children apparently necessitates surgery really worries me. Big breasts, small breasts, sagginess, chubbiness, stretchmarks – what does it matter? Every tiny “imperfection” tells a story. Your body is beautiful not because society says it is, but because it is your body, and nobody can tell you how you should look.

EDIT: To clarify before questions, the intention of this post is not to judge, shame, or offend anyone who has had implants (or any other surgery). It is a personal choice, different for every individual. The aim of this is only to question a society which makes some women think their body is “wrong” and needs “fixing”.

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Founder and main author of Bras and Body Image. Anna is a lingerie lover, feminist and maths student based in the UK, who hopes to someday cuddle every cat in the world.

12 thoughts on “Breast implants

  1. Pingback: Breast implants~ Does society really have anything to do with it? « By Baby's Rules

  2. I totally agree with you. There’s so much pressure to conform to society’s ideals of beauty that women are willing to go under the knife to achieve it. I think it’s sad because these women are already beautiful, and surgery isn’t needed to make them attractive.

    • This is mainly a North American phenomenon. Breasts seems to be the “epitome” of femininity in the US; whereas in other countries it is being a mother, a dedicated wife, a family-oriented woman, a strong-willed woman. In the US, such traits are demonized, leaving American women to define their femininity by Playboy/SI/Bizarre/Porn standards.

      Shaving legs? Shaving pits? Make up if not at home (heck, sometimes even at home)?

      (hint: I lived overseas)

  3. We should all have the opportunity to live comfortably in our bodies, now if women want to change this, why shouldn’t they? Why shouldn’t women go to the gym, wear fake tan or even have cosmetic surgery. If it makes THEM feel happier and more confident, then really who are we to tell them that they are simply complying to society’s perception of the perfect woman. My tuppence worth anyway!

    • Of course they should be able to, and I pass no judgement on those who enjoy altering their appearance. If you want to do it, more power to you. My worries are more about the pressure put on women, the expectation that you have to be a certain way – not the women themselves.

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