Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Young Brides of Frankenstein?

I saw something in our paper today that kind of set me off. Not enough to draw my sword, this is not something to be directed at one person, but enough to just sit there and eat at me a bit. The article in our paper was talking about young women and plastic surgery, in particular breast augmentation. I’m talking women who have not yet had children. Some of them as young as 18, as if their parents were saying, “Happy High School Graduation! Here are some new breasts!”

I’m sorry, but there is just something inherently wrong with that.

***Note- This post is strictly about teenagers and elective plastic surgery. This is not aimed at women in general and it is definitely not aimed at anyone who is having these surgeries due to cancer or anything else that could cause disfigurement.***

What has happened to our society that young women who should still have young beautiful firm bodies are thinking they are not good enough? What has happened that their self image is so wrapped up in their bodies that they are willing to undergo the knife? Why at this age are girls not more wrapped up in their brain power? I just don’t get it.

OK, maybe I am an oddball. Maybe my whole “ME” was not wrapped up in my body image when I was 18 because 1) I knew I was smart and there was no doubt in my mind that my brain would get me where I needed to be and 2) I wasn’t having sex yet. Yes, it is true, at 18 I wasn’t sleeping with boys. I just hadn’t met anyone I cared that much about and honestly, the girls I hung out with, we weren’t like that. We all had big brains and we all had big plans and accidentally getting pregnant or spending THAT much time with a boy, were not on our agendas. At all.

I just don’t know who to be pissed at. The media for portraying to us on all platforms that the ultimate woman is thin as a rail with big boobs? Their parents for not instilling what is important? The kids for being a bunch of materialistic sheep? Here’s a newsflash folks, breasts are body fat, so if a girl has no body fat, she isn’t going to be busty. When I see a stick thin girl/woman with size C or D cups… it’s a giveaway. Do these girls not understand they may never be able to breastfeed? Do they not understand that most men, while they all notice breasts, don’t have a fetish for fake ones? Most of them like them au natural and most of the men I know feel that ‘more than a mouthful’ is really not necessary.

So in this article they are interviewing girls and this 18 year old said she wasn’t happy being a 34A and, get this, HER MOM AND SHE had been talking about it for awhile. She didn’t like how she looked in clothes. Hello? Has she never heard of Victoria's Secret? I've bought bras there that make my 32Bs look like they're busting out of a t-shirt. She is much happier in her 36C. Holy crap. 36C. I don’t know how tall this chicky girl is, but I assure you, as a 36C at 5’2”, I would be VERY WELL endowed. BIG. Perhaps she doesn’t realize that her perky fake 36C‘s will not be so perky, but just fake, when she is my age… especially if she has children. They’ll hang down to her knees. Huh. That’s attractive.

This whole thing blows me away. I was at a dinner about a year ago and this plastic surgeon was at our table. I was listening the entire night to the various conversations and then I actually brought up this thing about teenagers and breast implants. Of course he had a great rationalization for it. I listened. He asked me some question and I said, “I would never have breast implants” and he laughed. He then said, “Oh yes you would. My #1 client is 40 year old divorcees. If your husband left you right now, you’d be one of the first to walk through my door.”

My husband is staring at him, knowing what this guy has probably just walked into. I stared him straight down and said quietly but firmly, “No. You are wrong. I would be the last person through your door. See, my sexuality and ‘ME’ is not caught up in my breasts.” My husband followed with, “I assure you, you are talking to the wrong person and have made the wrong assumption. She would be the last person you would see.”

There was much back pedaling then and he said, “Well, look at you. You don’t understand. There is nothing not average about you. Your butt is not too big. Your thighs are not too big. Your tummy is not too big. Your breasts are neither too small or too big. You are properly proportioned so YOU would not be the type of person to want for anything. Your body is just right.”

Nice try. In a way he does have a point, I’m not skewed out of proportion really other than my way overstretched abs. Any time a group of women get together they talk about what they would change. 99% of the time I am partaking in the talk, the answer is breast implants. Invariably the talk turns to me and I always say, “Nope. Pass on those. I’d take a tummy tuck.”

Trust me, in any given day, I can sit down just as easily as the next woman and tear myself apart to the point that my last thought is I look like a troll. There are way too many mornings when I step out of the shower and just as soon see all the mirrors in my house draped in black cloth… some symbol of mourning for what my body was but is no longer.

But I’ve accepted it and I try not to dwell. But it is hard. It is damn hard. Everywhere I turn, the perfect woman is thin, busty, and young. The models, the actresses, movies, TV, magazines… they all exude the same. I find it exceedingly annoying, but I’m glad I’m a 39 year old confident woman combating self doubt and not some 18 year old girl. I have what it takes to throw such rubbish out of my head. I know what I am capable of intellectually and I know what my body can do and what it can do for the opposite sex, regardless of the fact I don’t look like Barbie.

My being is not wrapped up in my breasts or stomach. Thankfully. Perhaps large amount of credit goes to my folks in teaching me how to think for myself and to like me for me.

I don’t see this coming to an end. I see it getting worse. It is very sad. It is very annoying. And I must wonder… if these girls are getting lipo, breast implants and tummy tucks (yes, my friends, these young women are getting tummy tucks) at 18, 19, and 20 what in the hell are they going to be doing at 30, 35, and 40? And I hope to teach my boys to stay far far away from the girls who have had breast implants or a tummy tuck at that young age… for they are going to be high maintenance basket cases when they are my age.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was 18, I was 5'4" and a max of 100 pounds. I DID NOT have a figure (unless you count popsicle stick) and seriously thought about breast implants. I figured out not too long after that I just wasn't done maturing yet. Now, being 33 I thank GOD I didn't get them...I'd be spending the rest of my life having more surgery to keep them on my chest and away from my waist!

I think that the media is partically to blame (look folks, here's what a REAL woman looks like) and then society is the other part of the blame (WHAT?? You don't look like someone in Playboy!)


9:51 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

When I was 18, I was 5'6", and weighed about 123 pounds. I had no figure to speak of, and although I considered myself reasonably intelligent, I was not happy with the way I looked. Mum's comment on it was, "Yes, I've always had a flat chest too" Not hugely comforting when you see other well endowed people having people more interested in them than yourself. Now I am 31, I am a lot more comfortable about how I look in regards to breast size, I am still 5'6", but now weigh 145 pounds. Actually, now I am trying to lose a bit of weight, as what I have put on has settled in the common areas of waist, hips, bum and thighs! I can understand 18 year olds being self conscious about how they look, that said however, I have never or would ever consider plastic surgery. I don't believe it is necessary unless of course, as Bou said, it is for cancer or other disfigurement. Even then, I think I would be hard pressed to consider it a viable option, I don't like the idea of part of myself being fake.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Sorry, meant to add "don't like parts of me being fake", unless of course they were keeping me alive or holding things together, eg I wouldn't mind having a pin in my knee if it was necessary to keep the two halves together! :)

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is all of them have too much time and way too much money on their hands. How much you want to bet that these girl's mothers all have implants too. They see their daughters as extentions of themselves, thus they see all of their own insecurities in their girls and think this will help them... sad.

I grew up "knowing" absolutely that I was FAT! I had a sister who was naturally underweight and a year younger than me, so I was always being compared to her. My parents helped this along by joking every night - "here comes Teresa, pull the table farther away from the wall so she can get back there" and then laughing. Yes, I was certain I was fat.

The thing is, I lacked any sort of will power to go on a diet, I guess I never really cared enough. I figured I was fat, there was nothing I could do - I'd never be skinny like my sister... the result was - no action. As it happens, this was good. I was a normal size person. At that age I was a 34B and thought I stuck out WAY too far. LOL. After 2 kids I'm now a 38B and have been for years. I can't imagine being any bigger, I'd feel like a cow! Now I too would take the tummy tuck - but implants... no freakin' way!

-- Teresa

1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And now, for one man's perspective on breasteses.

I like REAL breasts, you know, soft, squeezable even. I don't particularly care if they are big, or small. I like them to look "right" on the woman they belong to. Implants NEVER look right. They stand out there and yell, "Hey! I am a big fake titty!" whether lying down, or standing.

I have had the good fortune of playing with many breasts in my time, some fake, almost all real, and let me say, the fakes are a big let-down. It's sad that the surgery almost always causes a loss in sensitivity in the nipples. And without that sensitivity, what fun are breasts anyway?

Oh well, my two cents.


2:23 AM  
Blogger Graumagus said...

First off let me say that I have no problems with aftermarket parts. If it makes a woman feel better having 30lb artificial knockers, more power to her. That said, I agree about the media these days. It's like a woman is supposed to be a size 2 everywhere except the boobicular area, and then be a 36c or bigger.
Shape and proportion to the body are key.

2:47 AM  
Blogger pamibe said...

I've tried telling myself that it's a new age. Things are becoming more centered around instant gratification and personal glorification.

Want a smoother face? We've got several thousand creams for that. Smoother butt? Same thing. It was a slippery slope to cosmetic surgery. Younger and younger is of course the natural progression, as that's when our bodily insecurities are born and nurtured.

Reminds me of the movie Logan's Run.. [I think that's the name] People in the far-distant future can slip inside a tube and alter their features in just about any way they like. It's commonplace.
That's the way it might be in our future, but I think it's a sad commentary on who we are as people.

I'm a big girl; if I were a dog they'd say I have 'lots of bone'. Tall at an early age, and slightly overweight during my school years, if someone had whispered in my ear that all that could easily change... Well, my Mom, bless her, would have set me straight. But I would have been tempted. ;) Instead I focused on more important things than my body.

I believe cosmetic surgery has a definite place in medicine, but providing fake tits for children is not exactly the vision the pioneers of the field had in mind.

5:58 AM  
Blogger VW said...

Makes me wonder why I wasn't worried about my body when I was younger? What was so different? I have always been 'overweight' for my bone size and height per doctor charts. Yet, to me it is just perfect. Well... until having 2 children. Something about that stomach a whole lot bigger and just not going away. Right now it bothers me, but most days I decide it is a symbol of my motherhood and just keep going.

I know TV and other influences get to us all... but this just seems to have gotten to an extreme. I hope it goes the other direction soon. Well... as long as bathing is still important. ;-)

Bou, I agree with you, but I just don't understand it.

6:53 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

I'm naturally busty - 34C on a five feet tall frame. But of course, I have felt fat my entire life. It's a no win situation. Realistically, there are very few size 2 bodies that come with large breasts. In fact, I don't know any. All the size 2 women I know, either are tiny or have implants.

My freshman year of college, I got so freaked out about my weight that I ended up eating a single hard boiled egg per day and a Lean Cuisine for months. And I still thought I was fat . . .

I think the trend toward implants is some of the same thing that drives girls toward anorexia. It is extremely sad that beautiful young women are so unhappy with their bodies.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Quality Weenie said...

I think it's the media with help from the parents.

I think parents more than peer pressure is the result of this. Growing up I was always told I was fat, being compared to my rail thin sister. I was 23 before I figured out that I actually had one hell of a body and up until then I was wearing extra large swearshirts covering my butt and sweats. I also thought my boobs were way to big for my body (115, 5'5" and 36DD)Even now a "few" pounds heavier I see that I could make some improvements, but I will do it by exercise.

When people mention about getting bigger boobs I tell them what it is really like with them. I have shoulder problems and now neck problems because of the big boobs and if I wasn't so chicken I would have a reduction. And there is NO bra out there that will pick those babies back up when they have fallen.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning,
I dropped by by way of Stu. Firstly let me say that I find your writings quite insightful and informative. Your most recent has lead me to comment. The media is to blame, as are we as parents and society in general. The values that our children adapt are our values extended to them. Very rarely do our offspring deviate from the paths we set for them. Society teaches them what is admired and they automatically gravitate towards it. Look at what our children are allowed to watch on television. Look at the images they promote...the well breasted female (the Barbie image if I may be so bold). Times have certainly changed and so have the values we instill. Where do we go from here? I fear for my children in today's society. Since I live on a small island in the Caribbean the effects are somewhat tempered by media availability and other factors but it is still present. I believe that we should embark on routes that are necessary but hey...????

9:44 AM  
Blogger Anathematized1 said...

Not being a parent everything I have to say should be taken with a grain of salt. That being said: I believe it is definately the media that affects girls' self image. But, I wonder what kind of example a parent is setting with their "unconditional love" when they basically set the self-consciousness of their children to the "you are not perfect, even in my eyes" state.

I would consider plastic surgery. I would like a breast reduction, but I am an adult and my body isn't going to get any better over time EXCEPT for weight loss. And I would not go through the route of having gastric bypass or anything. Any body alterations I might choose to undertake would be done as a NECESSITY not as a vanity. I mean there is a big difference between having hanging skin and boobs down to my waist and my wanting to have my ears pinned back.

For a lot of people their self-images are caught up not in how they view themselves but in how other people view them. I am ok with me, being 4'7", rather fat, and fairly unattractive by social standards isn't a huge burden. Being female/human I tend to have those "God I look like a hideous hell-beast" days, but all-in-all I am not overly concerned about it most of the time.

I have no desires to be a centerfold in a magazine. I enjoy being me, except for the being horribly out of shape bit, but that's my own d*mned fault.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like many of us agree on this. I too have no problem with women wanting to feel better about their bodies; if it's boobs they want...fine. When I was sixteen I remember wanting boobs so bad that I would pray for them and at 18 I was still not finished growing. At 19 I was a size 2 and climbed to a 34D, 2 cup sizes. I apparently got my wish and more! These girls need to wait at least to 21 before they make a body altering decision.
It's sad that our society sees beauty as one size and these girls aren't looking within for their self-worth. I don't think this is a new issue we just have science to fix it.
- Morrigan

12:10 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

At 18 I was a size 1 with 36D breasts. At 21 I was a size 5 with 36DD. I come from a family of large breasted women and I have to say that they are overrated. I would give almost anything to wear a pretty, lacy slip of a bra. Or anything with spaghetti straps. Or to have clothes that don't have to be tailored to fit right.

I suppose if they stood up all by themselves- ala plastic- it wouldn't be such an annoyance. Or if people looed at my face, rather than my chest, first. (Women are guilty of this, too.) I've thought about surgery to take them down a bit, but I'm just not a big fan of being carved- my recent c-section has exposed me to more surgery than I ever wanted to experience. Bring on the granny-bras, I'm doomed.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Boudicca said...

Most of the women I know that are C and D cups are very curvaceous women. There is a feminity to them... voluptuous comes to mind. None of them are bean pole stick people with big busts. It's a body type. This Barbie type is not natural and let me be upfront, that I have NO ISSUES with plastic surgery... if a woman is that unhappy that this will fill a void or make her more confident, I am all for it. However, for a young woman, it is just wrong. So many things happen.

You have children and your body changes. A lot.

The plastic surgeon said the most satisified patients he has are those who have had breast reduction and I can see that for many reasons, back pain being one.

These young women also don't understand that it's not a one shot deal. Once you have breast augmentation, you will probably have to have more surgeries... rupturing occurs, sometimes they harden... there are after effects.

I think as 'older women' (most of us who have commented here are over 30 and not teenagers) we fully understand the big scope and if we elect to do it, we really really know what we're getting ourselves into.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like Jody, I was an 18 year old with a 36D. In fact, I was a 38 DD. I was huge, and it was all natural.

I hated every single minute of it.

A naturally shy chick, I hated men glancing at my chest. I hated the marks in my shoulders from my enormous, seriously ugly bras (Victoria's Secret did not have bras in my size at that time!) I hated my back aches. So my insurance company supported my claims that it was doing my back in and I had them reduced.

I have never-for one moment-regretted it. I have always been glad I had most-roughly 8 pounds worth-of my breasts removed. My one regret is that they weren't made smaller.

I do agree with you that teens need to wait until they're older to have them enhanced. That's-to me-a very adult step, one not taken lightly. But for ease of life and feeling like you can blend in with the shadows you so want to blend in with? Yeah. I say that's ok as well.


3:30 PM  
Blogger Christina said...


Say it Again, Say it Long, Say it Loud!

"my sexuality and ME is not caught up in my breasts..."

"my whole “ME” was not wrapped up in my body image when I was 18 because 1) I knew I was smart and there was no doubt in my mind that my brain would get me where I needed to be"

AMEN, Sister.

6:12 PM  
Blogger j&c said...

The only thing I've ever considered is lasering those damn strech marks away!

2:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I've thought about this boob thing for years. Been for and against and I have still never been able to make up my mind. I know that I wouldn't do it, but then again, I have boobs, so who am I to talk?

Some lovely ladies I know have had this done, plus other procedures. I like these people and in all facets of life they have been successful. So the way I look at it is not the same way they do, then when I talk to them I see their point of view.

So I've got to say that probably I will continure to straddle the fence. I simply can't say with strong opinion if I am for this or against it.

9:45 AM  

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