Chances are, we all know a few people who’ve had a boob job. An old coworker of mine just got breast implants – they look damn good, I should add – and even though she’s wanted to do this forever, she feels vulnerable now that she’s done it. In her words, “People have really strong opinions about plastic surgery. Especially boob jobs.”
Her comments caught me off guard. Boob jobs are pretty commonplace nowadays — didn’t they stop being “scandalous” back in the 90s?? (Especially in light of the fact that some people get breast implants for medical reasons — does anyone remember that episode of The Good Wife??)
Concern or judgment might make sense to me if we were talking about a 16 or 17 year old girl. We’d probably encourage her to focus on her inner beauty and address the root cause of her insecurities and whatnot. But we’re talking about an accomplished, responsible 30-something who’s spent the last 15 years wishing she had a reason to own a bra, and if you’ve spent a lifetime trying to make peace with what you see in the mirror and it’s still a struggle, why not just change it if you can?
But I guess that’s easy for me to say – I’m the world’s biggest proponent of Botox, and I hope liposuction will tidy up the backs of my thighs someday. I see no reason to make peace with these nuisances when modern science provides an easy solution. I have plenty of other flaws and insecurities that need my attention — the kind of flaws that can’t be fixed with the swipe of a credit card.
I’m curious to get some thoughts on this. Do people have really strong opinions on plastic surgery? Do you view it as more of a “to each his own” thing? Have you ever thought about getting it? Do you think people who get plastic surgery are just ignoring deeper issues?
I admit I’m probably pretty high on the charts when it comes to indulging my vanity, but it seems like everybody is trying to change something, even minimally. We dye our hair, wear makeup, go on crazy juice cleanses, get lash extensions, wear Spanx, wax mustaches and bikini lines and spend oodles of cash on anti-aging lotions and potions. If we didn’t, we’d be running around with uni-brows and uncontained muffin tops and chin whiskers. (Which, come to think of it, would free up a ton of our time and money…but think of all the cosmetics manufacturers and aestheticians and inventors who’d be out of work!)
So why does it create such a stir when someone pursues the same kind of improvements by way of surgery or injections? Is it because doing so usually requires shelling out half the GDP of a small country? Undergoing anesthesia? Hiding out for weeks until bruises and swelling subside?
It seems like we judge all these superficial modifications in terms of what lengths were taken to achieve them, not on the results. And in a way, that makes sense. We judge a woman who is willing to save up a ton of money and subject herself to incredible amounts of pain for the sake of having boobs because we can’t fully understand why it’s that important to her. When we can’t relate, we judge. I guess it’s human nature?
This was kind of all over the place, and I know I’m probably opening Pandora’s Box right now, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Is there a difference between the Joan Rivers/Heidi Montag types and the people who are going under the knife for more subtle improvements? Is all cosmetic surgery subject to the same level of scrutiny? And to get back to my coworker’s comment, do boob jobs really still raise eyebrows?