Plastic surgery – is it worth the bother?

Which of us haven’t ever done anything to improve our looks by buying cosmetics, spending fortunes on clothes or hairdressers etc? Can any of us say that she has never tried to boost her mood and self by buying a new dress or going to a beautician or whatever? But what are the limits of improving our bodies? Is having a part of your body cut off in the name of conforming to more or less realistic norm of looks really reasonable??? Shopping for clothes is fun and relaxing (for most of us) and it only drains our wallets. We can remove the make up, hair can regrow but our breasts won’t… These issues have been on and off on bra-fitting communies, and recently there have been new threads about them so I decided to share our thoughts here.

We are surrounded and constantly bombarded by images of perfect bodies, complexions, breasts. They look at us from covers of magazines. This can and does make a lot of us feel inferior, a lot of women try everything to look exactly like these models. But are these looks real? A great number of women seem to forget that these looks are achieved by photoshop. In reality nobody’s skin is unblemished, and nobody’s body or face are perfect. The same applies to breasts, yet the media and a lobby of plastic surgeons are trying to make everybody conform to some ideal shape and size by encoding in our minds the following message: your breasts are small, you have to have them enlarged because larger is sexy and nice, you have (naturally) big breasts – well, you have a big problem, it’s a pathology, you need to have them reduced”.

While it can’t be denied that a problem of having really large breasts exists – its cause is an illness called macromastia or gigantomastia, a lot of plastic surgeons overuse this reason to make their customer believe her large breasts are pathological and need to be reduced. Just like this woman  did – I found this photograph while I was googling for images of hypertophic breasts…  And the point is that her breasts before are just average, looking like 30GG-H(H) whereabouts which is quite a popular size. This is a real case of hypertrophy of breasts, in such cases a surgical intervention is necessery. Or another one – like this.  

It’s astonishing how we can be manipulated into believing that it’s our bodies that are to blame, not a wrong size or cut of bra, clothes, shoes. If only women like the one form the above link had got a proper bra-fitting (almost) all their problems associated with big breasts would have disappeared. If all of them could get their bra with a band that supports breasts and cups that are big enough, instead of believing their D(D)(D) cups with whatever band are the biggest they can get – as you already know sizes like 30J or 32K do exist. An instantaneous change in looks that a women undergoes when she finally gets a well fitting bra does wonders to self. You just suddenly stop having a complex of having big, unshapely, ugly breast – it turns into – “I have gorgeous tits – I could look at their reflection in the mirror for hours” (you remember the article about “what a proper size did for me” – if you don’t – read it again). And all this for much less money, without the risk of post operation complications.

Is it because plastic surgeons don’t want to lose a source of easy income? I got exactly this impression waching this video. A woman who used to wear an uncomfortable and unspupportive 38DDD gets fitted into a 34H, everything seems fine, it’s explained what a good bra does to the breasts etc until a man (a surgeon?) at the 5:42 starts speaking. He says: “ I think your body is telling your breasts are a little too big for the rest of your body, that’s why it’s so hard to fit.” etc. This is outrageous, how dare he he say something like that to a woman with a comletely normal and average body and breasts? Where the hell, does he see lack of proportions? How can he suggest reduction if back pain continues? As if having breasts were the only cause of having back pain! Then why men do suffer from it too? Why strenghtening of the core muscles wasn’t suggested? I sincerely wish this woman and also many others luck – ladies, don’t get taken in by this kind of talk!  Each of us is different, the world doesn’t need to be full of identical plastic barbie dolls.

To sum up and boost your mood I’ll tell you how to properly do a pencil test for your breasts, it goes like that – “stand naked in front of your naked man, if his pencil starts pointing at you, you just passed it”;) (by turzyca)

9 responses to “Plastic surgery – is it worth the bother?

  1. I want to first commend you for the information you provide on this blog about sizing. So many women don’t know the size they ought to wear and resist moving up in cup sizes because of the very reaction you mention elsewhere–the “oh no! I can’t be that big!” moment.

    But I also want to protest a few things as well. While I’m sure some women feel transformed by properly fitted bras, some of us do keep our “complexes,” often I would argue because of the physical consequences of having large breasts. I think the “My Bra Fitting Changed My Life” counter-narrative is dangerous in its own right. It isn’t always the representative of reality.

    But perhaps more vehemently, I also want to protest your writing about breast reductions. The fact that some men have back pain does not negate that some women, quite possibly including the first one you linked, have back pain because of their breast size and not because of the strength of their cores. It is good of you to want women to feel comfortable in their bodies, but if a woman would feel more comfortable, physically or emotionally, with smaller breasts, then who are we to tell her to settle for something else?

    • Well, I think that as a representative of the Lobby I can say like that: we are in general against unnecessary plastic surgeries. We don’t support solving our body “problems” (” “intended) with a scalpel, in a lot of cases our real or imaginary defects can be dealt with with the help of a psychologist… In most cases big breast problem can be solved with a good fitting bra (only if it doesn’t work operation should be advised). I sometimes wonder why it’s only us who fall prey to manipulations of surgical lobby – would any man cut off a part of his body just because he doesn’t fit into an outfit, shoes or whatever? (though I know they are also customers of plastic surgeons)Is it really ok to give in to tyranny that is trying to press us to resemble one “correct” pattern of beauty? It’s the variety that is beautiful – does the world really have to be full of women looking like just came out of an assembly line? This more or less summerizes discussions that we had on the lobby – we often have somebody new coming and saying:”I have enough of that. I have so big/ugly/uncomfortable tits. I can’t find any bras, I can’t do sports. I can’t go on like that. do you know a good plastic surgeon?” etc etc. Usually after verification of measurements it turns out that a given women is in the middle of the British size chart so she leaves the forum with “morally supported” a list of shops she should visit (and if you looked at the bramap of the world you can see there are quite a lot of them in Poland). Of course there are also such “cases” that are so “fixated” on having a plastic surgery that they don’t listen to any rational arguments… Well, we can’t change the whole world in this way, but we are certainly trying…;)
      As for complexes – well, arent they mainly in our heads? Again, help of a psychologist would be recommended, as well as support of family and friends… In the long run it’s much healthier than having your body cut… The quotes in the article that you mention are real… Is there any danger in that?;)

  2. Here is the danger, I think: If by “real” (and my use of quotation marks, here and in my first post, is also quite purposeful) problems you mean problems that are not all in someone’s head, then they cannot be treated by a psychologist. I think the assumption that we can know someone’s motivation to have a breast reduction–based on the size of their breasts alone–is problematic; one does not need to have macromastia to have physical effects from the size of their breasts. I know several women with cup sizes smaller than the example you provided who dealt with debilitating pain for years before opting for surgery.

    The danger is that women with breasts larger than the norm but smaller than would fall under the term macromastia are caught between two competing discourses about their bodies. Pop culture tells them that their breasts are abnormal and unattractive (or, strangely, that they are so attractive that men should not be blamed for any rude behavior toward them). Messages like yours, gratefully, tell these women that they are normal, but they also relegate women’s complaints about their bodies to the psychological–they can be fixed by wearing the proper sized bra (back pain and shoulder grooving can not always be fixed through this measure), and any decision to go a surgical route is the cause of a “fixation” or a “complex” or an irrational choice based on the desire to look “like they just came out of an assembly line.”

    The danger is in the implicit passing of judgment, the lack of nuance, and the putting down of what may be very “real” reasons to go the surgical route.

    Women need the information it sounds like your Lobby provides. They need to be able to make informed choices. But I think it’s unfortunate that the only place they can make their choice–to or not to undergo surgery–without being judged as irrational or self-hating is in communities where there are high levels of women who have already had a breast reduction.

    • “I know several women with cup sizes smaller than the example you provided who dealt with debilitating pain for years before opting for surgery” – if properly fitted bras didn’t work, then obviously an operation had to be the solution.
      “But I think it’s unfortunate that the only place they can make their choice–to or not to undergo surgery–without being judged as irrational or self-hating is in communities where there are high levels of women who have already had a breast reduction.” – The problem is, how many women at these communities you mention did try some other solution to their breast problems? From what I know, at Polish surgical fora there are mostly women who haven’t even tried a correct bra size…:( They just decided to cut it off:( And after the surgery they continue to wear the wrong size. And having a breast reduction is not going to a hairdresser – if s/he screws your hair up it will regrow, your breast won’t.
      As for ” (…)strangely, that they are so attractive that men should not be blamed for any rude behavior toward them”, why, we – women, should have a piece of our bodies cut off because of some males that haven’t learned to be civilized yet and still live in the stone age??? I got the impression that it should be the other way round – it’s these guys that should have this and that cut off if they can’t behave…s
      It’s nice that finally there’s some kind of discussion here, even if we don’t agree fully… I think I’ll call the support team from the Lobby:)))))

      • I should say–it’d be lovely to meet more of your Lobby, and I’m glad to have this discussion, thank you! It’s nice to be able to discuss this with something in a respectful way.

  3. That’s the wonderful thing about some of those breast reduction communities! In order to have your breast reduction surgery covered by medical insurance here in the U.S., you need to prove that it is medically necessary rather than cosmetic. As such, there’s often a fairly significant number of women in the online communities who have taken steps to do so—either by seeing a chiropractor, seeking medication, losing weight, or some combination of the above.

    I think perhaps our different experiences of breast reduction communities and the women in them is part of why we don’t agree here. I haven’t met nearly as many women who are going for a breast reduction for purely cosmetic reasons as it sounds like you have, and it may boil right down to insurance systems.

    I more or less agree with the rest of what you said, though. I don’t like the idea of women altering their bodies because men “can’t control themselves.” I think the idea that men have such tenuous self-control is ridiculous, though unfortunately it isn’t new—one theory about the motivation behind witch trials boils down to basically the same thing.

    …but I do think that if a women were to make an informed decision to have a breast reduction for any reason then that’s her body, her choice. It may not be a decision I would have made, but I can’t bring myself to judge her for it. She has to live with the consequences, however positive or negative they might be.

  4. To make sure you are wearing the correct size bra, be fitted by a certified bra fitter. Some major department stores, such as Nordstroms here on the west coast, have certified bra fitters.

    • What does it exactly mean “to be a certified bra-fitter”? Are there schools for it? Or are there courses organized by bra companies? I mean thse with full range of sizes… But even this may not be enough… Each breast is different, has not only different size, but different shape and texture etc so something that fits perfectly a pair of breasts A may not fit well another pair of breasts seemingly of the same size. And none of the company that produces the whole range of sizes covers exactly all womens’s breasts needs. Bras themselves are different too, Freya is said to have underwires that are wider that those of Panache etc, the cuts of cups in various brands is different… I would say that tit would be better to say: cerified by fitting a huge amount of women into good sizes -> experience. And no paper can prove that…

      Does Nordstrom have brafitting? When I lived in the US and visited Nordstrom once in a while they didn’t seem to have more than the avarage range that can be found almost everywhere – so, nothing under a 32, cups rather not bigger than DD… To have a real bra-fitting, they should have more than 32-40A-DD…

  5. Your post is so refreshing! I always get mad when I see things like that part of the video. My motto is: Clothes should be cut to fit bodies and not the other way around. Being a K cup, I’ve had several people, including a doctor, insist that I “must” have back pain. I’ve got good posture and a strong flexible back and have never had any back problem. Ironically, all the people I know with back pain are either men or women with smallish chests.

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