Back in the day, breast implants were all the rage—and I mean that in two distinct ways.
Of all the things the 1980s gave human society, easy-to-access plastic surgery has endured as a means to our outer appearances to the ideal in our minds. There are, of course, two ends of the scalpel. Some people get plastic surgery to correct legitimate medical concerns. Others go under the knife for purely appearance purposes.
It is the latter that brings up the two means of rage. Yes, plastic surgery became popular. Very popular. Doctors began perfecting ways to nip, tuck, tighten and sculpt practically an part of our bodies. Watch any comedy about rich people from that time and there will, no doubt, be jokes or references to face lifts, eye tucks or boob jobs.
Because even though so many were augmenting their appearance, there was still considerable backlash about getting work done. Particularly breast implants.
In fact, breast augmentation may well be the flashpoint that people find the most difficult to understand. Our society has such a complex and paternalistic opinion of breasts. It is almost as if any woman’s breast are no longer her’s. Instead, they belong to a collective repository of “Tits” that exists for the pleasure of others and are somehow disembodied. Whether people are debating breastfeeding politics or the size of a porn performers chest, everybody always has opinions on those breasts And the opinion that often matters the least is that of the woman whose breasts are being discussed.
This is the angry rage of breast implants.
Increasing the size of your breast is a decision that has no bearing on anyone else but yourself. However, particularly when breast augmentation surgery became popular, you would hear all kinds of stories about how men were buying the surgery for their wives and girlfriends. Men has long had an obsession with big boobs, and when that option became a commodity that could be purchased, they were buying them up in droves. You’ve even hear about porn producers suggesting/demanding/paying for surgery for performers because that is what the market demanded. Society was demanding big tits and women were expected to conform—or else be shamed.
But there is a flipside to all of this. Sure, women with smaller breasts were shamed and deemed less sexually desirable—but women who did go through with the surgery were also shamed. They were mocked for having breast implants! Really, how in the hell does this make any sense?
No pleasing everyone
Of course, there are two different groups doing the shaming. Those taking issue with women who did get implants were convinced those women were pawns of the patriarchy and, therefore, could not think for themselves. They were deemed “unnatural” and “plastic.”
With this contradictory bullshit flying around, how can women ever become comfortable with their bodies? We place do much focus on what women look like, but criticize it at every turn.
Unfortunately, this is still happening, but we have to be more aware of it. We have to recognize their ways we sexualize and demonize women’s bodies. We have to take a big step back. Or a little one.