I was looking at old photos the other day, remembering days spent with my girlfriends dreaming about the future. As adolescents, our first topic of interest was boys, naturally, but we also wondered what we could do to look like the fashion models and movie stars we envied. In particular, we longed for Barbie boobs. Out came the socks and toilet paper for stuffing, and the old chant, “We must, we must, we must build up the bust!” Anything we could think of to bring on the curves, anything!
This nostalgia sent me poking around the Internet to see how things may have changed since then. I was surprised to find the options for “natural breast enhancement” (read: “without surgery”) going strong. In fact, if you look around you’ll find there are more ways to boost your boobs than ever, given that today you can even purchase breast enhancement gum on line. Gum—I kid you not!
As a youngster I remember seeing magazine articles about increasing the size of your breasts through exercise. That seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I know that breasts are made up of milk ducts and fat—not the sort of tissues that are influenced by exercise. Of course strength-building activities are great for keeping muscles toned. But they won’t increase cup size, no matter how many articles are out there advocating push-ups and other moves to “promote the growth of the breast area.”
When I was a kid I also noticed ads for “miracle” creams and wondered if they worked. Even then I couldn’t figure out how something you rub on your skin could make your breasts larger. Well, turns out I was more right about your average topical treatment. Forget about it.
Pills and the infamous gum are a different story. Though there’s no solid evidence that they work, experts say they could possibly have a slight breast enhancing effect for some women. That’s because the touted “natural herbal extracts” and “ingredients used for centuries” have an estrogen-like effect on the body. One of my favorite references, www.mayoclinic.com, suggests that the use of these products may increase the risk of certain gynecologic cancers and may interfere with other medications.