I don’t know how anyone younger than 30 feels about this issue, but from where I’m standing, somewhere over the hill of 40, the advent of breast implants is new, astounding, and still somewhat shocking.
When I was developing breasts, the whole goal was to hide them. The girls in my cohort were starting to develop anywhere between the ages of 10 and 15, and quite frankly, they bothered us. They hurt, they were tender, we couldn’t catch hard and previously thrillingly roughly-kicked balls during kickball games, the boys made fun of us and we “stuck out” in front.
It took, for many of us, years to feel comfortable in the metamorphosis from child to woman, from flat and harmless to curvy and seemingly dangerous somehow. We struggled to understand our breasts, to really get used to wearing such a horrible thing as a bra every day. We hid the fact that we still couldn’t find the right size or hook our bra comfortably by ourselves. We sweated underneath our sweaters and worried that they would be strangely shaped, different sizes, or, even worse, that they would simply never stop growing.
One thing I have absolutely no memory of is seeing my mother’s friends with enormous, fake breasts, or ever even hearing about breast implants except as a radical procedure for the poor women who’d had mastectomies and how revolutionary that type of prosthetic was.
But now, having taught high school and being the owner of a television, the abundance of breast enhancements, enlargements and surgical alterations is commonplace and has become the new norm. Younger and younger girls consider the option of surgically enhancing their breasts and older women shop around for them as they do handbags.
In my attempt to maintain a non-judgmental attitude I will emphasize that in my deep respect for and love of all women, I completely understand a woman’s need to feel beautiful, or to surgically enhance her breasts for health or self esteem reasons. I would want every woman to undergo safe and healthy procedures and to be treated with the utmost care.