Wednesday, 4 January 2012

keeping abreast of the issues


I had an impromptu bra fitting the day before yesterday  at M&S in windswept Swindon.  I came away feeling a little shocked.  It appears I am a small B (possibly in some styles an A!).  I had always thought of myself as a B - C.  It appears not.  Is this an age thing?  Quite probably.  I lost a little weight last year and it must have dented my cleavage rather than other areas of my body.

Now, here comes the rant....

I will not, however, be rushing to a cosmetic enhancement clinic for a breast enlargement.  Recent news regarding implants and their safety hasn't influenced me.  I've always thought it was ill-advised and potentially damaging to consider major surgery to remedy some kind of bodily aesthetic fault.  I'd rather spend a few spare thousand pounds on a holiday or going to college, or even something useful like transport or paying off the mortgage.

I wouldn't want to make cosmetic surgery illegal and it's vital that people who require reconstructive surgery after illness, accident or in response to psychological trauma can access it with support of their GP and other health professionals. 

I've just always felt uneasy about the purely cosmetic, the quick nip and tuck, the injecting, the filling, the cutting and sewing up.  If that's how a person wants to spend their money then that's up to them but cosmetic surgery appears to have become much more accessible, much more mainstraim and it's the business element, the marketing element, the normalising of it and the identikit look it seems to produce in its customers that I don't like.  It's the fact that young women are portrayed as almost 'requiring' surgery if they don't conform to a particular beauty fashion.  The current vogue for the big breast, big lip look has transformed some of our most beautiful women into look-a-likes.  Where's the joy without difference, quirkiness and individual beauty?

Listening to the radio reports, there were discussions of how cosmetic surgery clinics, as businesses, were allegedly offering cheaper implants to make more money.  Now, what sort of business is it that not only cuts (let's face it) mostly women up, introduces various chemicals and substances to change / improve their body for large amounts of money and then tries to cut corners?

Cosmetic surgery procedures are usually elective but why are so many of us choosing to undergo surgery in an attempt to assuage our insecurities and worries about our physical appearance?  Surely those doctors and clinic managers are aware that huge, global, international marketing forces are constantly reinforcing the idea that our bodies are not worth it if they don't cost us a small fortune every month to primp, paint, de-fuzz and sculpt into one of their airbrushed specimens? 

Are they not profiteering from the insecurities created by our current cultural obsession with a certain kind of beauty?  Perhaps this crisis will be the beginning of a stocktake of what some of us are doing to ourselves in the name of beauty.

6 comments:

Sarah {The Student Knitter} said...

yes, yes and yes to all of the above questions. Good for you that you went for a fitting at all! I think that wearing the proper sized bra is step #1 in feeling good about the body you're in. :)

marigold jam said...

Hear hear! I'm with you all the way on this one. I have never had big boobs thank goodness apart from during pregnancy and I found they just got in the way and even then they were only C cup size so why anyone would choose to have breast enlargement I cannot think. Nor any other kind of surgery unless it was as you say following an accident or if the person were unlucky enough to have some real disfigurement. Each to his own but if the NHS is going to have to pay to put right any problems resulting from such procedures that's not fair on the rest of us is it?! Sorry about the rant but I am with you wholeheartedly here!

Only Me said...

I agree with you whole heartedly.

Sarah said...

I have a friend who is a plastic surgeon here in France. He told me that the PiP implants cost exactly the same as the others. He never used them because he uses ones approved by the FDA only, had to take them out of women frequently and when he sent one back to PiP with a question never got a reply so decided it was not a serious company.

I have gone up a bra size, I found out this Christmas during a visit to M&S. Now a B cup, something I've always longed to be!!

Fran said...

Amen to everything you say. It must be a multi-billion pound/dollar business. So stupid, because it seems some people get addicted to it, and then they just start looking more and more freaky. Oh, the irony.

hausfrau said...

Quite! I can't imagine having 'corrective' surgery except for a medical reason. And as for wanting an increased size! Mine are a D, and oh, how I wish I could occasionally go braless since I'm not very good at letting my straps show.. Too old to understand that look.