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  1. #1
    RRR
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    Against breast implants

    I'm very much against breast implants (and similar type plastic surgeries) for four societal and ethical reasons. First, it reinforces the Barbie doll image -- that the worth of a woman is located by her breast size and other physical attributes (small waist). I think all people should be valued due to internal attributes (e.g., personality, intelligences, sense of humor). Second, supporters of breast implants (both men and women) harm small breasted women by making them feel "less than." That is, they further support the dominant norm that “real women” have larger breasts and “lesser women” have smaller breasts. I think it is sad that such classification systems exist today. They should stop. Third, men and cosmetic surgeons manipulate and exploit women into these types of surgeries. I have disdain for men that support the large breast image and cosmetic surgeons who make a large amount of profit by exploiting women to get such surgeries. Fourth, it causes power games between genders and women (e.g., competition).

  2. #2
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    Re: Against breast implants

    First post was a good one. Welcome. I'm with you most of the way but you lost me here: [QUOTE]
    Fourth, it causes power games between genders and women (e.g., competition).
    I personally never gave this topic much thought, but women may have a better perspective. A mouthfull is usually suficient for me.
    While laughing at others stupidity, you may want to contemplate your own comedic talents. (link)
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  3. #3
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    Re: Against breast implants

    Quote Originally Posted by RRR
    I think all people should be valued due to internal attributes (e.g., personality, intelligences, sense of humor).
    Yes, but crucially they aren't I don't think plastic surgery is the cause of this either, the image of perfect woman is one conjured by society. It it right to deny women the right to choose their size?

    Third, men and cosmetic surgeons manipulate and exploit women into these types of surgeries.
    I don't agree with these practices either but I don't see it as a reason to ban such surgery. A vast majority of women choose to go under the knive under their own accord.

    I guess my main point is that we shouldn't remove the choice, banning cosmetic surgery would not change the public's perception. That is the root cause of the problem.

    I'd be interested in how you felt about breast reduction?

    Anyway welcome to ODN, I'm pretty new myself - a good post to start off on too!
    - Mike
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  4. #4
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    Re: Against breast implants

    I think there are instances in which cosmetic surgery is the right choice. For example, we are born with a particular structure of face and body. If one's nose is so big that it interferes with their sight or such person is not treated respectably in society due to it, then cosmetic surgery should be an option. Breast reduction can be a good decision, especially if such a procedure would prevent a spinal disfigurement etc.

    Enchancement surgery I find is pointlesss. Not only is it superficial, but it serves no biological purpose. For example, men who get calf implants do not have the muscular capacity to correspond to the mass that their leg consists of. If they do acquire enough muscle to naturally reach that point AND they have the implant, that calf is going to be in trouble. Shameful.
    Fortunately, the darkest of darkness is not as terrible as we fear.
    Unfortunately, the lightest of light, all things good, are not so wonderful as we hope for them to be.
    What, then, is left, but various shades of grey neutrality? Where are the heroes and villains? All I see are people.

  5. #5
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    Re: Against breast implants

    Quote Originally Posted by RRR
    I'm very much against breast implants (and similar type plastic surgeries) for four societal and ethical reasons. First, it reinforces the Barbie doll image -- that the worth of a woman is located by her breast size and other physical attributes (small waist). I think all people should be valued due to internal attributes (e.g., personality, intelligences, sense of humor). Second, supporters of breast implants (both men and women) harm small breasted women by making them feel "less than." That is, they further support the dominant norm that “real women” have larger breasts and “lesser women” have smaller breasts. I think it is sad that such classification systems exist today. They should stop. Third, men and cosmetic surgeons manipulate and exploit women into these types of surgeries. I have disdain for men that support the large breast image and cosmetic surgeons who make a large amount of profit by exploiting women to get such surgeries. Fourth, it causes power games between genders and women (e.g., competition).

    I don't like the idea of breast implants either. However, I recognize that, as Mike said, many women enhance their breasts surgically by their own accord. The procedure itself has become safer in recent years, and as such I do not believe it should be banned.

    It'd be a near-perfect world if humans were judged solely by their internal attributes. It's one thing to say that you want a mate with a great personality, who can make you laugh, or always knows the right thing to say. But it is the case that we, as humans, are attracted primarily to physical attributes. Sad? Yes. Unnatural? No.

    I'm not so sure that I agree with you about men and surgeons expoliting women into the surgery. There may be certain professions where women will excel only after rising to the physical standard demanded, but otherwise, I don't think the exploitation applies. Even in said professions, it's generally the woman's choice.

    The competition bit, I don't see that at all. Not between genders, at least. I think it may be more accurate to say that it may cause competition amongst women.

    Welcome to ODN, by the way!
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  6. #6
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    Re: Against breast implants

    The only cosmetic surgery I'm in favor of is medically necessary. And even that I mean really, really medically necessary. Many times doctors are not thorough enough and don't offer less invasive alternatives...because they want to make money. I feel this way about gastric bypass surgery, too.

    When I was about 24, I weighed about 215 lbs. My bra size was a 38DDD (or E, I think). I went to a plastic surgeon to see about getting a reduction, because a bad car accident I had when I was 17 left me with a lot of neck and shoulder problems. Carrying around those melons gave me KILLER neck and shoulder pain.

    I went to the plastic surgeon, he looked me over, and the first question he asked was, "Did you try to lose weight?" I told him that I did, but that exercising was very difficult due to the package I was lugging around. He offered to do the surgery, and insurance would even pay for it. It was medically necessary.

    I thought about it for a couple weeks before making the final decision. Exercise was difficult and painful, yes, but not impossible. I decided that if I opted for the breast reduction, it was ultimately giving up and just accepting that I'm overweight. I knew if I didn't have that problem anymore, I'd likely make new excuses as to why I wasn't exercising or eating healthy. I opted to make a real go of losing weight. I originally lost 80 pounds and it took me over 3 years to do it through healthy diet and exercise, and I have happily been a 36D ever since (about 7 years now).

    I wish the plastic surgeon would have been more thorough and perhaps recommend physical therapy or some other alternative to surgery (maybe even a nutritionist to try to lose weight through dieting if exercising was really too difficult.)

    I still have neck and shoulder pain to this day, and I'm sure that would be slightly relieved if I was smaller. But I also know I am in so much less pain if I exercise regularly. When I get lazy and lose muscle tone, that is when the pain comes.

    While anectodal, I think many "medically necessary" surgeries go like mine. The doctors don't ask enough questions. They just want to get paid. As for breast implants...I think it is detrimental to society because we see that image and think that it is NATURALLY attainable when...it just isn't. It is detrimental to women's self-esteem to be judged based on something so meaningless. My sister is much smaller than me. She has been jealous of me in the past (until I tell her about the contraptions I have to wear to keep those babies in sometimes), but she has found that most men just like to have anything to play with and size doesn't matter. And hey, I'd love to have her bubbly butt. We all have our weak points. It would be an ideal world if we just learned to be more accepting of ourselves.

    (Note...that last line is total BS. If I was wealthy, I'd have a boob lift, liposuction and a tummy tuck. Seeeeee...it's all society's fault I'm like this! )
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  7. #7
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    Re: Against breast implants

    This is a very controversial subject and a sad subject. Now granted I am giving a male perspective. Yes it would be great if Woman had no worries, or thoughts, about their breasts. However the fact is that they are right dead square in view of everybody. And everybody looks at them, on everybody. It is much more prevalent for the women, than for a man and his package, for lack of a better word. My sister is one of the most easy going females I have ever met. As sweet as they come. Married for 15 years with two kids 14 and 12. A boy and a girl. For whatever reason she decided to have the implants. I love my sister, and the only thought that came to my mind was that I want her to be happy. It has made her happy. She is not jutting them in everybodys faces, she is not wearing revealing outfits, she is still the same sweet person, and just so happens to be happier. Any man or woman for that matter that pressures someone else to do this, or hurts someone else with comments that might lead to this, is lower than a snake. It saddens me to think about the bad cases associated with this procedure, and thank God it is more safer now. Yes thank Science too, but I like to give all credit to God. I also give God credit for creating the most perfect and beautiful creature, the Woman. Any body with 1/2 an ounce of decency can look past any breast and see Gods creation. The most loving creature on the face of the earth. The woman.
    Mike

  8. #8
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    Re: Against breast implants

    Quote Originally Posted by mustang5
    It saddens me to think about the bad cases associated with this procedure, and thank God it is more safer now. Yes thank Science too, but I like to give all credit to God. I also give God credit for creating the most perfect and beautiful creature, the Woman. Any body with 1/2 an ounce of decency can look past any breast and see Gods creation. The most loving creature on the face of the earth. The woman.
    This is a contradiction. You are thanking God for making the beautiful woman, but then also thanking God that God has made it possible for her to alter her already beautiful self into something more enhanced and more beautiful by having something synthetic placed into her body. Either she's good enough the way she is as God made her...or she isn't. Which is it? (There...I've engaged you...lol! |)| )
    Souls of the animal kingdom: eagle, fox, bottle-nose dolphin, octopus, house cat. Okay, let's jump this jump. -- Rod Kimble

  9. #9
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    Re: Against breast implants

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyLady
    This is a contradiction. You are thanking God for making the beautiful woman, but then also thanking God that God has made it possible for her to alter her already beautiful self into something more enhanced and more beautiful by having something synthetic placed into her body. Either she's good enough the way she is as God made her...or she isn't. Which is it? (There...I've engaged you...lol! |)| )
    Yes I am thanking God, for both situations. I could never speak for God. But we all know he looks at the inside where we as humans don't always do that. She is most definitely good enough the way she is. The problem is she doesn't think so. And most probably the man in her life doesn't convince her other wise. Still I think its superficial, and my sister is a God loving woman, who has raised her kids as well. So I have an example where there was no harm done. THanks for the engagement, and especially for the |)| . That along with talking about breasts is a dangerous combination. See I am human too.
    Mike

  10. #10
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    Re: Against breast implants

    Usually surgically enhanced breasts look artificial and unattractive. Sometimes if done well, it can give an unusually poorly-endowed woman a great boost of confidence. But should self-worth be a commodity that's bought and sold? More than these other factors, I see non-medically necessary cosmetic surgery as a shameful waste of money.

  11. #11
    RRR
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    Re: Against breast implants

    Although I never suggesting banning the procedure, I do think it is a good idea. As a professor who teaches in health it is my position that breast implants are less safe than cosmetic surgeons will admit (simply because they would loss money if they admitted it). For example, there are no studies regarding the long-term side effects of breasts (10-40 years). Likewise, there are very few studies that look at the side effects in the short term (5-10 years).

    More important to me are the societal and ethical implications. The very act of getting a breast implant supports the notion that the worth of a woman is located by her breasts – even if the person is a good person (such as what you are suggesting Mustang 5). I agree with Fyshhed that there are places for medically oriented surgery. I would also maintain that re-constructive surgery is important (restoring what is lost to physical functioning – such as after a mastectomy or burning, etc.). But cosmetic surgery is not reconstructive surgery – cosmetic surgery is focused primarily on enhancing physical attributes and I disagree with the underlying message/assumptions – that people should be classified, sorted, and judged simply on their physical attributes. And when a person gets a breast implant or any other cosmetic surgery – whether they are a good person or not – they support the classifying, sorting, and judging of people simply on their physical attributes


    Mrs. Innocent:

    I disagree with you on a number of accounts. First, breast implants are safe – see my comments above. They are not as safe as most people think. Second, I disagree that it is natural to seek physical attributes in others – rather; I think it is a learned behavior (for the most part). For example, read the historical research by Dr. Yalom in her book “The history of the breast.” She underscores how breast size and image has changed with different cultures. In the Victorian era small breasts (and penises) were popular because large was perceived as being animalistic. I maintain that men are attracted to larger breasts (and women desire them) because in our present era there are so many sites that condition/socialize people to think that large is better. I believe that the primary reason for this (not the complete answer though) is because we live in a highly competitive society in which we view people are commodities. As such, women compete against women to have better breasts (and men do the same thing related to penises). Further, (and in explaining the last proposition that I stated in my original post) men and women compete against each other. As Dr. Betsy Wearing suggestions in her book “Leisure and Feminist Theory” there is a power play that go on between men and women – women attempt to control men by their breasts and men try to control women by using their breasts against them (meaning – men get what they want – sex). It is sad, but I think there is some merit to this – breasts become a place where people compete rather than a place that creates union. Third, although I agree that some women need to look physically attractive to become successful – I do think this is a sad thing? To me, a better answer than “joining the bandwagon” is to have a k-12 education component that addresses these issue related to the developmental ages of people. Through education we can socialize people to at least question the dominant view that physical attraction is natural and begin to stop that privileging that “attractive” people get. This is a much better choice that simply joining the beauty competition bandwagon.

  12. #12
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    Re: Against breast implants

    Quote Originally Posted by RRR
    Although I never suggesting banning the procedure
    Oh yeh...sorry!

    Whilst I feel we should not change our bodies cosmetically I support women's right to do so. There is no easy way to stop society's lust for a bigger bust so it would unfair to force women to stick with the what nature gave them.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Against breast implants

    My concern is that long term these implants seem to 'decay' often with dramatic and negative consequences to physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

    ps. All that aside, there must be times when us guys just do not know what we are handling!!!!
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Against breast implants

    I have to disagree with banning BI's. Banning on moral grounds is pretty much always faulty. In this case, It'd be like banning expensive clothing, or makeup. They are just as superficial. A better solution would be to try to change the underlying cause of the problem. Breast implants are just the effect of society's expectations. Society makes many women believe they need larger breasts to be successful/happy/whatever, so they go get larger breasts. If you want to stop this, try to convince women that they don't.

    Taking away people's freedoms is the solution too many people jump to. Taking away someone's right to choose something is almost always the wrong answer. If you don't like something, try to stop people from wanting it in the first place.

    Now, as for the medical dangers of BI's, you may have a valid point. If they are, as a you say, more dangerous than is popularly known, an argument may be made to have them banned or restricted.

    BTW, welcome to ODN.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Against breast implants

    Quote Originally Posted by RRR
    I'm very much against breast implants (and similar type plastic surgeries) for four societal and ethical reasons.
    Me, too. That's why I'm not going to get any.

    First, it reinforces the Barbie doll image -- that the worth of a woman is located by her breast size and other physical attributes (small waist). I think all people should be valued due to internal attributes (e.g., personality, intelligences, sense of humor).
    1) Prove that breast implants are linked to establishing the value of a peron. We do all sorts of things to make ourselves appear more presentable to others. Should we ban showering? How about making make-up a controlled substance?

    2) Why are internal attributes more important than external attributes? Why should individuals who value external attributes have to be looked down upon?

    Second, supporters of breast implants (both men and women) harm small breasted women by making them feel "less than." That is, they further support the dominant norm that “real women” have larger breasts and “lesser women” have smaller breasts. I think it is sad that such classification systems exist today. They should stop.
    Should we ban weight lifting on the grounds that it makes individual with smaller muscles feel inferior?

    Should we ban colleges on the grounds that it makes people without a college education feel inferior?

    If my girlfriend were to get breast enlargement surgery and Jane Doe feels like less of a woman for having boobs smaller than my girlfriend's... that's Jane Doe's problem. Not my girlfriend's.

    Third, men and cosmetic surgeons manipulate and exploit women into these types of surgeries. I have disdain for men that support the large breast image and cosmetic surgeons who make a large amount of profit by exploiting women to get such surgeries.
    Where is PIBs when I need him. I love this brand of feminist double-standard.

    Men are MANIPULATING women to exploit them, but if I were to imply that women are EASILY MANIPULATED, you'd vilify me.

    How else do you feel women are incable of making their own decisions? How else are women lacking?

    Fourth, it causes power games between genders and women (e.g., competition).
    Prove it.

    Sounds more like some women are still back in elementary school hoping for a nice ample bosom and cursing their classmates who fill in more fully than they do.

    Don't like breast enlargement surgery? Then don't have your boobs enlarged. See? Simple.

  16. #16
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    Re: Against breast implants

    I'm working under the assumption that you're female. If this is not the case, do let me know.

    Quote Originally Posted by RRR
    Although I never suggesting banning the procedure, I do think it is a good idea. As a professor who teaches in health it is my position that breast implants are less safe than cosmetic surgeons will admit (simply because they would loss money if they admitted it). For example, there are no studies regarding the long-term side effects of breasts (10-40 years). Likewise, there are very few studies that look at the side effects in the short term (5-10 years).
    Most drugs on the market today don't have that kind of research. People use them every day without trouble.

    More important to me are the societal and ethical implications. The very act of getting a breast implant supports the notion that the worth of a woman is located by her breasts – even if the person is a good person (such as what you are suggesting Mustang 5).
    You are still making a huge logical leap here. Why is it impossible for someone who is perfectly happy with themselves to get breast enlargement surgery?

    I agree with Fyshhed that there are places for medically oriented surgery. I would also maintain that re-constructive surgery is important (restoring what is lost to physical functioning – such as after a mastectomy or burning, etc.). But cosmetic surgery is not reconstructive surgery – cosmetic surgery is focused primarily on enhancing physical attributes and I disagree with the underlying message/assumptions – that people should be classified, sorted, and judged simply on their physical attributes.
    I disagree with YOUR assumption that the underlying presumption behind enhancing physical attributes is so that we can be "classified, sorted, and judged". You need to suport this.

    And when a person gets a breast implant or any other cosmetic surgery – whether they are a good person or not – they support the classifying, sorting, and judging of people simply on their physical attributes
    Prove it.

    I disagree that it is natural to seek physical attributes in others – rather; I think it is a learned behavior (for the most part). For example, read the historical research by Dr. Yalom in her book “The history of the breast.” She underscores how breast size and image has changed with different cultures. In the Victorian era small breasts (and penises) were popular because large was perceived as being animalistic. I maintain that men are attracted to larger breasts (and women desire them) because in our present era there are so many sites that condition/socialize people to think that large is better.
    Since I'm working under the assumption that you're female, you haven't experienced physical attraction based on your sense of sight the way that men do. Regardless of what society has conditioned us to think of as "attractive", men taste the eye candy a lot more than women do. Sure, gals can be turned on by seeing a man they deem attractive, but for men, it's a much more overpowering stimulation. It's why men can watch porn and be completely aroused while women watching the same porn experience little to no arousal.

    I believe that the primary reason for this (not the complete answer though) is because we live in a highly competitive society in which we view people are commodities. As such, women compete against women to have better breasts (and men do the same thing related to penises).
    Kindly show me a society that's NOT competitive and I'll show you a tiny tribe of bushmen or the Soviet Union (and we all know how well those folks are getting along now...).

    Further, (and in explaining the last proposition that I stated in my original post) men and women compete against each other. As Dr. Betsy Wearing suggestions in her book “Leisure and Feminist Theory” there is a power play that go on between men and women – women attempt to control men by their breasts and men try to control women by using their breasts against them (meaning – men get what they want – sex). It is sad, but I think there is some merit to this – breasts become a place where people compete rather than a place that creates union.
    This is ridiculous as it implies women don't want sex.

    Third, although I agree that some women need to look physically attractive to become successful – I do think this is a sad thing? To me, a better answer than “joining the bandwagon” is to have a k-12 education component that addresses these issue related to the developmental ages of people. Through education we can socialize people to at least question the dominant view that physical attraction is natural and begin to stop that privileging that “attractive” people get. This is a much better choice that simply joining the beauty competition bandwagon.
    And what happens when those kids graduate from high school and are shocked to find out that the world IS competitive, that human nature DOES place a high degree of emphasis on physical attraction, and that not all things are equal?

  17. #17
    RRR
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    Re: Against breast implants

    Ilvvator:

    I agree with you that banning moral issues is difficult and that too many people respond that way. However, I did suggest at the end of post #11 that the best way to deal with the movement toward getting breast implants is through education that is geared toward k-12.

    However, there still is a place for banning actions that harm oneself and others. Cocaine use is banned because it harms people. Likewise, breast implant do cause physical harm and the long-term effects are not known. At the very least, we should ban them until the scientific community has a series of solid research studies that can predict with some accuracy what type of harm occurs. From a societal perspective, allowing breast implants does cause harm to women by exploiting them – cosmetic surgeons make quite a profit by exploiting women to get breast implants (see my comments below regarding the book by Dr. Blum). And the “male gaze” that suggests that women with larger breasts are “better than” small breasted women does cause women to do strange and unhealthy things to their bodies.

    I think people need to more quick to act in responsible and respectful ways that are based upon depthful thinking about implications than simply arguing about choice and freedom. American was founded on the concept of freedom and civic responsibility – arguing for the freedom (e.g., choice) is only one aspect of democracy. I’m arguing that we need to be more breadthful in thinking and understand how cosmetic surgery can be a form of social control and exploitation. To this end, let me moved toward commenting on Zharic’s post

    Zharic:

    In regard to providing that breast implants are related to (1) power games, and (2) women with breast implants being more valued, the best evidence I can use is scientific research. I can provide a reference of many studies, but here are just a few:
    · See Dr. Blum’s ethnographical study regarding the culture of cosmetic surgery: She interviews many cosmetic surgeons and highlights how they sucker women into surgery. For example, a woman will go for a consultation regarding a nose surgery and will leave with a complete overhaul (e.g., the nose needs to match the cheeks, so cheek surgery is need, which need to align with the mouth, so lip surgery is done, which need to align to eye, and so forth and so forth). See the book “Flesh wounds” for an excellent study on this. Dr. Blum also underscores that over 80% of cosmetic surgery clients are women and over 80% of cosmetic surgeons are men – I wonder who is exploiting who? Read this study.
    · See Dr. Wearing’s sociological study regarding leisure and the body (called :Leisure and Feminist theory”): How men exploit women’s bodies in popular magazines.
    · See Dr. Brain Pronger’s book “Body Fascism” regarding how men and women who have attractive bodies are privileged and have more power in society.

    Beyond these there are literally hundreds of studies in regard to people with disabilities that highlight that people who look “attractive” are more valued. I am arguing against this. For example, a person who has a facial disfigurement should not lose out on an employment opportunity to another person who looks “attractive” – epically if the person who has a facial disfigurement can perform employment task better. Just like a women who has larger breasts should not get privilege in finding employment over a woman who is flat. You really need to take more time and read scientific research and scholarship.

    Internal attributes are more important than physical attributes because they are related to performance, effort, and discipline. A person should be judged on skills they have developed (e.g., being friendly, accomplishing an task at work such as accounting) than how they look.

    Also, I disagree in your comparison of showering to cosmetic surgery on the grounds of health. It is healthy to shower and to weightlifting (within a cert norm). These types of activities help a person live longer and stay away from illness (e.g., washing hands). A breast implant has absolutely no physical health benefits.

  18. #18
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    Re: Against breast implants

    RRR,
    I disagree with your statement that actions which harm ourselves must be outlawed. I am a strong believer in choice. If a person wants to do something dangerous, from bungie-jumping, to smoking, to cocaine, to breast implants, to suicide, I believe that it is their right, as long as they don't hurt anyone else.

    I believe that as long as a woman goes into it with full knowledge of the potential repercussions, she should be allowed to get breast implants. I don't really mind if her doctor makes a lot of money off of it. I don't really care if he persuaded her to do it. As long as he doesn't lie or deceive her, all he's really doing is presenting the facts.

    As for choice being only one aspect of this country's founding, I am rather scared by people who hold such an opinion, as you most definitely do not understand the concept. The whole point of letting it be a choice is so that women can choose. To say 'yes, choice is great, but here's how we should limit it' is foolishness. The idea is that you do not have the right to tell millions of women what they can and cannot do to themselves. If they come to the conclusion that it is not worth the risks, then they can choose not to do it. If they choose otherwise, then that is their choice.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Against breast implants

    I have had a couple of cosmetic procedures and will have a couple more in the near future No boobies though, the idea of having something in me that my body could reject really bothers me.
    I have NO problem with anyone having surgery.I just think someone thinking of doing it should REALLY REALLY look at the reasons behind having surgery.It is no miracle cure to anything and will NOT change your life or make it better in any way.Most Cosmetic surgeons I have been to look into the motivation and stability of the patient.

  20. #20
    RRR
    Guest

    Re: Against breast implants

    Ilvvator:

    I think where we disagree is on the amount of choice. My youngest son likes a Sesame Street song called “me” – it is a song that refers to a child who wants to me recognized and the song keeps repeating “me” “me” “me.” The song is appropriate to the developmental needs of young children who are in an initatiation stage of development (see an introductory psychology of human development book). The problem is many people do not go beyond this stage of “me.” As Dr. Bellah and colleagues underscore in their sociological studies of American society (see the books “The good society” and “individualism: Habits of the heart”) many American’s can’t think beyond individualistic values (thinking of “me” or simply the “self”) and lack the ability to see how individual actions are part of a larger societal norm. It is what the famous scientist Garrett Hardin referred to as the tragedy of the commons – a situation where a group of individuals, each acting in their own individual best interest, find that the collective effect of their independently logical actions is actually negative. In this case when thousands of women seek breast implants the collectivistic summing of individuals leads to dominant norms – “real” women should have large breasts. I think such a view is harmful – it HARMS women psychologically and sociologically (and men) because it locates their worth by breast size and an external code of classification of worth. And by extension, it harms women with smaller breasts by supporting the invisible notion that they are “less than.”

    Although I think having individual choice is good I like what Dr. Bellah and colleagues suggest – the concept of civic individualism where people makes decisions based upon individual needs and societal implications. That is, someone might make a decision that is in the best interest of society that hinders self-promotion (e.g., deciding against breast implants because it harms the notion of womanhood even though a woman can advance individualistically from such a medical procedure). And, a good historical study regarding how civic individualism was at the very core of American society and the thoughts of the Founding Fathers can be found in the book “The myth of individualism” by Dr. Shain.

    I have two other notes. First, I would like to hear back from others. If you are not comfortable with dialogue in the public forum you are welcome to e-mail me or we can dialogue in the chat room. Second, in the future I might not be able to respond as quickly because of life demands (I only come here when I have a little extra time).

 

 
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