Beauty and Business

When I think of breast augmentation, I think of a cosmetic form of plastic surgery that enhances a woman’s bust.  As I was reading, I learned that it all started because of women and mastectomies as early as 1945.   Women would lose themselves due to the loss of their breast and as a way to comfort them and make the healing process easier, came fake breasts! There were surgical and non-surgical forms that were advertised to help enhance their figure and to make it look as if a mastectomy never happened.  Breast forms (prosthetic breasts) started as a medical procedure for those who had to have their breasts removed, but soon became a way for women to alter themselves physically to enhance their ‘beauty and femininity’ (Gardner).  Companies and corporations started to patent this ‘surgical breast substitute’ and advertised it as less of a medical need, but instead great for any and everyone.  Chesterman-Leeland’s stated that ‘the prosthetic part was applicable “ for both amputation cases and general figure improvement” (Gardner).   In the reading, Emerson Day takes us through the surgical steps of a mastectomy.  You really begin to understand that a woman’s breast and more is being completely removed and the reaction from waking to having no breasts is shocking.  Day states that the women’s reactions are all different to some degree, but most “fear that their femininity has been endangered”. For instance, ‘married women worry that their husbands will not accept their mutilated state and single women may feel that they can’t compete with other women for a husband’ (Gardner).  Breasts are seen as the core of a woman’s femininity.  The larger and fuller the breast, the more attractive a woman is? Society has engraved in our minds what ‘beauty’ truly is.  Who cares about inner beauty or natural beauty when you can alter yourself to define yourself as truly beautiful or almost perfect whether to compete against other woman or to better yourself to fit into society.  Is it really worth it?

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