Remember when everyone had eyelash extensions? I didn’t get them because it seemed like an unnecessary expense… but I found myself feeling a little more self-conscious of my appearance around some circles of women who had hopped on the eyelash band wagon. Suddenly my regular old eyelashes didn’t quite seem to make the cut. Because let’s be honest, the fake ones looked kind of fabulous. How awesome was it that these women could roll out of bed looking hyper-feminine without so much as going near their make-up bags… and when they did whip the make-up bags out, it was like, “Hello Disney princess, Goodbye regular old human.”
I’m now starting to feel similarly about boob jobs. Especially now that I have a couple of kids, I’m hearing about more and more people in my age category who have either purchased their new and improved breasts, or who have a boob job savings in place for when they’ve finished having kids. It makes sense to me. I mean, you just made this huge contribution to society by giving birth to your children, and doing so left your breasts looking particularly sub-par, so why shouldn’t you at least get that part of yourself back? And even though your husband loves you the way you are, isn’t it only fair to both of you that he should be able to enjoy your body in its’ more perfect form? And since it’s pretty expensive, you don’t want to be wasteful by going back to an A or B cup. You should probably go up to at least a C or a D, because you want to look good in clothes too, don’t you? Especially if you’re a fit person, you should have the boobs that you want, because you’ve worked so hard (or have been lucky enough) to be able to maintain your body throughout pregnancy. Besides, as far as surgery’s go, the risks are pretty minimal.
Am I right girls?
These are the arguments that I hear from myself and other women (and even my husband while attempting to comfort me) on a regular basis. But despite how convincing they sound to someone who’s feeling insecure after pregnancy and breastfeeding, I can’t get rid of that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I hear them. I think sometimes what I really want to hear instead is that I look amazing because I look real. I want to hear that my children look better beside me than any bit of perfectly shaped silicone or saline ever could. I want to hear that I should stop being insecure and be more adoring of the body that allows me to do everything that I do each day and still dream to accomplish even more. I want to hear that I should celebrate my physical flaws with all of my personal attributes because, from them, I learn acceptance (And how can I be accepting of others when I don’t accept myself?) I want to hear that my body is strong; that my body is capable. I want to hear that when I’m old, I can still love my body, just like I can love it after having children.
Everyone loves the feminist message in Disney’s Frozen that “true love” doesn’t have to come from prince charming to break a spell. The love of a sister, in Anna’s case at least, does the trick rather nicely. So why do I feel like I have to wait for men (and society in general) to be okay with the way my body is before I can be? Sisters, we’re lying to ourselves if we think this body image thing is out of our control. Just like foot binding and corsets (historical bodily manipulations that posed health risks and physical limitations for the sake of hyper-feminine beauty), this boob job trend is being supported by women. And it’s not our mothers who sign us up for breast implants for the sake of an advantageous match… It’s just us.
I hope no woman reading this feels like I’m trying to tell her what to do with her body. I think what you choose to do to make yourself feel beautiful is a personal choice. But at the very least we can start with affirming each other in the qualities that matter most and focus a little less on the physical.