Breast implants—another aspect of our debased culture that conservatives take for granted and never criticize

(Note: In a follow-up to this entry, a Randian commenter says that because I believe in God and think that the mass use of breast implants is bad, I deserve to burn in hell.)

In an entry last week about a casting call for Disney’s next Pirates of the Caribbean movie that asked only for women with natural breasts, I wondered if this rejection of actresses with silicone breast implants might possibly indicate a turnaround in the culture. In response, N. writes:

Well, I dunno. I remember watching Walt Disney on television, and frankly can’t quite seem to get the word “cleavage” and “Disney” to fit together. Not to mention “whorish.”

So I’m afraid I don’t see any improvement here at all. The casting requirements seem more appropriate to a strip club, “bouncier the better,” than to any kind of family-oriented movie.

LA replies:

A good point. It may not represent a rejection of women artificially enlarging their breasts with surgically inserted bags of plastic, but simply a desire to see a better jiggle. On the other hand, the fact remains that the movie makers were excluding women with breast implants and demanding women with natural breasts. So I think that means something.

My question is: when will men (and women) start saying publicly that they don’t like this? To put it bluntly, how could any man feel happy being with a woman, making love to a woman, fondling a woman’s breasts, when he knows that the breasts he’s fondling have been artificially enlarged by surgically inserted sacks of silicone? How could a man relate to that and not be turned off by it? Apparently to millions of men it is not a turn-off. To my mind this represents a profound sickness in our culture—which is all the more profound in that it is never discussed, never criticized. Has anyone seen even a single article in any traditional conservative or Christian conservative magazine criticizing this widespread and ever-increasing practice whereby an artificial substance is injected into an intimate part of women’s anatomy for cosmetic and self-seeking purposes?

- end of initial entry -

Gintas writes:

“To put it bluntly, how could any man feel happy being with a woman, making love to a woman, fondling a woman’s breasts, when he knows that the breasts he’s fondling have been artificially enlarged by surgically inserted sacks of silicone? How could a man relate to that and not be turned off by it?”

Viagra to the rescue!

LA replies:

Ha. And also it’s the same thing with Viagra. The universal acceptance of a drug—and of its constant advertising on TV, radio, and the Internet—that apparently produces, not desire, but an erection without desire, represents the same sick embrace of the artificial as the universal acceptance of breast implants.

Doug B. writes:

Regarding the Disney movie, I believe the main reason the producers of the film want actresses with natural breasts is because the Pirates of the Caribbean movies are set in the 19th century. The director wants more realism. This is not in any way a statement against the artificial.

But regarding your argument that implants are disgusting because they are artificial, this raises questions. Why is artificial bad? Aslo, you say that breast implants are wrong because they are for “self-seeking purposes”? What is wrong with self-seeking purposes? Men are attracted to curvaceous women for reasons rooted in biology and evolution. The ideal hip to waiste ration has been found to be the same for all cultures. If a woman can improve her proportions through surgery then why is that bad? Couldn’t your argument against the artificial also be used against plastic surgery as such? Or is that your argument?

For my tastes, whether or not implants are attractive or not depends on context. Some women’s implants are gaudy. Others are aesthetic. I don’t see that there is any one absolute answer regarding implants and I certainly don’t see it as a moral issue.

Jim C. writes:

As an ex-photographer and current editor who works closely with actresses and dancers, I can report that it’s an aesthetic and sensuous thing—breast implants are like saltpeter.

I hate them but I had a girlfriend with them—she liked them so I kept my mouth shut. If implants make a woman feel better about herself, who am I to gainsay her?

LA replies:

Well, if you hated her breast implants and if they acted on you like saltpeter, then it would appear that this would have had a rather significant effect on your relationship, which I notice is over. And therefore having breast implants is not just her personal private choice which has no effect on other people and on society, is it?

Jim C. writes:

Viagra is a wonder drug that allows incontinent men to have sex. Pfizer never claimed that it’s an arousal drug (by the way, Viagra was originally a heart drug—and doctors were told about certain “side effects”—Pfizer being a very smart company, pulled the drug, repackaged it, and the rest is Mr Woody)

LA replies:

First, you don’t mean incontinent, but impotent.

Second, it’s a transparent lie that Viagra is for impotent men. Look at the constant ads everywhere. We can’t escape from them. Do you think that there are that many impotent men in America? (Well, if breast implants have the same effect on men that saltpeter does, then maybe so, as Gintas said.) Second, the ads are not in the manner of medical ads directed to people with a medical problem, the ads are suggestive and semi-erotic. This is not about overcoming impotence, but about heightening sexuality, and it’s directed at everyone. Amazing that you don’t see this.

LL, a female reader, writes:

Although admittedly less invasive than breast augmentation, the now almost-mandatory practice of total pubic hair removal speaks, I believe, to the same cultural sickness. While there may be certain tactile benefits to the results, how could any adult male feel happy being with an adult female who looks like a plastic mannequin, a patient prepped for surgery, or, worst of all, a child?

LA replies:

Why would women do this? I don’t get it. And how common is it? You say it’s almost mandatory.

Sampson writes:

Gintas writes:

I remember watching Walt Disney on television, and frankly can’t quite seem to get the word “cleavage” and “Disney” to fit together.

Man alive, who on earth could tell the difference?? If there are people who could tell the difference from simply watching an actress on-screen, I think that’s more evidence that this is a trend that’s gone much too far.

LA replies:

If you observe the world, and especially magazines and tv shows, it’s easy to tell the difference. Pick up any issue of the New York Post and see the photos of Tiger Woods’s girlfriends. Most of them obviously have breast implants.

The giveaways:

1. The breasts are (as we would expect) noticeably bigger than one would expect for a woman of a given size and shape.

2. The breasts project unnaturally forward instead of sloping naturally downward, and, because the breast is projecting forward, it is clearly delineated from the area of the chest surrounding it, as though there were a visible line circling the breast. It’s just strange and unnatural looking.

March 27

LL replies to LA:

Like implants, it’s something that metastasized from the porno world to the mainstream via Hollywood. The “upskirt” photos of young female celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan that have become a staple of the tabloids and gossip sites probably first normalized, then popularized the practice. I’d say it’s fairly common, particularly among younger women (if my observations in the health club locker room can be extrapolated to the general population). And men encourage it, on the grounds that it enhances sexual pleasure and is more aesthetically and hygienically pleasing.

James N. writes:

I hate to send this to you, but this article on “48 reasons not to get a boob job” covers the breast implant story thoroughly. Reason #47 is especially good (and very accurate).

47) Boob jobs are like stage makeup: they look good at a distance. They look better on you from 50 feet than from 10 feet, better from 10 feet than from one foot, better in a photograph or video than in real life, and better with more clothing than they do with less. They’re at their worst when the distance is most intimate.

LA replies:

Also, the photo just below No. 33 perfectly illustrates my previous point—it’s as though there’s a drawn margin circling the breast and forming a distinct boundary between it and the rest of the chest.


The boundary seems to be created by the fact that the breast is being artificially lifted up by the implant, so that instead of the natural curve of the chest flowing into the breast, the breast is standing out from the chest, as though it were an object separate from the chest and attached to it. I don’t think one ever sees that “margin” effect in natural breasts.

Now some people, including some people in this discussion, may look at that photo and think that this is the ideal way that breasts ought to be. I look at it and think this is weird and unnatural. They’re hard looking, as though they were made out of rubber. Whoops, they are.

NS, a female reader, writes:

For the woman whose breasts have been completely altered by multiple pregnancies and breastfeeding—their asymmetry made even more pronounced and their droopiness to the point of being physically uncomfortable as well as downright hideous to her own eyes, I don’t see why a lift & augmentation is the sign of a “sickness” in our culture, especially if her husband loves her and still finds her attractive. It’s not always about trying to make oneself more physically attractive, but rather trying to fix something that is a constant source of distress (especially when naked in front of ones spouse or the mirror, or while shopping for clothing and bras.) I see it as an overweight person working out everyday to improve a source of physical discomfort and emotional distress—except no amount of physical exercise will fix saggy skin and loss of mammary tissue. Sometimes it’s just about getting it to the point where her breasts are no longer on her mind.

LA replies:

We were not speaking of the relatively rare instances of which you are speaking, in which a women’s breasts get really out of shape as a result of multiple childbearing and breast feeding and maybe need some help. If that were all it was, I don’t think anyone would be talking about it. We’re speaking of a ubiquitous phenomenon in our society in which untold millions of young unmarried and childless women (including women between 18 and 25, as indicated in the NY Post article about the casting call), are getting breast implants.

A reader writes:

In urban areas of Colombia the everyday aesthetics of young women is simply astounding. Only rarely does one see slovenly or overweight women in their 20s. They take appearance seriously, to the extent they can afford it, and this includes breast (and other) augmentations. I’ve been told the number of breast implants performed in Cali alone, a city of some 2.2 million population, is well in excess of 100,000 per year. With such numbers this city is probably a “destination” for this type of work.

These women still dress and act with self-respect; very tight jeans is possibly the worst common infraction. By comparison many of their American counterparts seem to have no idea how bad they look or even care.

LA replies:

The reader evidently regards breast implants as part of the required equipment of a self-respecting, well turned out woman. I’m speechless.

Samson replies to LA:

You wrote:

The breasts project unnaturally forward instead of sloping naturally downward, and, because the breast is projecting forward, it is clearly delineated from the area of the chest surrounding it, as though there were a line circling the breast. It’s just strange and unnatural looking.

Which raises the obvious question: Why are women getting these things?

I’m glad I’m naive about this stuff, Larry. And that’s all I have to say.

LA replies:

I understand. But it’s not a matter of not being naive. It’s a matter of seeing what’s in front of us every day.

Kathlene M. writes:

LL, a female reader, wrote that total pubic hair removal is almost-mandatory, and you wondered “why would women do this?”

Simple answer: To compete with the pornified version of women that most men these days are accustomed to and expect. Porn women have giant breasts (usually implants) and no pubic hair.

Stephen T. writes:

My first reaction when I saw the article about Disney was simply that they are interested in historical accuracy. A bunch of lifeless, immobile silicone busts tend to scream “21st century American” to the viewing audience instead of “19th century buccaneers.” But maybe there is a company bias here, too, tracking all the way back to Annette Funicello, whom Walt made a child star. In Disney movies she made later, in her 20s, she is noticeably not lacking in natural endowment. Though tastefully concealed, it is usually beneath a form-fitting sweater and they certainly weren’t trying to downplay it.

Doug B. writes:

I’m curious as to your answer to my question regarding self-seeking. What is wrong with a woman trying to improve her figure through implants? Why is her self-interested desire wrong? For some reason you didn’t answer that question. I thought for sure you would as it gets to the heart of why you posted on this story.

Also, you seem to imply that because one man ended a relationship with a woman with implants that this somehow had a negative affect on society. How? Is this some type of “Butterfly Effect” reasoning? How can getting implants be other than a woman’s personal private choice?

LA replies:

First, I don’t have the ability/time/energy to reply to every comment, especially when the commenter’s radical libertarian assumptions are so far removed from mine that it would take an essay to reply to him adequately. If you do not instinctively see that there is something at least odd about a culture in which tens of millions of women have silicone bags surgically inserted into their breasts to make their breasts larger, then I doubt that I could ‘splain it to you.

Similarly, your assumption that millions of women surgically altering the shape of their body by having sacs of plastic inserted into their body only affects the woman, and not other people and society, is a further indication of the radical liberal/libertarian mentality which believes that the self and its desires are the highest and only reality. I’ve written literally hundreds of entries at this site on that subject. Sorry I can’t say more on it now. Maybe another commenter would like to.

Jim C. writes:

I’m also in the advertising business, and I know something about medical advertising as it is highly regulated. Simply put, Viagra is used to allow men to have successful penetration—a hard phallus is the end game with Viagra. Haven’t you noticed that ALL the erectile dysfunction (yes, not all users are 100% impotent) ads feature men in their 50s and 60s? It used to be that men would cease having sex by age 60—ED drugs have changed all that.

Do coke users in their 20s use ED meds? Probably—that’s an off label market segment.

As to the salacious nature of the ads—all backstory. Show me anywhere in these ads that the drug is indicated for arousal—curious minds want to know.

LA replies:

Not true. Many of the ads show young men; And all the men in the ads are fit and good looking. It is so obvious that the product is not intended just for men with medical problems who can’t have an erection, but for men who want to enhance their erection and keep it (unnaturally) for hours. If you don’t see this obvious fact about Viagra and similar products, I can’t take the time to explain it to you. Further, to place these ads constantly in our face, on TV, on network news programs, to spread the message that wanting using a chemical to have an unnatural erection is just part of the normal order of things, is deeply sick.

As I’ve said, many people who have non-liberal views on political issues, have never thought critically about the debased liberal cultural messages that engulf us. They live in the liberal culture as the fish live in the sea.

Jim C. writes:

Check out the indication: Viagra is prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction.

LA replies:

What is meant by erectile dysfunction is any erection that is less hard and less prolonged than the individual would like to have. It’s the same as with the breast implants issue. There are some men with medical conditions who arguably need medical assistance. But the marketing and use of Viagra goes way, way beyond that, to the systematic replacement of our natural selves with manmade substitutes.

Daniela writes:

Your discussion about breast implants on your site made me remember that video. I agree, though, I wouldn’t get breast implants. But I do think that shaving down under has benefits if you workout, do sports or get regular check ups, combined with the sex part. I don’t find shaving your pubic hair off a sign of degeneracy, but someone having a fake body is a bit weird. In the same sense, I find it weird when people get liposuction instead of just working out.

Bruno BL writes:

Concerning your point on this topic over the subject of non-corrective surgery of inserting breast implants, a good reductio ad absurdam of your argument would be that make up in general is also wicked, since it is a form of artificially enhancing one looks.

It seems to me that there’s nothing wrong with non-corrective breast augmentation surgery, as long as it is done with the goal of enhancing the breasts’ appearance according to an objective ideal of beauty. You will probably agree that some breasts are more beautiful than others. I believe it is a good thing to make a sixty year old woman’s breasts look like those of an eighteen year old girl. Breast augmentation—actually, breast surgery in general, which includes breast reduction—is not wicked as long as it is done in order to promote beauty. After all, aren’t truth, good and beauty the very one same thing?

It is unnatural-oriented breast augmentation and surgery in general that are wicked. There’s absolutely nothing good in making a breast square, as much as there isn’t in making it the size of a balloon. As there isn’t also in purely cosmetic breast reduction surgeries (which almost always render a woman’s breasts incapable of producing milk, and therefore useless).

LA replies:

Bruno writes:

“I believe it is a good thing to make a sixty year old woman’s breasts look like those of an eighteen year old girl.”

With that remark, Bruno perfectly reveals the mentality that drives and justifies this phenomenon. It is a war of the liberated human self against the natural and transcendent order of which we are a part. It is the liberal/libertarian belief that the self and its desires are the highest and only reality.

If it is good that a sixty year old woman’s breasts should look like an 18 year old girl’s breasts, then isn’t it also good that a sixty year old woman should look like an 18 year old girl in all respects—that her face, her eyes, her lips, her entire body, should be that of an 18 year old girl? So that the normal human phenomenon, in which age is different from youth, is eliminated?

And if it’s good for a sixty year old woman to look like an eighteen year old girl, wouldn’t it also be good for an eighty or ninety year old woman to look like an eighteen year old girl? After all, according to Bruno, the guiding standard is an objective ideal of beauty which applies to all women regardless of their age, and “truth, good and beauty are the very one same thing.” That being the case, wouldn’t it good for a hundred year old woman to look like a beautiful 18 year old?

I am reminded of the “Don Juan in Hell” scene in Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman. Shaw’s hell is a place where the inhabitants live only for beauty and pleasure. We learn that the present fashion is for everyone to keep the appearance they had at age 27 in their earthly lives, but that the previous fashion was for everyone to look the way they did at 17. Bruno would be happy in Shaw’s hell.

LA continues:

I also recommend the 1992 dark comedy Death Becomes Her, in which Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn play two romantic rivals who keep trying to defeat age with plastic surgery and end up as grotesque monsters.

Phantom Blogger writes:

It reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode, “Looks Just Like You.” The story is set in a future society where everyone is surgically altered to resemble fashion models. We are told that “many years before, wise men decided to try to eliminate the reasons for inequality and injustice in the world. They saw that physical unattractiveness was one of the factors that made men hate, so they charged the finest scientific minds with the task of eliminating ugliness in mankind.” In the episode all the women look the same and so do the men, they all conform to the same defination of what is beautiful, all people are the same age and see things the same way. This is the ulimate form of equality, all people are exactly the same.

Closing narration of the episode:

Portrait of a young lady in love—with herself. Improbable? Perhaps. But in an age of plastic surgery, body building and an infinity of cosmetics, let us hesitate to say impossible. These and other strange blessings may be waiting in the future—which after all, is the Twilight Zone.

Kathlene M. writes:

This discussion reminds me of another movie, “Idiocracy,” which shows “an irredeemably dysfunctional society [drowning] in a sea of sexually promiscuous, illiterate, alcoholic, degenerate peers.”

In the future as depicted in this movie, women all wear low-cut, cleavage-revealing, whorish clothing, and the men are reduced to brutish animals. And of course, everyone is stupid.

LA replies:

Did you say this movie takes place in the future?

Mark D. writes:

The real issue is not a surgical procedure, but the mainstreaming of porn. Men watch porn and form unrealistic expectations of what girls should be like, and girls in their desire for men try to be like what the men are watching.

LA replies:

There’s something to what you’re saying, but I don’t think porn needs to be brought into this in order to explain it, as mainstream society has itself become pornographic.

The extra-large, extra-exposed titties we see everywhere today are designed to elicit, not male attraction in the usual sense, but a kind of push-button, mechanistic response divorced from manhood, womanhood, humanity. That’s the way today’s society sees the sexes: big-breasted bimbos pressing men’s buttons.

And not only do the liberals have nothing to say against it. Not only do the “Darwinian conservatives” (the HBD’ers) have nothing to say against it. But most of the regular conservatives and conservative Christians have nothing to say against it. Indeed, the most prominent “conservative” venue in America, Fox News, has brought this sexual aesthetic into the area of political commentary. Turn on O’Reilly any night and watch him “interview” two giggly, jiggly “news analysts,” usually both of them blond. Roger Ailes hit on the formula of providing conservative-tilted news while pressing men’s buttons.

Mark replies:
I agree that mainstream society has become pornographic.

But what coarsened mainstream society? Legalized porn was the agent that poured into almost every home in America, exposing almost every kid in the Republic to naked women who looked like they were practically begging for sex. In the absence of porn most men would either encounter their first naked woman once they got serious about marriage, or maybe in high school. In both cases the girls these men were likely to see were normal and had normal desires, figures and lives.

Mainstream society became pornographic when porn became commonplace. I know that is a circular statement, but had the Supreme Court not struck down the anti-pornography laws mainstream society would be a lot cleaner.

N. writes:

So far as I can tell, breast implants originated in the area of medical reconstruction, typically of cancer patients, accident survivors and so forth. Thus they originally were a type of plastic surgery, a technique that has been used at least since the 1940’s (WW II, perhaps) to reduce the damage of scarring in cases of extreme injury. Prior to antibiotics it is likely that many burn victims would have died of infection, so surgical reconstruction of people came along after the antibiotic revolution.

And while some Hollywood actors surely had plastic surgery in the 1950’s and 1960’s to enhance their looks, it was not particularly commonplace. For those years, plastic surgery / reconstructive surgery was regarded as something reserved for the seriously injured, those born with defects such as hare lip, and so forth.

Sometime in the 1970’s, augmentation of breasts began to become more common. The first time I encountered anyone who had just had breast enlargement done for personal, rather than medical, reasons was 1982, but I was living far away from any center of fashion or hipness, so it seems reasonable to assume an earlier start on the coasts. That is also the time period when tattoos began to become popular among young people again, having been relegated to sailors, soldiers, etc. for years.

Moving forward to today, I would suggest there is a line, fuzzy perhaps, between a procedure to enable an injured person to lead a more or less normal life, and a procedure that is done for the sake of pure vanity. It also occurs to me that such augmentation is of a piece with the whole notion of human bodies as canvas for self-expression: ever more dramatic tattoos and piercings being a prime example. One can see the results in any coffee shop near a college campus today. There is also a “live for today” aspect to these modifications, in that a man with large holes in his earlobes big enough to stick a finger through may find it not so useful in the job market. There is also a “maintenance” issue to plastic surgery: in many cases, adjustments must be made to the original work every few years in order to avoid distortions in the body that are odd or even bizarre.

Does it strike you as another manifestation of the Gnostic mindset? “This part of my body does not sufficiently please me, therefore I shall have it changed to suit my whim”, in a sense. If I’m correct, then you were right to mention this in the context of the debased culture … the Gnostic, debased culture.

LA replies:

Yes. In Gnosticism, man rejects the given order of reality and constructs his own—in this case, his own body.

ZvB writes:

Do you imagine that ancient angels look saggy, weathered, and wizened? It is natural for people to be horrified by the sight of their dying bodies. We weren’t designed to die, we were cursed by God to die; and the “aging process” is the visible manifestation of this curse. I don’t blame women or men for fighting this, futile though it may be. Surrendering to one’s physical defects means disregarding the aesthetic sense God gave to us. Well, most of us. So yes, 100-year-old women should look like 18-year-old girls.

And airbags are for cars, not women.

LA replies:

So according to ZvB, the correct response of man to the curse of death which God laid on man because of Adam’s rebellion, is the relentless use of cosmetic surgery and other artificial devices to make aged people look as though they were teenagers. Instead of following the teaching of the Bible which he references, and seeking to overcome the curse of death through faith in Jesus Christ, ZvB would have mankind go even deeper into rebellious self-assertion against nature and nature’s God.

Dan R. writes:

Breast implants are a matter of personal choice, and the sum of these personal choices adds up to a culture. Since women have the right to this choice, don’t others have the right to be critical of that choice, be it on an individual or societal level?

One aspect of the implant discussion not yet been touched upon is its tyrannical effect on those women who are NOT well-endowed. Many of these women have a beauty of their own, as witness the universe of athletic women, overwhelmingly small-breasted. But the societal pressure bearing down on them leads many to go the surgical route. It is among such women where implants are, I believe, most noticeable, and ridiculous. In the end, the most apparent effect of implants—on nearly all women—is to make it obvious that the woman has implants. It doesn’t speak well for the women or the men who encourage them.

LA replies:

I agree with Dan’s main point, but have some quibbles.

Dan writes:

“Breast implants are a matter of personal choice, and the sum of these personal choices adds up to a culture.”

But the culture can’t be reduced to the free personal choices of lots of individuals. Those personal choices are being made in a culture which legitimizes and encourages those choices.

“Since women have the right to this choice, don’t others have the right to be critical of that choice, be it on an individual or societal level?”

If by “right” you mean the bare legal right to do it, then yes, people would have the right to criticize that choice. But today, “the right to do something” translates into the moral right to do something, and according to that understanding, people do NOT have the right to criticize a decision by an individual that the individual had a right to make. As proof, consider what would happen in any mainstream website if someone tried to make the sorts of criticisms of breast implants that have been made here. He would be told to shut up, because people have the right to make the choices they want to make, and other people do not have the right to judge them for it. If liberal society has a core belief as to what is right, that is it.

The only way out of this confusion, which makes it impossible for people to criticize and judge each other’s behavior, is to return to the older understanding that we only have a right to do what is right. We do not have a right to do what is wrong. Yes, we do have the negative right to be left alone from society’s interference; and some of the choices we make in that state of being left alone may be wrong choices. But to say that we have a positive right to do something that is wrong is to destroy the meaning of words. For example, society leaves us alone and gives us the freedom to cultivate all kinds of bad habits. We have the right (the negative right) to be left alone. We do not have the right (the positive right) to cultivate bad habits. So when we say that women have the right to have breast implants for vanity purposes, I don’t think that’s correct. Rather, in our present society, women and men have the right to be left alone.

What I’ve just laid out would be a more rational approach to our present, liberal society. But would an organic, traditional society be like us and extend the area of negative rights to breast implants for vanity purposes, leaving women and doctors completely free to do it if the woman wants to? I don’t think so. At the least, custom and society’s moral consensus would strongly discourage it. It might be treated the way divorce was treated in America up to the early to mid 20th century: divorce was legally possible, but was so frowned on by society that it rarely happened.

All this is theoretical. If there were a traditional society, the demand for vanity breast implants wouldn’t exist. The idea wouldn’t occur to people. The idea only occurs in a society in which individuals have already been cut radically free from any natural or traditional sense of life.

Reader replies to LA:
You wrote “The reader evidently regards breast implants as part of the required equipment of a self-respecting, well turned out woman. I’m speechless.”

No, that’s not it at all. I was relating some observations in a non-judgmental manner, without any effort to be judgmental, which you may have seen as approving. I thought the relevant social conditions that pertain in Colombia were of interest in themselves, and, as I indicated, very striking when seen through the eyes of an American traveler.

I think it is the young women in Colombia—they regard implants as part of said required equipment. The competitive social pressure to do so must be very strong there. For me it was an eye-opener when I learned of the rampant plastic surgery in Cali, which helped to explain what otherwise seemed an unnaturally high percentage of beautiful young women in a particular urban setting. Colombia is well known for this phenomenon, and here was evidence that what seemed unreal was indeed unreal.

The manufacture of beauty on such a large scale for anyone who has the cash seems like the theme of some futuristic movie. The young men and women in the club and dance scenes probably do not grasp the devaluation of beauty that inevitably results from this manufacture of beauty.

Dan G. writes:

Thank you for your commentary on silicone breast implants. I am as amazed as you are never to have seen any such commentary in any cultural/political venue on this extraordinary theme, and I absolutely agree that it represents a deep sickness in our culture—both in the women who undergo this operation and the men who find it attractive or even tolerable.

The female reader who blames porn on this phenomenon might be interested to know that there is a whole subset of internet porn for men who want to see only natural breasts. In fact, one of the early successful porn internet sites was called ‘Big Naturals’ (the content of which, I assume, requires no elucidation).

My only quibble with what you say in this discussion regards the Fox News women. Despite their sexualized appearance and function as eye candy on the network, most are not the bimbos you and many others consider them to be, but are actually more sensible and intelligent than their dowdier female news counterparts on other networks.

LA replies:

Yes, I was engaging in some impressionistic exaggeration to make a point. Of course I didn’t mean to say that they are literally bimbos, and I acknowledge that most of them are less PC than the network women. The fact remains, however, that many of them, while they are able to speak, have little of note to say, but they do have big hair and smile incessantly and show lots of skin. Also, they are all so similar to each other than you can’t tell them apart. It’s as though Fox had a factory somewhere mass producing political commentator babes.

For one of the only times in my life, I’m tempted to use the word sexism. Men can get on O’Reilly’s program by having something to say. Women can get on O’Reilly’s program only by being young and stunning and preferably blond. This must be the first time in history that a person must have long hair (preferably blond) and wear a sexy outfit as a qualification for discussing politics. There is something deeply weird and unreal about this whole phenomenon—which, again, everyone accepts as normal, which is the weirdest part of it.

Scott McConnell writes (March 29):

I’m not an amnation fan and vice versa but the breast implants post is terrific.—SM

LA replies

Thank you.

April 4

A. Zarkov writes:

I oppose breast implants for two reasons. One prosaic, and the other religious.

1. Adverse social consequences.

The widespread use of breast implant surgery has led to a collection of bogus class action lawsuits. This lawyer (picked at random from a google search) claims to have obtained $125 million in settlements. One should realize that class action lawsuits are a bonanza for the lawyers. They often take a huge slice of the settlement.

In 2004 Dow Corning set aside $2.35 billion to pay damage awards against the company. This site provides details. Evidently it didn’t matter that in 1999 a panel of scientists confirmed that silicon implants do not cause any major disease. Here we have a major U.S. company driven into bankruptcy with junk science. Today I believe we have general acceptance that the Dow and other cases were bogus. At least that’s what’s taught in law school, according to my daughter who studied this case. But note, no one has to return the money they received. Not the lawyers, or their clients. It does not matter that the whole case against breast implants was a sham.

With the continued use of breast implants, we need only wait for the next wave of lawsuits as women grow older and develop diseases that come naturally with age. There’s no hope. Even if the women agree to sign a waiver, the courts will hold the waivers invalid and sympathetic juries make gigantic awards. The medical profession should simply ban breast implants except in medically necessary cases, such as repairing damage caused by trauma, disease, or treatment.

2. Religious and other reasons.

The Jewish religion forbids writing on the skin as an act of mourning. Some people take this as a general prohibition against mutilation of the body, which includes tattoos. I personally reject any vulgar modification of one’s body as profane. Today many young girls get tattoos, piercings and even deliberate scarification. It seems that we have a generation that wants to imitate primitive cultures, which I take as a rejection of the culture they were born into. Breast implants taken to an extreme qualify as vulgar as far as I’m concerned. It’s not a healthy sign that so many girls want these things.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 26, 2010 03:26 PM | Send

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