I find myself fascinated by E!’s not-so-new plastic surgery show, “Dr. 90210” – reality TV’s version of “Nip/Tuck.” While the show’s cosmetic surgeons become famous in front of the camera, the women (and men) they work on become beautiful. The most common procedure performed on the show to achieve this beauty is augmentation mammography, or, more commonly, the boob job.
Why? There are only three justifiable reasons I can think of for receiving one of these surgeries: construction, reduction and reconstruction. Women who have little or no breast tissue whatsoever get the procedure to feel more feminine. For women who have had mastectomies or have been involved in an accident, surgery is necessary to replace what was lost. Lastly, for women whose breasts are large a reduction eases most physical pain and self-consciousness.
But these three reasons are rare on the show. Instead, the most frequent scenario is when an already gorgeous woman desires a fuller bust just because. But is it really just because?
For some, bigger breasts equal success, both in the bedroom and the boardroom. A larger bust or deeper cleavage is naturally attractive, but hopefully, it’s not the reason he will propose or the reason you’ll get a promotion. For others, it is self-esteem (or the lack of it) that drives their desire for new boobs. A new pair has the ability to boost confidence and improve self-image.
If it is more valuable to invest in oneself intrinsically than to enhance oneself externally, why are women using artificial fatty tissue and milk ducts to garner glances from men and achieve success at work? The answer is simple: Although women have made tremendous progress in the last century, restrictions still exist. These restrictions subtly and psychologically impose upon women the idea that in order to succeed they need to accommodate the wishes of men.
But having the perfect body is unattainable. Humans never seem to have enough. Once they have attained something better they quickly adjust and find themselves wanting more and more. If a woman gets her breasts done she may soon want her neck, lips and tummy tucked too until her body is only worth what she is willing to put into it.
On the other hand, if she invests her time, energy and money into improving herself as a person she may fair better in the long run. Things such as literacy, education and career improvement are invaluable.
These are the things that should matter more than the cup size. If these “reality” shows continue to perpetuate this image of the perfect woman, we are going to continue to undermine the things that really matter.
Kellyn Jackson is an LSA sophomore and a member of the Daily’s editorial board.