One word says it all: décolletage. High, rounded breasts, cinched waists, tight sleeves to slim the arms. The visual effect is overwhelming and the attendant psychological effects include confidence, self-esteem, and optimism, along with the fact that clothing simply fits better. Which explains why, by 1991, over two million women had had breast implants. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons stated that 316,848 breast augmentations were performed in 2011, by approximately 6,700 surgeons. That number is expected to exceed 360,000 in 2012, as the popularity of breast augmentation has risen dramatically in the last 15 years.
Breast implants aren’t just about having larger breasts. In many cases, women elect to have breast implants for other reasons, such as body image issues. For example, some women have asymmetrical breasts, where one breast is larger than the other. Other women suffer from what is called micromastia, which is a fancy term for diminutive. Still other women, after having three or four children, discover that their breasts have changed, becoming less flattering. They are looking for a Mommy Makeover. In each of the aforementioned examples, the motivation for breast implants is the desire to look normal in clothing and bathing suits.
According to Nancy Etcoff in her delightful book, Survival of the Prettiest, it all comes down to symmetry. “Symmetry is the hidden persuader.” Symmetrical males are more attractive to females and vice versa. Symmetry is connected to beauty because it functions as a yardstick of overall health. Symmetrical human beings experience higher growth rates, better health and live longer.
Breast augmentation is no different than visiting the local orthodontist and getting braces. People want their teeth to be straight, symmetrical, and white. Not only do they feel better about themselves, but they’re no longer embarrassed to smile or laugh. The same is true of breast implants.
Throughout history, the erotic breast has always been depicted as firm, with an upward tilt, no matter the size. The desired look is never flabby, lengthened, or tubular in shape. Female breasts are different from those of other mammals. Human females are the only mammals who develop rounded breasts at puberty and keep them throughout their life. So it’s not surprising that the breast has become a focal point, and that women aspire to a certain look.
Over the years, surgical techniques have evolved tremendously, to the point that the risk of complications has been reduced dramatically. Breast augmentation is not only the most popular cosmetic procedure, it is one of the safest. Anyone contemplating breast augmentation should consult with a qualified cosmetic surgeon, as only a highly-trained surgeon may properly perform such procedures. A cosmetic surgeon can answer questions, provide valuable insight, and speak authoritatively on every aspect of breast augmentation.