Why is breast augmentation more important than a new roof?

October 18, 2011

Unlike other investments, a well turned out breast holds its value.
Unlike other investments, a well turned out breast holds its value.

“If women kept their heads covered instead of their breasts, we’d all be rushing to the corner store to pick up the latest copy of ‘Heads Illustrated,’” says Jerry Seinfeld, as reported to The Mercury News.

Certainly, the “hidden” aspect of breasts is seductive. But, when you get down to it, breasts are very confusing. On the one hand, the breast is a sexual organ. On the other hand, it is an innocent source of nourishment. However, women are frequently appalled when they see a woman nursing uncovered in a public place and men are simply abashed, not knowing where or how to look.

Breast augmentation has been the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure for the past three years, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The federal government spent more on breast cancer research last year than on lung and prostate cancers combined according to the National Cancer Institute. So, why are we willing to invest so much in female breasts?

Anthropologist Helen Fisher thinks our obsession with breasts is tied to survival of the human species. Since breasts feed babies, a well-appointed chest signals youth and good reproductive value.

Leigh Hurst, breast cancer survivor and mother, founder of “Feel Your Boobies” is on a mission to encourage women to prevent breast cancer through self-examination. But she has been told that her message is offensive and over sexualizes breasts. Fisher is not surprised by this reaction, “Americans are particularly square. We link sex with sin and religion. And we still see the breast as purely sexual instead of as a source of nourishment.”

According to The Mercury News, October 11, 2011, 20-something girls talk about their breasts all the time. The smaller-breasted envy the larger-breasted and vice versa. There is a London-based blog, “Beauty and the Boob” written by someone who worked in the cosmetic surgery field who couldn’t believe the volume of women of all ages who wanted to change the appearance of their breasts.

Survival, sexuality, envy, sin, religion, nourishment……the breast has all the ingredients of a good movie. And unlike other investments, a well turned out breast holds its value. 


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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