Are Women who want Big Boobs crazy? And are there men who are crazy enough to buy them implants for a peek? Apparently the answer to both questions is yes. Yesterday Newser had a story about a web site where women can apply to have men pay for their breast implants to give them bigger boobs. The site is described, by its creator, as “just a service connecting people with similar interests.” The common interest is women’s breasts… some are women who want theirs bigger, and some are men who just like to look at them, and apparently are willing to pay for the privilege.
According to the “Newser” story,
“It's called MyFreeImplants.com, and Grunstra (the website creator) says currently a thousand women are vying for the attention of over 10,000 benefactors. Twenty-eight women have had implant surgery paid for. The money, upwards of $4000 a pop, goes directly to the doctors.”
You can see the story at I have not been to the site, and will not go. For lots of reasons I encourage you not to, but you make that choice. Apparently the girls show their ”goods” to men who pledge money for their implant surgery. The money goes directly to the doctors who perform the surgery. Grunstra takes a cut off the middle. (I did not call him a pimp, but I heard some of you say it…. OH ADMIT IT, you did). You know anything like this is already on you tube.
I wondered about the economic margin of this purchase. The men were willing to pay for the breast implants in exchange for a look at the pre-implanted bodies of the ladies. If they were aficionados of large breasts, why wouldn’t they use the money to buy images of large breasted women? In a Guest blog on Freakonomics recently, Peter Temes wrote,
“Recently deceased Antioch alum Theodore Levitt, a long-time distinguished professor at Harvard Business School and former editor of the Harvard Business Review, was famous for teaching that people did not buy goods or services because of what those goods and services were, but because of the jobs they did. No one wants to buy a quarter-inch drill, he would say; people really want to buy a quarter-inch hole.”
So what is the product here? Surely it is not pictures of nude women. There must be as much of that as any man can seek already available on the internet for fees less than the amounts they seem willing to contribute. So what do they get from the exchange? I have some scary suppositions, but will let you form your own.
And why would the women agree to post soft porn (or more) of themselves for a price (that they don’t even get, it all goes to the doctors) less than they could get posing in more traditional ways on web cams and such? For the women perhaps it is the surgery that justifies actions they would not normally indulge in; “I’m only doing it for the surgery.”
Karen Abbot's Sin in the Second City is a book about prostitution in turn-of-the-century Chicago. In one section some of the ladies are questioned about how they came to be “in the business.” From another Freakonomics blog we find:
During one particular survey, girls were asked why they entered the “sporting life.” Nine answered they were seduced; three could not earn enough to live by any other means; two were enticed into the life by other women; two were too “ignorant” to do any ordinary work; two lost their husbands by death and two by desertion; two said they were naturally bad (one said she was “born with the devil in her,” the other that she was “bad with boys before she was 15”); two said they wanted to afford fine clothing; and two claimed they were ruined by drink.
I would love to see a survey of the reasons given by the “thousands” of women applying for support on the website for their desires to have enlargement.
Would they say they were just crazy? Probably not, “But Joseph K. McLaughlin, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said the findings suggest that a sizable subset of women who have breast augmentation may have underlying psychological disorders.” He made the statement in a NY Times article about an article on a recent study that said that women who have breast implants have higher suicide rates and higher incidence of drug and alcohol related deaths..
The easy answer is that these women are victims of a societal image that tells them they have to be thin as a willow with breasts like bed pillows. It is tv and the media that are to blame, and yet, another study has suggested that the presence of TV can improve women’s self perceptions. I recently wrote (statistics as it CAN be) about Emily Oster’s TED video that could change your view of HIV and poverty in Africa, and I just came across another study she has written that suggests that the presence of cable tv has improved the status of women in India.
“Using a three-year individual-level panel dataset, we found that the introduction of cable television is associated with improvements in women's status. We found significant increases in reported autonomy, decreases in the reported acceptability of beating and decreases in reported son preference. We also found increases in female school enrollment and decreases in fertility (primarily via increased birth spacing). The effects are large, equivalent in some cases to about five years of education in the cross section, and move gender attitudes of individuals in rural areas much closer to those in urban areas.”
So are we raising the status of women in India only to make them feel less worthy because they do not have large enough breasts? I hope not. Maybe the study linking breast implants to higher suicide rates is based on women who had implants when society was less acceptable to these changes. I hope that all of the ladies who get implants will find the wonderful changes in their lives they dream of; and I hope that tomorrow I will wake up to find there is peace in the Middle East,