Friday, 1 August 2008


Novelist Tony Parsons's article in this month's GQ Magazine about his "fear of fake breasts" has put the rationale for having "gratuitous" cosmetic surgery under the microscope. And about time too.

Like most sensible people Parsons isn't that impressed by fake boobs - even if he admits they are fabulous to look at.

He writes that fake breasts are "like plastic fruit" - good to look at, but not good to touch.

Personally, I have always hated plastic fruit - on a par with plastic flowers and plants!

He said in GQ magazine: "They are not there to be fondled, kissed or felt, they are there to be admired, discussed, lusted after and photographed. The moment they are touched -- and I mean in the heat of passion, rather than out of curiosity or in the interests of scientific research -- then the spell is broken. And this is true of all fake breasts, no matter how much money has been spent on this act of female self-mutilation."

And Parsons asks: "Why aren't there armies of thinking women protesting about the grotesquely booming trade in bogus breasts?"

I think the answer might lie in the demographics of the customers ie who exactly is having this only have to look at where the big cosmetic clinics are advertising...mainly in the mass circulation tabloids and populist glossy take a guess. This is probably why there are not hoards of women protesting...the others have got better things to do.

I know that you cannot always tell a book by its cover but a nice face and body doesn't mean a nice person.

I agree with the writer Joan Smith on this same subject: "I think that women considering breast surgery for cosmetic reasons should spend a month in Darfur and then decide if body image is really an important issue."

Please don't misunderstand me: I don't think there is anything wrong with cosmetic surgery in moderation. For example, a woman who has breasts that did not grow normally from puberty or women with overly large breasts who want a reduction. But...there appears to be a serious, misplaced, out-of-balance preoccupation with self in many of these people.

I recently met a woman who I concluded was suffering from body dysmphorphic disorder amongst other things. At the age of 38 she had had a boob enhancement, a nose job, her chin and thighs lipo-sucked and her ears pinned. She spent virtually every waking hour walking around with cosmetic whitening trays on her teeth. She also had Botox, and fillers in her wrinkles and had her lips pumped up with something or other.

Everyday she sought something new. On one occasion I saw her with extremely swollen lips - she had had "semi-permanent"(tatoo-ing) make-up.

This woman carried a toothbrush everywhere - disappearing after meals to clean her teeth. Sure guys looked at her boobs - she always went out in plunging tops and the shortest skirts.

What they didn't know was that the surgery was bankrolled by an ageing but wealthy married man in his 60s who she threatened and bullied with her tantrums; that she spent her days trawling for rich men on a national newspaper internet dating site, and she never got out bed before midday. And her only real friend was a Persian cat.

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