Monday, October 17, 2011

Cosmetic Breasts

I lost a friend today. 
Over a decade of trust, support, sharing and love has been released to new beginnings. 
She dumped me because I did not support her during her surgery to have implants placed in her breasts. 
She didn't directly ask me for support, I might add, but after the deed had been done I was told she wanted it.

I only wish she saw more clearly the way I do support her. 
How I love her the way she is, for who she is. 
How proud I am of her for breastfeeding her three children. 
We have had this conversation at least a handful of times over the years. I know this is not a decision she has taken lightly 
or made flippantly. 
In such chats I would support her in the only way that feels true to me ~ to encourage her to value herself despite the intense pressure of society and it's unrealistic expectations of having the perfect body.

We once discussed telling our daughters and tried to perceive how they may view such elective cosmetic surgery. 
How does one explain to girls (who often feel inadequate) that they are perfect as they are; yet at the same time explain that women (feel inadequate too and) desire to make changes at drastic levels. 
What is the difference? Are we endorsing the need for the perfect body to our daughters? 

We talked about her personal health issues and the risks associated with surgery for her. We talked about the pros and cons and if it really mattered, or if it just seemed to matter. We talked about happiness and we were happy while we talked.

So once again I am pondering conditioning, and feeling another point has been scored against womankind in it's battle against mass media's objectification of women, soft-porn as advertising for everything, hard porn as part of everyday orgasms, sexualisation of women's bodies, cultivating of girls and grooming them into laydeehood rather than womanhood .. all very true, 
but I'm not learning anything new here, you?

Perhaps my friend thinks I dont approve of her for the decision she made; though the opposite is true. I approve of her no matter what. I understand how she feels the way she does about her body and I don't scorn her for that.
I deliberately chose to keep a respectful distance when she was going through her surgery and recovery.
I can be quite serious on matters of body image, having spent a few adolescent years battling anorexia bulimia. 
Surely I would be a downer to the party. 
My friend and her new breasts can have a drink and celebrate with friends her sexy new look, and I'll just politely not comment on her facebook status updates. 

I worry about her, though I hesitate to share it. I worry that if she cannot love and approve of herself now, breast implants won't fix it. How will her self-image be when she is older and looking less like the perfect body? 
Will she love and approve of herself then? Will she be happy? 
Or will her mind move to the next 'imperfection'?
Will she constantly be chasing happiness in this way?

When my friend was breastfeeding she looked gorgeous, by whatever standards. She maintained her size 8 figure, and now had perky, shapely breasts full of milk. Stunning. Me, I put on weight when breastfeeding and seriously need to focus on positive self-talk. "My changing body is perfect in providing for my babies and doing what nature intended." It is difficult not to focus on the desire to drop weight after weaning and simply enjoy being a juicy lactating Mumma in this moment. 
I, too, am scared of not meeting my own internalised image of how I want to look. An personal vision based of my own foul cliched conditioning, combined with a little successful un-conditioning, self acceptance and love.

I search deeper and realise that many times I have complimented my friend on a new haircut, funky pants, tattoo, pretty dress, kids outfits, etc. So what is the difference with breast implants ~ it's all about appearance right? 
I love questioning like this; love that chains can break in my mind allowing new doors to fly open and cast more of my conditioning away. 
I love talking to my friend about it.

To my beautiful friend, it is a pity we won't be having conversation around these concepts, as we have always had the ability to exchange ideas together without heated emotion, and, because of that, and so much more, I will miss your friendship.

Wherever your road takes you, YOU will always be there :)
I love you always.


  1. *hugs* you have such a beautiful heart, and give love so freely. I hope your friend reads this, and you can come together again soon.

    And I think you are gorgeous in your body. You are strong, and milky, and a goddess in every way. It's hard to shut off that inner dialogue about how we look, but it's hard too to see ourselves the way our friends do. I see so much loveliness in you, so much fierceness and joy, and it radiates from you like a light. oxox

  2. *cries* thankyou :)
    yes that inner dialogue is a killer
    fuggen shuuuut up unhapi me .. be freeeeeeee <3

  3. I read this a little while ago and I can't let it rest. I might be wrong, I don't know your friend, but are you being a little presumptuous in thinking she is in search of 'the perfect body'? Maybe it's a bit demeaning and simplistic of you to suggest she has succumbed to mass media's soft porn exploitation etc. and that she is a victim of this **stuff** in society. I'm sure it's a more complicated choice than you make it sound!
    Maybe she loved and approved of herself just the same, (maybe more, maybe less- who knows?), before the implants. Maybe she knows herself and her body very well, is intelligent and aware of all the things you mentioned and still arrived at this choice? Despite acknowledging didn't make a flippant decision, to me it seems she is not granted this possibility.

    Why do you think there will be some sort of party or celebration you need to participate in around her new breasts? Maybe they are a bigger deal to you than they are to her. I'm sorry, but I don't see how your thoughts add up.... and then you COMMENT ON HER BODY? Down to her dress size? Hmmm I think there is something deeper for you.

    I think you touch on it in your thoughts about appearances... I hope her journey at least helps you find it.

    Personally I think we should teach our daughters to simply respect their bodies and just (hopefully) side step all that rubbish and see them embrace healthy eating, healthy living and all that good stuff out of love for themselves.


  4. The person I speak of here is not just a friend .. she was a best friend .. over a full on decade where we each went thru a lot of grownup *stuff* .. this blogpost is the simple version of deeper and more complex issues .. some hers, some mine, all from our conditionings of a society we live in. I have no doubt my friend would not be partying once she felt up to it .. if you knew her you would know that. You speak of 'assumptions' as if I am writing about a stranger. You speak of my personal journey, as if I have claimed to be free from the shackles of my own conditioning - which I am not (striving for Enlightenment like most confused mortals tho :p)

    Maybe you are right, Avery, and she did this for some intelligent reason I myself cannot grasp - I am yet to work out what reason for non-medical elective cosmetic surgery is 'acceptable'. The discussion and points you see at play here were mostly roused in me in my discussions with my friend. There is nothing in here that would have been 'news to her' when she read it.

    If my friend saw your post I'm sure she would say something like 'who's not in search of the perfect body?' .. and that alone could take our dialogue in many directions. 'Come on, admit it' she'd say .. 'Tell me you'd rather be fat and ugly than perfect.' .. so we'd check our egos and conditioning, critique the concepts of 'fat' and 'ugly' and acknowledge their presence and our struggle to be centered in our true healthy selves in this sick society .. love her! I miss her and our chats heaps.

    The biggest reflection I have around this after time passing, is that if my friend had asked me for support I probably would have done as needed .. but I wasn't actually asked. I was crtisized for not doing what she expected/wanted me to do. I like to think she knows that if she really needed me I was there.

    I won't disclose any further info about her life or our friendship tho .. if you have any tips for side stepping the patriarchal rubbish I'd love to hear it! Thanks for your time here