Today I’d like to talk about breast enhancements, augmentations, boob jobs, implants, call them what you will.
As I have a preference for keeping photography as natural as possible (using natural light, natural looking poses and encouraging natural expressions rather than pouty duckface), I’ve always taken the position that women’s natural bodies are beautiful in all their fabulous shapes and sizes. Furthermore, working as a glamour photographer I’ve seen quite a lot of augmented breasts, and it can be the case that a woman is unhappy with her boobs so wants to get them fixed, but on doing so transfers the unhappiness to another body part e.g. nose or lips, and wants to get that changed. This endless cycle of unhappiness seems unhealthy (and expensive), so I’ve previously felt that it’d be better to learn to love the body you have, rather than the one Cosmopolitan tells you you should have.
However, I’ve recently come to change my mind. I had a shoot earlier this week with a model and a make-up artist who were both mothers, and whose breasts had changed significantly after childbirth. Their thoughts, coupled with a friend who refuses to take her bra off in bed, made me realise that women identify very strongly with their boobs, and if they change significantly due to age or children, it can have a significant psychological impact. If you doubt this, reverse the roles and imagine if a guy were to have natural shrinkage happen to something he associated his masculinity with (yes, that bit). I don’t think men would hesitate to have that reversed if they could!
So, it’s all very well for me to say be true to your natural self, but what if the natural self you identify with is significantly different from your current body? What if you’re transgender and need surgery to be comfortable in your own skin?
In the end it comes down to freedom of choice. I firmly believe that if you want to change your body with diet or exercise, that’s great. If you want to enhance your appearance with tattoos and/or piercings, go ahead. So what right do I have to even have an opinion on what you should do with your breasts? I don’t know what goes through your head when you see them in the mirror. They’re your boobs, do what you like with them.
Lastly, if you see someone with implants and they’re not your thing, don’t be quick to judge her. You have no idea of her journey, what she’s been through that led her to change her body. It’s the person inside that matters, deal with people according to what’s in their head, not what’s in their bra.