“It’s not for him, it’s for me.”
That’s the common response I hear whenever I ask a woman why she chose to have breast enhancement surgery. Never once have I heard a woman come right out and admit to going under the knife for her man. Instead, they blame everything from the way their clothes don’t quite fit right to the havoc wreaked on their bodies by pregnancy and breastfeeding. But, honestly, I don’t buy it.
I believe the vast majority of these women are giving me planned, politically correct responses to mask the true motivation for the surgery: that guys dig a good rack. These women are simply trying to increase their hotness level among straight guys. What makes me so positive that I am right and that they are lying to themselves when they blame designers and babies for their willingness to go through days of post-surgical pain and risks, including complications that extend to death? It is because in all my years, I have yet to meet a lesbian who has ever gotten a boob job.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation was the number-one cosmetic surgical procedure last year for women, and the number of those surgeries rose 2 percent from the year before. Notably, the statistical information on the type of women getting the surgery does not include a category for sexual orientation. Is that because psychology has not yet fully studied how our body image varies simply based on whether or not we’re gay?
There are advantages to being a gay woman, and one of the biggest advantages is being with a partner who truly understands women’s bodies. Breasts come in all shapes and sizes, and a man can never fully fathom the changes that a woman’s body experiences over a lifetime. Two women are always going to relate to the ways each other’s bodies change over time, and this instills a comfort and level of understanding that is hard for a straight couple to ever reach. There is also the reality that lesbians don’t routinely trade our girlfriends in for younger models per se. If two women break up, one of them is just as likely to date someone older as she is to dip into the younger end of the pool. But for straight women, there is a very real message that their man is only going to be truly happy and committed if the woman maintains a certain level of physical perfection. Without being perceived as “beautiful” in the eyes of the male masses, these women seem to lose their sense of worth rapidly.
In reality, the pressures that lead so many woman to go under the knife can’t keep being blamed on men. Women have to, again, start taking responsibility for their own decisions about their bodies. Women have more choices about our lives than ever before. The college enrollment rate for women is now higher than it is for men. Women make up nearly half of our labor force. Today, 65 percent of women in senior management have children, and 95 percent of family financial decisions are made by women.
In the 1960s and ‘70s our mothers’ generation marched on Washington for women’s rights. When they were burning their bras, would they have ever thought that 40 years later, so many of us would be measuring our worth by our new surgically enhanced bra size?
Article originally published on Huffington Post.