Monday afternoon I sat in the exam room. I shifted back and forth trying to figure out how to get comfortable in the stiff white disposable underwear the nurse gave me. She knocked, "Jasmine are you ready?" I answered reluctantly. "Just follow me this way," she instructed. The nurse led me to a room with a photography backdrop and tape on the floor.
"Turn to the side." She snapped a photograph. "Lift your arms up." She snapped another photograph. These would inevitably be the "before" pictures that would serve as the example of the no good horrible body that was in need of transformation. It would be these same pictures held in juxtaposition to the "after" photos that would help countless women decide on implanting their muscles with a silicon sphere. After the nurse finished taking photos to her satisfaction we went back to exam room where I put on the stiff white disposable underwear. The doctor entered shortly after us and sat matter-of-factly on the stool. "Let me take a look at you," he said while pushing open the medical gown. He informed me of all the ways he could change my body to make it look better. His prescription:
- A breast lift
- Lower body life and tummy tuck
My body has been through several phases of transformation. The most recent transformations (extreme weight loss and breastfeeding for 7 years) has left my breasts in some kind of shape. I've wrestled with this before in this writing space: ideals about boobs, breasts, tits. What I know is that I really like mine and I want them back. I've lived life as DD and I have a B cup because of the weight loss.
I cried at the surgeon's office. Anchor scars and feminism. Self acceptance and self empowerment. It all feels so heavy and hard to navigate. I conceptualize the surgery as a form of restoration. Then I feel conflicted about foreign objects in my body. All of my ambivalence is part of the struggle with feminism and being educated on the state of being in the world. Do I want my bigger breasts back because Patriarchy and messages about "The Feminine"?
Can a feminist get breast implants? Do feminists get breast augmentations?
There is too much narrative around these questions. Some much, in fact, that I believe you have to reduce the conversation down to your personal reflections. We all have to analyze the context in which our choices occur and take responsibility for them. I think we stray from the path of empowerment when we are comparing our body against the body of an ideal woman and pushing ourselves to achieve that ideal. Does a woman who has had her breast disfigured for various reasons stand against Patriarchy and refuse to get implants in order to make a statement about her body and it how it is okay no matter what? Some feminists should. Other feminists should. I'll bear the weight of my decisions, but not anyone else's. SO the answer is: Yes. This feminist can get breast implants. I'll still be a feminist... just a feminist with really expensive tits.