If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Shirt Potatoes

... being the most polite way of saying 'tits' in a blogpost header.

Specifically, plastic ones. Or 'enhanced', to use a term the owner and her surgeon would probably prefer. I'm sure no-one can have missed the furore about the implants provided by the French firm PIP, which are full of industrial silicone and apparently prone to popping while in situ. Latest from the Beeb here.

Part of the debate is about whether the state should pay for their removal, if this proves to be the recommended solution. My view is that they should not be. If you are stupid enough to undergo a non-essential major surgical procedure for the sake of your vanity, that's up to you, but if it goes wrong, I am sorry, but it's down to you to put it right. I would hope the clinics involved will fund the procedures out of sheer guilt and a desire for good PR, but if they won't or can't, then you are like any other consumer of a defective product - sue or walk away. I most expressly exclude from this opinion anyone who has had reconstructive surgery, augmentation or reduction for genuine medical purposes. For those people I have the deepest sympathy and I believe the NHS should step in. If that means I am guilty of dividing women into 'good' and 'bad' recipients of breast surgery, then so be it. If anyone thinks that a woman who has lost a breast, or part of one, to cancer can be compared with a woman who just wanted bigger norks 'cos it gives me confidence, innit', then they are either stupid or not paying attention.

I don't know anyone who has fake boobs, and I certainly have never knowingly, er, fondled one. I do know someone who had breast reduction surgery on the NHS, though. She was blessed/cursed from an early age with the most colossal basketballs known to medical science. They made her utterly miserable, she couldn't wear normal clothes, they gave her backache, they stopped her taking normal exercise, and they attracted the bully at school and the dinosaur jokester at work. She loathed them, and her doctor supported her in having them drastically reduced on the NHS. Today, she is a pleasant and proportionate C-cup, roughly (that's a Mk 1 eyeball observation, by the way, not a confirmed measurement), and she is a confident and happy woman. She's also a very pretty woman, and now when you look at her you think 'what a pretty girl' rather then 'how does she stand up?' I have no problem with that at all.

But getting bigger/firmer/perkier bosoms because the man in your life demands it/you think you're 'worth it'/you lack confidence with your modest chest configuration/you think it will help your career are most definitely NOT sound reasons to have major non-essential surgery. Your body, your choice - if you want to have it done, don't let me stand in your way. But don't expect me to pay for it to be done, or to fix it when it goes wrong. (And I'll cut you the same deal on the penis enlargement that Russian bloke keeps writing to me about.)

I've seen those ladies on the internet with their fake grapefruit-shaped bazongas, and frankly they are a massive turn-off. Nice, firm, gravity-defying boobs are one thing, but when they keep their identical shape even when you lie down, something looks amiss. And when they are spherical, rather then the natural teardrop shape, than I am afraid it tickles my giggle-gland and all desire goes out of the window.

Ladies, I will let you into a secret. We chaps don't really care. We like you small or large, pert or saggy, firm or squishy. Braeburns or spaniels' ears, bee-stings or bazongas, pointing at the sky or knocking your kneecaps, no worries. We are so glad you have them, and are so delighted that you have chosen to share them with us, that we really aren't bothered about minor details like that. Please don't think we would be anything other than disturbed if you decided to alter them.

And if your man thinks that your body is so unacceptable to him that you ought to undergo surgery, then you are with the wrong man.


  1. Yes, the first claim should be against the Clinic. They should correct their error for free. However, some might have stopped trading, or just refuse to put things right.

    If the NHS has to perform the correction, the private clinics must have had Public Liability Insurance - I doubt they would have been awarded a licence without it. The NHS should be able to recover all of the costs from these policies.

    And about the upgraded girls, until the internet goes 3D it's all largely wasted on me....

  2. I wonder what they are going to do with all those implants with industrial grade silicon filler. They look like they might be quite good fun as 'executive stress reducers'.......... Nurse!

  3. Derf, when I saw a BBC babelet fondling one on the news, my first thought was of a game similar to frisbee. You know, 'catch the implant' or 'flubbadubbadubba' something. But now I see - a stress-ball. Yesssss.

  4. Mostly an enthusiastic yes, especially on the aesthetics of the au naturel version when compared to setting free a pair of comedy plastic jumper puppies.

    On replacement, I support the idea that there should be no large-scale, pre-emptive replacement programme at public expense. For a start, implants are not considered permanent prostheses, therefore anyone taking them on should be aware that even under normal usage ...:-) they may well need replacement in future. If they are purchased privately, for cosmetic reasons, the buyer should ensure that they have the wherewithal to cover such an eventuality.

    That said, I believe cosmetic, in this case, covers an entire gamut of reasons other than simple vanity. Even if it didn't, I'd still want to caveat that "up to you to put it right" and "don't expect me...to fix it when it goes wrong" - actually, to a certain extent, I do. If people develop a need for medical intervention, whether it has arisen through their own agency or not, fixing it is precisely what I expect from the NHS. Not a system where people are denied treatment because they smoke/are fat/have dangerous hobbies...or have undergone elective cosmetic surgery.

    I strongly suspect you didn't mean it in that way at all - it's always a bit of a reductio ad absurdam to take generalisations down to specific examples. Still, in this case, whilst I see no reason to mitigate via the NHS for the 93-98% of buyers who will not suffer abnormal implant failure, the 2-7% (whatever it eventually turns out to be) that do are just as entitled to use public service treatment as anyone else.

  5. I was in too much of a hurry, and you suspect correctly. If an implant ruptures, that's a medical emergency, and of course the NHS should deal with it as best as it can. I was thinking more of people waking up one day, seeing the news about PIP, having a change of heart, and expecting the poor old bloody taxpayer to see to it. I take your point about the smokers, fatties, bikers (and those who are all three?) having paid their taxes and expecting treatment they are entitled to. I guess I would put fake boobs closer to tattoos than a 'lifestyle' choice - get them by all means, but not on my dime.

    But for someone suffering a medical emergency, of course the NHS should provide. My bad for suggesting otherwise.


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