I remember reading an interesting article a while back. It purported that women who have had eating disorders ranging from anorexia to bulimia, have reported a more positive body image after getting breast implants, and therefore have enjoyed a lessor severity of their eating disorder as well. I thought it was intriguing because although it sounded like it could be pure fluff, it also sounded logical to me. Let me explain myself.
What is one of the biggest goals of getting breast implants? It’s usually to improve a woman’s overall body image. And what tends to improve body image? When a woman (or man’s) body is more “in balance”. Symmetry is still the ultimate beauty ideal these days, that has not changed. And when your body seems more proportionate, it is viewed as more “beautiful” aesthetically. I’m not trying to make the rules here, I’m just relaying what has been a long term ideal in the human race, albeit that it has fluctuated a bit in the past.
And believe me, I feel that all body types should be celebrated. However it has to be discussed and acknowledged that there are definite ideals out there, and that we are all exposed to them on pretty much a daily basis whether it be through print, televised or internet media. So it’s safe to say that we’ve all been pretty brainwashed when it comes to our body image. There’s not much we can do about that other than to be self-accepting. This is not so easy for people with eating disorders, and it’s often not even really about beauty or thinness, but it’s often about control.
But ultimately, when a person looks in the mirror, their perception of how their body measures up in terms of ideals, this is a big control issue. It makes those with eating disorders feel in control. Heck, it makes those without eating disorders feel more in control!
There are differing views on the issue of course. Some psychologists think that plastic surgery of any kind in a patient with an eating disorder could instill a false sense that they will feel better about themselves and be cured, and become addicted to surgery as a means of being happy with how they look. Others think that having more “up top” might help those with eating disorders be happier when they gain a little “on the bottom”.
What do you think? Breast implants a good or terrible idea for women who have struggled with eating disorders?