Over at Respectful Insolence, Orac discusses an article where a scientist has spent his days shut away, slaving endlessly over a data set–of pictures of topless models. Why? To produce the perfect boob job, of course–or as the article puts it, “to help Hollywood look even more perfect.”

Great. Just what we need.

According to the researcher, the ideal breast “…is a 45 to 55 per cent proportion – that is the nipple sits not at the half-way mark down the breast, but at least 45 per cent from the top.” Like it wasn’t enough before to worry about them being too perky, or too saggy, or uneven…now the nipple has to be a certain percentage up on the breast as well? Thank you, Mr Mallucci, for your meticulous research.

This ticks me off even more than it usually would because a reader had just sent me a link to this story in US magazine about Heidi Montag and her “revenge plastic surgery.” Apparently this girl is on a reality show and despite her already having fame and, I assume, some degree of wealth from that, well, her breasts were just too small. So she decided to have them augmented. My issue isn’t so much with that procedure itself as it is with her attitude toward it, and what her comments and studies like the one above say about our culture and the emphasis we place on the “perfect” set of breasts and body:

[US magazine]: Take Us back to April 2, the day of ­surgery.

[Montag]“I woke up, and it was like Christmas: I was a nervous wreck, but I was just so excited at the same time. Spencer said, “I’m so proud of you.” It was like he was wishing me well off to school: “Love you! Bye!” But surgery is a very big deal. Right before I went in, I was like, What if I don’t wake up? Oh, this is scary. Then I thought, I don’t care. If I don’t wake up, it’s worth it. I just wanted it so badly.”

Yes, it’s better to be dead than to be flat-chested. And even if you’re larger than an A cup, you should still feel bad about yourself because your breasts aren’t “perfect.” And heaven forbid it goes the other way, and you’re naturally endowed with larger breasts and are bigger than a size four, yet somehow manage to become a respected and award-winning actress: they’ll just photoshop the hell out of you anyway.

I certainly acknowledge my own self-image problems when I was growing up, but I worry that it’s even worse for girls today. I knew too many girls in college who had eating disorders, and it doesn’t seem like the “size zero” standard was in vogue then as much as it is now. I try to teach my daughter that beauty is so much more than physical, and to appreciate our variety in shapes and sizes–but how can I compete with the “boys always made fun of me for being so flat so I went and bought me some implants and who cares if I die during surgery because I’d rather be dead than flat-chested” mentality?

Comments

  1. #1 student_b
    September 30, 2007

    Betty is hot.

    Really, her charming, over the-top optimistic attitude displayed in the series “Ugly Betty” made her much more beautiful then all those “super models” shown there. (Which just looked boring and flat [personality wise flat]).

    I mean, her smile with the braces is just irresistible. :)

    ——–

    But as you’ve said, the attitude towards looks in our society got worse in the last few years. Nowadays even males have to look like professional bodybuilders with no ounce of fat on their protein stuffed body.

    Fitness studios and the like never got that many customers and we have males doing liposuction, etc.

    And even a female friend of mine, which is very self confident about her body, now talks about doing a boob job if her boobs shouldn’t be as good as they once were after giving birth.

    Our society is just messed up.

  2. #2 rlbates
    September 30, 2007

    Good post and I happen to agree with you.

  3. #3 ergie
    September 30, 2007

    Who cares about perfect? I’ve never met one I didn’t like.

    What purpose does augmentation serve? Do you suddenly want me to offer a massage like I do everyone else having a C cup or larger? What do you want out of me? We’re not supposed to oogle (in the US anyway) so stop tormenting me by drawing my eye away from what it was doing.

    A customer of mine, clearly over augmented, last holiday season gave me a hug that nearly knocked the wind out of me. It was odd.

    Years ago a friend expressed frustration at then men she was interested in being less than responsive presumably due to her looks (which were great to me). I advised her that not all men are the same and that she needed to discover what it was in her own criteria that always drew her to that kind of guy.

    Are there studies out there that correlate a woman’s cup size to: a) Jealously/abusive level in her boyfriend, b) age when first married, or c) likelyhood of having a professional career? Just little pet theses of mine that, in my world view, would suggest smaller is better.

    Having said all that, I have to honestly say that if I were to suddenly come into some substantial amount of money that somewhere on the list of things to do with it I might consider a little nip and tuck for my pecs. They’re just a little too far from ideal. I have always hated them and I don’t get the attention I deserve. My wife thinks I’m just fine.

  4. #4 Martin R
    September 30, 2007

    Not only is the Hollywood female ideal unhealthy and impossible, it’s unattractive to one major target audience: straight males. Most men don’t desire skinny waifs. The fashion industry teaches women to strive for, and to encourage each other to strive for, a non-boinkable ideal. I for one wouldn’t touch the photoshopped cyborg version of that lovely actress with a ten-foot cucumber.

    As for perfect this and perfect that, us straight males are usually very grateful indeed for whatever you’ve got, ladies. So just chill.

  5. #5 guthrie
    September 30, 2007

    I wonder where this definition of “perfect” comes from? A scan through a wide selection of porn will show that men like a lot of different shapes, and not many like very thin and skinny.
    On a forum I frequent, actress Keir Knightly for example regularly attracts comments from men, along the lines of “She’d be fine if she ate a few pies.”

  6. #6 Tara C. Smith
    September 30, 2007

    As for perfect this and perfect that, us straight males are usually very grateful indeed for whatever you’ve got, ladies. So just chill.

    The problem with that is that a lot of women don’t necessarily do it only for the men. Women are competitive with each other too. Look at the quotes from the reality show girl:

    If I was with a guy and there was a girl next to me with big boobs, I would be like, Oh, my God, he’s looking at her! On the beach, if I was standing next to a girl with big boobs, I’d be like, I hate her!

    So she obviously had a boyfriend at the time, but still felt inadequate next to the better-endowed woman beside her, and insecure that her own assets would maintain the guy’s attention. It’s a more complex problem than just saying “guys love what you have already, chill.”

    student_b,

    But as you’ve said, the attitude towards looks in our society got worse in the last few years. Nowadays even males have to look like professional bodybuilders with no ounce of fat on their protein stuffed body.

    Good point. I think there’s been increasing pressure on *everyone* to have the perfect hair/face/body–guys and girls. Obviously, though, my expertise is on the latter…

  7. #7 hoary puccoon
    September 30, 2007

    I was about to write something about men’s unfair attitude, sexism, and so on. Then my husband walked in, read over my shoulder for a moment, and said, very affectionately, “I like my sweetie the way she is.”

    So– what was the problem, again?

  8. #8 Dennis
    September 30, 2007

    I’m very guilty of this, too, but let me just get out my wide-dispersal flame-thrower for a minute…

    Every one of you(including me) saying things like “What a beanpole!” or “What’s wrong with a normal woman?” etc. etc. is actually reinforcing the problem: you’re committing to an objective standard of feminine beauty. Of course, a standard of feminine beauty that comes in at size 8 to 12 would be a lot better than one that comes in at size -2 to 0, because women wouldn’t kill themselves as regularly trying to attain it… but it would still be bad, because it wouldn’t necessarily be accessible to every woman.

    Two things are required: 1) a genuinely inclusive standard of feminine beauty, whereby a wide range of body shapes and sizes can be beautiful (note: this actually already exists. People like different kinds of bodies. We just need to make that publicly acceptable instead of shameful and abnormal.) and 2) to de-emphasize beauty as an essential component of female worth.

    I don’t really know how to do either of those things, though, so I guess I’m just talking.

  9. #9 agnostic
    September 30, 2007

    I trace part of this pattern back to the influence that radical feminism had on upwardly mobile women — not the ones who became critical theory professors, but the go-getter career women who still absorbed a lot of the patronizing attitudes toward the male brain that they heard in college. “Men are only trying to get in your pants,” “Men will fuck anything that moves,” “Men are such dogs: they only care about what you look like.”

    That’s somewhat true for our short-term preferences, but obviously not for long-term ones. These messages made a lot of women cynical about men: why bother learning to play the piano if men are just scum and wouldn’t care anyway? That’s the attitude that makes a person focus so much on their physical appearance — believing that nothing else matters to men.

    And nowadays, if a guy expects his long-term mate to play an instrument, know several foreign languages, have a “good upbringing,” and so on — he’s reviled as an elitist snob who wants a return to the Victorian prison. In more conventional and traditional eras, women were valued more than today for how cultured they were, although looks mattered too, and it was improper and sinful to lust after only her physical qualities.

    Most people still don’t get that their broadbrush “fuck the status quo” attitude is often the source of the ills they decry.

  10. #10 Crikey
    September 30, 2007

    Thanks to the Internet and JPEG formatting, I can say with confidence that anyone searching for ‘the perfect breast’ is as much a fool as those people who think they’ve figured out ‘the perfect face’.

    There are perfect faces. I’ve seen hundreds of them, all of them different. What makes each perfect is that the face comes together in a way that takes your breath away. In a perfect face, nothing could be improved by change. Adding makeup would mask the perfection that is there, erasing it with what is essentially a coat of paint. Even the addition or deletion of a single freckle would mar the perfection.

    There are perfect legs and perfect asses, thousands of them, and all of them different. (I say thousands because I’m counting here. I cannot vouch for any I’ve never seen.) There are thousands of perfect tits, all of them different, with different shapes, diffferent sizes, all of them perfect. (Small-breasted women have the luxury of forgoing bras, which is a great look in a jersey or teeshirt.)

    It’s helpful to point out that perfection is in the eyes of the beholder. A woman who floors me may leave the next guy only rocking back on his heels. There are no universals here, kids.

    The best advice I can give to women is to find a guy who finds you perfect, and let him adore you. They say love is blind, but perhaps it’s that love is unblinding, letting you see the lovableness there.

  11. #11 Crikey, again
    September 30, 2007

    Tara,

    For what it’s worth, in your photo you look lovely.

  12. #12 ergie
    September 30, 2007

    I think there’s been increasing pressure on *everyone* to have the perfect hair/face/body–guys and girls.

    Seems so. But how do we then reconcile that with the general upward trend in obesity and the increasingly shrill warnings about such from the medical community? There are a lot of messages *out there*. We latch on to the ones we want to latch on to.

    …felt inadequate next to the better-endowed woman beside her, and insecure that her own assets would maintain the guy’s attention.

    This woman could be in total control of this situation if she would examine her own behavior: she needs to understand why she prefers to be with men like that. Its too easy being the victim.

  13. #13 Breast Man
    September 30, 2007

    Me? I won’t even notice you if you’re under an F cup.

  14. #14 Scott Hatfield, OM
    September 30, 2007

    We now interrupt your regularly-scheduled broadcast of dismay at the distorted images of female beauty foisted upon us by the mass media, for a shameless attempt at self-promotion.

    Hi! I’m trying to win the Commenting Contest. That is all.

  15. #15 Kausik Datta
    September 30, 2007

    Is it possible that some people have entirely too much time in their hands or too much money to indulge in foolish pastimes? For someone who says, “It is better to be dead than flat-chested”, perhaps she should try being dead sometimes. Why does there have to a ‘social’ standard of beauty? And why exactly does everyone have to conform to such a standard? What purpose does it serve in the society? Does it presage reproductive fitness? Who gets to define what is ‘beauty’?

    Enough of my rant. Not to upstage Scott, but so am I…

  16. #16 Jennie
    September 30, 2007

    It’s interesting to me that, whenever a topic like this comes up, many men make comments to the effect that women shouldn’t starve themselves/get breast implants/etc. because those men find them attractive just as they are.

    While I do think it’s commendable that these men are resisting media/social attempts to define unrealistic standards of female beauty, these comments still make me a little uncomfortable, because they suggest that men’s opinions about one’s attractiveness are still things that one ought to take into account in decisions about how to present oneself.

    I really don’t mean to be rude, but why should I give a rat’s arse whether some random male stranger finds me attractive? Why should that stranger’s opinion of my appearance influence me not to have breast surgery any more than it should influence me to have surgery?

    The purpose of women’s lives is not to present a pleasing visual spectacle for other people, no matter how this is defined. To me, it’s not just the content of the ‘female beauty standard’, but the idea that any such standard is the sort of thing women should care about.

  17. #17 Molton
    October 1, 2007

    To me, it’s not just the content of the ‘female beauty standard’, but the idea that any such standard is the sort of thing women should care about.

    I think it’s a little bit unrealistic to ask people not to care about whether they’re beautiful. Beauty and love are intricately tied together — I love my wife, I love her mind, and I love her body as well. For me these are all inseparable.

    I could never fall in love with a piece of plastic, so I can’t imagine that plastic surgery would ever be a good thing (if the plastic surgery is merely cosmetic, that is).

  18. #18 brtkrbzhnv
    October 1, 2007

    I’m torn between agreeing with Jennie and informing her that I’m one of those random male strangers who find her attractive.

  19. #19 Michael
    October 1, 2007

    To echo some of the other comments made here, the trend is growing for men as well and in both cases I find it extremely agrivating. But not for the normally complained about reasons. To some extent this problem will never go away. We all, naturally, want the opposite sex to find us attractive. The media did not hoist upon all mankind this idea that you must be attractive. It’s the very basis of sexual selection for crying out loud! So I applaud any and all men and women who do buck the trends.

    What is thought to be attractive is the main issue here, not the simple fact that we all want to be terribly attractive. (So to take this in a new direction,) If we as a sub-culture can garner enough influence to make knowledge sexy again (or maybe for the first time) then while our angst over being attractive might remain the same, no one will be killing themsleves over learning piano, memorizing the periodic table, or reading up on Kant. Personally, I’d rather harness the need to be attractive and attempt to turn it towards worthwhile triats, instead of berate the idea altogether.

    So I’ll end with a question: would anyone be in a relationship with someone they found physically UNattractive? And if that’s true, doesn’t that make the simple physical reality, while sometimes shallow, unavoidably necessary? And if that’s true, what then?

  20. #20 Justin Moretti
    October 1, 2007

    Seems so. But how do we then reconcile that with the general upward trend in obesity and the increasingly shrill warnings about such from the medical community?

    We have to find a way to divorce the medical implications of morbid obesity from the aesthetic and social complications of the full, “cuddly” Rubenesque figure. Ultimately fitness clubs, lipo clinics etc,. are founded on the basis of that last asymptotic part of the graph of diminishing returns, and human beings as a whole need to recognize this.

    Sure, I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with my share of tall, slim, model figures, but I’m far more interested in what’s above the neck and between the ears; if you haven’t got the brains, or at least a healthy dose of common sense and an interest in the world around you, I’m not going to take a second look.

  21. #21 Linda
    October 1, 2007

    If you go the Glamour interview with America, she says she’s a size 6.

    Size 6 — and that is what’s considered “curvy” and “plus” size these days?

    and no, I’m not trying to win the 500,000 comment contest either.

  22. #22 hoary puccoon
    October 1, 2007

    Agnostic sez–
    “I trace part of this pattern back to the influence that radical feminism had on upwardly mobile women….”

    Now that’s got to be one of the worst scapegoating attempts of the year. Go back and read popular literature from the fifties, before the last wave of feminism. If you believe what was being presented then, men only WERE interested in one thing. I don’t believe that was true, but there was clearly a LOT more pressure on women to present themselves as stereotyped sex objects then than there is now.

    And frankly, women in push-up bras and four tons of make-up are a lot more likely than feminists to go around saying, ‘men are only after one thing.’ With some of them, I feel like responding, ‘You’re only offering one thing.’

  23. #23 hoary puccoon
    October 1, 2007

    And in conclusion, let me add, I’d LOVE to win the contest. ;-)

  24. #24 Jennie
    October 1, 2007

    I think it’s a little bit unrealistic to ask people not to care about whether they’re beautiful.

    Well, sure. I didn’t really mean that noone should care whether anyone found them attractive. I’m more worried about the idea that every woman should care what any man says on the matter, even if they’re never going to meet, and have very little in common.

    Perhaps I could try to put my point a different way. The post concerned unrealistic beauty standards. One response has been that it’s silly for women to try to meet those standards, because men don’t find that attractive anyway, and in fact find more realistic body types to be Teh Hawwt. Now don’t get me wrong – that’s great! But the focus is still on what men find attractive, not on what’s healthy (physically and psychologically) for young women.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I think healthy, well-adjusted women should be the main goal here. Whether men find that attractive is a side issue – it speaks not to the question of whether women ought to try to be healthy, but whether some men’s perceptions of attractiveness need a reality check.

    Oh, and brtkrbzhnv, uh, thanks, I think…
    (Not that I care, of course :-P)

  25. #25 Ken Mareld
    October 1, 2007

    Like sex, breasts sell. In our breast obsessed culture its what goes on the magazines at the supermarket counter to catch your eye. Breast augmentation is just another form of that universal human penchant for body decoration.

    I like the line in Frank Zappa’s ’200 Motels’. “Anything more than a mouthful is wasted”.

  26. #26 Cameron
    October 1, 2007

    I loved that PBS show on the human face where they pointed out that the widespread use of overly-”beautiful” models has warped the conception of beauty into something not attainable by anyone. How sad is it that women can’t live up to the new .jpg standard? As for breast size, I can’t help but wonder how popular implants are in other countries. In America it seems like slapping on some aesthetically dead giant “breasts” and a poor blonde hair dye job are the zenith of beauty. Being male I can’t admit to being totally unshallow (being male) but mercifully my conceptualization of beauty is comparatively mundane.

  27. #27 Ruth
    October 1, 2007

    My breasts are perfect because they delivered nutrition to my kids when needed. Of course, it’s OK to show perfect breasts on the internet, but not to use them for their naural purpose, even when hidden under a big shawl.

  28. #28 apy
    October 1, 2007

    I cannot help but feel everyone is being rather harsh on the study here. I only read this post and nothing else so perhaps my information is garbled but it seems this is, abstractly, a study on what people consider beauty. Before we go criticizing a study to find the fantastical ideal, are there any studies showing that pointing out what a majority consider the ideal breast is having a negative effect on the worlds courting process? Are men and women not getting together these days because men are too busy trying to find a magazine cover? In my experience, the male image of beauty includes the magazine cover as a high value but goes all the way down to what we would consider a ‘normal girl’. Medicine in general seems to be on a pursuit of extending our livable life, I can’t help but feel after the fear of dieing of third world ailments for the most part disappears one has time to focus on other things, such as attaining their ideal self image. As a culture we have no problem telling someone to fix their attitude or point out when someone is acting out of line but telling them to augment their physical self is taboo. You can argue beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what not but I’m not sure how ones attitude and personality are exempt from this logic.
    Perhaps all the people out there that are so against cosmetic surgery are like factory workers who feared there jobs were being taken over during the industrial revolution Perhaps not, I don’t know, but I don’t think any pleas of “you are beautiful natural” is going to be stopping anyone or slow down the rate of people getting it. Like the mechanized factory worker, it seems here to stay.

  29. #29 student_b
    October 1, 2007

    Well, sure. I didn’t really mean that noone should care whether anyone found them attractive. I’m more worried about the idea that every woman should care what any man says on the matter, even if they’re never going to meet, and have very little in common.

    Well, certainly.

    But I don’t think that’s happening anywhere in the nearer future:

    A short anecdote from me (why I think that won’t happen soon):

    When I was younger (and even more naive then I’m now) whenever I was asked by a female friend, if she’s attractive, if she’s too fat/thin, too short/long, her nose to pointy/not pointy enough, etc. I always answered, that I didn’t care.

    If I was asked, if I think her more beautiful then some other girl, I’ll always said, that either I never thought about that (mostly I really didn’t) or that I either don’t know who looks better or that it’s nothing important.

    I mostly got a scornful look then from her, and sometimes even an angry reaction.

    Since I give a lot of tuition (for free of course, since I’m an anarcho-communistic-dirty-hippie ;) ) in math and general science to a lot of my female friends there was sometimes an argument over who could set the date first and who’s coming second.

    I didn’t care who came first or second of course, since I liked them all the same (I like giving tuition, it’s imho very relaxing. All the menial tasks are done by the students, not by me. ;) ). So when pressured to decide who can choose foremost, I’ll always said that I don’t care and that they should decide it between themselves. This answer never seemed to satisfy them.

    So somehow they always thought that my opinion of them is something important, even though I would never have said something about their appearances. (I’m a nerd and there are much more important things to think about.) Still I was asked to make judgment about people, even when I repeatedly refused to do so.

    ————

    Imho that’s the root cause of all of this “appearance” problems we have nowadays. People always think they’re judged. Be it by appearance or by performance. (And somehow they’re right, people are always judged in our society.)

    There are almost no people with self-confidence anymore. Any women that wears make-up regularly doesn’t has enough self-confidence. Any man that goes to a fitness club to build up muscles (instead of just being in a healthy and fit condition) doesn’t has enough self-confidence.

    I don’t even want to start talking about high-heels. What fricking reason does exist to wear those demon spawned torture devices? I’ve tried to wear a pair of them once, for half an hour. I’ve never wore something as uncomfortable as that. When I see a women trying to run with them, I don’t know if I should laugh in amusement or weep in horror because they do that to themselves. Or after a long night out, lots of parties and dancing the female friends of mine complain about how their feet hurt, should I be sympathetic or scold them for their folly?

    Or just take a look at all those “woman” magazines. For me they read like some sort of weird psychological self-help-group’s newsletter. Always the same stuff: looks, cooking, looks and looks. Each cover of those magazines just screams: look at me, say I’m beautiful because I don’t think myself that I am beautiful enough. Or: we are not enough, we’re not living up to the (impossible) standards photoshop has set up. So buy us and feel inadequate with millions of others.

    And it’s not even only the men saying that womankind has to cloth themselves in a certain way, look like something impossible, etc. It’s the whole media industry. And I don’t think that all those wretched “women” magazines are made by men. It’s also women themselves who say this to women, as it’s nowadays males to other males saying you need muscles, a six-pack etc.

    That’s what I’ve learned in conversations with women and men. If a partner (who is looking perfectly fine, even for our narrow cultural standard) suddenly decides to need more muscles (men) or to be thinner, have bigger boobs (women… mostly ;) ) etc. it’s almost always never because of the partner, but because of outside cultural pressure, mostly from their own gender. Partners from such over eager individuals then even complain about it, since they loved their “normal” (i.e. how they’ve meet them) partner and didn’t want such “improvements” at all.

    Ahh… enough ranting. Still, I don’t understand it, how it did come to pass that so few people still have enough self confidence to look the way they themselves want, without having to pay homage to some artificial role model.

  30. #30 wheatdogg
    October 1, 2007

    I’d like to know if this bloke got funding for this study. If he did, I’m in the wrong line of work.

    As for the sparkling America Ferrera, I recall hearing that the same fashion mag also airbrushed Tyra Banks “down to size,” so that her more ample older self looks almost the same as her younger SI self. Just plain stupid if you ask me.

  31. #31 Jorge Gajardo Rojas
    October 1, 2007

    I dont believe in a relationship betewen breast science and estetics who are on art and cultural field.A Rubens madonna with round and heavy breast dont achieve the beauty standard of XXI Century .If you think in physiological terms a huge breast mean more milk to babies and,childs more healthy in theory.But what are the right size?We can not applies the husbandry parameters of dairy cows.

  32. #32 Justin Moretti
    October 1, 2007

    Jennie (30 Sept.), what those men are trying to say (and saying badly) is that they agree with you that you shouldn’t give a rat’s arse.

    And when they say “you”, I strongly suspect they mean the plural, a distinction at which the English language is very poor.

  33. #33 colleen cafferty
    October 1, 2007

    Being flat does suck. It is pain beyond belief. You know how Sarah Silverman says she might not have biological children because she doesn’t want to pass down her clinical depression? I won’t have kids because I don’t want to pass down my “breasts”. (I’m 33.) Implants suck too, but it’s the best we have right now. I can’t believe science hasn’t created a way to grow a decent sized breast. I didn’t get implants when I was Heidi’s age because I wanted to take the high road. Implants were ugly and fake looking, but at this age I know that she was right and I was wrong. Taking the high road has NOT paid off.

    And it’s not the media that does it to you. It’s guys. Real guys -the kind you see every day. Yeah, you can fight it, what choice do you have? But I won’t put a child I love through that kind of limitation. Forget it. I know what that is. The only hope I have in that area is all the articles about girls having bigger breasts than their mothers. I reaad those and I say – God got my memo. It’s about time.

    You don’t have a leg? People understand it’s a handicap. Breasts or little dick? You just get nagged you are being superficial. Bullshit. One person has as much right to looking good naked and the confidence and pleasure this brings as the next.

    BTW my mom has an attitude much like yours – it hasn’t helped one bit. You don’t have sex with your mom.

  34. #34 Nick
    October 2, 2007

    The day penis augmentation surgery becomes possible, men will be selling their children to have a few extra pounds added to their penis.

    I don’t care if for months, following the surgery, every 10 seconds it feels like someone is drawing your lower lip over the top of your skull and letting it snap back–men will be lined up around the block for the surgery.

    Whole new medical schools will have to be opened to accomodate the demand for penile augmentation surgeons. Socialized medicine will suddenly get find support among even staunch Republicans. Hell, we’ll probably even get a new amendment making penis augmentation a Constitutional right.

  35. #35 Jud
    October 2, 2007

    Hard to argue with a lot of the commentary. Prof. Smith is of course right about the current American big-breast-no-waist obsession and its harmful effects on the majority of folks who aren’t stubborn enough to feel secure going their own way in the face of the huge peer pressure.

    Colleen is also thoroughly justified in feeling the way she does. My girlfriend has related all sorts of stories about being small-breasted and how cruel that makes other folks, male and female, feel entitled to be. She carried enough of it with her into middle age that I finally had to let her know she didn’t need to tell me any more self-deprecating “itty bitty” jokes.

    I doubt there’s any real solution to this as a social problem. People have always been followers of fashion – that’s why it becomes the fashion. We’ll just have to work individually on supporting those we love.

  36. #36 apy
    October 2, 2007

    Nick,
    It already is quite possible…

  37. #37 victoria
    October 2, 2007

    OK, so where ARE all you guys who appreciate all sorts of different body types and who love women for their minds??
    I’ve got the opposite problem — Rubenesque is a mild description, always been top-heavy and no, it is NOT easy being stared at everywhere you go all day every day and yes, it can be physically awkward at times. And the rest of my body build goes along, good solid peasant woman ready to pull the plow. Yes, my body type has interfered with my career; almost impossible to get people to take me as a serious scientist or mathematician or teacher.
    I never felt all that bad about my body, but other people sure try to make me feel awful; I get everything from name-calling in the street (no, not exaggerating) to “helpful” suggestions to get a total makeover and be somebody else, gee, thanks.
    Meanwhile, the men I attract seem to be totally immature dips, maybe looking for an archetypal mother figure, who knows? I am yet once again alone and once again getting approaches that are good only for the sick humour value.
    So, where in heck are all you nice sane intelligent guys who can appreciate a woman for her brains and character and who think that a solid muscular build and notably female characteristics are not a butt of jokes?

  38. #38 Nick
    October 2, 2007

    OK, so where ARE all you guys who appreciate all sorts of different body types and who love women for their minds??

    Posted by: victoria | October 2, 2007 12:54 PM
    ——————–

    Here’s an interesting curve (pardon the pun)–as a young man I realized that I was attracted to what I later learned are called Rubenesque women, and found slender women unappealing.

    I initially wondered whether there was something wrong with me.

    But physical chemistry only goes so far. Ideally a couple will have that, complementary psychopathology, and enough in common intellectually to keep things interesting for the 99% of life not engaged in rampant intercourse.

  39. #39 Chris
    October 2, 2007

    I could have saved the researcher a lot of time. Here’s my formula for identifying the perfect breast.

    If exists(breast) = true then perfect

  40. #40 noreen
    October 2, 2007

    I like Chris’s formula for the perfect breast. Those who don’t have large pari of hooters want them, guys, well that’s a given they like large ones and those of us who are blessed with them know that as we age our breasts tend to take a tour southward. So in reality, what’s the big deal? I would hate to be judged by my breast size or for a man by his penis size. It’s not the wand that is important but the magician!

  41. #41 RCollins
    October 2, 2007

    “The day penis augmentation surgery becomes possible, men will be selling their children to have a few extra pounds added to their penis.”

    A FEW POUNDS? jeebus…..

  42. #42 Azkyroth
    October 2, 2007

    Agnostic: Connecting a willingness on the part of women to do dysfunctional things to please men to the influence of “radical feminism” is inconsistent with every definition of “feminism” with which I’m familiar (though it’s perfectly consistent with what I call the “girl power” phenomenon, which in my experience basically consists of the hijacking of feminist terminology and slogan styles by advertisers to sell girls and young women aspiring to be “empowered” crap they don’t need).

    Jennie:

    While I do think it’s commendable that these men are resisting media/social attempts to define unrealistic standards of female beauty, these comments still make me a little uncomfortable, because they suggest that men’s opinions about one’s attractiveness are still things that one ought to take into account in decisions about how to present oneself.

    I can’t speak for other men, but when I’ve assured women that they’re beautiful the way they are, the subtext has always been “even assuming for the sake of argument that this goal is something you should care about–and you obviously do care–what you’re contemplating isn’t necessary to achieve it and won’t help it.”

  43. #43 lab wench
    October 2, 2007

    On the flip side of all this I’m a female who likes the gym, likes my stilettos, likes my stylish suits, has a pair of breasticles and yet… is a scientist. Evidently not promulgating a stereotype therefore makes it appropriate for one to respond with laughter when informed of my profession. Go figure.

  44. #44 Warren
    October 2, 2007

    The whole idea of being able to objectify something that’s clearly a subjective idea is ludicrous. The cretinous “researcher” should have all his funding cut and be forced to work, for the rest of his life, behind the grill at McDonald’s flipping burgers and pining away about finding the “perfect” sesame-seed bun.

    As for me, the perfect breast is the one I’m allowed access to.

  45. #45 Ezekiel Buchheit
    October 10, 2007

    I’m late to the party here.

    If we ignore the affect of objectification on adolescents, I’m all for the increase of unreasonable standards of beauty. It works as a nice filtration system. People whose lives exist in the pursuit of some unattainable transient quality that is niether earned nor of any intrinsic value make themselves known in a very public way as idiots. This is good and should be celebrated. It’s like joining a greek organization in college: it filters the morons out from those who are in school for more academic reason.

    (Note to sensitive people: I’m not really supporting these things.)

    I like an attractive woman. I like the features of attractive women. Nothing wrong with that. My wife has breasts. Over the course of four children, she has gone from a C cup to something around an A (I’m not sure how the cup size thing works, but she is very nearly flat-chested). This bugs the hell out of her and I’m not sure why. She’s not really sure why either. She’s in fantastic healthy. She’s very attractive. Her chest is wonderful. Her children are healthy. She’s doing fantastic in school. About to be a nurse. What the hell does her chest have to do with it?

    If your career goal is to “jiggle,” I suppose you might find breast perfection research of some value. If your goal is to add something to the world, other than feeding young people (and forays into cancer research), breasts have little to do with anything.

    Now, from a male point of view, I was deeply concerned with my own pair of very prominant breasts, inasmuch as they were representative of the 100+lbs of extra baggage I was carrying. I took care of that problem, and while I am not a rippled young gym freak, I’m not nearly as worried about heart-clots as I once was.

  46. #46 chuck
    October 20, 2007

    If that picture of yours is any indication, Dr. Smith, the “quest for the perfect breast” ends right here!

    Mama mia! :)

  47. #47 kelebek
    March 22, 2009

    thanks

  48. #48 mirc indir
    March 22, 2009

    thanks you

  49. #49 muhabbet
    March 26, 2009

    thanks..