An extreme case of cosmetic surgery

This is a tricky story to comment on. The reasons why should become apparent as I get into the discussion.

This story in Life & Style from 2016 January shows model Mayra Hills, who goes by the stage name Beshine. Like many other women out there, she got her breasts enlarged surgically. Unlike many other women out there, each of her breasts weigh in at 20 pounds and contain 10,000 cc of saline, and she has an outrageous 32Z bra size. The picture probably says more than I could say in words; her breasts are so big you cannot see her arms in the first picture as taken (which, by the way, is probably as far as you need to go to get the idea even though this was presented as a slideshow of 9 pictures).

My standpoint on body size issues, body modification (tattoos, piercings, cosmetic surgery), and the like has traditionally been supportive of the choice made by the person inside that body. That said, this sort of body modification just doesn’t make any sense, and at least one of the commenters wants to know which surgeon did this “unethical and dangerous” procedure. Another says “They look so painful and unhealthy” (which I am inclined to agree with), another calls it “the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen”.

I personally think this looks unappealing, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Further, simply from my layman’s understanding of health issues, this looks like all sorts of health problems waiting to happen. Never mind that this almost certainly makes it impossible for Beshine to have kids and nurse them properly (unless of course she goes back under the knife to have her breasts reduced to a normal size). Not that it would be a great idea to even combine a pregnancy with this ridiculous body modification.

As odd as it may seem for me to say this after the previous paragraph, I support the body positive movement. I’m not a huge fan of tattoos or body piercings, but I do believe strongly in the freedom of individual choice. However, just because one is free to make a given choice, that does not mean that choice is necessarily a good idea, and I do feel compelled to speak up when it’s a really bad idea.

Such is the case here. A given choice and the right to make that choice are two completely different things. My condemnation of the choice should not imply that I don’t support the right to make that choice–at least as long as that choice does not affect others. Even when that choice is to one’s potential peril and detriment, the right to make the choice should be protected–as long as the harm is limited to the one making the choice (i.e. it does not harm others or society at large, including harm to the environment).

Looking deeper at this story, it also highlights one such issue with medicine (including cosmetic surgery) as a business: the surgeon who did this likely viewed his potential refusal as a lost sale (in other words, he/she thought “if I don’t accept this patient, someone else will and that’s money I won’t make”). It may seem like a view from behind rose-colored glasses, but that is the way a lot of doctors have to think. To doctors, patients mean income, and a lack of patients means a lack of income, and a lack of patients for long enough means the loss of one’s practice and all the things that come with it. That’s the way things are here in the US, and if it seems messed up to those elsewhere, yeah, it is kind of messed up, though efforts are in progress to fix it.