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Breasts That Aren't A Bust

Shells for breast implants cool on molds.
AP
In case you haven't noticed, breast implants are bigger than ever. Surgically enhanced breasts are on the rise, and the trend shows no sign of pointing downward. Approximately a quarter of a million American women have their breasts enlarged each year. It used to be that women were secretive about these enhancements and desperately wanted them to look natural. Now, the artificial look is apparently perfectly acceptable to some women. They don't care if it's obvious that they've had surgery, they just like the way they look. In fact, a bra company, brastraps.com, recently introduced a bra whose purpose is to give the wearer the appearance of having breast implants! It is "designed to create a natural cosmetically enhanced look." I guess "natural cosmetically enhanced" is no longer an oxymoron.

So, some people must feel that phony-looking, gravity-defying breasts look better than what nature had in mind. This move away from imitating nature to creating a new, acceptable look has had precedents. Years ago, a woman would never want people to know that she dyed her hair. The big advertising slogan was, "Only her hairdresser knows for sure." Now, women who have orange hair or brand new blond highlights don't care that "everyone knows for sure."

Men are also in on the cosmetic surgery boom. Hair transplants, liposuction, and laser hair removal are all on the increase for them. The chest or "pec" implant is another popular procedure for men. (Our culture is apparently obsessed with chests regardless of gender).

In the middle of winter, both men and women can get phony spray-on tans that nobody thinks are real. Unless they discover something dangerous about the sprays -- which they probably will, since they discover something dangerous about everything -- the use of this product not only gives a desired look, but can actually save lives.

Then there's the teeth-whitening fad. Natural human teeth are not blinding white in color. But now, thanks to advertising and societal pressures, people are bleaching their teeth. And those with bleached teeth don't care if they look unnatural. They figure if you need sunglasses to look at them, that's your problem.

So, it seems that much of the "I don't care if it looks natural or not" craze has to do with self-esteem. Instead of being ashamed of using human-made things to change their looks, people are proud of their purchased appearances. The attitude is simply, "I feel better about myself looking this way, and I don't care who knows about it."

If all of these "super-natural" looks stay in fashion, will our DNA evolve to include them? For quite a while, I've believed that babies will soon be born with the innate ability to be experts at computer games and genetically predisposed to be able to watch one TV show while taping another. Similarly, if people of the opposite sex find all these artificial looks attractive, will natural selection and the survival of the fittest lead to our genes being altered? Will people in future generations be born with a propensity to have ludicrously large chests, no fat, a perfect tan, no hair except on their heads, and white teeth bright enough to light up the neighborhood? It's quite possible. And if you think I'm exaggerating, consider the name of that bra that tries to give women the unnatural look. It's called, the "Evolution."



Lloyd Garver has written for many television shows, ranging from "Sesame Street" to "Family Ties" to "Frasier." He has also read many books, some of them in hardcover.

By Lloyd Garver