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Summary: Celebrities are always getting a little more attention than usual under the plastic surgery microscope. That’s just the way it’s always been. And lately, there have been rumors about singer Ariana Grande’s supposed intentions to pursue breast augmentation surgery. Of course, those intentions have far from been confirmed, but we can still use Grande as a stand in for the typical woman pursuing a breast augmentation. Plastic surgeons seem to put more emphasis on the motivations behind this procedure than others, which brings up an interesting question: why is that? And is that the way it should be?

cosmetic surgery

A Good Example of a Bad Influence?

Celebrity singer Ariana Grande has rumored to be in the process of considering breast augmentation. To be clear, she has not (as far we know) gone through with the procedure, and there is absolutely no evidence that Grande has undergone a breast augmentation procedure (or other plastic surgery). So, usually, this would not be necessarily newsworthy, and we probably would not be discussing it. However, there is one element of the Ariana Grande story that warrants a closer look: according to anonymous sources (and a tabloid, so take it with a grain of salt), Grande was considering the procedure for the benefit of her boyfriend.

And this is where it might be useful to use Grande as a kind of stand in—even if she isn’t thinking about breast augmentation to appeal to her boyfriend (this seems likely given the source of the information), there are plenty of women who may have a similar train of thought. And, as most plastic surgeons will tell you, this is not a particular healthy state of mind under which to elect to undergo any type of breast enhancement surgery—or any cosmetic procedure, for that matter.

Challenging the Stereotypes of Breast Augmentation

There are many stereotypes and assumptions about women—especially women—who undergo plastic surgery, and the “pleasing my boyfriend/husband” stereotype is strong among them. The truth of the matter is that, yes, this type of motivation does come up, but it’s not terribly common. Most plastic surgery patients have done due diligence on the procedure, the cost, and the recovery, and they’ve done a little soul searching along the way. In fact, many breast augmentation patients come to clinics making it clear that this is an operation that they’ve wanted to have performed for some time.

A Clear Picture of Your Own Motivation for Plastic Surgery

But that doesn’t stop plastic surgeons from being as clear as possible on this account. According to the website of the Clear Lake TX breast augmentation experts at South Shore Plastic Surgery, the motivation for pursuing the operation is among the criteria applied to good candidates. Indeed, at this particular clinic, it is recommended that women pursue a breast augmentation for their own reasons—and not due to outside pressure from family, friends, boyfriends or husbands.

And this is generally good advice. I think some of the reason why there’s an emphasis on this motivation with a breast augmentation but not with, say, a facelift, is because the breasts are kind of a unique site on the body: they’re a matrix of sexuality and femininity. In other words, breasts are generally treated as sexual objects (especially by men), but they’re also treated as a signifier of femininity. So when plastic surgeons are interested in motivation, part of what they’re assessing is which audience the breast is being augmented to please: the woman or the man. There’s nothing inherently wrong with either audience, but being clear about the motives either way is important.

Breast Augmentation Carefully Considered

I also think the other reason why plastic surgeons are particularly careful about the motives of the patient when it comes to breast augmentation is the average age of the patient. With a much younger demographic than facelifts or even breast lifts, breast augmentation is a procedure that can be performed at many ages. But with age comes wisdom, and younger audiences are sometimes more susceptible to suggestion and outside, if not peer, pressure.

In the end, of course, it’s important to respect the agency of the woman at the center of the operation, and sometimes it can be a fine line. But it’s an important line. A woman that wants to undergo a breast augmentation to feel sexier is a great thing. A woman that wants to undergo a breast augmentation so that her boyfriend will think she’s sexy is a much less good thing. The distinction is important—and ultimately, it should be up to the woman who wants the procedure to make that distinction.

Your Breast Augmentation Should be Empowering

Plastic surgery is, ultimately, about empowerment. It’s about you getting the body you want (not the body someone else would prefer you have). It may not always be cut and dry, but it’s certainly worth the effort to make sure you’re getting plastic surgery for the right reasons. After all, plastic surgery isn’t always an easy thing to endure. There’s the pain of surgery and the discomfort of recovery. There are follow up appointments and inherent risks. And, if you get it for the right reasons, the joy of becoming your real self, of transforming the body you have into the body you’ve always wanted. In other words, if you go into it for the right reasons, plastic surgery, breast augmentation included, is totally worth it.

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