Help me decide whether to get breast implants
July 22, 2009 11:17 AM   Subscribe

I'm considering breast implants. Please help me decide if this is a good idea.

I have been unhappy with the size of my breasts for as long as I can remember. I am 29 years old, in good physical, mental and emotional health, no previous cosmetic surgeries, about 5 foot 6 and 115 pounds, and my measurements are 33-29-37. I'm about a large A to small B cup size (sorry for sounding like a bad personal ad). I'm interested in hearing about the experiences of women who've had or considered breast augmentation (particularly those my size), or the thoughts of their partners.

I realize that there are *potential* risks, and I know what they are, so please don't lecture me about that. I am well aware. Your *actual* experiences, positive or negative, are fair game though.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (96 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Well, I can't speak to the surgery directly, but I can offer two data points:

- I prefer women with b-at-most breasts (I'm a lesbian, so that may or may not help, but I doubt I'm outside the normal range of tastes for people who like women that way)

- I have very large breasts (FF, maybe?) and I would loooove to be smaller. They're ungainly, uncomfortable, are not sensitive at all (therefore not much fun for me,) fitting clothes is a stone bitch, and the male attention I get is uniformly unpleasant. (Although, again, lesbian.)

So YMMV, but that's what I have to offer.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:22 AM on July 22, 2009

My friend who has them has complained about the fact that she basically can't feel them. At all. Also, they kind of squeak when she moves in a certain way. (She had them after a prophylactic double mastectomy, though, in case that makes a difference.)
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 11:31 AM on July 22, 2009

I can't speak to this directly, but I think there are tons of women for whom the grass is greener about SOME physical aspect of their body. Why,exactly, are you unhappy about their size? If it has to do with how you look to men, I don't know that many men who would choose fake boobs over small, real ones.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:31 AM on July 22, 2009

Natural and small is better than fake and anything (medium/large/x-large/etc.). Just another data point from the hetero male demographic.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:32 AM on July 22, 2009 [27 favorites]

Some women have complained about loss of nipple sensation. And, well, there's the breastfeeding issue.

If you're concerned about proportionality, and you may be, given that you have shown all of your measurements, you could reduce at the other end and perhaps you might be able to reevaluate your feelings; it could still involve surgery, but it is perhaps not as radical. It's an option.
posted by adipocere at 11:38 AM on July 22, 2009

Are you planning on having children? Breast surgery could cause problems for future breast feeding.
posted by orange swan at 11:39 AM on July 22, 2009

Grass is SO not always greener.

If you do it, be very very conservative in doing it. Keep a very moderate and even proportion.

If not, prepare to never find a button up shirt that fits right. It's a rare find to get a shirt that fits right in the waist and somehow still buttons up without looking like a stress test of the thread holding on the buttons.
posted by jerseygirl at 11:40 AM on July 22, 2009 [8 favorites]

Are you also entertaining responses from the "if you are my size but have not decided to get breast augmentation, then what was that reasoning" camp? (I mean, it looks like a few people are offering it anyway, but...)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:44 AM on July 22, 2009

From a financial standpoint, I believe implants need to be replaced every 10-12 years. That's a fairly expensive proposition.
posted by TorontoSandy at 11:51 AM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

I've heard straight males complain about the "squeak" Chesty A. Arthur mentions, saying strippers shaking their breasts in their face at strip clubs sound like potato chip bags rustling.

One thing to consider: cost.

The average total cost ranges from $4,000 to $10,000. The average cost for the implants is $1,000 to $1,300; the anesthesia fee is typically $600 to $800; the facility fee typically ranges from $800 to $1,200. The remaining cost is the surgeon's fee.

What else could you do for $4,000?

-Move to a nicer city you've always wanted to live in without having to take any shitty job you find immediately.

-Gym membership and quality whole foods for a very long time. I'm not saying the desire to be skinny is any better than the desire to have big tits, but I'd rather see anyone on a treadmill than a gurney. This route is almost certainly much better for your health, as well.

-Two pairs of Christian Louboutins.

-Fill a room with coins and swim around in them like Scrooge McDuck.

-Take a month off work and spend it on the beach in Thailand.

-Take a few months off work and write a book.

-Throw a family reunion.

This is Metafilter and you're probably going to get enough LOVE YOURSELF GURL responses to make you ignore anything I have to say but I will say that I am also a large A. Despite all my cockiness there are moments when I can't stand to look at my breasts, and moments when I think "if I just got implants I'd be so much happier!" Then I slap myself upside the head and tell myself that is total bullshit, because it is. If you had implants men would still break your heart. Not everyone would love you. You wouldn't love yourself. Big tits don't solve shit, and confidence, love for youself, and love from someone else who adores your body is not something you can buy.
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:51 AM on July 22, 2009 [81 favorites]

i'm not assuming you are, but if you were considering doing this in order to be more attractive to men, then it is not a good idea.
posted by snofoam at 11:53 AM on July 22, 2009 [3 favorites]

Here's one way to look at the matter:

I have curly hair. Back in the day, I took a look around me, realized that many folks with straight hair wanted curly hair, and many folks with curly hair wanted straight hair. Each of these hair types have both pros and cons, but since I have curly hair, curly hair is what I will be glad to have. (And lots of people like curly hair!)

Similarly, some folks have large breasts, some folks have small breasts. There are pros and cons to each of these body types, but we get what we get, and personally, I'd rather change my self-perception than subject myself to a surgery based on a current societal ideal. (And lots of people like A/B sized breasts!)
posted by aniola at 11:55 AM on July 22, 2009

I think motivation and self-awareness are the most important factors, and you appear to be on top of those in the right ways - one of the downsides of anonymous questions, of course, is your inability to add more details.

I've been in relationships with women who've had cosmetic surgery as both augmentations and reductions, and with women who desired them. It makes no difference to me personally (and any partner who says that they'd accept a women on the basis of, or lack of, a particular breast size or shape, augmentation or lack of same, is shallow any way you cut it) — the one thing that was similar across all of my partners is that they wanted the surgery done primarily for themselves, not to please or keep a partner or to attract more. That's very important to understand: it is immaterial that surgery may make you less, or more, popular, attractive, etc, only that it serves to make you feel more comfortable with the body you'd like to have. No other consequence should be counted on.

You also don't mention the size you'd like to go to. One factor that has held partner's back from significant breast augmentations in the past, at least in my experience, has been the concern that larger breasts would make their physically active lifestyles more difficult, strenuous, or tiring. You might want to take that into consideration.

Speaking practically, it is more likely that you will get more attention, Not all of it will be welcomed - again, any male primarily attracted to you because of larger breasts is going to be shallow. You'll want to consider if you're ready and able to handle that.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:58 AM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I read a paper once by a sociology grad student (I'm sorry, I can't find it) that explored misconceptions that each of the sexes had about what the opposite sex found attractive. It was a pretty fascinating study (I don't usually find research papers too stimulating), but what struck me were the two most prevalent misconceptions. Women almost universally felt that men were more attracted to women with large breasts, while the data from the men indicated that breast size wasn't all that important. (The corresponding misconception in the other direction was that male baldness was a turnoff. Men thought that most women would think so, but the women indicated that it wasn't a big deal one way or the other).

Please don't do this. From a male perspective, I can say that, while well-done implants can make breasts very attractive, there's just something about the artificial "feel" of the things that's a little off-putting. You can definitely tell where real tissue ends and plastic bags begin, and you're always just a little tentative, lest you feel something "give" during serious love practice.

Please don't do this. I don't need to see you to know you're beautiful just the way you are.
posted by dinger at 11:59 AM on July 22, 2009

Straight man here, and I question the mental health of any woman who has implants.
posted by rhizome at 11:59 AM on July 22, 2009 [13 favorites]

Count another guy in for "natural is best". I have a friend who went with implants, but she literally had *nothing* up front. It was actually kind of weird. She came out of it looking pretty good - a lot more normal. But, there were some adjustments and comfort issues she needed to work through. Her case, I think, had some justification to it.

You, on the other hand, probably look great in a two-piece, and shouldn't feel like you need to change. I wonder if it's worth it to explore *why* you're so unhappy with your size?
posted by Citrus at 12:02 PM on July 22, 2009

Close your ears, busty girls, I don't want to hurt your feelings.

Having small breasts is the best. Not all the time, but usually. You can wear cute bras that just don't exist in larger sizes, you can exercise without back pain, and, best of all, you don't have to deal with premature sagging. Guys (assuming you're into guys) don't care. They really don't. The idea of boobs in general is so foreign and exciting to most of them that the actual size doesn't matter.

If you want a small but noticeable increase, find a birth control pill that gives you that side effect. Happened to me when I switched brands, and I went from a medium A to a small/medium B almost overnight, without having to pay the $4,000+ that JulietBanana outlines above.
posted by oinopaponton at 12:03 PM on July 22, 2009 [6 favorites]

As a straight guy who gets hit on fairly frequently by women with fake breasts (I seem to be like a magnet to them, and living in Las Vegas doesn't help), I can only say this: The thought of having sex with a woman with fake breasts turns me off almost as much as the thought of having sex with a man. Even a good boob job looks horrible, horrible, horrible once the bra comes off.

Here's an exercise: Imagine you're a woman. You meet a nice guy. You get intimate. He takes his pants off. Instead of a penis, there's a big, ugly, plastic dildo attached between his legs. Scary.

As someone else mentioned, if you decide to do this to yourself, be conservative. Going from A to B or small C might not be TOO terribly repulsive. Also, I've found that, although higher-priced jobs tend to be better, they are still hit-or-miss in the "did-I-improve-or-maim-myself?" department. It's strange that the technology hasn't improved much since the '80s.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:07 PM on July 22, 2009 [4 favorites]

Straight male, huge body-modification fan, not into breast implants.
posted by box at 12:09 PM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

I think it's kind of like if you have straight hair, you want curly hair and vice versa (which, on preview, I realized aniola just said); if you have small boobs, you want bigger one and if you have big ones, you want small ones. Speaking as one in the latter category, I am envious of small-breasted ladies because they can at least do a lot to look bigger (push-ups, stuffing, etc) and they get to wear all the stuff that my boobs do not allow (anything backless, for example). It's a lot harder to make big boobs look smaller. Get a fabulous bra that fits you properly and have fun with that -- way cheaper, safer, and more versatile.
posted by pised at 12:13 PM on July 22, 2009

From a woman taller and heavier than you and with smaller boobs: fancy, well-fitted, padded bras. (Unless you've tried that already.)
posted by dreamyshade at 12:14 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine had a girlfriend who sounds a lot like you, who got implants after a lifetime of being unhappy with her small breasts.
And their relationship went straight to hell... He, I know, didn't care about her breast size and just supported her in her lifetime dream. but if he paid attention to the breasts, she said "I knew you would only like me if I had bigger breasts" and if he didn't pay attention to them it became an issue (to her) of the fake breasts turning him off.

Short form: if you are obsessing about your breast size before you get the implants, you'll probably still obsess about them after and have even more ways to feel bad about yourself (I'm not good enough by nature, does this guy like me or just my fake boobs, etc.).

Another factor: I too was an A-B cup for a very long time. Then I started gaining a bit of weight and now I'm a double-D. I miss my little boobs. They didn't hurt when I ran down stairs and I could wear a tank top as underwear instead of painful underwires that are hot in the summertime. And gravity is a bitch.
posted by Billegible at 12:14 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Another hetero male for small and natural is beautiful. Besides all of the health risks and the costs, large breasts have nothing to do with beauty or confidence.

I'm sort of of the opinion that most women think men in general are more obsessed with large breasts than we really are. From my experience - and my own libido and what I find attractive - men are pretty much just obsessed with breasts - any breasts - period. And besides, if you're doing this to be attractive to men, then you're going to attract men who want you for your boobs and not you. That would be a very unhappy situation.

Please don't do this. I don't need to see you to know you're beautiful just the way you are.

That pretty much sums it up.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:16 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Close your ears, busty girls, I don't want to hurt your feelings.

This isn't stuff we don't know.

We wear bras nearly all the time. Sometimes with pajamas if we're lounging. If we run out to grab something out of the car braless and encounter a neighbor, we have to do that tight arm cross thing to make sure you're not just out there.

Very rarely do you find a cute bra in our size. Our bras have foundations and wires and rigging that rivals major construction endeavors. And if that wasn't enough, the wires inevitably pop out and stab you in the sideboob, or worse, in the cleavage. Usually when you're at work for some reason.

Cute open-backed halter dresses that a lot of girls can get away without bra intervention? We're struggling to find a strapless that holds them up and yet isn't revealed by the cut of the dress. And even then, there's a 50-50 chance you're not going to look right in the dress anyway.

Any exercise requires a super super sports bra sometimes over a regular bra.
posted by jerseygirl at 12:16 PM on July 22, 2009 [12 favorites]

A cup here. Would kind of like to be bigger, sometimes, sure. But I have found that push-ups/bench-pressing + a good lightly padded bra is more than enough for me. Seriously: build up your pec muscles a bit underneath those A-cup fat deposits. Cheaper and healthier than implants....

Besides, there are big advantages to the A-cup. Jogbras are not a problem. And we won't sag nearly as much as our more well-endowed sisters!
posted by kestrel251 at 12:28 PM on July 22, 2009

Whatever makes you happy, it's your body. I firmly believe that you should do whatever you want with it.

But let me toss this out there for your consideration-

A few years ago, a woman at work took a week off and returned with brand new DD's.

And there is not a person in the office who hasn't made fun of her for it.

(Behind her back, of course.)
posted by GuffProof at 12:30 PM on July 22, 2009

I went from an A cup before kids to a D cup after kids (it's been 15 years, these girls are sticking around.) Wait until after you've had kids and then decide. Also, the "cute bra" argument is definitely true. They don't make cute bras above a C cup. It's strictly industrial strength from D on up : (
posted by eleslie at 12:31 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm a straight male who has had partners with and without implants. Both are OK and I have little preference one way or the other in general. I will say this to balance the "don't do it" crowd...If you believe the implants will genuinely make you feel better about your self-image, then go for it. There is nothing sexier than confidence.
posted by rocket88 at 12:32 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I considered getting breast implants, as I'm a tiny 32 B and I saw girls with huge boobies everywhere around me. This made me feel quite insecure, so I consulted with several of my friends and one of them suggested that I see myself for ten minutes on a full body mirror every day.

I realized that my boobs, while tiny, actually were beautiful on their own. I have never been able to pull off a cleavage or a nice V shirt, but then again, my boobs don't uncomfortably bounce when I run or hurt me if I sleep on my side. And one day, when I'm really really old, I won't feel the need to grab my sagging bewbs and try to make squeaky sounds with them.
posted by cobain_angel at 12:38 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

And you could always gain some weight :S. Yeah, I know, not the best solution. With the late-20s metabolism drop plus sitting at a desk all day, and next thing I know is I'm 30 lbs heavier. I swear 10 of that is my boobs... I went from a small B to a large C. Trouble is, I loose that when I loose the weight, as well...
posted by cgg at 12:44 PM on July 22, 2009

1. You are only 29. In ten years or so you're going to hit perimenopause and then menopause after that. With that comes some weight's likely that you're going to be a good sized B or C eventually. Do you want to be even bigger than that with the implants?

2. A colleague is about your size. 5'5", 115lbs and was an A cup. She went for the implants, is now a small C, and frankly, I think she looks ridiculous.
posted by meerkatty at 12:45 PM on July 22, 2009

After breastfeeding three kids and going from a large B to a D/DD to an A cup, I seriously considered getting implants. I was smaller than I used to be and a little looser. It bothered me. Two things made me eventually decide against:

1-- My husband and every other man (and woman) I talked to all voted for small and natural (even with a little sag) over bigger, firmer, and fake.

2-- Breast lift. Both surgeons I went to for consultations said that even if I didn't get a breast lift now, I'd have to have one eventually (or keep increasing the size of the implants as the skin stretched). I really, really did not like the look of Frankenbreasts. While you may be perky now--gravity works on everyone. The implants will stretch your skin and so will time. Eventually a lift will be necessary, or you will eventually have what one surgeon called the "Rock in a Sock" syndrome.
posted by elfgirl at 12:47 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Straight man here, and I question the mental health of any woman who has implants.

Seconded, 100%, with no snark at all.

Say what you want about being mentally and emotionally healthy, this sort of thing is evidence that you might not be quite as much either those as you think you are.
posted by toomuchpete at 12:49 PM on July 22, 2009

Breast implant reviews.

Average cost across North America, with comments from users in different cities.

Lots of personal stories and doctor recommendations on how frequently to switch them out and the complications associated with getting implants.

I have two friends with measurements just like yours and they both got small implants. Small enough that they only went up to a B cup or so, and both are happy, but both got the surgery within the past 4 years so I'm watching to see what happens to them next, health-wise. One had her children already, the other has none. They look good but feel rubbery.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:51 PM on July 22, 2009

As a DD-cup on a smallish frame, let me tell you that I am seriously considering a surgical reduction if my breasts don't shrink after I wean my son. I've had large breasts since I hit puberty and while it probably sounds great in theory, it really kind of sucks in a lot of ways, most of which have already been outlined above.

I have a tiny waist and my arms and legs are sticks, but I have to buy blouses in a size large, unless I want to have huge gaps between the buttons and that weird fat roll thing that happens when your shirt is too tight over your (massive, grannyish) bra. Shopping for wedding gowns was interesting; I basically had to buy a tent and have it completely chopped down to my size everywhere but the bust. I have back pain, stretchmarks galore, and if my nipples aren't touching my knees within the next five years I'll be very, very surprised.

If you do this, go up maybe one cup size--maybe. Larger than that on your frame (we have similar measurements except for our breasts) and you'll probably regret it. Forever.
posted by balls at 12:51 PM on July 22, 2009

I was going to say exactly what jerseygirl said. I'm fairly average-chested: I've never had back pain or unwanted attention because of my breasts, but I've never been able to go braless, either. My averageness requires a heavy-duty sports bra when I run, and has made hundreds of dresses and tops off-limits. If you're active or regularly go without a bra, you may want to reconsider.

I don't wish to change what I've got, and I don't think there's a superior size/shape of breast, but if God came up to me with a Catalog of Breasts and told me to pick something, I'd probably go with a smaller size for the sake of convenience.

I know one woman who has implants and she's very happy with them and eager to show them off - but she was an exhibitionist to begin with. I wouldn't have guessed they were fake by sight alone. She invited me to cop a feel, and they did feel kind of strange - not gross, but not quite authentic. It was kind of like the difference between a Hostess cake and a fresh, made-from-scratch cake.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:52 PM on July 22, 2009

I think the people jumping on the "guys don't care/don't do it for anyone but yourself" tip are missing the point. I'd bet a hundred dollars that the OP is only thinking about herself. Breasts and breast size is one of those sticky awful issues that (nearly) every woman struggles with no matter how evolved we think we are (some of the comments in this thread illustrate that pretty nicely). I've spent years telling myself that all of my insecurities are rooted in societal conditioning/unrealistic media portrayals/etc, but have found that it does nothing to foster self-acceptance. There's nothing logical or rational about it.

From what I understand, breast augmentation is one of those elective surgeries where many of the recipients - barring complications - are ultimately happy with their choice. I found a lot of interesting stories here (maybe nws due to some labeled posts having pictures).

I'm a 32DDD and hate my breasts and always have. I will get them dramatically resized someday. Will it make me a better person/more attractive/more accepting of myself? Nope. I'm still going to do it though.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide.
posted by lilnublet at 12:55 PM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

I would say work on your self esteem. Take it from most guys (i am one) for most of us Breast size does not matter. It might attract some guys initially but after that its all personality.

Also This might sound mean but i think that if you want breast implants then you arent in good mental health. You obviously have a self esteem issue which might not go away once you get the implants.

My sister and my fiance both have large breasts (had nothing to do why i love and was attracted to my fiance) and the both hate them. Running just out right stinks. Find clothing stinks and they give them back pains.

Why in the world would you want those problems anyway.
posted by majortom1981 at 12:59 PM on July 22, 2009

My boyfriend claims to prefer natural breasts, even if, in his own words, "there's nothing there."

My boyfriend also has a subscription to Maxim magazine, a Victoria's secret screensaver, and the dvd of Demi Moore's movie Striptease. Must be hard to be a regular guy who prefers small breasts and have all these magazines, movies, and television programs (not to mention pornography) catering to the apparently miniscule part of the male population that likes big boobs.
posted by Ugh at 1:00 PM on July 22, 2009 [8 favorites]

I'm a guy. I'd say don't do it. If you need someone to remind you of how beautiful your breasts already are, bring them to me :)

I'm sure you'll find men who drool at the thought of bigger and bigger breasts, but that would serve as another reason NOT to get implants, in my opinion, since those men tend to be creepy.

Seriously. Don't do it. Your body is probably far more beautiful than you will ever realize.
posted by 2oh1 at 1:00 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Another het dude here who votes "no" on getting fake boobs. I think I understand wishing you had bigger boobs, but I don't think you'd like most guys who are into fake ones.
posted by Rykey at 1:01 PM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Replace the word "probably" in my above comment with "DEFINITELY."
posted by 2oh1 at 1:01 PM on July 22, 2009

My mother got them a few years ago, so they're the ones I've had the best look at. She was slightly less than an A naturally and a very full C when she breast fed. She went to an excellent doctor and got what is considered to be an excellent boob job. They're basically the same size they were when she breast fed and on her 5'1", 115 lb frame, they look quite big. She doesn't seem to regret having had it done, but is pretty self conscious about them, so I'm not sure she particularly enjoys them. They don't make her feel sexy or beautiful; I think it's not so much that she loves her new boobs as that she hated her old ones.

That said, with clothes on, they look fine (if, as I said, quite big). Undressed it's a different story. The thing is, they simply are not shaped like actual boobs of that size. They don't hang right or move right or react to gravity correctly. They're shaped like a perky inflated A cups and don't have the right kind of elegant teardrop that natural larger breasts have. I think people who've seen a lot of fake breasts have started to think that looks normal, but really, it doesn't. Think of it like false eyelashes; they can be very attractive, but they never look like you grew them. The are pretty because they are fake. Also, with my mother's, I've noticed I can sometimes see them ripple under the skin on the sides, and that's super weird.

She didn't have a lot of body fat, and apparently, that's part of the cause. If you have more natural tissue in your chest, it's easier to camouflage the implants and make them hang normally. From your description, you also sound quite thin, so these kinds of practical concerns are probably relevant to you.
posted by mostlymartha at 1:03 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

A-cup at 5'0", 105lbs., thought about implants, decided not to. The cost, the maintenance issue, the sensitivity issue, scarring, potential capsular contracture---it was all too much. Nice bras are cheaper, and who knows how big you'll be after birth control pills/childbearing/weight gain from aging? The important thing is looking proportionate, and at your weight that is maybe not an issue? If you'd like more of an hourglass, I recommend this.

(On the guy front, secondhand paraphrase: Breasts seem important until a guy starts having sex. Then they're all about the booty. YMan'sMMV.)
posted by vilthuril at 1:05 PM on July 22, 2009

Straight man here, don't care about breast size on my SO. Seeing big boobs on the street has a certain "hoo-haa, loogid-dat!" factor but it's similar to seeing a funny-looking dog or a unicyclist.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:06 PM on July 22, 2009 [7 favorites]

I think both men and women greatly overestimate how much emphasis the opposite sex places on external appearances. As a man, attraction is very important to me, there has to be some base level of attraction, but really that base level is very very low. The thing that separates the girls I want to date from the rest is personality. I would rather date a hirsute humble 5'0 curvy A cup with a great smile and sense of humor than a 5'8 "blond barbie" any day of the week. I am not alone either.
posted by satori_movement at 1:09 PM on July 22, 2009

Well, nursing makes your breasts sort of like they have implants -- bags of fluid in them. I go from a medium-B to a DD while nursing, and it's not the same as breast flesh. I wouldn't mind having larger breasts, but breasts with bags of fluid don't look or feel the same as big breasts. Let me put it this way: imagining myself going around with half-full-of-milk breasts for the rest of my life is disheartening, not encouraging.
posted by palliser at 1:11 PM on July 22, 2009

I'm gonna jump in and share unsolicited experience. I'm a 30 year-old, solid A.

Benefits of A-dom:

-I'm a runner, and have never experienced pain while running. I can even run without a bra altogether.
-My boobs won't sag too far when I'm old and gray. Or if I have kids.
-Speaking of kids, my boobs have lots of room to grow when preggers, if that were ever on my agenda.
-Men dig 'em - it's the real deal, even if not so big.
-I can wear super low cut or deep V tops and not look like a hoochie mama.
-I can also wear tiny bikinis and not look like a hoochie mama.
-I can wear Forever 21 clothing, mostly built for 12 year olds.
-I'm not self-conscious of bounce. At all.

Cons of A-dom:
-I often can't fill the darts in shirts, but I hate ironing anyway, good riddance.
-I can't think of anything else. I like small breasts, but as pised mentioned, my curly hair sometimes gets on my nerves, but I'm sure straight hair would, too.

I'm hetero, FWIW. I like men and while they rarely stare at my chest (and so much the better because my eyes are well above my bust line), I've found that the hetero ones are generally a fan of female bodies, regardless of size of anything. Good luck with your decision! And be sure that you're doing it for you and you only!
posted by cachondeo45 at 1:14 PM on July 22, 2009 [4 favorites]

I'm interested in hearing about the experiences of women who've had or considered breast augmentation (particularly those my size), or the thoughts of their partners.

I can't quite qualify, but that doesn't seem to have stopped 90 percent of the answers so far, so let me be Contrary Elvis for a moment.

From a selfish / aesthetic perspective, I've never much cared either way: I have known and been attracted to gorgeous women with DD's, and also others with A's. It's really not that big a factor (for me, anyway), in terms of the overall, um... package. And based on lots of the previous responses, that seems like it's a common belief among (sober) men. So there's that.

I do have one close friend who was unhappy about her own front porch for many many years. It was hard to have a conversation with her wherein she didn't insult or make fun of herself. A coping strategy, I suppose.

She did have implants a few years ago. Nothing stripper-like, I'd guess they're probably a medium sort of C size now. I think they look fine, but then again I think she looked fine before (see above).

BUT, and here is a big point.... I have noticed a HUGE change in her own personality and general attitude in the years since the... augmentation. She's much more outgoing and obviously happier now, and I can't really rationalize that away. I assume it's confidence.

So as much as it makes my reflex feminism and hatred-of-shallowness cringe... I have to say that if $4000 is all you need to get a huge boost of self-confidence, heck, maybe that's a bargain. You could spend 10x that amount on therapy, after all, and still be nowhere.
posted by rokusan at 1:21 PM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Straight man here again.

I'm a big fan of breasts, sure, but it's generally what they are attached to that I worry about a whole lot more. The size is not really an issue to me; as long as the girl isn't self-conscious about them, I'm super down.

I've know a few girls who have gotten implants, and I can tell you straight away that I'll never date another girl with fake boobs. They don't look real, they don't feel real, and they are the cause of several very expensive and chronic ailments that could simply be avoided by not getting the surgery.

They're expensive, they are nowhere near as good as the real thing, and they bespeak a real lack of confidence on your part, which is something that douchbags can see from a mile away.
posted by Pecinpah at 1:24 PM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

How bad are your breasts, really? Do you constantly hate them or just every once in awhile? Do you hate them mostly after thumbing through a magazine or watching tv?

I ask this because it's all pretty relative. Generally women seem to hate their bodies in relation to other bodies; after they've compared themselves. When the basis of comparison is media-based, people generally end up pretty unhappy; most of us aren't exactly like the hand-picked, extremely fit, surgically altered, airbrushed, photoshopped selection chosen to dominate the media. Regardless of what all the men in this thread say, big-breasted women are constantly thrown in our faces as not just a sexual ideal, but the female ideal. Would you be happy with your body if you stopped seeing all these women with huge tits? It's difficult, because the more that image is propagated the more frequently regular ol' women are to get implants (rather than strippers and porn stars, whose job is to look sexually appealing). If you're seriously considering implants and there's nothing actually deformed about your breasts then you might want to step back and try to get some perspective. You are considering major surgery, costly surgery that requires regular upkeep, all so that you can better ornament your body. It has no positives other than this ornamental appeal and many drawbacks (which you've said you're aware of, so I won't reiterate).

I have yet to hear the old woman who is failing in health and knows the end is soon rue the missed chances for implants. When I think about implants and the effect they'd really achieve I feel a bit silly. None of your looks are going to last forever. Putting so much stock in breasts--paying for surgery, going under the knife, having upkeep breast lifts and so on every 10 years--seems kind of ridiculous when put in perspective of the rest of a life. Isn't there more worthwhile and lasting things that all this time and money and energy could be put towards? And lest this sounds like berating, it certainly isn't. I say this as someone who has also agonized over her breast size (and most other parts of her body), looked into implants, considered them, and ultimately decided against them. There are still days when I wished I had bigger breasts and if it was a choice of how I was made then sure, I would have selected bigger breasts, but to me, it ultimately is not worth all the hassle that the procedure actually entails.
posted by Polychrome at 1:25 PM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Well, shoot, a lot of other people have given you the "don't do it" asked for actual experience, and most people have given you the theoretical, so I'll try to confine my feedback to actual.

* I was your exact build at 29, and I can attest that boobs grow when you hit your 30's. Because the rest of you does too. But it does fill out some (I'm still an A cup, but there's more "there" there).

* I've noticed over time that what makes a woman "look good" is much, much more about how all the parts fit together than it is about individual parts themselves. It's about how your bust balances with your hips, the size of your waist balancing with everything else. And when people take a look at your whole figure, it isn't about how big your waist is -- it's about how broad your shoulders are. With measurements like that -- you've got a tiny waist, which is awesome - if your shoulders are about as big across as your hips, you've got the perfect hourglass curvy figure, which is the ideal. If you've got that, the actual size of your boobs almost don't matter in and of themselves.

* The biggest bit of anecdotal evidence I can give you is -- honestly, my boobs were SMALLER than yours all through my 20's. But I still managed to have guys find me hot as all hell anyway. So if THEY didn't care that my boobs were small, I had no reason to believe that I should either.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:30 PM on July 22, 2009

I used to have boobs as big as your head (34GGHGHGHGGAAARGHH!!ETC) and was very unhappy with them. After my op, I have 34DDs and they are pretty much my favourite body part. :-)

Boobs are very personal things and for me the outward reflection of how I feel about myself. I used to be jealous of the small girls but now I realise that too small is almost as bad as too big (I say almost, because you lucky girls don't have back pains).

I say go for it. Get something natural, not too big, and take the opportunity to show off your marvellous bazookas as much as you can while you're still young.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 1:32 PM on July 22, 2009

Everyone on Metafilter loathes the UK Daily Mail.

Quite right too. (It's only ever cited to produce righteous outrage!)

However...I was impressed by this frank, genuinely fascinating and detailed feature from a rather brave bylined writer (she's a fairly well known journalist) about her long-running implant saga.

It's good because she's honest about her original motivation for surgery (she simply writes: "I cared - because the size of my breasts (or lack thereof) has long mattered to me."), she manages to wring a certain mordant elan from the whole saga - and she is very, very far from your average po-faced leftie scolder about the importance of inner beauty.

(Good luck by the way.)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 1:33 PM on July 22, 2009

Very interesting opinions!

I wanted to chime in - I say do it, but for a moderate size, like a bigger B or C cup.

I am a C cup, and they've never been too big, or uncomfortable, neither have I wanted a reduction, or inspired to have bigger ones. They're just right.

I think personally, anyone can do whatever they like to themselves, if they are truly ok with it, and can accept all of the possible consequences.

I used to use the same argument against weight loss - I'm natural, I love myself the way I am, I don't want to meet the kind of men who would only talk to me after I lost 25+ lbs, etc. Then I lost a lot of weight, because of lifestyle changes, and found ... I still loved myself the way I was - only it was much easier!!! And I found the men I continued meeting were the same as before, only, maybe there were more of them.

So I don't know, maybe my analogy isn't quite accurate... but the question is, will it be easier to love yourself with your new breasts? Will looking in the mirror feel better? Trying on clothes? Passing by store windows and seeing your self in the reflection? Etc etc.
posted by Locochona at 1:35 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I like women who look natural (this includes not only breasts, extending to use of makeup, tattoos, cosmetic surgery, etc.). Implants almost always look obviously fake, and even the best ones look fake when the woman is lying on her back.

I dated one woman with implants (I think she went from an A or B to a C, so pretty much the subtlest augmentation you're likely to see), and playing with her breasts was like touching plastic; where there should have been pliant give, there wasn't. The standard fun titty-play just wasn't there.

My advice is an emphatic "don't do it". Implants distract and detract from yur natural beauty.
posted by orthogonality at 1:42 PM on July 22, 2009

I'm interested in hearing about the experiences of women who've had or considered breast augmentation (particularly those my size), or the thoughts of their partners.

I'm a survivor of my late wife's indulgence in this area.

Consider them expensive earrings. They do the same thing for your ego and self-confidence. It's undeniable. I briefly saw her blossom, but the effect was transient.

They do not confer quality in and of themselves.

I pleaded unsuccessfully to her: " ... it's not what they look like, it's who they belong to" in hopes she'd see beyond the urge to modify.

A few years of sleeping on her back, dealing with encapsulation, dealing with the knowing glances of her feminine cohort, and worrying over the effects on her health, and seeing that they did not make a permanent change to her actual life, and she paid again to have them removed. We kept them in a coffee can somewhere, and once in an argument about money and how we spent it, they came up. $15,000 coffee can. Soon, they vanished for good.

She's gone now. I love her still. When I think of her, it's her eyes and smile, her gentle touch, the good times we had, and my heartache at not seeing her grow older. When I think of her naked body, it's alive, unmarked and real.

My sincerest advice, though you have no particular reason to heed it, is to spend the money decorating your body with something removable. Breasts by themselves make poor companions, and you can't share them with everyone. Nice pearls, pretty clothing, and a settled, confident mind... better choices, IMO.

Good luck.
posted by FauxScot at 1:43 PM on July 22, 2009 [33 favorites]

Hetero female with A cups. I wouldn't do it because it's expensive, risky, and I wouldn't want to date the type of man who cares that much about it. My husband definitely notices women with larger breasts, but he married me.

Breasts seem important until a guy starts having sex. Then they're all about the booty.

I'm pretty sure my husband would agree with that.
posted by desjardins at 1:43 PM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

If it will give you confidence and you won't put yourself in terrible debt, I think you should do it. Here are some caveats:

The cheaper options are to insert the implants directly through the areolae-- the doctor essentially cuts your areolae out and inserts the implants through that. If that's your only option, I would advise against doing the procedure. I dated a girl who had been through this procedure, and while her figure was stunning when she was clothed, I consciously avoided looking at her breasts when they were exposed. The scars were hideous and totally wrecked everything aesthetically pleasing about breasts. A scar from an injury would have been easy to get past, but the symmetrical scars around these frankenboobs were grotesque. Your confidence will fade when your breasts are exposed.

Don't go overboard. The aforementioned ex was augmented to a c-cup. She was 5'5" or so and a medium build. She looked fantastic (clothed). Implants don't behave like natural breasts and it becomes more apparent the further out of proportion they are-- nobody, no matter how much they appreciate breasts, likes to see huge boobs sitting 8 inches apart. Also, I dated a girl that had very large natural breasts-- tiny girl, only five feet tall, DD's. We ran into each other again a few years later, and she had gotten a reduction to a small B. We dated for a short time after that meeting, and I remember wishing that she had done the surgery before I met her the first time. My preference is not normally for small boobs, but small is definitely better than enormous.

So if you opt for a better surgery that you can reasonably afford, and don't go nuts with size, this is a good idea if it will make you feel better about yourself. The tricky part is that only YOU know for sure whether that last part's accurate.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:44 PM on July 22, 2009

I'm a 32DD and have always envied girls with (natural looking) fake boobs, if only because then you don't need to wear a bra all the time. That always seemed cool to me. But the thought of living without nipple sensation? No way Jose.

Anonymous, if this is something you feel you must do, I'd recommend getting the saline kind that are implanted after your muscles are stretched. That way at least you won't have those tell-tale lines at your cleavage.
posted by ohyouknow at 1:44 PM on July 22, 2009

I'm a guy and have known 3 women who have gotten the surgery, all of them like you, small, just looking to add a cup size because they were unhappy about their current size.

After the surgery, all of them were mocked behind their back and forever known as "that girl with issues who thought bigger boobs would fix them."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:54 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've heard you will lose sensation in your breasts? There are so many reasons not to do this, but for your partner to lose the pleasure of seeing you react to having your breasts touched, that would be pretty sad.

I like breasts of all kinds and get kind of fixated on big ones. But the girls who broke my heart the worst in life have been small. One was more or less non-existent, breast wise. But big beautiful nipples and a lovely bum. She was just an awesome person and I miss her a lot.
posted by sully75 at 1:55 PM on July 22, 2009

Bench-pressing and push-ups of the GYM kind as well as the bra kind.

I said that above, but it was smooshed into the rest of my comment, and I wanted to make it pop out more. And, thinking about it after, I really think it has been huge for me. I am an honest A cup, not even a "big A-cup", and I now kinda almost have cleavage... at least with a good bra on. The pec definition adds muscle underneath, and adds to the demarcation between them.

My boobs look SOOOO much better on in-shape push-up girl me than than did on scrawny, smoking, not fit 105 pound me. Was 105 pounds, now 130 (and 5'6 1/2") -- but my bra size is exactly the same.

And I am definitely not some hopped up body-builder. If you saw me you would, at most say, "she looks pretty fit."
posted by kestrel251 at 2:02 PM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Your *actual* experiences, positive or negative, are fair game though.

Apparently zero female Mefites have had breast implants?
posted by Houstonian at 2:03 PM on July 22, 2009

If you're curious about experiencing breast growth without surgery, you might take a look at this:

While this approach *is* time consuming, and it might not even work very well for you, it's safe, and at the very least, might have the benefit of causing you to feel much more positively about your breasts.

You'll find links to quasi- sorta- scientific studies relating to this method at the bottom of that page...
posted by darth_tedious at 2:09 PM on July 22, 2009

You should get breast implants.

If you've had to have a double mastectomy.
posted by sageleaf at 2:15 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I used to work for a breast implant manufacturer and while I would never get them myself, I learned a few things working there that surprised me. Disclaimer: I have not worked at this company in 5 years so this info may no longer be accurate. I am also not a doctor and have no medical training, my knowledge is purely anecdotal and things I read while working there.

1) Women with breast implants generally love their implants, regardless of how fake they look or how bad the results turned out. Women with breast implants generally report being very satisfied with their breast implants. No one ever believes me when I tell them this, but my god it doesn't matter if they hang crooked and are as hard as rocks most women love em.

2) No. 1 reason for secondary surgeries (anecdotally)? They want to go bigger. I've talked to several plastic surgeons and that's what they all say. Women who want big boobs can never get enough of the big boobs.

3) Bizarre and pretty unpleasant side effects can happen when your boobs are way too big for your body size. See the dreaded breadloafing...

The other thing you need to consider is that at your height and weight I think it's safe to assume you do not have a lot of body fat. It actually sounds like you have pretty decent sized breasts considering how skinny you are. The implants look much better in there is some fat on top of them so you can't see the implants through the skin (and all their unsightly ripples). It will also likely make any capsular contracture far more noticeable if that happens to you.

Also, while you may be opting for an initial surgery that will leave minimal scarring (by going through the armpit or nipple), it is likely that subsequent surgeries to correct or replace the implants will leave scars.

Bottom line, even beyond all health concerns there is a lot that can go wrong with implants that might not hurt you health wise exactly, but will make your boobs look like hell. Which kind of defeats the whole point. This can be minimized by keeping the implants small (and by small I don't mean a D instead of a DD).

Oh and if this thread hasn't shown you already, people will judge you for getting implants in a way they will not judge you for wearing a padded bra.... It's not necessarily fair when it's perfectly acceptable to devote half your life to the treadmill, dye your hair, buy flattering clothes, use makeup, etc to alter your appearance, but damn if you get near a knife for the sake of vanity well then you're insecure and shallow.
posted by whoaali at 2:34 PM on July 22, 2009 [8 favorites]

"... If you've had to have a double mastectomy."

Mastectomy reconstruction is far different than cosmetic breast augmentation, in that in a mastectomy, a lot of breast tissue, lymph tissue, and often muscle is removed entirely, and some of that removed tissue is then generally replaced by muscle tissue that is re-routed from the abdominal area. A mastectomy prosthesis is usually physically somewhat different from the implants used in augmentations, too. Fat from other body areas may be used to pad out the reconstruction, and the surgical scarring that needs to be handled is potentially greater.

I was long a sort of "prefer natural, whatever size" guy, but a few years ago, I was involved with a woman I'd known long ago, as a young woman, who had had a single mastectomy in her early 50s, followed by an immediate "on the table" reconstruction. What I learned from her was:
  • The skill, experience and aesthetic sensibility of the surgeon doing the work make a tremendous difference in the results achieved.
  • Many factors, including tendency to scar, post-operative care, additional procedures such as tummy tucks, or liposuction, can also dramatically affect the results.
  • Top quality work on the right person can be amazingly good. Except for the fact that her reconstructed nipple could not erect, and needed to be "touch up" tattooed every 5 years or so for color match to her remaining natural nipple, her reconstructed breast appeared and felt identical to her natural breast.
  • Sensation lost in surgery rarely returns.
She is a tall (5'11") large framed (170+ pounds), 59 year old woman with "D" cup breasts, who I knew at 19 and at 55, and she was stunning as a girl, and still stunning as a cancer survivor. She says take your time in picking your surgeon, if you are doing this, and heed his/her recommendations in every regard.
posted by paulsc at 3:20 PM on July 22, 2009

Some additional issues to think about:

1) Do both nipples point in the same direction? Are you sure? If they don't, this will be more apparent after augmentation.
2) Are you happy with said direction? This, again, will be exaggerated after the procedure.
3) Are your breasts the same size? Because, well, see above.
4) How far apart are your breasts? They will probably look farther apart than they do now.
5) Are you committed to after care? It can take months for the implants to "drop" into the correct position, and only after massaging them regularly and allowing time for the breast skin to stretch.
6) How do you feel about visible stretch marks? You will have those.
7) Do you have a good doctor? This is VERY important for getting a good result. A lot of bad boob jobs are the result of butchery (for lack of a better term). Very good doctors are usually expensive.

Maybe you could spend some time in a few strip clubs to see what the final product will look like. Depending on the club, there will be fake boobs aplenty, and dollars to donuts you'll be able to tell. If you like what you see (from a procedural/end result standpoint), ask the girls about their experiences, their doctors, etc. Might give you some insight.
posted by Eumachia L F at 3:33 PM on July 22, 2009

Okay: I'll be that guy. I'm not gonna tell you you're-beautiful-just-the-way-you-are! because, you know, maybe you are and maybe you're not; I don't know.

I will tell you that I've only ever known two women who I knew had breast implants. One was an exotic dancer who had been flat-chested. Like. Really flat-chested. And she got implants that weren't absurd -- they fit her frame -- and, if she ever regretted it, she sure never said so. I expect she got them mostly as a business move; she wasn't exactly hurting for male attention before that.

The other, more recently, is an acquaintance who's in her mid-to-late forties. Her implants are not gaudy, either -- so not gaudy that I didn't even realize what was different until someone (yeah, snarkily) pointed it out to me. I can't address what may be said behind her back, but I'll tell you she does seem happier, more outgoing, know...yeah, sexier. Probably because of the confidence boost, since -- like I said -- I didn't even notice what she'd done until someone pointed it out.

So, I don't know. God knows I, along with anyone else who has ever had a subscription to Showtime, have seen some downright comical fake breasts. I can't recommend doing that to yourself. I also don't know, frankly, what implants feel like in your hand. That could be a dealbreaker. But leaving aside any health-related caveats (I know implants used to be a health risk; I don't know how true that still is), if it's something you think will make you happy, if it's something you can afford, and if it's something you really want, I say go for it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:56 PM on July 22, 2009

Hi, I'm Liz, and I am apparently the only mefite with breast implants.

I got saline implants 9 years ago, not for any kind of medical reasons, but purely for cosmetic reasons. I was a full B on the left, and barely an A on the right, and honestly, it made me horribly self-conscious. (Numerous doctors assured me that this kind of asymmetry was 100% normal, but it drove me nuts from puberty onwards.) I'm fairly close to the same overall size as you are - 34-25-33, 5'2", 110. Also, I'm a Sagittarius who likes long walks on the beach, needlepoint, and penguins!

I went up to a small C, and am perfectly happy with them. I fully admit that my immediate reaction upon waking from anaesthesia and seeing them, horribly bruised and swollen to a full D, was SHOCK AND HORROR. One month later, when the bruising was gone and the swelling receded, I was delighted with how they'd turned out.

I unfortunately had to get them done a second time, as the right one ruptured in 2007. This was due to implant failure (PIP, the French company that made them, has since recalled them all and gone out of business, I believe, while totally failing to pay any damages to the numerous people with ruptures) and not injury. They were replaced with Mentor saline implants, which came with a 10 year warranty.

The first surgery went in through the underarm, and the second through an alarmingly tiny incision directly beneath the breast. The healing time & scarring from the second surgery were significantly less than from the first. I have minimal loss of nipple sensation - the only areas of reduced sensation are on either side of my sternum, right about where the underwires in the centre of a bra would rest. As I have no intention of having children, I'm not concerned with being able to breastfeed, but it's my understanding that this is only an issue for implants done through the nipple.

I'm fairly active, and while I definitely have to wear a sturdy sports bra when running, there's little to no resulting pain or discomfort afterwards. Certain yoga postures are kind of awkward, though, and sleeping on my stomach is a thing of the past.

PROS: I don't feel lopsided anymore, I don't have to wear one push-up insert inside my bras anymore, and I am no longer stuck wearing baggy shirts year-round. I can weed out the undesirable potential mates by seeing who talks to chest rather than to my face/my eyes. Also, I am now my very own flotation device. NO MORE POXY SEAT CUSHIONS FOR ME, DELTA. HA.

CONS: I've just hit my 30s, and holy crap, hormones are NOT OF THE LORD. I never really had issues with PMS before, but now I retain so much damn water I'm practically a natural resource. Consequently, one week out of the month, my boobs are starting to feel a bit too big, and I'm now considering a reduction to a B. (Obvsly I know the hormonal change isn't caused by the implants, yes.) It's difficult finding button-down shirts that fit right - anything that fits my waist is comically undersized for my chest, and anything that fits my chest makes me look 17 months pregnant, waist-wise. My weight tends to fluctuate easily, and when I lose a bit too much, the implants are a lot more noticeable. And yes, eventually I am going to be a pruney 80 year old with the incongruous breasts of a 21 year old, and I will doubtlessly feel foolish. For now, I'm ok with that.

My only true regret is not having them done under the muscle. If I do decide to have them redone, this is definitely something I will have corrected. This is because of long-term support issues, and not shape or size issues. (Under the muscle = your pectoral muscles hold them in place. Over the muscle = only your skin and original breast tissue hold them in place.)

Damn, this turned out waaay longer than I'd expected. Go ahead, hit me with the GYOFB.
posted by elizardbits at 4:07 PM on July 22, 2009 [8 favorites]

You don't really say why you are unhappy with your breast size, so I am guessing that it might be because you don't feel or look sexy.

So let me say this. The sexiest women that I've met have all had smaller sized breasts. They were sexy because they weren't afraid to use and flaunt what they had with push-up bras, no bras, sexy bras, flattering shirts (and unbuttoned buttons) and whatever else they thought was sexy and drew attention to what they had.

And while breast size will draw most men's attention, a nice smile and sexy attitude will take you further in the long run. It works whether you have an A or D cup, or weigh 110 or 210 pounds.
posted by 14580 at 4:10 PM on July 22, 2009

Wait until you hit your 30s and your metabolism slows down a bit. I never had more than bee stings through my 20s, and I'm taller than you. Now I have a modest rack (and derriere to match, alas ...).

Nthing the posters who have said that implants are almost always blindingly obvious to casual observers. Are you sure you want men to look you in the nipples rather than in the eye?
posted by vickyverky at 4:10 PM on July 22, 2009

I have boobs on the larger side and would definitely recommend against implants, you can wear dresses with no back, how sexy is that, the strange low back corset bra I have to wear when I get a dress with a back below my armpits is ridiculous. You don't have to worry about your boobs exploding out of your top on roller coasters either. There's drawbacks whether you have big ones or small ones.
posted by abitha! at 4:13 PM on July 22, 2009

Your *actual* experiences, positive or negative, are fair game though.

Apparently zero female Mefites have had breast implants?

Read more betterer.

I'm interested in hearing about the experiences of women who've had or considered breast augmentation
posted by elfgirl at 4:15 PM on July 22, 2009

Something to keep in mind: implants don't last forever, so once you start getting implants odds are you will have to keep getting them replaced every 5-10 years or so.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:26 PM on July 22, 2009

Must be hard to be a regular guy who prefers small breasts and have all these magazines, movies, and television programs (not to mention pornography) catering to the apparently miniscule part of the male population that likes big boobs.

It's not that we don't like large breasts, it's that we don't like fake breasts.

I'm sure most ladies would prefer a nicely hung guy. Just like they'd prefer a tall guy, or prefer a guy with wide shoulders. These kind of things we have no control over—some people are simply at a genetic advantage in certain cultural respects. But would you rather have someone with a real penis or a fake one? A guy who has to wear lifts all the time or a guy who's short but confident? A guy who looks like this because he got some of these horrible things?

Be sure you really know why it is you want to do this.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:32 PM on July 22, 2009

I thought this through once, trying to put all value and morality judgments aside. At least one woman that I very much like and respect got implants and is very happy with them. But where I got was:

They don't feel like natural breasts (either to you or to whoever else is feeling) and, naked, they don't look like natural breasts. Not naked, there's no effective difference between a good padded/push up bra and implants, except that with a bra, there's no surgery or risks, no issues with breastfeeding, and no long term commitment.

So it just doesn't make sense to me. I do believe that many women who have them are happy with them, though. And there are worse things you could do. Please just make sure you have the financial and emotional means for the surgery, recovery, and any follow up.
posted by Salamandrous at 6:05 PM on July 22, 2009

I don't have them (I've learned to live with the ol' A-cups), but I've had a few boyfriends who have had girlfriends with implants. They all said that implants just felt weird when they were intimate... one boyfriend mentioned that his ex's girlfriends breasts always felt cold, and another said that they felt hard and artificial. They also said that they always looked fake and porn-y -- as one boyfriend said, "Fake is fine for porn. But in real life, I only want a real woman with real boobs -- regardless of size."
posted by scody at 6:55 PM on July 22, 2009

One thing no-one seems to have mentioned: You're petite. You have a small ribcage. Most lingerie companies don't make bras for women with small rib cages and even moderately large breasts. The 'normal' range won't go go up to your cup size, and the 'curvy' range won't go down to your band size. Get used to wearing maternity bras and an awful lot of white and beige cotton. I used to be close to the size and shape you're aiming for, and bra shopping was pure misery.
posted by embrangled at 7:21 PM on July 22, 2009

I've seen the following situations happen:

1. Wants breast enhancement, gets breast enhancement, is happy
2. Wants breast enhancement, gets breast enhancement, is unhappy
3. Wants breast enhancement, does not get breast enhancement, is happy
4. Wants breast enhancement, does not get breast enhancement, is happy

You need to decide if staying natural is going to be a detriment to your happiness. If you do decide to get a breast enhancement, do not go too big. If you are nearly B, try buying a C cup bra and add some chicken cutlets, try on some clothes and see if you like the way it looks. Going too far up the scale is going to make things look obviously unnatural.

Breast size is a personal preference. There will be guys who like small breasts and guys who like larger breasts. Make sure you have a good surgeon who understands and can accommodate what you want.
posted by silkygreenbelly at 7:39 PM on July 22, 2009

Have you tried running around with a padded bra and cutlets? Maybe if you have pretend boobies for a few days - maybe a vacation as a C cup - you'll get over this.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:07 PM on July 22, 2009

Breast have a lot of fat to them, less fat usually equals less breast size. This might be the cause of having smaller breasts since you're very thin for your height. Even if you gain 5 or 10 lbs, you'd still be considered thin and would probably gain in cup size. You might want to give this a try before implants. You can always diet/exercise to lose the weight if you don't like the results.
posted by stray thoughts at 10:39 PM on July 22, 2009

I've got tiny boobs and I'm gonna keep them that way. Before I had kids, I had the same measurements you do now. They're just so convenient this size, really, in spite of the fact that sometimes clothes don't fit me right because I'm pretty flat. I have to be careful about bra choices and v-neck tops, which I rarely wear. I tend to choose bras that are slightly padded for nipple coverage more than anything. When I get home, the first thing I do is take the darned thing off. If it weren't for cultural expectations where I live and work, I'd probably just skip bras altogether.

When I was nursing babies, I inflated up to a D and actually had cleavage. It was surreal to me.

Even after having kids and being 40 now, I haven't noticed many effects from time and gravity. My mom is similarly sized and we discussed this. Hers aren't heading south either and she's 60.

I have a friend around my age who's had a double mastectomy and reconstruction. A few weeks ago, we were hanging out at her place and having a few drinks. We were talking about all she'd been through in the past year. She leaned over with a grin and asked, "Do you want to see my boobs?" I'd only ever seen pictures of women who'd gotten augmentation. They always looked so fake to me. I was amazed at the artistry that had gone into her reconstruction. Even with the still-remaining scars. Incredible. She says she still has to have her aureole tattooed to be the right color. When I asked if that was going to hurt, she told me with a sigh that she can't feel anything there anyhow.

Besides just being alive and cancer-free now, one of the things she is happiest with is having chosen a cup size smaller than what she had before.
posted by lilywing13 at 11:26 PM on July 22, 2009

If I had the money, I'd augment down. I'm an F cup size (which I don't recommend). Having been deeply unsatisfied with the size of my breasts for a long time*, I can understand why you would want to change. Be aware though, many people in this culture will not understand and might judge you for the decision to get implants. Do not let that stop you, but be aware and prepared. I hope that you find out what will make you happy and self-confident and I wish you the best of luck in pursuing that goal, whichever option you choose.

*hanging out with mixed company throughout high school and college it always seemed inevitable that another girl would start complaining about how "Guys always go after big boobs and I only have a b-cup!" The guys would all immediately start telling her how ALL guys actually prefer small breasts and blah blah blah her tits were great and they hate big breasts, which while it might have helped the b-cup, certainly didn't make me and my D then DD then F sized breasts feel very attractive. It has been a huge sticking point for me until my current SO explained that most guys are too happy that they are seeing BOOBIES that they don't care if they aren't the "perfect" size (which no one in real life has). The grass is always greener, I guess.

(personally I prefer B/C but EMV (everyone's mileage varies)
posted by silkygreenbelly at 11:49 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

You might want to look into patient satisfaction surveys. I've seen a couple of articles that claimed that most elective costmetic surgery patients are very satisfied with their overall appearance for a few months after surgery, but that relatively few patients (as low as 30-50%) still have a positive body image when surveyed a few years later. Either they no longer thought that the changes lived up to their expectations, or they were still happy with the change but had transferred their negative feelings to another perceived flaw with their bodies. (E.g. someone was delighted after liposuction but a few years later was still felt that their appearance was impairing their happiness and have decided that they desperately want to change their nose shape).

If you genuinely do have a very specific desire to change your breasts and are otherwise generally happy with your body and your life this might not apply to you. But if you're relying on a change to your breasts to improve your self-confidence and feelings about your overall body image, I'd recommend caution and discussing your feelings about your appearance with a therapist. In at least some circumstances, therapy has been shown to produce longer-lasting improvements in people's body image and confidence than surgery in similar patients. Of course, this should be a therapist without financial ties to a plastic surgeon.
posted by metaBugs at 6:46 AM on July 23, 2009

I all in the 'natural is better' camp, and the 'do it only for yourself' camp, and whatever other camp flies well on metafilter. But honestly, you knew the answers you'd get on metafilter, right? Just making sure.

However, this:

Guys (assuming you're into guys) don't care. They really don't. The idea of boobs in general is so foreign and exciting to most of them that the actual size doesn't matter.
posted by oinopaponton

Is comically ridiculous. Some guys care, plenty do. To deny that fact is to be either willfully ignorant or in supreme denial The same guy that tells you that he 'loves' your small breasts will be checking out the latest playboy on the rack (no pun intended). The same guy that says 'more than a handful is too much' will be ogling your big chested sister, and the same guy that claims he's not a breast man 'anyway' will be sneaking peaks at the big breasted girl passing you two on the street.

Actions speak louder than words.

I've dated small breasted girls and large breasted girls. It wouldn't make or break a relationship. However, all things being the same, I prefer larger, natural breasts. I also would rather date a short girl, and a brunette. Just personal preferences. But with the right person, it wouldn't matter.

Just to break some of the stereotypes here. My girlfriend has natural D breasts. They are very sensitive. Yes, exercising can be a problem. She can wear sweatpants and a tshirt and still gets attention (from all those guys that like A cup breasts), so if you're an introvert, something to consider. On the positive side, if you like attention, she can wear jeans and an old tshirt and looks great.

Please don't get me wrong. There are advantages to both, and at a certain size it becomes ridiculous. But my girlfriend loves her breasts. She couldn't imagine being smaller. And some of those 'I love my A cups' are coming from a certain those "the grapes are sour" perspective.

If you're doing it for yourself, and stay within reason, go for it. Just be prepared for a lot of dirty stares from girls passing you on the street. You won't believe it at first, then you'll ignore it, but as the boyfriend, it makes for great entertainment.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 12:02 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

One more note; I find it ironic that the general consensus is don't listen to anyone but yourself, but also pointing out that people will be laughing behind your back. Who the fuck cares? Many of those that 'talk' are simply jealous.

Remember, whether you do it or not, you're doing it for yourself. Screw what people think regardless.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 12:09 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

And some of those 'I love my A cups' are coming from a certain those "the grapes are sour" perspective.

Excuse me?
posted by scody at 12:28 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Wow, I'm so heartbroken that Dennis Murphy wouldn't be into my tits.

OP, don't date any guy who'd ogle your sister's breasts. No matter what size yours are, or hers are.
posted by oinopaponton at 3:27 PM on July 23, 2009 [5 favorites]

Wow. I think Dennis Murphy just singlehandedly proved why you don't want to date guys who just want to date you for your tits.
posted by elfgirl at 5:24 PM on July 23, 2009 [7 favorites]

"Remember, whether you do it or not, you're doing it for yourself. Screw what people think regardless."

Heck, I'm not afraid of being unpopularly against the consensus here (or anywhere, check the old posting history of shame!) so THAT part of DM's comment gets a favorite from me.

And for the record, I'm surprised by the overwhelming anti-boob-ness here on MetaFilter. As above, I don't much care about boob size personally, but of course many people do, and you'd have to walk through life with blinders on to not see that.

But more important to what is jazzing me up here... step back and think: almost everything about beauty (and especially female beauty) in our culture is also "fake" or artificial, from high heels to contact lenses to hair dye to pushup bras to makeup. But we're not all lambasting those or judging women harshly for using them. AskMe is full of questions about them, in fact, without any backlash or such harshing.

So I really don't get this weird line in the sand about implants. Everything else is just fine... implants are horrible?

I suspect that (some of) the men and women who are on the "go natural" soapbox here are hypocrites on some of the other kinds of "fake" beauty above, and probably others as well.

If this question was about any other kind of body modification procedure that the OP was considering, there would be naysayers, sure, but there would also be dozens of liberal, and open-minded, messages of support. It's her body.

Tattoos. A nose piercing. Laser eye surgery. On almost any other topic I can think of, assembled MeFi-dom would rally behind the right and desire for people do what they want to their bodies, and most people would be supporting the question-asker, and we'd all be criticizing the occasional stick-up-ass crown who poo-poos the idea of anything "unnatural."

They're just breasts. Women should be free to do whatever they want with them, and we should all recognize that in addition to the bad (well documented above) there might just also be some good results, too. But really, who cares? Bigger, smaller, softer, harder, painted blue... sure, why not?

So to the OP, I say more strongly this time: do what makes you happy, and damn the rest of us for our petty, shallow judgmentalism.

And to MetaFilter at large, I ask again: what is with the boobs hangup?

It's like someone suggested banning vaccinations or supporting Sarah Palin in here.

(And yes, this is directly addressing the OP's question and is aimed at helping her "find an answer", per policy, you dirty flaggers with your dirty flaggy fingers.)
posted by rokusan at 8:02 AM on July 24, 2009 [7 favorites]

Rokusan and I have been Memailing because we're part of the secret Juliet Banana and Rokusan are Best Metafilter Contacts Forever Club about our opposing views on this poor girl's much argued over titties and seeing as no one is allowed to post your Memail except you I'll go ahead and share some of my other thoughts.

"I think my motivation behind my comment wasn't "breast implants are evil and always a bad thing in the lives of everyone who has ever gotten them, " it was "I want this girl to be really happy and confident." And some people said, hey, it's a nice little pick-me-up, it can help your confidence!

But honestly, real confidence does go deeper than that. I am the cockiest most confident bitch I know, and I check myself out in store windows and flash my boyfriend secretly in public to make him blush and sometimes stare down into my own cleavage, and you know what? I didn't have to waste half of my yearly fucking salary on it. I didn't have to take a week off work to lay in bed with swollen black and blue surgery scars across my chest. Confidence and love for yourself is free, and never sags."

There are a million ways to learn to love your body, and a million ways to be feel and look really hot. High heels, new glasses, self-affirmations, dressing for your figure, therapy, hair dye, and yes, breast implants. They're just one option, and they do have undeniable drawbacks and risks. The question is, what method will really work for you? What method will make you feel like a healthy, gorgeous girl who cherishes herself? What method best fits with how you want to live your life?

Miss Anonymous, I wish you luck in whatever you choose.
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:01 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]

stick-up-ass crown....

Typo. Funniest if read in the voice of The Craw from Get Smart!
posted by rokusan at 9:01 AM on July 24, 2009

I know a 31-yo-ish woman who had an A-cup and got implants. She went to a more expensive doctor with good reviews, yet she's still unhappy with the results. It might not be his fault, it might just be that she went from an A to a C, but now her boobs are very round and pointy, and she doesn't like it. I think it's just too much of a risk to take - if you're more or less even, and haven't lost a breast to cancer, then don't mess with what you got.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 2:59 PM on July 24, 2009

As a 43-year-old woman with a small to medium sized porch, I would say that the poster, who is young, should consider the financial outlay of cosmetic surgery now vs in 15-20 years when things are starting to sag and droop.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 10:15 AM on July 25, 2009

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