“It all started in early 2005 when a bunch of friends were attending a bachelor party in Las Vegas....” The precursor to all ‘great’ ideas....
A recent issue of Take a Break magazine featured the story “Dear stranger, help me fill my bra!” The article chronicles a young woman desperate to get breast implants. Seems straight forward enough right? Well, the woman hopes to achieve this by spending exactly £0.
If you’re confused, and a little intrigued, then you’re probably amongst the majority of us who read this story. The woman is part of the website http://www.myfreeimplants.com/, where men from around the world donate money to women hoping to raise enough money to pay for breast implants.
Although, using the internet for promotional and fundraising purposes isn’t’ a novel concept, its niche emergence in the aesthetic market certainly is.
A quick visit to the site and visitors are immediately invited to “Invest in breasts” and encouraged to donate money in return for the promise of “friendships” with the women. You may even request photos of the women where you have the option of deciding her outfit. If you’re still not feeling particularly charitable further enticing images lace the screen, including one of the sites, shall we say, altruistic philanthropists, draped in perfectly enhanced women.
Whilst navigating the site I learn that the women whose faces and stories are prominently placed have earned their way to such prime locations in return for bringing the website the most publicity. Whilst browsing, the site urges me to “make a difference for as little as $1” - a slogan I’d associate with charitable organisations such as Oxfam or the Red Cross when fundraising rather than cosmetic surgery!
To be honest, I’m feeling slightly disturbed and uneasy reading some of the desperate and degrading pleas from the women– but with the website boasting of its status as “The first and only trusted source for obtaining free breast augmentation” my feelings are hardly unexpected or surprising. The object of cosmetic enhancement is primarily to bolster one’s self image and boost their confidence, yet this site seems to completely contradict this by encouraging vulnerable and self conscious women to advertise themselves by pleading with anonymous donors.
BAAPS President Fazel Fatah is quoted in the magazine criticizing the site as being: "Designed for meeting the demands of ogling men rather than anything to do with serious, rational and sensible decision making"
BAAPS have issued a warning to people considering the idea and labelled it “degrading”. According to consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President Douglas McGeorge;
"This is a wholly inappropriate way to proceed with what should be a serious decision made by a fully informed patient. The site's promise that there are 'no right or wrong' cases is frightening - clearly there is no proper medical assessment of candidates, which at best could lead to disappointment, at worst, to someone's health being endangered."
Adam Searle, consultant plastic surgeon and former President of the BAAPS, adds;
"I thought I could no longer be appalled by the circus-like atmosphere surrounding plastic surgery - but this is really quite shocking. The invitation for women to post suggestive photos, sell personal items and chat with strangers over the Internet in exchange for a breast augmentation is just plain degrading."
It’s easy to understand why the women who advertise themselves on the site choose this option especially when faced with expensive procedures – many will fail to understand what the harm is and be swayed by the examples of site users who claim to have raised as much as $6,515 in just 4 months.
There’s no denying that some aesthetic procedures can be costly and many people face tough decisions when the question of financing procedures occurs, however this site should not be viewed as a “no cost alternative to expensive surgery loans”, as the website says.