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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Transform Your Mind; Not Your Tits

Cilla Said
So, it would appear that Transform’s latest ad; encouraging women and girls to transform their bodies in the name of beauty, has been banned, and they’ve been given a serious wrist slapping from the ASA to boot.  

The ad features blogger; That Pommie Girl, modelling her new chest and talking about how much her silicone lady lumps have improved her life. They’ve given her more confidence, allowed her to look at the parts of her body below her neck for the first time in forever and really just made absolutely everything in the world bloody brilliant.

Breast enlargements can, in fact, save your soul – or at least that’s what Transform would have you think.

Obviously, I’m being sarcastic – and whilst it’s perfectly acceptable for women to make their own choices regarding their own bodies, whatever that may mean, the idea that a new pair of tits could solve all of your problems is, not only pretty outdated, but also ridiculous. Don’t even get me started on the fact that nearly every single procedure is designed for the male gaze; a larger rack, more junk in the trunk, baby doll faces (and yes, I’m using sexist terms on purpose). It’s an idea that feeds off of female insecurity, and nurtures young women into growing up with a definite idea of what they would like to change about themselves.

And how do I know this? Because I am one such women. It is after all a sad, but all too true, fact that feminists are not born, but made - but then, so are fake tits – and I am a feminist with my very own pair regretfully left over from my former life.

From as early as the age of 14 I can remember desiring nothing in the world more than a pair of fake tits. I even worshipped Katie Price in her Jordan days, for a brief period. Through puberty and beyond, I never had much more than a couple of fat pockets (due to my weight issues not female anatomy) in place of the curvaceous chests that sat staring up at me from every magazine, newspaper and television screen.

I quickly caught on that this was some defect of mine, I was abnormal, my body was weird and it was highly unlikely that anyone in their right mind, male or female, would ever want anything to do with me. So, I hatched a plan, egged on by glamour models and tales from women just like That Pommie Girl who told me how much better their life was now, all thanks to a wonderful new pair of manmade knockers.

I drank the cool aid with glee and on my 18th birthday I requested the much longed for boob job, after becoming distraught that a friend of mine had managed to undergo the procedure before me, and was told by my family that if I still wanted the operation by the time I was 21, I could have it.

When the day finally came, I expected to wake up from surgery a whole new person, defined solely by a banging pair of tits – instead I awoke groggily and emotionally unstable from the drugs, the special dressings I had to wear obscuring my view of the glorious new me.

When I finally got to see, I hated what I’d done. I was told this was natural, a natural rejection of something alien to your body existing in your body, and would soon pass. But then came the stretch marks snaking across my entire chest and making my perfectly implanted breasts look far more like a snail farm than a page three cut out.

Finally, and it took a fair few years, the realisation came. I hated them. I hated them for real. They’re heavy and they hurt my back, they get in the way of all my preferred style of dress, they draw attention to me (which is something I’ve never liked) and make me self-conscious when choosing lower necklines. They make me feel vulnerable, female and exposed not powerful and joyous and complete. They’ve ruined my skin and speckled me over with stretch marks, they’ve made me alien to myself and, looking back, they make me pretty ashamed of my choices and how determined I was to find fault with myself.

My implants are an albatross around my neck. If I could have them taken out tomorrow, I would and if I could go back and change my mind, I would.

No young girl should be made to feel like their body is anything but perfect. My body was perfect: it was entirely mine. No man had designed, and sculpted and seduced any part of it, and the saddest part about this story is, I no longer remember my body.

I was so ashamed and hateful towards it that I didn’t take one picture. I have no before and after shots and no idea of what my real breasts look like anymore. Society had no respect for my body, and so I had no respect for my body, I simply wanted it gone.

I know that nowhere near as many people will see this as have been forced to watch the Transform ad, but I wanted to present the other side of the story for anyone who is considering changing their body, in an attempt to change their life. A new pair of tits will not solve all of your problems, could even leave you with far more and won’t change anything but your cup size.

Do you have any experiences with plastic surgery or societal pressure to look a certain way? Let me know in the comments section and let's get this conversation started!


Cilla Said / Author & Editor

I’m a 25-year-old freelance writer, I studied English Literature in London and have an incessant love for all things fictional, I currently live in Manchester with my partner; Nathan, and our growing menagerie of household pets.

4 comments:

  1. What a sad story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I haven't watched the advert in question - like you, I have no desire to hear that I could be happy with my body, if only I put up the money for it. We women are presented with such a constant bombardment of messages about our imperfections daily, and while I fully respect somebody's choice to undergo this type of surgery it's no quick fix or easy solution against the societal backdrop.

    I hope that as your feminist journey continues you grow to love your body again.

    Popped over from the UK Bloggers Facebook group, btw.

    Lis / last year's girl x

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    1. Hi Lis,

      Thanks for popping over! Was so happy with the response over on Facebook, I didn't want to upset anyone, but had to tell the story honestly!

      After writing the piece, I started to realise that the best thing to do know is accept what I've done and learn to live within my skin anyway. The support on that point (and all others) is much appreciated.

      Hannah xx

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  2. I had no idea how deep this post was going to get as I read it. Thank you for sharing your experience, I know lots of girls who are considering things like this and I think this post would speak to them SO much. It really resonated with my want to get a nose job (have wanted for a good decade but cannot afford and cannot commit to the idea.)

    Rebecca Claire, Libfemblog.com

    Ps. Update on #bloggersagainstfascism coming tomorrow so check your emails xo

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    Replies
    1. Hey Rebecca,

      Cheers for the lovely comments here and on Twitter! I think that you should be able to take whichever choice you like, for your body - but first just try and pin down the motivations behind it. If I had given that a go, I don't think I'd be in the position I am now - but, then again, if my own mistake can help stop others from making it, I'm glad things played out like they did!

      Looking forward to hearing from you re: #bloggersagainstfascism. Can't wait to get stuck in!

      Hannah xx

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