Something unexpected happened the other day.
While taking my morning scroll through my Instagram comments from the past 24 hours, I noticed a comment on an older post that read, “Not sure if you have answered this question previously but do you have breast implants?”
Now, I’ve been asked this before. I don’t really take questions like this personally and I’m sure the woman who asked is a lovely person and was just curious.
And at the same time, it brought up a lot of thoughts regarding both women’s health and the shaming of women’s bodies, so I wanted to share my thoughts here in a blog post.
The answer, in case you’re wondering, is no. I don’t have breast implants.
But this question triggered a lot of thoughts, emotions, and questions in my mind that fired in rapid order, like:
“Holy cow that’s a personal question...”
“The internet makes it so easy for people to be bold...”
“Most people are good and probably just genuinely curious when they ask a question like this...”
“Did I forget to crop my boobs again?”
“Mental note: ‘It’s ok to have boobs. They are part of you and live on your body. You don’t need to crop them out of photos..’”
“How would I react if I did have implants, would this have offended me?”
Sigh, “we always want what we don’t have, I envy girls who can wear little tanks with no bra, must be nice!”
Those are just a few examples of what ran through my head when I read that comment.
But the biggest thing that came up for me was this:
If a woman has thoughtfully considered a decision and made a choice for herself—from breast implants to getting divorced to leaving her job to start her own business—then I don’t judge her from any angle.
And that goes double for situations that I have not been in before.
I have no idea what it feels like to want breast implants because I’ve never wanted them. It’s not my place to make a judgment on someone who chooses them because I have no idea what it feels like to want them, whether it’s for aesthetic, reconstructive or any other reasons.
I went back and forth as to whether I'd write my thoughts on the topic, or even respond to the comment for that matter. I sat on it for a week and ultimately decided to write this post because, from the nature of the comment, it seemed like the commenter was “locked and loaded,” ready to shame me if I did in fact have breast implants. I could just feel it coming from the other side of my phone screen, something like “if you’re a health expert, you should know better than to get breast implants [insert shamey voice and pointed finger emoji]!”
That’s what really got me and the point I want to share: Shame is shame, friends. Let’s stop shaming women for the decisions they make about their own bodies and lives.
There are many healthy people in the world that have breast implants. Tons of health & wellness influencers have them—some of them are my friends. I can think of five women off the top of my head who teach about health and also have implants. For me, I don’t think the fact that they have breast implants discredits their teaching. I think it’s a personal decision that they made for themselves. I also have friends who have had their implants removed and feel healthier for it.
Now that that's all out of the way, from a health perspective, if you are considering breast implants here are a few things you should know.
Breast Implant Illness & Health Considerations Regarding Breast Implants:
- Breast Implant Illness (BII) is possible, so do your research and have thoughtful conversations with your healthcare provider(s) about the risks of the implants and what to watch for. BII is a set of symptoms—from joint and muscle pain to memory issues, autoimmune responses, rashes, and other mystery symptoms—that don’t fit into any other medical diagnosis. While Breast Implant Illness is not currently recognized as an official medical diagnosis, many women have reported similar symptoms and the FDA recently made a statement that they are “taking steps to better characterize [BII] and its risk factors.”(1)
- There’s no way around it, breast implants are made from plastic materials (mainly the outer shell is silicone [even in saline implants], which is a hybrid between synthetic rubber and a synthetic plastic polymer.) Your body will recognize this as a foreign object, which can lead to autoimmune responses or other issues as noted above. Again, discuss this with your healthcare provider and know what to watch for if you choose to get them.
- Breast implants have a shelf life and will most likely need to be replaced at some point, which means another surgery. Again, discuss this with a board-certified surgeon and your healthcare provider.
When making any big decision, the most important thing is that you give thoughtful consideration from all angles and make the best decision for yourself.
As a health coach, yes, I want you to consider your health first. And, as I mentioned above, I've never been in this situation before so I'm not sure what I would choose. On one hand, I think no, absolutely not. And on the other hand, I have a friend's mom who had a double mastectomy and chose implants and reconstructive surgery. I totally get it and might make the same decision if I was in that situation. It doesn't matter whether the choice is for aesthetics or reconstruction, the health risks are the same. Which brings me back to my point: make the best decision for you and don’t let other people shame you one way or the other.
5 Key Factors I Consider When Making a Big Decision
This post also really got me thinking about how I make big decisions in general, so coming up next will be 5 Key Factors I Consider When Making a Big Decision. (Make sure you're on my email list to get it! Sign up above or below this post or here.)
Whether it’s for my personal life, like getting divorced four years ago or making a change in business, these are the tools I use to make big decisions and create meaningful change for the better. I’ve created a deep sense of internal peace and a hugely successful online business with this blog over the past 10 years, and there are five key factors I consider again and again that have influenced my success. I'll write that over the next week and share it with you in case you need some help with some big decisions. Look for that post coming next week.