Breast augmentation has been dated all the way back to at least the 1800s when a doctor in Germany used hip fat to replace breast tissue lost to a tumor. It goes to show that breast augmentation isn’t such a new concept and has certainly progressed extensively on the science and technology side, but do we really understand why people today choose breast augmentation?
Breast Augmentation Is More Popular Than Ever Today
According to recent data by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S. rose to over 1.8 million in 2018, which was almost 25 percent higher than the previous year.
With over 313,000 performed in 2018, breast augmentations topped the surgical enhancement list, which it has continuously done since 2006. It alone made up four percent of the overall rise in the 2018 numbers.
In looking at the why of choosing breast augmentation, it’s important to look at the who first. The above report broke down the percentages of breast augmentations based on age as follows:
- Ages 13-19 (3 percent)
- Ages 20-29 (29 percent)
- Ages 30-39 (37 percent)
- Ages 40-52 (29 percent)
- Ages 55 and up (2 percent)
These numbers actually provide insight into the most common reasons why women choose to get breast enhancement.
Why Are Women Today Enhancing Their Breasts?
1. Mommy Makeover
With reality shows and celebrity sitcoms alike showing women can have a killer body, a stellar career, and still have a family, mommies everywhere are looking to have it all. They’re just doing it later in life.
Back in 2009, the CDC first reported a trend in women putting having children off until their mid-20s. They instead focused on furthering their educations and careers. NPR reported that the average childbearing age for 2016 had risen to late-20s (26.3) and pregnancies by those 19-years-old and younger numbered just 13 percent.
The result of these childbearing delays is more financial security in the late 30s and 40s after adding children to families. In turn, modern women have more opportunities to repair the tolls nature has taken on their breasts during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
So, while the desire for mommy makeovers has likely always existed, childbearing trends pushing pregnancies later in life has matched financial means with desire, making mommy makeovers a big reason women are getting breast augmentation today.
The 30s and 40s are also when those first age-spurred signs of aging begin to appear from slowing metabolism and lessening bioenergy of skin cells. By placing the mommy makeover timing inline with when most women start wanting to repair common midlife aging problems, it’s easier for some women to justify the ROI on breast augmentation.
Also Read: Are Breast Enhancement Pills Safe?
2. Senior Makeover
According to seniorliving.org, American seniors number 47 million, a number projected to double by 2060. Some more interesting tidbits on seniors:
- With an average life expectancy of 81.2, female seniors are also living longer than ever before.
- Seniors are living differently than their predecessors - working longer, living healthier, and retaining their independence longer. In fact, only 3.1 percent live in nursing homes today.
- The New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing half of seniors are still sexually active.
- Around 45 percent of seniors over 65 are single, which explains why half of the 27 percent of adults using dating websites are seniors.
Aging breasts naturally begin to lose elasticity and drop, which can easily be corrected by breast augmentation. The above statistics help put reasoning behind the geriatric makeover trend. Seniors today aren’t the stereotypical versions, and they want their bodies to reflect that as they live, work, dates, romance, and continue to enjoy life long into their golden years.
It’s important to note that there is not an age limit on breast augmentation procedures. According to Miami breast augmentation expert Jason I. Altman, a physical exam during a consultation will determine if a person is in good health and a good candidate to move forward.
3. Size Matters
Macromastia is a condition that leaves breasts underdeveloped after puberty. It can be a hormonal issue or a genetic issue. While weight loss is encouraged for good health in those with obesity, the loss of weight can leave women with skin pockets and sagging skin, especially around the breast area. Some women are born with asymmetrical breasts that are different in size or shape.
In any case, many women want to enhance the appearance, shape, and size of their breasts. Aside from aesthetics, smaller, volume-less, and asymmetrical breasts can impact the way clothes fit, cause self-consciousness, lower self-esteem, and make the woman feel less feminine.
Of course, all of these can trickle down to affect specific aspects of a woman’s life, such as relationships or employment.
According to BREASTCANCER.org, up to 10 percent of breast cancers are caused by a hereditary gene. Thanks to today’s BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing, most of the inherited breast cancer genes can be detected long before breast cancer develops. Such testing has led to women choosing preventative mastectomies.
Whether elective or part of an active breast cancer treatment, it’s not uncommon for women to go through an identity crisis following a mastectomy. They’re left feeling a loss of control over their own bodies, feminine losses, attraction losses, and so forth.
Reconstruction through breast augmentation is a way that some women choose to regain their losses and move forward from cancer treatment or elective mastectomies.
5. Repair Botches
Technology, innovative materials, and professional skills for breast augmentation have never been more advanced, allowing women to get faster, safer, and more natural results.
Today’s implants rarely even need replacing or upgrading. That said, there are still plenty of women in their second and so forth rounds of breast enhancement. Why?
The motives here vary. They may want to replace older breast augmentations with the latest applications. Some women just aren’t happy with the original results and want to keep upgrading, downsizing, or upsizing until they get exactly what they want.
Sometimes, women follow the advice of partners, family, and friends instead of their own desires, and they end up with a breast augmentation size, shape, or volume that just wasn’t the right fit. They go back to repair their own botched decision.
In other cases, women might’ve poorly vetted their doctor or opted for cheaper breast augmentations in other countries. If they had inferior results, they’re likely looking to fix the botched job with a highly-qualified and experienced surgeon in the United States.
In closing, just these five reasons show the vast expanse of why women elect to get breast enhancement. From senior and mom makeovers, repairs and revisions, reconstruction, to plain old sizing complaints, women across every demographic and scope can likely find a reason they’d like to enhance their breasts.