“Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty.”
This immortal quote from the brilliant mind of David Hume, although written almost three hundred years ago, couldn’t be more relevant than in today’s beauty and fashion industry.
It perfectly sums up how important it is for each of us to remember that we need to decide for ourselves what we present to the world and that what we find beautiful will be different from what others do.
For many of us today, beauty no longer stands alone. Functionality and practicality are just as necessary, if not more so than purely aesthetic appeal. For this reason, the beauty industry and women’s perception of what is beautiful has changed significantly over the past thirty years.
Here, ICLS Dermatology & Plastic Surgery discusses how the changing scope of beauty and lifestyle has impacted breast implant preferences throughout the U.S. We also look at four of the significant benefits that come with getting smaller breast implants.
Historical paradigm shifts in beauty
Throughout history, women have endured some ridiculous trends in the name of beauty.
In the past, personal comfort, functionality, and practicality seemed not only to be sacrificed in the name of beauty, but physical pain, and flat-out torturous practices were imposed on women to make them conform to strange beauty standards.
Think of wearing a corset: “a steel-boned, rigid garment designed to reduce the waist and reshape the body.” That sounds comfortable. And healthy. We think not. In fact, wearing corsets often led to complications associated with restricted organs, such as impaired breathing and issues with digestion, all in the name of beauty.
Thankfully, these beauty practices are far less prevalent than before in mainstream fashion industries, and the modern beauty industry is far more aware of individual wellbeing and leading healthy, complete, comfortable, and enjoyable lifestyles.
The trend of moving towards a personally enjoyed, functional life is demonstrated in yet another changing trend in the beauty industry, although a far more recent one. Excessively large breast implants are being replaced for smaller, shapely implants during breast augmentation surgeries.
Changes in breast beauty ideals
In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, exceptionally large breast implants, a la Pamela Anderson, were amongst the most popular cosmetic procedures in the U.S.
This aesthetic was driven by what many called the empowering choice of women to display their femininity, voluptuousness, and confidence. While large implants remain somewhat popular in today’s beauty industry, many women who once had excessively large implants are opting for breast implant removal procedures, and women getting implants for the first time are choosing smaller implants.
What is clear in modern beauty trends, as compared to past practices, is that women are far more active in deciding how they want to present themselves to the world. What’s more, general health and wellbeing seem to be at the forefront of aesthetic trends, as opposed to past concepts that sacrificed these concepts.
Most women say that the reasons for their choosing smaller breast implants over larger ones fall into one of four categories:
- Active lifestyles
- Natural-looking results
- More sustainable
The modern beauty industry sees women increasingly move towards a leaner, more athletic female physique.
This results in a step away from overly large breast and buttock implants. It is likely that this trend is born from the growing number of women who, like men, idolize sporting icons and appreciate their dedication and commitment to their craft. Perhaps as more women look up to sporting icons, they naturally want to reflect their role models virtues and principles in their own lifestyles and physiques.
Those who lead active lifestyles and regularly engage in intense sport, as is evident in the booming popularity of activities such as HIIT, cross-fit, sprinting, calisthenics, etc. need physiques that enable, not hinder, these activities.
Large breasts are not only a hindrance during these activities, but they can also cause unwanted and unnecessary stress on the posterior chain, posture, and shoulders. This is due to the unnatural and excess weight of the implants pulling the shoulders and upper back forward.
As such, opting for smaller breast implants still empowers women with the opportunity of getting firm, shapely, youthful, and complete breasts, without sacrificing any of the functionality or hindering them from partaking in the activities in which they enjoy.
Women who are comfortable with and proud of their breasts undoubtedly enjoy a strong sense of self-confidence and personal physical appeal.
However, despite cosmetic surgeries and breast implants being at an all-time high, it is now almost compulsory that plastic surgery work is done in a way that is subtle, and doesn’t boast the fact that the patient has had work done.
With overly large breast implants, this is unlikely to be achieved. A woman with a small frame and low body fat, but with excessively large breasts, generally has been “under the knife,” and people can tell quite easily. What is now an increasing trend is to get breast implants that are in proportion to one’s body, which enhances the curves and positioning of the breast in a way that suggests the aesthetic is entirely natural. Fat transfer breast augmentation is also an option that provides exceptionally natural-looking results for women seeking this specific aesthetic.
Small breast implants, or implants that are aligned with the woman’s body type and natural frame, can help achieve a more youthful position of the breasts and make them sit higher and more firmly on the chest. Small implants can also reposition the areola and nipple in a more straightforward direction and can offer subtle volume which fills out the breast.
Women who have breasts that are too large for their frame regularly experience health complications. In some cases, women have large breasts naturally and may consider breast reduction surgery to bring their breasts in better alignment with their bodies. In other cases, women may have chosen implants that were too big for them which resulted in medical complications after their breast augmentation surgery.
Back and neck issues, poor posture, shoulder pain, sagging breasts, increased scarring, loss of sensation, and skin thinning are the most commonly sighted issues of women whose breasts are disproportionately large in comparison to their frame.
Smaller breast implants significantly reduce the chance of these complications, while also offering the benefits of a shapely, youthful breast. Breast implant revision surgery can also solve some of these problems, such as repositioning the breast higher on the chest to reduce sagging and stretching, but opting for smaller, more subtle breasts can avoid most of these complications entirely.
As we age, it is natural for our life goals and desires to change. For many of us, our physical appearance is a reflection of our personal or professional ambitions. As such, many women who chose to get relatively large breast implants when they were younger often need to address their changing aspirations later in life. Many will opt to reduce the size of their breasts with breast implant removal surgery or swap their large implants for smaller ones.
More and more women are moving into executive positions in large organizations and are rewarded for their achievements in the workplace. Women who focus on their business careers may find themselves changing the way they view their appearance in their thirties as compared to their twenties, and likewise in their forties and fifties. Many businesswomen choose a slightly more conservative approach to body aesthetics by choosing smaller, more subtle breast implants. Doing this when younger can help you to avoid potentially stressful and pricey breast revision surgeries as you get older and your life goals change.
Getting it right the first time
Many women get breast revision surgery because they chose the wrong sized implant initially.
First, understanding the way breasts are measured is essential. The industry standard is to measure breasts in cubic centimeters, or cc’s. This can help women accurately choose the desired size implant.
Thoroughly discussing your realistic breast augmentation surgery goals with a qualified plastic surgeon is paramount to the success of your treatment. That being said, there are some things you can do now to get an idea of what size you want. One at-home test you can do to gauge the size of breast implant you want is the “rice test.”
This test simulates different sized implants and demonstrates how the shape and size of the implant suit your goals and your body. All you’ll need to perform the test is some old pantyhose, some rice, and a food scale.
Remember that 1 ounce of raw rice is roughly 30ccs, and then fill your empty pantyhose with the amount of rice that gives you the size of the breast implant you think you’d like. Try wearing a non-padded bra and seeing how the rice-filled pantyhose feels, and how your clothes look over it. Simply change the amount of rice in the pantyhose to change the cc’s and size of the implant until you get the size you’re happy with. Weigh this, and then multiply the weight in ounces by 30 to see how many cc’s you’d like your breast implant to be.
You can then take your home-made implant to your consultation with your plastic surgeon to give them a good idea of the size and shape of the implant you desire, and they can then recommend different implants according to your preference.
Doing this simple test will help give you confidence in the procedure and in visualizing the results from your breast augmentation. It will also help show you how smaller implants can provide significant outcomes for breast enhancement.
Breast augmentation in Oakville, Ontario
Getting proper guidance and counseling from your plastic surgeon before you commit to any procedure is vital to the success of your breast augmentation. Knowing about the benefits of going smaller, and being aware of the potential complications of going too large, can prevent time-consuming and costly revision surgeries down the track. A confident, competent, experienced, and successful plastic surgeon will offer their patients full transparency, and genuinely have your best interests in mind when advising you on implant size and position.
At the world-renowned ICLS Dermatology & Plastic Surgery, you can rest assured this is precisely the experience you will get. If you are considering breast augmentation in the Oakville, Ontario area, make sure you call 905 842 2262 and speak to our expert team before you commit to any procedure. You can also fill out our online form to arrange a one-on-one consultation and get the best guidance possible on your breast augmentation or breast revision surgery.