Summary: Australian rapper Iggy Azalea recently announced that she had undergone a breast augmentation operation in order to achieve a more aesthetically—and personally (to her)—pleasing ratio between her hips and bust. It might be easy to dismiss Azalea as just another celebrity getting just another boob job, but her attitude about the procedure makes us take a pause and think about what such a dismissal entails. After all, according to the website of the Ridgewood, NJ, breast augmentation experts at East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery, women undergo this operation for all kinds of reasons. And they usually only do so in a thoughtful way. That alone should force us to stay any judgmental thoughts we might have.
Breast Augmentation Proportion as Important as Size and Shape
Sometimes breast augmentation isn’t just about having larger breasts. In fact, often, it’s about creating an overall look of body cohesion, getting your body parts to work together so you can enjoy the body you want. This is why it’s a shame when breast augmentation gets lumped into a kind of monolithic expectation that, for some reason, all women shallowly want larger breasts. The problem with this stereotype is that it tends to lump all women’s motivations under one umbrella—for no reason, it seems.
Which is why we’re happy that Iggy Azalea has come out and told the public that she has undergone a breast augmentation operation. Apparently, four months ago—as she’ll reveal in this month’s issue of Vogue–Azalea got breast implants. At first, she wasn’t going to tell anyone, for fear of making her younger fans feel insecure in their own bodies. But, eventually, Azalea let it come out, and we’re pretty glad that she did. Here’s what we appreciate about Azalea’s choice: she’s obviously an incredibly intelligent woman (and it’s a shame that the headline from her interview revolves around her breasts rather than her intelligence) and she does a great job of articulating her motives.
First and foremost among her motives are, as with many women, body image issues. These body image issues, Azalea reports, got worse when she moved from Australia to the United States and encouraged by her friends to be a model. She was told by her agents that she needed to lose weight and undergo rhinoplasty. Obviously, Azalea didn’t take that advice, but she admits it influenced the way she looked at herself. And who can blame her. The problem, of course, is that this kind of criticism—and this kind of body pressure—is not uncommon.
Motivations for Breast Augmentation
Indeed, one of the chief reasons why women get plastic surgery is to escape this type of body pressure. A body that is praised by society is much easier to live in than one that is shunned. Fitting society’s ideals of beauty can lead to higher self-confidence and self-esteem, so it’s no wonder that breast augmentation is such a popular procedure.
So let’s talk about the proportion aspect of it. Azalea is well known for her impressive rear end. The rapper complained in the same interview about having to sow padding into her tops in order to achieve the correct proportion. So, at the age of 24—and with a lot of thought behind it—she decided to get modest implants so that she could achieve that proportion permanently. And that’s understandable. Women are judged pretty harshly not only on the thinness of their bodies but also on the proportion of those bodies (a proportion that, as women grow older, becomes less and less easy to control).
Proportion of the Overall Body
Proportion is incredibly important when it comes to breast augmentation. The hip to waist to bust ratio are, of course, three numbers most women are quite familiar with. In order to feel comfortable—and by that, we mean, possessing high self-esteem and self-worth and feeling confident—some women feel the need to hit a certain ratio. Now, of course, that doesn’t mean that women must hit that ratio to be worthwhile (the truth is just the opposite). But, rather, it means that for some women, it’s harder to feel confident when they aren’t hitting that ratio.
Of course, the decision to get plastic surgery is a deeply personal one and usually a thoughtful one. And even thought the results are, of course, seen in public, the body changes are personal in nature. Iggy Azalea is open about her plastic surgery, and about how she wanted to feel more comfortable with her body proportions. For many women, being open and public about their breast augmentation would be ill-advised, and may even entail judgment from co-workers and family and the loss of one’s career (worse things have happened). In other words, people tend to be quite judgmental, assuming always that a breast augmentation was about vanity and shallowness.
Iggy Azalea Showing the Way
Azalea helps to show, I hope, that this is so far from the truth. Most women who undergo breast augmentation procedures do so thoughtfully and only after years of research. In other words, it’s not really for us to say whether it was the right or wrong decision, and it’s hard to blame women for wanting to escape the pressure of having to fit into a certain body type. All said and done, the women who get plastic surgery usually end feeling empowered—and that’s what it’s all about, in the end.