Improving body image: The dark side of implants

Mariel Hemingway – from tomboy to implants

Mariel HemingwayAfter playing a young athlete in “Personal Best” (1982), Mariel Hemingway decided to get breast implants.

“I did it for me. I didn’t want to be thought of as a tomboy. I didn’t want to be thought of as this kind of butch girl,” she said in a talksurgery article by Afsun Smith.

The article adds, “They worked for her well when the lead role for “Star 80” came up, when she portrayed the buxom but cursed Playboy bunny, Dorothy Stratten, but she had them removed shortly afterward, since they ruptured.

“She also claimed that the implants led to her constantly being sick.”

Now I think implants are bizarre looking

“I think implants are bad news,” Mariel said. “I enjoyed them for about a year, then from ages 20 to 32, I was asking, ‘Why do I have these? I hate these. They were not me, it’s kind of the antithesis of who I am.

“I’m a real natural person – but I was afraid to take them out because I thought I might look deformed. But I was fine [getting them removed]. Now I think implants are bizarre looking – and I’m happy I can say it.”

One of her books: “Mariel Hemingway’s Healthy Living from the Inside Out: Every Woman’s Guide to Real Beauty, Renewed Energy, and a Radiant Life.”

Medical and psychological distress

As a man, I am in no position to judge the value of implants for a woman’s self esteem or body image — and growing up in this culture, I certainly do like buxom women and generous bosoms.

But part of my mission for the Talent Development Resources and The Creative Mind network of sites – including this oneĀ – is to help gifted and talented people more fully realize their creative abilities, and to understand issues that get in the way of their personal development and achievement.

Many well-known women have talked about getting cosmetic surgery including implants, and Hemingway is not an isolated example of the medical and psychological distress from implants.

In his editorial article Silicone implants – they’re still dangerous, Dallas cosmetic surgeon Edward Melmed, MD writes, “Most plastic surgeons vehemently deny any connection between health complaints and leaking silicone implants.

“But I have seen a disturbing number of patients with symptoms, including fatigue, short-term memory loss, joint and muscle pains, skin rashes, disturbed sleep patterns, depression and hair loss, that clear up when implants are removed.”

He concludes, “I no longer perform cosmetic breast augmentation.”