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20 February 2012

Fake boob spotting

Impostor boobs: how to tell whether those perfect orbs will stand up to the touch-test.

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Pseudomammophobia is the irrational fear of fake breasts. No it isn't. I made that up. But there should be a name for it, though.

Surely the fact that the very part of the female anatomy most intimately associated with nurturing is gradually being replaced by plastic squeaky toys should have Freudian psychologists frowning in ominous unison all around the globe.

Impostor boobs are everywhere these days. Hundreds of thousands of women go under the knife for breast augmentations annually, making them the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the world. Reality TV shows such as E!'s Dr. 90210 portray creepy Los Angeles plastic surgeons as altruistic celebrities while the BBC3's shockumentary aired a while ago Addicted to Boob Jobs follows women in the impossible pursuit of perfect orbs.

Who started this?
It was Japanese prostitutes who first had liquid silicon injected into their chests to impress American GIs at the end of World War II, long before modern breast implants were invented in the early 60s. Their current popularity is simply the most visible "gift" bestowed on us by the planet's burgeoning porn industry pandering a fetish for uber-sized hooters that's supposedly shared by all men.

Perhaps one of the scariest developments is the so-called boob jab. In a 30-minute procedure, a "hyaluronic acid filler" is injected into the breast from under the arm. Since the body gradually absorbs the filler, which is also used to treat aching joints in overworked horses (I'm not making this up!), the effects only last for a year or so. It's the prospect of road-side boob refill stations that I find particularly disturbing.

Look, but don't touch
According to British writer Tony Parsons, fakies "are not there to be fondled, kissed or felt, they are there to be admired, discussed, lusted after and photographed. The moment they are touched [...] the spell is broken. And this is true of all fake breasts, no matter how much money has been spent on this act of female self-mutilation." I guess it's not altogether surprising that the part of a woman's body that is most consistently adored, objectified and ogled by the majority of us heterosexual men would be turned into a commodity and consumer product.

In the past it was dead easy to spot fake breasts - any woman who appeared to be smuggling oranges, grapefruit or basketballs under her top was a guaranteed implantee. But the craft has improved substantially in recent times, and distinguishing fakes from the real thing is becoming more difficult. In the absence of a conclusive hands-on test, and if you're not willing to risk a slap in the face for asking straight out, curious onlookers, like naturalists of old, have to resort to careful visual observation. To this end, the friendly folks at Howcast and Playboy have provided us with this educational video: How to Tell Real Breasts from Fake. Watch and learn.

(Andreas Spath, Health24)

Pseudomammophobia is the irrational fear of fake breasts.

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