Dear Dr. Kim,
A few months ago I started dating a charming woman who made (in my opinion) the very unfortunate choice to get breast implants before I met her. I call it an unfortunate choice because to some degree, they have ruined her natural beauty.
I don’t know what her breasts looked like before the surgery, but it left terrible scars under her arms, and one of the implants is hard and unnatural feeling. And even worse, one implant appears to not be sitting correctly, screwing up her symmetry, which science has proven is one of the main components of attractiveness.
How do I tell her that I think she needs to get her breasts fixed?
A Loving Boyfriend
Dear Loving Boyfriend,
In two words – YOU CAN’T. Here’s the longer answer.
- Is this for Her – OR YOU?
- The Golden Rule Reversed
- Some Softer, Gentler Suggestions
Is this for Her – OR YOU?
In an ideal world, people undergo plastic surgery for themselves and not for others. In fact, we surgeons always try to make sure this is the case before we operate on someone. In this case, the woman involved was single, and she chose to have a breast augmentation for herself, and not for anyone else.
You’ve only been dating for a few months, and in my opinion, you have not earned the responsibility and the right to tell your girlfriend what to do, or what not to do, with her body. In fact, even those of us who have been married for a decade or more know better than to tell our wives what to do with their bodies or even their outfits. It’s always helpful to learn this phrase early: “Yes, you look perfect honey!”
If you’re truly in love with her, then a slightly hard breast implants should not be a deal breaker to put a ring on it.
Also, your future spouse probably already knows that her single breast implant is hard. If this is the case, and she brings it up with you, you should DEFINITELY reassure her that the final decision about any surgery to change it or make it softer is up to her. You will support her, of course, but in the end, it should be her decision, or a mutual decision, and not just your decision.
The Golden Rule Reversed
Is your penis smaller than the average man’s? Do you suffer from premature ejaculation? Does your girlfriend occasionally scream another dude’s name in the throes of passion? Do you have a visible six pack? Do you have love handles?
Well, if you’re uncomfortable and unhappy about these questions, imagine being bombarded by these thoughts on a more frequent basis. Women, rightly or wrongly, are judged by their appearance more harshly than men and are already more sensitive to negative input about their bodies.
If you decide to critique her breasts, it’s likely that you’ll just end up having no breasts in your life at all. In other words, “No soup for you!”
Some Softer, Gentler Suggestions
I understand that you care about your girlfriend and that you are a good guy. So here are some suggestions on how to move forward in regards to her breast implants.
As you continue to date and grow closer, chances are that you’ll see more and more of the things that you love about her and notice her breast implants less and less.
As she gets more comfortable with you, she may bring up the implants on her own. Again, just be supportive and do lots of listening.
If she chooses to undergo a breast augmentation revision, it is still surgery and not something I would take lightly. Although it’s a shorter, out-patient procedure, it’s still another procedure, and one where no guarantees can be made in terms of outcome. And, of course, you would have to be there to support her overall decision, help take care of her after surgery, and so forth.
Good luck in your new relationship, and thanks for your questions!
Roy Kim, MD