Interestingly BAAPS (snort) notes that the PIP scandal does not appear to have discouraged women from electing to up their bra size. "Breast augmentation ('boob jobs') saw an increase of 13%: despite the PIP scandal, demand for the procedure doesn't appear to have significantly diminished in the longer term. Breast augmentation remains the top surgical procedure in the UK."
It's arguable that just as body mods such as piercing and tattoos are often cited as a way of reclaiming or owning your body, having surgery in order to change the way you look to match how you envisage yourself is a way of defying various powers. However cosmetic surgery does not have the defiant kudos that tattoos do - no one got a nose job to smash the system.
Even if the explanation is a 'I did it for me'...women will analyse and apologise for their motivation.
Angela Neustatter wrote about her difficulty with reconciling herself with some feminists after her surgery: "I had an eye job in my 40s when my eyes seemed to be disappearing into a reptilian layer of skin folds." Having written about the surgery and her reasons for doing it she received a predictable response: "I hadn't anticipated the personal criticism and condemnation - I was accused of body loathing - that came my way. Feminists were not supposed to reveal such feminine frailty in the face of ageing it seemed."
What's the bigger issue here? The surgery? The fear of ageing? Or the weird tic women seem to have where they feel they must justify every single action. Even if the explanation is a 'I did it for me' (which always comes off as sadly unconvincing) women will analyse and apologise for their motivation.
Speaking about the issues for women when it comes to ageingBronwen Clune said: "I want to thrash the hour glass, I have learnt as most women do, that youthâs elixir accounts for so little of who you turn out to be - a discovery so often made with dwindling sexual attention. Ageing men, on the other hand, in making similar self discoveries are elevated to elder statesmen (and their gaze turns to younger women). But older women, knowing who they are, and with things to say, feel their volume fading."
I struggle to recall ever seeing an article in which a man discusses his worries about ageing (becoming elderly yes) or how he will or won't age gracefully. No articles excusing the crisis cars, younger girlfriends or absurd hair piece.
And you know why? Because they know when it comes to such things they don't owe anybody an excuse or explanation. And nor do you.