Speaker 1: That’s it.
Speaker 2: Welcome to the Waves Fleets podcast about gender feminism and body horror. Every episode you get a new pair of women to talk about the thing we can’t get off of our minds. And today you’ve got me. Shannon Paul is a senior editor at Slate covering science and health.
Speaker 3: And me Eleanor Cummins, a freelance science journalist for Wired The New Republic. And, of course, Slate.
Speaker 2: Today we’re going to be talking about the mysterious symptoms that can apparently be caused by breast implants. You might remember this issue from the nineties when the FDA issued a moratorium on silicone boobs. And David Schwimmer starred in a made for TV film called Breasts to Man, among many other cultural touchstones on this topic. From the time.
Speaker 4: A Texas physician and his young protege.
Speaker 5: Making women’s breasts larger, I’m very disappointed.
Speaker 4: Turned that obsession.
Speaker 5: Do you want to cut holes in me and stick bags of goo in my chest?
Speaker 4: It’s all right. I’m a doctor. Into a global phenomenon.
Speaker 6: You’re going to be very rich, man.
Speaker 2: If both of these events involved in their own ways. The fact that women were complaining of symptoms like fatigue, headaches, rashes from their fake boobs. The moratorium expired a while ago, but breast implant illness, as it’s called, is one of those things that every so often you’ll read about in a page six story. Some star like Danica Patrick or Yolanda Hadid having their tits taken out because of the weird supposed health effects. Eleanor wrote a great feature on the current science of breast implant illness and actually how this kind of illness affects people far beyond reality stars looking for bigger boobs. Eleanor, what got you thinking about the mysterious health effects of this cosmetic surgery?
Speaker 3: You actually already named her. My entree into the breast implant illness world was Yolanda Hadid. I’m a big fan of a podcast called Celebrity Memoir Book Club, and I loved their deep dive on Yolanda’s memoir, which is called Believe Me My Battle with the Invisible Disability of Lyme Disease. And as you might expect from something with a title like that, the entire thing is about Yolanda’s lifetime of dealing with chronic illness and all of the diagnosis she’s gotten and the steps she’s taken to try to cure these, you know, kind of amorphous symptoms. And one of the things that Yolanda decided to do was to have her implants and fillers removed because she thought they were making her sick. And it turns out that tens of thousands of implant recipients agree. And I wanted to know why. So I started talking to them like breast cancer patients, people pursuing cosmetic surgery, plastic surgeons, rheumatologists, policy experts, everyone who could help me piece together the story of this mysterious illness.
Speaker 2: Up next, we talk about Eleanor’s reporting on breast implants. Then we’re going to talk about the larger picture. So many people have access to treatments and procedures that were once reserved for celebrities. And Eleanor and I are also going to talk about our own misadventures in the world of cosmetic restorations. Stay tuned.
Speaker 2: Welcome back to the Waves. Let’s talk breast implants. The science surrounding these controversial enlargements has evolved since the strange phenomenon first made headlines in the nineties. Owners. A lot of famous women complain about breast implants causing strange symptoms like kind of hard to pin down things. What does the current research say about that being real?
Speaker 3: So I think that it does seem kind of like faddish or trendy, and it kind of makes you wonder like what’s actually going on there. The, you know, evidence is actually mounting that it’s really possible for people getting all variety of medical implants, including silicone boobs, to experience autoimmune illnesses as a response. And so the sort of working theory is that when you have a device implanted into your body that obviously causes some information because your immune system is trying to suss out what this, you know, new foreign object is. And a lot of people’s bodies, they are going to sort of level out there. Their immune system is going to accept, like, okay, this object is here to stay.
Speaker 3: But in some percentage of people, which still remains unknown, it looks like that inflammation never stops and being chronically inflamed can lead to both, you know, autoimmune like illnesses where you’re just having sort of like a constellation of weird symptoms, like people report dry mouth. People have problems with their tear ducts. People also have even issues with sort of like the pumping system of their heart and blood. Like it’s a really wide range of things as well as like auto immune disorders that actually have, you know, names and that include everything from SHOGREN Syndrome to systemic sclerosis. And, you know, these can all be pretty severe, serious illnesses.
Speaker 3: So the theory is that it’s this autoimmune dysfunction. And for the people who, you know, are, for whatever reason, kind of like unable to accept that, you know, new implant, it looks like it can get pretty hairy. And you see people, you know, only experiencing these symptoms after potentially several years and a lot of cases of that chronic inflammation. So it’s really hard for them to say, like, is this related to my implant or am I, you know, imagining things like people have a lot of self-doubt, especially because there is, you know, until recently, so little science on what’s actually taking place.
Speaker 2: Yeah. How do you even know if it’s your implant that’s causing, say, dry tear ducts or like you just have an allergy thing going on? You know, now we have COVID in the mix. How do you know that it’s your implant that’s causing the issues?
Speaker 3: I think that the problem is you don’t until you explain it, which is the word for removing an implant. And a lot of people do feel driven to do this because their symptoms are just so difficult and amorphous and strange. I’ve spoken with a few people who have planted and in some cases people felt better immediately. I spoke with one source who said that within 48 hours she was like back to her regular self. She was walking 5 to 7 miles a day, golfing, wakeboarding like it was night and day for her. For other people, though, they do plant and find that they don’t get better. And so then they’re sort of left with this decision of do I implant? Because I want, for whatever reason, those sort of, you know, silicone boob device or am I just got to sort of like live in this, like, liminal state where it’s potentially linked to the implant? And now I live in fear of ever doing that again. It gets pretty emotional for people.
Speaker 2: It reminds me a little bit of when I had an IUD for the first time or hormonal IUD. Part of my eyebrow fell out and I went to the second or third OB-GYN I spoke to about. It was like, I think the first one, it was like, that’s doesn’t have anything to do with the IUD. And the second one was like, you know, like we actually don’t know if it’s connected to the IUD. And so like you just have to take it out and see if that’s something that’s important to you. And then I took it out and then it came back. You’re like being a little scientist on yourself with, like, an equals one.
Speaker 3: And what I found is that, like, a lot of people, particularly like women who are questioning whether or not to explain the form groups and try to like talk this through. So you see Facebook communities, one of them has like 160,000 members, like a lot of people are sort of questioning and trying to experiment and figure out what’s going on.
Speaker 2: You talk about one woman in the piece who felt a bit of peer pressure to get implants after she had a double mastectomy. And, you know, oh, this will make you feel like a woman. This is how you, like, get back to normal. But then you can be peer pressured from the other direction of like this is how you make your anxiety and fatigue go away when, as we know, anxiety and fatigue can be caused by so many other things.
Speaker 3: Absolutely. And it feels like it kind of shows in a really, you know, terrible, difficult way, sort of a larger conversation around breast implants, which is that they have so much pressure put upon them. Right. They’re not simply like two blobs of silicone. They have social meaning. They have physical health ramifications. There’s these arguments that, you know, they’re sort of also psychological devices because they make you feel differently about yourself. It’s like it’s limitless. And I think that the sort of set of responses that people have had to breast implant illness just really highlights that and takes it sort of to, you know, the most extreme, intense version.
Speaker 2: Silicone breast implants, the FDA, well, kind of soft banned them in the 1990s for about a decade and a half. There were a bunch of loopholes that if you were a cancer survivor, for example, you could get them anyway. So when I was first editing your piece and reading your piece and thinking about it, I thought, you know, the FDA should have banned these for good. You describe kind of a really wild slew of things that can happen with the implants. Gelb believes just you when you take them out, there’s like your body has created a protective sac around where the implant was and that remains. And you see, you are kind of permanently changed in a way. And like my gut reaction there is like, you have to you should have banned these forever. But I don’t actually think that that’s the way to go either because of all those things you described.
Speaker 2: What do you think the right call is with regulations around breast implants?
Speaker 3: Yeah. And you take even mention that there is a risk of a very specific type of lymphoma. You can get cancer from breast implants, which is like something I’ve continually been repressing and then having to resurface as I write this piece. It’s like very upsetting when you look at sort of the totality of what people have reported. Even if this group is percentage wise, of all people getting implants, potentially small, and again, that hasn’t been scoped out.
Speaker 3: But yeah, I think that that question about regulation has been sort of needling me a little bit because on one hand, I do think that this is out of the bag. Right? Like we can’t roll back this desire entirely. And I kind of imagine that you would have a situation where people are going to find a way to get this no matter what. So doing it in the safest way possible with the, you know, best sort of like informed consent, like telling people what the risks are and monitoring them, registering the devices, like making sure that these things are tracked, counseling people honestly about the potential for explaining if they find themselves sick, like all of those things are important.
Speaker 3: But I think that this sort of, you know, emphasis we’re putting on informed consent in this context is really complicated by the fact that I think the meaning and like value that we place both socially and individually on breasts makes it hard to wonder if, like true consent is possible in terms of like these negative downsides, right? Like how can you really comprehend the risk of a of a chronic illness relative to that feeling that, you know, potentially you yourself are now intact because of this, you know, silicone implant.
Speaker 3: So I think that regulation and, you know, a total permanent ban wouldn’t have worked either. But I do think that it has to be taken seriously to the point that maybe we develop sort of alternative methods that don’t rely on like foreign devices or silicone in particular, since it does have this gel bleed issue. And then, yeah, I think it just has to be way more aggressive in terms of counseling people about what the downsides are.
Speaker 2: What really struck me about your piece is that so much of the important research into breast implant illness has been done in the past 5 to 10 years, so long after, you know, a decade after the FDA ban expired. So we’re just learning more about all of this stuff.
Speaker 3: And hopefully continuing to learn more. One of the big things in the piece as well is that like even the regulatory processes we allegedly have in place have not been fully enforced. So we’re in the dark on a lot of these things. You know, several manufacturers were allowed to bring their silicone breast implants back to market on the agreement that they would provide longitudinal studies. And those studies are now six years overdue. And, you know, the FDA sort of sent out these warning letters every once in a while being like, could you send this on? And the manufacturers. Yeah, exactly. And the manufacturers are like, oh, sorry, we are out of office on vacation again and again and again. So it never really goes anywhere. If we actually use sort of the regulatory powers that are available, I think that we could get answers faster, higher powered answers that provide more detail, you know, these things that we desperately need.
Speaker 2: One other thing that I think struck both of us in your reporting was the fact that you actually have to get breast implants replaced if you get them. It’s not a one and done deal. How often does that happen?
Speaker 3: Right now, the sort of plastic surgery, you know, advisory boards for physicians say that the kind of general length for lifespan of a silicone breast implant is 10 to 20 years. I think that some people maybe go 20 years, but it looks like a decade old sort of replacement is more common, sometimes more especially for people who are. Really concerned about the look because after your implants are put in, how they settle depends on a number of factors, both in terms of sort of your tissues, your body at the time, you know, the implant you choose. And so people end up dissatisfied and then they go back and they go back much sooner than every decade. So, I mean, it can become sort of like a part time job maintaining your silicone breasts.
Speaker 3: One of the groups I’ve been in, you know, suggests that this is a $10,000 sort of operation. And that depends right on, you know, sort of the quality of the surgeon, whether you’re doing it in the United States or you’re traveling elsewhere to get it done potentially for cheaper. But either way, you know, it’s it’s like it’s like the cost of a car, you know, or like the start of putting a down payment on a house.
Speaker 3: Right. That that goes into this. And I think that that can be also part of the sort of set of stressors that people experience when they pursue these kinds of things, is that it’s a big investment. And you kind of have like a sunk cost feeling about it at a certain point, right? Like X planting that costs a ton of money that’s not covered, you know, either in most cases. So you’re you’re really just putting good money after bad when you find yourself wondering if your breast implants have made you ill.
Speaker 2: We’re going to take a break here. But if you want to hear more from Eleanor and myself on another topic, check out our Waves Plus segment is this feminist. Today we’re talking about whether breast reduction surgery is feminist to debate. You do not want to miss. We’re back and we’re going to be talking about what happens when everyday people increasingly dabble in the world of cosmetic treatments and even just fancy cutting edge medical treatments. We know that breast implants specifically may not be seamless and easy, but what can be wrong with getting more care for anxiety and cancer? The answer is VIP syndrome. Eleanor, you wrote a great essay for Slate a couple of months ago on VIP Syndrome. Why don’t you start us off by defining what it is?
Speaker 3: I love the concept. It comes from a 1964 paper by a psychiatrist named Walter Weintraub, and he coined the phrase called VIP Syndrome in a paper in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. And he was essentially trying to describe this pattern that he had noticed where celebrities, politicians and other people with sort of a meant, you know, cultural or political power somehow routinely got worse health care than your average Joe. And Wayne, Trump’s theory was that essentially doctors and other health care providers were getting caught up in the cult of personality and taking risks for these patients that they would never take for it the average patient. So they were indulging, you know, their celebrity VIPs. They were experimenting on their VIPs and they were deferring to their VIPs on questions of medical expertise. And that, you know, as you might expect, can lead to a number of bad outcomes up to and including death.
Speaker 2: So you’re talking about, you know, a rich person coming in and saying, just give me all of the tests possible and like cut me open if you need to. And we actually know that weirdly, it’s kind of hard to wrap your mind around, but sometimes having more and more things done to your body, even in an instance when something could be wrong, is not necessarily the best course of treatment.
Speaker 3: Absolutely. And I think that, you know, he mentions a few sort of historical figures, like things that had happened to presidents or kings. But if you look at celebrity health outcomes, I have picked up at People magazine in the last 20 years, there are limitless examples there of this principle. You know, I think a lot about sort of the like documentary that Justin Bieber did on his, you know, health care journey. And basically, he was spending tens of thousands of dollars a month on these sort of like charlatan schemes and had, you know, professional doctors saying things like, I’ve seen Justin’s brain scans. I know that he doesn’t have bipolar disorder, which was the diagnosis he’d received at one point, you know, just like crazy, outlandish things when really you need good, sensible doctors who will tell you like, no, you’re wrong. And the medical evidence is saying, you know, we need to take action and not do this like diverting course, you know, crazy, expensive idea.
Speaker 6: Or you don’t turn around. I mean, look at you. Can I just address the camera real quick, please? Okay. So I am here in the doctor’s office. And what we are about to do is the nurse is going to put in a an IV and it’s called Nadi. And basically what it does is it is going to flush out some of the toxins. I have other these my body in the past and now I’m just in recovery process trying to make sure I’m taking care of my body and taking care of the vessel the guy is giving me. So here we go.
Speaker 2: Ready? Your observation that now more and more Americans have access to whichever treatments they want via, you know, direct to consumer sites like hims. And hers was just incredibly good. Like we’re we’re living in an age where many of our women’s, you know, at least the ones on the very small scale along the lines of like catching a ride or getting a meal delivered can be catered to. And that’s also the case for a lot of medical treatments. Like, you know, if you have ADHD or think you have ADHD, you can get a doctor online to tell you you have ADHD and sell you pills. I ran a piece in Slate’s health section by Christopher Watson, who’s an oncologist, talking about companies who will screen for 50 kinds of cancer from a vial of your blood, which and why that can just send you on this absurd goose chase for cancer that may or may not be a problem in your body.
Speaker 2: What are other places that you’ve observed? VIP syndrome kind of encroaching on all of our lives?
Speaker 3: Yeah, I think that really with any sort of like direct to consumer product, the VIP syndrome is baked in. It’s this idea that you as a consumer have medical wisdom. I think it’s kind of conflating like, you know, like bodily autonomy with like expertise in medicine. And so the idea is that, like, if you go to a med spa, right, you can for a few hundred bucks, get Botox, laser hair removal, which has, by the way, burned people before, quite literally horrible sort of accidents there from unlicensed, untrained technicians. You can get coolsculpting, which is something that. Sort of started me on this whole journey. It’s a technique for freezing fat away. I mean, the stuff that is becoming sort of like an office procedure, right, where you stop in for 30 minutes and, you know, leave looking completely different. Grows and grows and grows as the technology and sort of the will to bring these things to market just continues to expand.
Speaker 2: Now that we’re all little celebrities on our Instagram feeds, we all kind of I mean, using gigantic air quotes here need this in a way we wouldn’t have 20 or 30 years ago. Can you tell us your Coolsculpting story?
Speaker 3: Yes. Okay. So I was watching a tick tock, which is obviously where all health decisions begin. And I saw this girl who had this amazing pointy diamond chin. Playing back the video, the sort of before and after of how she’d done this thing called Coolsculpting. And it was going to be like 700 bucks. And so I, I sort of looked into it and I was like, wow, you really can’t just, like, freeze your fat off your face. That would be amazing. I could walk around, you know, with, like, the jaw of an animate character.
Speaker 3: And I reached out to a local med spa, like, to train stops away. And I was like, Could I get a consultation? Like, I want to know more about this because it seemed a little too easy. I had never actually went through with that because it is too easy. There are potential side effects and those are that you can actually grow more fat in response to the Coolsculpting procedure. And not only that, what comes back are these like hard, painful nodules.
Speaker 3: And while there was some research that I turned up on this that led me to sort of skip this consultation I’d set up. The thing that really brought this to people’s awareness was that it happened to Linda Evangelista, the 90 supermodel. She got called Coolsculpting and is now in a $50 million lawsuit against the Coolsculpting company because of the sort of physical and psychological damage it has caused her.
Speaker 5: It was supposed to be non-invasive, not painful, no surgery. And that expression, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is wild.
Speaker 2: I have to say, just in case anyone is like big waves at Slate.com and plastic surgery, I read this story of yours and I thought, well, that’s terrible. Maybe I could get my chin sculpted.
Speaker 5: Absolutely.
Speaker 3: It’s so appealing.
Speaker 2: The horrifying side effect you’re talking about occurs in less than 2.5% of cases. And that’s a little bit of a high estimate. So it all comes back to like this equation of like, do you want to take on that risk and you should know you’re taking on that risk.
Speaker 3: Absolutely. And I think that risk tolerance is different for everyone. I think in my case, I have none. And so that’s ultimately why I decided against Coolsculpting. And yeah, I think that like the thing that has been sort of the side effect of all of this direct to consumer stuff is that those details get lost very easily, right? Because it becomes about promoting a product rather than really rigorously educating a patient on the potential side effects of a procedure and having that conversation about whether or not those at risk you want to take on.
Speaker 2: Right. What do you go to a med spot? The person there isn’t looking at your overall health and well-being. They’re there to evaluate you for one particular treatment. So, you know, I would imagine that a responsible plastic surgeon would say, of course, I turn patients away. Of course, like patients come in and decide not to get this procedure. You have a real doctor evaluating you and, you know, in some sense really looking after your well-being. But they’re there to sell a small handful of products.
Speaker 3: The conflict of interest there is just, I don’t know, a huge red flag, if nothing else. Right. I think that when you’re entering into a situation where even somebody with like the M.D. behind their name is selling you something, you have kind of gone through the looking glass in terms of the kind of like medical to like cosmetic divide. And yeah, I think that’s really hard to navigate and something that we’re not really talking about all that much. I think that because it is something that disproportionately is important to and affecting women, there’s not a lot of like philosophizing on this topic. You know, we don’t have a great set of, you know, sort of ideas to work from in terms of like the the risk reasoning, the moral reasoning. Like this is just, you know, every every woman for herself. We’re sort of at sea with these things.
Speaker 2: These companies, whether they’re selling beta blockers or syringes full of juvederm, like to tout the fact that they’re making these cosmetic and medical treatments more accessible to people. And on the one hand, that’s true. And on the other hand, like.
Speaker 3: I totally know what you mean. What is Equity’s role in a conversation about something that is completely elective? Right. You know, in a lot of these cases or in cases of prescription drugs, if someone is, you know, sort of self diagnosing and has not been sort of adequately treated, doesn’t have access to therapists who can talk them through and guide them through. This doesn’t have access to a psychiatrist who could actually listen to them and sort of tailor, you know, a medication plan like those are the issues of of access, right? The barriers to to that like system that actually, like, holds you in place and at least attempts to keep you safe. And so to say that, like, yeah, you’re creating access to like access to the Wild West, like, I don’t know that I, I want or need that. And it does really just feel like this kind of corruption of like a broader health equity conversation and sort of repackaging and commercializing and girlboss.
Speaker 3: The whole thing, there is something to be said for sort of convenience and for sort of the, the like rigorous, safe, regulated telemedicine that we’ve seen in the pandemic. And I think that those can still be understood to be really distinct from, you know, sort of profit motivated doctor talking to you over the, you know, Roman portal about how to get drugs. And I think that, you know, those lines can be hard to draw on their ever shifting, but we have to keep talking about what they are if we want to have the best shot at being, you know, truly safe and healthy consumers and patients.
Speaker 2: Before we head out, we want to give some recommendations. Eleanor, what are you loving right now?
Speaker 3: I am obsessed with Cotopaxi, which is a sort of outdoor brand. I have a Cotopaxi backpack. Cotopaxi fanny pack, Cotopaxi overcoat. And I’m looking for more. And what I have to say, I just sort of recommend more generally about it, is that it’s all colour blocked and the colour blocking is random. Like on these products you sort of you can roll the dice in some cases you maybe get to pick, but most of the time you’re just saying, I trust Cotopaxi to send me something I really like. And it’s so much fun to like have like, you know, 15 colour fanny packs show up in the mail. So I highly recommend a little serotonin boost in the form of a brightly coloured Cotopaxi object of your choice.
Speaker 2: And their logo involves a llama.
Speaker 3: Yes, it is adorable to wear around your little colorful fanny pack with your little llama on it.
Speaker 2: I am going to recommend perfect Bars views are an energy bar or that’s what their label does. Really. It’s just like a block of peanut butter and honey in a rapper and I run a lot. I’m going to be training for a marathon soon and about to enter that phase where I feel like I cannot get enough calories into my body at any given time. There’s something like 340 calories, so that’s great. They have 17 grams of protein.
Speaker 2: I recently was reading Lift Off by Casey Johnston, which is a e-book on how to get into lifting. And I wanted to do a little bit of weight lifting to supplement my running. And I realized not only was I not getting nearly enough protein for someone who’s an athlete, I’m not getting enough protein for a human woman. So these insanely caloric blocks of peanut butter are helping me on that journey.
Speaker 3: And it sounds delicious. I’m in the market for a new bar, so I think I’ll take you up on this.
Speaker 2: It is really good. It’s it’s kind of like its most fabulous PowerBar that I’ve ever if that is a point in its favor. They do need to be refrigerated, but they can be out of the refrigerator for up to a week. And depending on how cold it is when you eat it, it’s like a different it’s a harder or mushy consistency.
Speaker 3: It’s like something new every time. I love that. And Fudge Fudges Fudgy is definitely a pro.
Speaker 1: But that’s.
Speaker 2: That’s our show this week. The Waves is produced by U.S. and Iran.
Speaker 3: Shannon Polis is our editorial director. Alicia montgomery is vice president of Audio.
Speaker 2: We love to hear from you. Email us at the waves at slate.com.
Speaker 3: The waves will be back next week. Different host, different topic, same time and place.
Speaker 2: Thank you so much for being a Slate Plus member. And since you’re a member, you get this weekly segment. Is this feminist? Every week we debate whether something is feminist. And this week we’re talking about breast reduction. Going in the opposite direction from breast implants. Eleanor, is breast reduction feminist?
Speaker 3: Yeah, I think it absolutely is. I come at this from a perspective of having heard a lot about people who feel like it really changed their sort of physical health, that they felt like they were, you know, being sort of weighed down or having, you know, like truly like sort of physical symptoms in terms of, you know, having to to carry around really large breasts. And I think that that sort of like liberatory, you know, kind of physical freedom is something that we can all get behind. So I’m curious, Shannon, what you think?
Speaker 2: Yeah, I think that like in one sense, I really agree with that argument. That was also the argument that writer Melissa Febos made in The New York Times a month or two ago in an article titled The Feminist Case for Breast Reduction. She basically concluded that like women get plastic surgery, including breast reduction and like it and feel very like, you know, personally liberated by it.
Speaker 2: I actually have a different view, though. I got breast reduction when I was. Oh, pretty much. And. To me, the reason why I got a breast reduction was because I was getting a lot of harassment for my boobs. I was a runner. Finding the right sports bras was difficult and expensive, and basically I felt like the world is not made for big boobs and I need to adjust my body to to fit better into that world, like, quite literally. And so I think that getting a breast reduction is a perfectly fine choice to make, but it’s kind of like using any other tool to survive in a world that’s not made for you. In a truly feminist world.
Speaker 2: I think we wouldn’t need breast reduction surgeries at all. We would have clothing that fits big boobs. And this goes along with the fact that we’d have clothing that works well for plus size people, period sports bras but accommodate big boobs wouldn’t be so absurdly expensive. I spent $70 on a sports bra the other week. I still have above average size boobs and we wouldn’t harass women with it. So I think it kind of comes down to like an individual versus a systemic solution to a problem.
Speaker 3: No, definitely. And that makes a lot of sense to me. I’m like very it’s very frustrating to hear about that experience. I’m sorry that you went through all of that and then still come out on the other side. It’s being sort of like marginalized in terms of like having literal struggles doing the thing you love to do in terms of running, because there’s just sort of this refusal to design better for, you know, the true variety of body types out there. I agree with you that it would be great that the feminist sort of vision for the world is one in which you can have big boobs. And I think that there would still be a place for the possibility of breast reduction, just simply not one that you’re shamed into, but because it feels like a, you know, proactive decision that you need to make for whatever sort of, you know, kind of like physical health or other reason that appeals to you.
Speaker 2: It’s so funny because even as you’re saying, like, Oh, I’m sorry you had to deal with that, I have this like visceral reaction of like, it’s totally fine. I’m a strong woman. I have the tools available to take care of it because labs background to like having the tools available is feminist question mark.
Speaker 3: Yeah, but definitely it just like nobody should have to undergo a surgical procedure because of other people harassing them. Like that’s so upsetting. And in any other context, right, like the breast reduction conversation has changed so much recently and I think has become yeah, sort of like feminist cause and something that is more sort of proactively offered to, to people it seems. But it is one of those situations where, yeah, it’s, it’s obviously not a perfect solution and has to come with sort of a wider acceptance of, of big boobs and, you know, boobs of all types.
Speaker 2: Is there something you’re dying to know if it’s feminist or not? We would love to hear from you. Email us at the waves at Slate.com.