The National Catholic Bioethics Center last week published an opinion by Tadeusz Pacholczyk regarding ethical considerations when women opt for breast enhancement surgery. Agree or disagree, Plastic Perfection? The Ethics Of Breast Implants at least digs somewhat below the surface of this issue — and comes to some interesting conclusions.
Along the way, Father Pacholczyk denounces the "digitally-enchanced," "hyper-sexualized images" of females who have been altered surgically to conform to male-fantasy-obsessed views of modern women. As he states:
…on the one hand, they are valued for their beauty and feel compelled to conform to the societal ideal. On the other hand, elective breast augmentation seems to go too far in an effort to meet that ideal. It seems to cross an ethical line by saying that women should alter their healthy bodies in very radical ways in order to conform to what is portrayed on television or in glossy women’s magazines. The escalating use of pornography among men may also be contributing to this pressure to conform to the digitally enhanced and hyper-sexualized images of the computer screen. As one woman put it, “If you have friends who gossip about your flat chest, you need new friends, not new breasts.” In the face of so many disordered and unreasonable pressures, undergoing an augmentation may even be construed as a form of unethical self-mutilation in the name of some other perceived good.
The article has been syndicated to other online pubs, such as The Philadelphia Bulletin.