OK, back to the "is it a sin" game. Breast enhancement surgery


#1

I’m not talking reconstruction after cancer treatment or accident repair, I’m talking elective cosmetic surgery here.

If you say it is, is the repenter required to have them removed?


#2

[quote=AkronPonderer]I’m not talking reconstruction after cancer treatment or accident repair, I’m talking elective cosmetic surgery here.

If you say it is, is the repenter required to have them removed?
[/quote]

I have no answer to your question, but I thought your choice of the phrase “accident repair” was quite funny. Does a woman whose chest is injured in an accident go to a “body shop” to get “repaired”? :smiley:


#3

It vanity, that’s for sure. Not something that builds holiness in your life, if you’re are serious about that. Also, I’m not sure if you can breast feed afterwards.

BTW, I recently cared for a 80+ year old woman, in my job as a nurse, with fake ones. They were weird looking. She was a very vain older woman, not one I could really connect with on a deeper level. There’s something sort of un-charming about a very old woman who hasn’t progressed past vanity.

That being said, I’m buying a Mini-Cooper, which is also kind of a vain little acquisition. :o


#4

Let me see, a woman gets cosmetic implants so people will look at her breasts, to make her more attractive sexually. Where is the line beteen lipstick and implants? I don’t know, but, I have lost a bit of respect for friends who have had implants put in…


#5

My take on this is that breast implants (or other permanent "enhancements) show a lack of gratitude for the body God gave us. Corrective or reparative surgery is fine, because it an act of mercy. A physical disorder, disease or injury may and should be treated, if possible. However, not being well-endowed is not a disorder! If we truly believe that God created our bodies the way He wanted them to be, it would be a sin to deliberately change them. It is, in effect, playing God.

Regarding those who have already had such procedures done, they would not be required to have them reversed. I say this based on the Church’s teaching abouts sterilization techniques, which says that if a person has been electively sterilized and then realizes their sinfulness, they are not required to have the operation reversed.


#6

I see it like this.

God, the Greatest Artist in the Universe has decided to make a beautiful work of art - you. And here you are saying “OK, now I’m going to make some improvements to this”

Sounds prideful or insulting to God, to me. How can we improve on God’s Work?


#7

if it’s against Church law to alter one’s body with contraception, even if it is for a serious reason (ie woman will die if she gets pregnant again) then it really ought to be against church law to alter one’s body with breast implants for any non-reconstructive reason - for all other reasons are stupid and vain.


#8

I know of one person who got breast implants. She waited until she was in her late twenties. She was still flat chested; she had the chest of a prepubscent child, though all the other physiologicals happenings of a mature woman. In high school and college, she was never asked out by boys and her peers (boys and girls) spread rumors about her sexual orientation and gender. She spent six years in therapy, was prescribed antidepressants, and finally attempted suicide at the age of 28.

After she got out of the hospital, she consulted a plastic surgeon and decided to get breast implants. She didn’t get huge implants, but rather ended up an A-cup. One year after her surgery, she married her “first date” and is now the mother of two.

Thought I’d share this cosmetic surgery “success story.”


#9

[quote=WhiteDove]It vanity, that’s for sure. Not something that builds holiness in your life, if you’re are serious about that. Also, I’m not sure if you can breast feed afterwards.
[/quote]

Most women who have breast implants have no trouble with breastfeeding, according to the AAPS. The type of incision used, placement of the implant, and implant size are all factors that could contribute to insufficient lactation and difficulty breastfeeding.


#10

[quote=LabChick]I know of one person who got breast implants. She waited until she was in her late twenties. She was still flat chested; she had the chest of a prepubscent child, though all the other physiologicals happenings of a mature woman. In high school and college, she was never asked out by boys and her peers (boys and girls) spread rumors about her sexual orientation and gender. She spent six years in therapy, was prescribed antidepressants, and finally attempted suicide at the age of 28.

After she got out of the hospital, she consulted a plastic surgeon and decided to get breast implants. She didn’t get huge implants, but rather ended up an A-cup. One year after her surgery, she married her “first date” and is now the mother of two.

Thought I’d share this cosmetic surgery “success story.”
[/quote]

In this case, it seems it the surgery was used to correct a defect that was truely affecting her life and was not frivolous vanity, IMO.

Hey, maybe I ought to start a poll on breast size??? :smiley: I’m a “B” myself, and perfectly content.


#11

[quote=WhiteDove]In this case, it seems it the surgery was used to correct a defect that was truely affecting her life and was not frivolous vanity, IMO.

Hey, maybe I ought to start a poll on breast size??? :smiley: I’m a “B” myself, and perfectly content.
[/quote]

I agree. For years, I understand that she was told she had poor self-esteem and that she should accept the way God made her. But I think that’s looking at the situation too naively. Self-esteem is a funny thing, I think, at times. If a physical characteristic is really that detrimental to one’s physical well-being, therapy doesn’t work, and surgery is the only option, then I see no vanity.


#12

I agree with the others; elective breast enhancement surgery is a sin. I’d say it would fall under being vain, and also that it was violating the Temple of the Holy Spirit. It’s needlessly endangering the body to death and disease to be put under for vainity’s sake. On the same note, I’d say that removal for non-medical reasons would, in fact, be a sin. There are ways to wear clothing to de-emphasize an ample chest, and they would be morally required to do that instead.


#13

I am taking a class on morality, using a book called “Catholicsim & Ethics - A Medical/Moral Handbook”. I am also going in for a consultation tomorrow for the aforementioned procefure.

On pg. 163 of this book it says in part “As for psychological considerations, if a feeling of inferiotity, a complex, or neurosis could be remedied by plastic surgery, this would not only be morally allowed but also advisable.”

People seem to be able to easily answer the question regarding implants as it pertains to women who’ve had a mastectomy, but why? She isn’t replacing a vital organ. Do you call it vanity to make a person whole again? Like it or not much of a woman’s identiy is bound up in our breasts. It separates us (visually) from men, it is an ultimate sign of our womanhood for those of us who have had the pleasure of nursing. It is easily understandable for those women for whom this is “stripped” away to feel as though such a large part of who they are has been taken from them. I ask you, is my situation so different simply because the CAUSE of my breast loss is not cancer?

I never had great breasts to begin with, I nursed my 1st two kids and lost all the baby fat and was still happy with my breasts, they weren’t fantastic and I may have joked about plastic surgery but would never have done it. But something changed after my 3rd child, after I was done nursing and after I lost the baby weight all of a sudden my breasts COMPLETELY disappeared. I feel like a freak, I feel deformed, I feel unattractive, I feel sad when I make love to my husband, I feel sad when I see myself naked, I feel something has been taken from me. I am not asking for more than what God gave me, I just want to be who I was before.

It seems too many people here are writing of what they do not know, they are letting their emotions rule instead of analyzing the situation. I’m sorry this is not the original post I searched on, but still the same point came up here as well; people saying (basically) you shouldn’t monkey with the body God gave you. They are not considering the wide array of medical procedures this premise would outlaw. If you want to say, “Well, only monkey with it if it’s to save a life.” Ok, what about the many procedures and medicines that better our health? And if those are ok, then do not mental health issues apply?

Morality is judged by the act, the intention, and the circumstances. An operation in and of itself is not an evil act, it is good or at least indifferent. And further on pg. 163 it specifies that the “general health of the person be protected from notable risks, and that the motives be reasonable and proportionate to the ‘extraordinary means’ to which recourse is taken.”

So I think that intention and circumstance go towards determining whether it falls under vanity and simply wanting to look better does NOT always qualify as that. There is a broad line between wanting to feel whole again, and wanting to appear on “Girls Gone Wild”.

Not every woman who has a mastectomny gets implants, some women get impowered by not having their breasts. But others can not handle this. I think women who are born with small breasts may (or may not) develop coping measures that will avail them better than someone who has a chest and then loses it later in life. These issues go to Temperment, a factor in judging the morality of such a decision for a person. So for people to sit here and pontificate what is a sin and what is not without knowing these factors (or enlightening others to their existence) is to me arrogant.

Short answer - breast implants (and all esthetic surgery) IS permissible. However it also CAN lead to the sin of vanity and/or other sins.

Solution - Develop a well formed conscience to help you decide if you really need the implants. If you get them continue to use your well formed conscience to govern your behavior (as in all people surgery or no) so as to avoid sin. And always keep a proper perspective on where on the scale of values esthetic beauty truly lies (again from pg. 163).

God bless!
Joyce


#14

way to bump a four year old thread haha

Good points though. I think this action is wrong if, and only if, it is done out of completely vain intentions. If you are a B cuyp, but want the D cup, then too bad. Be happy with what God gave you. If you have a serious problem like the few mentioned above, I see no problem with the surgery…


#15

Excellent point. It is for this reason that I have always maintained that cosmetic surgery, including breast augmentation, is morally neutral. If someone is doing it to cause sexual arousal in others (besides one’s husband) than it would be wrong. But I think many women do it for other reasons.

Well, according the the American Heritage Dictionry, vanity is “Excessive pride in one’s appearance or accomplishments; conceit.” It would seem that if someone felt the need for breast augmentation, that person couldn’t be too proud about her current looks, could she? Hmmm…


#16

To my mind, betting boob implants is done solely for sexual attraction, in a very extreme way. I wonder about the morals of a woman who does it.


#17

I’ve briefly read through most of these posts. But thought I’d add my 2 cents.

A coworker of mine, about 28 yrs old told us how his wife, about the same age, recently had a breast job (trying to be polite). She’s a very attractive woman, but I guess she thinks she also needs to be perfect. I can’t quite figure this one out. Anybody out there have any ideas? My friend is quite proud of his wife and always makes a point to show pictures and have us over so we can check her out. Hope not offending anyone…


#18

Are breasts solely sexual organs? It the woman’s intent is to arouse sexual desire in men who see her, then getting implants in such cases would be considered vanity or worse, but there are other reasons the procedure is done. I used to feel this was a clear-cut issue, but having read some of the experiences of women who felt the need for implants, I’m less convinced of my previous stance.


#19

I used to think that self esteem was a made up thing that didn’t really matter.

Over the years, I see that self esteem is a real thing. Lack of it can cause problems. Too much of it can cause problems.

Don’t focus on the fact that breasts are normally covered and can be arousing. Focus on what society tells women about how they should look. I am trying to lose the pot belly I have acquired over the last twenty years. I’m not “fat”, but, well, you need to lose belly fat for a variety of health reasons.

And yes, I do want to look good. Not to attract people, but because I don’t want to look BAD.

What’s the difference in buying a gym membership and working out really hard to reshape ones body? How about liposuction to get rid of the belly fat?

Are people against the fact that they are breasts that are getting enhanced, and that’s cheating? Would you say the same thing if I had lipo?


#20

I’m struggling with this subject myself. OK, time to open up lol… I am 28 and have never been able to fill an A cup and even some AA cup bras are a bit big on me. I even weigh about 25 lbs more than I should for my height and frame size. When I weighed quite a bit less in my late teens, early 20’s, I actually wanted to gain weight because I thought it would make my breasts larger… No such luck! They grew a tiny bit, but still nothing that made a difference.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t stress about it. I truly don’t feel like a woman. I am married and my husband says it doesn’t bother him (though he may be saying that to be nice). So, if I were to elect to get augmentation, it wouldn’t be for vanity purposes it would be to make me feel more womanly. I’m talking a B cup, nothing dramatic. I guess wanting to be able to fit into clothes better would classify as a vanity issue, but I don’t think that automatically makes it wrong.
I don’t know if I’m wanting to receive approval from posting this or whether I just want to get it off my chest (definitely no pun intended!)


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