Body Image; Breast Obsession in Our Homes


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The female breast is constantly subjected to physical changes during an adult's lifetime. This perfectly normal phenomenon has a purpose; each physical change in the adult female's breast assists in a particular stage of life.

The psychological significance attached to these changes is apparently greater than the physical changes themselves. Many women treat their breasts as foreign objects. Society is only too happy to play along with their frustrations. Breasts ‘must’ be larger, smaller, perkier, and symmetrical - are among the myriad of messages we get. This phenomenon is not new. What's new is the amount of time, effort, money and thought so many women spend “dealing" with their breasts. For example: women of all ages are blaming several intimacy issues, not working in their lives on the shapes and sizes of their breasts…

* Is the preoccupation with breast size a response to the media's bombardments with “enhancing breasts" industries?

* Why do so many women today lack a positive relationship with their breasts?

* What should a mother say/do when her teen daughter ask for breast implants?

* As women are trained to do breast-self-examination every month, isn't it time for women to experience an emotional self-examination of their attitudes towards own breasts?

Medium of Expression: In the big picture there is certain logic to our need to manipulate or modify the shape of our breasts. The human body has continually been put to use as a medium for the expression of cultural, tribal, or genealogical needs. There is a tendency for nations, tribes, and other groups to demand that their members reflect uniformity, sameness, in their physical appearance. Using breasts to express a fashion and a cultural statement is a new twist-not even a hundred years old-to an ancient ritual. There are health and psychological consequences to using our bodies to express fashion trends or project cultural messages. The New Family Issue: Family members play a major role in how women react to their own bodies-and specifically their breasts-in spite of themselves. Some women in this culture literally fall into a “man-made" trap. Considering the pervasiveness of this new issue; what should parents say (or do) when their teenage daughters ask for breast implants? Reliable statistics show that the number of teenagers’ consumers of breast implants double itself every year! Ever since the era in which the breast became a “status symbol, " we are facing the second generation of mothers who show concerns regarding the effects of breast-feeding on the shape, form, and beauty of their breasts. There is a need to discover and bring about a new appreciation for every woman's relationship with her breasts. Growing in our culture, they are booby-trapped… Booby-trapped is a mind-set. It is also the range of attitudes: from a preoccupation with females’ breasts to an obsession with them. How do we know if a person is booby-trapped? Examples:

* When the other person in a conversation with you, is repeatedly fixing their eyes on your breasts, rather than on your eyes… Your partner is booby-trapped!

*If a woman criticizes the size of her own bust, or compares her size to others’ with pride or envy…She is booby-trapped!

Tips for parents: Along with several other parenting strategies, body image topics are of the non-verbal communication styles. Namely, family members and kids will ‘take in’ their parents attitudes towards own bodies, regardless of what the parents express in words. Therefore, daughters will ‘buy into’ mothers’ love/hate relationships with own bodies. Before your daughter asks for breast implants; examine the family attitudes towards women’s bodies. Do you make vocal remarks as a large breasted woman walks by? Are women in the family hates their own body? Do they express it in front of their daughters? Are the men/fathers in the family ‘obsessed’ with large female breasts? Sons might identify with fathers’ attitudes towards women’s bodies/appearances by watching them reacting, commenting and criticizing women around them.

by Nili Sachs, Ph. D. Author of: Booby-Trapped, How to Feel Normal in a Breast-Obsessed World

Nili Sachs, Ph. D. is an author, a psychotherapist and a professional speaker. Her expertise is human sexuality and couples counseling. She has a doctorate degree in clinical psychology and had been in private practice for 29 years, conducting corporate and public seminars. Dr. Sachs is the recipient of Raving Fans Award by PAIRS International. Her latest book is: Booby-Trapped, How to Feel Normal in a Breast-Obsessed World. She was recently interviewed on The O’Reilly Factor, CNN fn and many live radio talk shows.

To learn more about Dr. Nili Sachs, please visit her websites at and


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