Archived Opinion

Say goodbye to stripper boobs

op stripperboobs“Out: so-called stripper boobs. In: a woman’s natural shape.” 

I read that sentence a couple of months ago in a Shape magazine article. It made me smile to myself because as someone who tries to be au natural, it makes me happy to know that the cosmetic breast implant trend is making a downward turn.

When I think of fake endowment, I picture Pamela Anderson running down the beach in her red bathing at the start of “Baywatch.” I was in middle and high school during that show’s prime, at the height of my adolescence when I wasn’t fat but wasn’t thin, and my confidence was on shaky ground. Watching her svelte body leap like a deer probably didn’t help the situation. 

I also think about Jane Fonda and Victoria Beckham who have been very vocal about getting implants then having them removed because they were extremely heavy and uncomfortable and made their bodies look disproportionate. And apparently, Fonda’s husband did not enjoy the foreign entities on her body.

But the heart of the matter is not a joking one. Despite a steady decline in breast augmentation for cosmetic purposes, there are still millions of women getting them and if not breast implants, they are taking pills to lose weight, having plastic surgery on their faces and going to other extremes to be “beautiful.” 

One person I always think of in terms of taking extreme measures is Heidi Montag. Do you remember her? She was one of the original girls on the reality show “The Hills.” I didn’t watch the show on a regular basis, but I would catch it here and there or see pictures on the front of People magazine when I was standing in line at the store. 

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I always thought Heidi was so cute. She had the all-American girl look. Big smile, blonde hair, doe eyes, perky personality. Then all of a sudden as she got more and more famous, she began having surgery after surgery after surgery on every single part of her body until now she looks so weird. She barely looks anything like her original self. 

But does she have huge boobs, big lips, wrinkle-free skin, a small waist, full lips, zero saddle bags and high eyebrows? You betcha! She even wears blue contacts to cover her pretty brown eyes. I always wonder how her mom feels looking at a stranger instead of the adult manifestation of her little girl. 

Anxiety over body is no joke and it often starts early in life. 

When I was 9 years old, I was sort of thick. Not fat, just carrying around some baby fat. My older sister was always the thin one. I’d never really thought anything of it until one of my baton teachers told me I needed to lose a little weight. 

From that point on, something about the way I viewed my body was slightly skewed. I swear, it takes the littlest thing for a girl to get a complex. 

As I grew older and went through school, my confidence grew in other areas so stressing about my body was never a huge issue with me. There were times in college when I tried certain diets to lose weight, but I never went overboard.  

During young adulthood, I realized I enjoyed exercising and learning about nutrition so since that time, I’ve figured out how to maintain my weight with a combination of eliminating sugar, exercising in a specific way that works for my body, and eating healthy with an emphasis on low-carb and whole foods. This works for me, but everyone has to find her own way. 

I never have been and never will be super thin, and I’m completely okay with that. I would much rather look athletic and strong. Over the past couple of years, my workout tribe at the fitness center has been integral in my education about effective fitness. Through running and interval training, I’ve learned how to stay lean and toned without spending hours upon hours at the gym. 

Nevertheless, I have many friends and family members who stress constantly about their weight and the way their body looks. I wish they could find a method that works for their metabolism and physiology so they wouldn’t have to worry. 

It’s easy to say, “Oh, hush! You are beautiful no matter your size.” And some women really do feel this way, but others do not and we shouldn’t force them to try. 

As a mom to two boys, I don’t have daughters, but if I did, I would emphasize being healthy and unique over being thin and beautiful. 

It’s fine and normal to be mindful of our body, skin and hair, but I wish more women would strive to be healthy as opposed to skinny. Unless you’re trying to be a high-end fashion model, a waif-like figure isn’t very attractive. 

But being real and confident is always in style. 

If you embrace the “healthy is the new skinny” motto, good for you. But if you are still struggling with body image, try to ignore the voices in your head and don’t compare yourself to others. 

Remember what Theodore Roosevelt said. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It’s so true.

And also take comfort in the fact that stripper boobs are out and a woman’s natural shape is in. Hallelujah for that!

(Susanna Barbee lives in Haywood County and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

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