Breast implants – will they augment your dance career?

Chances are that when you think of belly dance you think of busty women in sparkly costumes. While any women, of any shape or size, can become a bellydancer, having an ample bosom can be a desirable quantity in booking gigs.

On the flip side, I know of some very successful dancers that are not slim, young or particularly busty. When making the decision to get implants for your career you must think realistically if it is simply a matter of breasts that is stopping your progression or fame. Maybe it is simply a matter of marketing or targeting the wrong geographical area.

You may be considering implants anyway and any possibly flow on benefits to your dance are just a bonus. This article is to outline some potential benefits, but mostly covers the very real risks that are rarely talked about and are particularly pertinent for dancers.

Busty belly dancer

This magnificent cleavage is all natural and not mine!

Take a good look at where you are wanting to perform and think about if implants are what is needed. Sometimes padding can be enough and their are many tricks that can increase the illusion of bustiness.

Ok, that being said, big breasts are a commodity in Middle Eastern shows. From my own travels, it seems a super slim, young physique with unnaturally large breasts seems to be popular in Turkey. Egypt seems to have more variety in body shapes of dancers but they all are busty. An excellent blog about body expectations of dancers throughout the middle east by dancers that live and work there can be found at kisses from kairo.

If teaching is likely to be your main income you may even find that if you surgically alter yourself you may get less students. 

Particularly for beginner classes.

I have noticed a trend that more ordinary looking teachers often pull more dance students than the glamorous and more accomplished ones (unless they are famous).

Why? On interviewing several students from different schools about this, they have said that the teacher made them feel like it was possible for them to become a dancer too. It was their imperfection that was the attraction because it made potential students feel that the dance was achievable and not solely in the domain of slim, young and gorgeous.

(I should also note here, that sometimes slim, young and gorgeous potential students have no idea that they are any of those things due poor self esteem).

 

 However for some jobs being busty can certainly help and if you are hoping for a professional career touring and dancing in the middle east, this asset can make a difference.

 

Make sure that it is the boobs you need though.

Book into an experienced dancer that has done the job you are aiming for and make sure that your dance technique is truly top notch. There is no point getting yourself cut up and paying the cash, only to find no one will hire you because your dancing stinks.

Also be realistic about your health, motivation and stamina. There are a lot of gorgeous, talented dancers out there that don’t make a liveable wage out of dancing.

Consider the finances

Add these together:

Loss of income through time off dancing: According to plastic surgeon Jed horowitz, Implants will take at least 3 weeks away from your practice and performing if you heal fast. It takes 6 weeks for 80% of the muscle to heal. However another plastic surgeon, Jason Wendel mentions pain and muscle spasms can last 6 months to a year.

3 (or 6) weeks pay ……………..

Costumes: replacement or alteration of your costumes. ………………

Cost of surgery and follow ups. ………………..

TOTAL ………………..

Now try and guess how much extra money you expect to earn in the next 10 years from having the surgery and minus the costs off that figure.

Do you actually come out in front financially? It is hard to put a price on the adventure and fun of dancing in foreign countries but find out a ball park figure of those doing the same thing you are intending on doing.

If you don’t come out financially ahead then you must become clear that you are not doing this for work but are doing it for your own reasons.  Which is OK too but now you know you are not doing it as a career move.

“If you absolutely must get implants, then according to breast implant expert Dr. Susan Kolb, the safest type is the saline implant that has a smooth surface and does not have a valve. “

If it does look like you will make more money then also consider the …

HIDDEN COSTS  

Cost of ongoing surgery to replace implants and lift. This happens approximately every 10 years to minimise leaking and maintain shape. This is true even of the implants that people are told last a lifetime. If you choose not to continue getting implants you still have to pay to have them removed.

Risks

Not dance impacting

*May also result in decreased sensation in the breast.

*Interference with breastfeeding.

“evidence has begun to accumulate that children born after a woman has had these devices implanted are likely to be in poor health…with lymphocyte sensitization indices about half the maternal levels, indicating an impaired immune system” Dr Susan Kolb (plastic surgeon) . If you intend on being a mummy dancer then having constantly sick kids is really big limitation apart from being heartbreaking.

*capsular contracture

A thick scar that normally forms around the implant, called a capsule, can become very hard and may result in pain and possible altered appearance of the breast. The chances that these problems will occur increase with the age of the implant. (see ‘hidden costs’)

Dance impacting

Short term

*Risks include bleeding, infection, reaction to anesthesia, or unexpected scarring.

*The implant itself can rupture and leak, or become displaced.

Yes, may of the risks are considered rare but they do happen as in the case of a Sydney girl whose lung collapsed last due to surgery or several others that went in cardiac arrest.

Long term

* Death.  That totally wrecks your dance career!

*A.S.I.A   “ Autoimmune / Inflammatory Syndrome induced by Adjuvants”

Auto immune diseases are growing more common among women. Having had such issues myself (from a different cause) I was horrified to discover that plastic surgery can cause immunity problems, especially since I know so many people that have had it done. This only effects a small number of surgery patients however the true numbers are not known as most surgeons don’t even know about this phenomena and the patients may not realise the cause of their suffering, as average onset of symptoms is 4.5yrs after the implants or injections. The truth is auto immune diseases will be a bigger problem for your career than lack of boobage. If you can’t get out of bed in the morning, you just can’t be a professional dancer. I do know of several dancers that maintain modest dance schools while dealing with autoimmune diseases but they are very limited energy wise and must pace themselves.

*Silicon based implants are more likely to cause problems it seems. Research seems inconclusive but there have been scientific papers published showing that those with implants have increased risk of brain and respiratory cancers and suicide. , systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome and  scleroderma. A 2015 paper reviewed studies from 1961 to 2014 and confirmed the 2-3 times increased suicide risk that breast implants are associated with. While other cosmetic fillers are also associated with complications such as joint pain and lung problems .

 

By writing this article I am in no way trying to shame anyone that has made the decision to go ahead and get implants. I am merely trying to highlight an element of risk that is rarely, if ever, spoken about when I hear women talking about cosmetic surgery. Some women are happy with their choices and have noticed no side effects at all. I write this because as a female that is regularly online, I am bombarded with ads telling me to have ‘surgery holidays’ or what government rebates I can get on cosmetic surgery. Advertising designed to make me feel bad about myself and offer up their product as a safe fix for all my apparent flaws. I am sure I am not the only one getting this material sent their way and dancers , needing to be aware of their appearance, are more likely to be impacted. Unlike when implants first became mainstream, we rarely get the side-effects and issues talked about in the media any more.

In all things, I believe women need to have the full details so they can make an informed and measured choice.  Whatever you choose dear reader, please take care of yourselves and know I love you all, busty or small, natural or augmented.

❤ Jade

Stay tuned for some future articles on how to look bustier (without surgery).

Best dance related memes

Regular readers, I promise that I have written many make up reviews, tips on belly dance shopping in cairo and many other things that I just need to edit!! Since my last post I have been to Egypt, Dubai and Morocco as well as working towards my Master of Teaching Degree, so time has been a little scarce. In the mean time here is a selection of funny, inspiring and dance related memes that I hope you enjoy.

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To tan or not to tan. Pasty white skin or porcelain perfection?

Does a tan look better in a belly dance costume? Should we all be regular fake tan users or visiting solariums?

I hadn’t really thought about it until I did Michelle Joyce’s workshop on promoting and marketing yourself. She is a firm believer in a fake tan, particularly before a photo shoot. I think she said something along the lines of “…and don’t forget to get a fake tan first”. She does have a point, a tan covers imperfections and can look good in photos. Michelle’s photos are world renown and constantly being used by all sorts of people unofficially to sell belly dance related products. Sadly though, it wasn’t until that moment in Michelle’s workshop that I had thought that my skin was inadequate or unattractive in its natural colour.

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The stunning Michelle Joyce (of whom I am a big fan of). I have seen this shot used on so many websites, eBay shops, etc and now it is on mine too! Picture: Michael Baxter


As my regular readers know, I am super white. My father has really dark olivey skin. He always looks tanned but somehow I ended up with the skin tones of all the red heads on my mothers side and am lily white. I had just accepted that this was the way things were, but after the workshop I began to worry that in order to be professional I had to cover my entire body in colouring. When you are as white as I am, it can be hard to get a fake tan that looks at least a bit natural. My first attempts resulted in streaks and when I finally got it even it only lasted about 2 days before it just started to look like dirt on my legs. I simply don’t have the time or desire to reapply every 2 days! I have eventually found some products that are ok to use, they are very pale, because dark colours just look stupid on me, (I will do an up coming review on them stay tuned). I have used them to help cover unfortunate tan lines or to help conceal a nasty bruise but I am still dubious of the need for me to spray my entire body another colour in order to be considered more attractive.

I believe we can all be beautiful whatever our shape or size OR COLOUR!

I was inspired to write this after becoming aware of a campaign against advertising by Le Tan.

Georgina Bitcon of Australia started an online petition in response to advertising by Le Tan. This is what she wrote.

“Low self esteem and poor body image are huge problems facing our generation.

The Le Tan ads directly exploit women’s insecurities to attempt to make profit.

The ad contains a man saying that a woman ‘looks hot’ and then shudders away when she takes of her jacket to reveal her ‘PWS’ (AKA Pasty White Skin), a term coined by the cosmetics company to infer that to have pale skin is akin to a disorder or condition.
The campaign directly announces through the male character, and I quote, that ‘Pasty White Skin is NEVER a good look’ and ‘Pasty White Skin is NOT making a comeback’.

I have to wonder if this ad was in response to Le Tan losing profits after this successful franchise hit the big screens!

I have to wonder if this ad was in response to Le Tan losing profits after the twilight franchise hit the big screens!

As I listened to this radio ad, I was driving an 8 year old girl home from school. That 8 year old has gorgeous strawberry blonde hair, the biggest blue eyes you will ever see and the skin of a porcelain doll. I watched her reaction as a fellow ‘pasty girl’ and could see her mortification.

Young girls should not be made to feel needlessly insecure. This ad targets the vulnerable group that is young women and exploits their insecurities.

This campaign is perpetuating the low self-esteem women feel every day in their own skin. Now apparently they also have to feel it because of their own skin.”

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Say NO to…. such crappy advertising!

Georgina’s campaign was successful and Le Tan withdrew the offending ad.

Is beauty only in the eye of the advertising agency or can we reclaim it?

Around the same time that petition was circulating I also saw a spoken word video of what looked like a very fair skinned girl. While she shared her poetry her assistant removed the make up to reveal her dark skin. I searched everywhere for the link but just can’t find it – if you know the clip please post the link below in the comments. A search on youtube regarding skin colour will reveal comments along the lines of “pretty for a dark skinned girl”, and a lot of info on how to lighten your skin tone. Is it just me that thinks this attitude is crazy? I don’t think white girls should be made to feel pasty and feel pressured to tint their skin or that dark skinned girls need to feel like less if they don’t bleach theirs. My very first post on this blog was on the topic of being “not too anything” to be a dancer. I didn’t specifically mention skin colour in that post but it fits the theme.

I ask again, when are we just right? When are we going to throw away these notions of being too fat, thin, short, tall, black or white?

You are beautiful, whatever your skin colour. You are worthy, you are attractive.

Self confidence does not come from a bottle of fake tan or bleach. Self confidence will boost your dancing (and your life) in a way no product ever will.

So my love to you all dear dancers and dance lovers – we are not too anything!

 

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Beauty in all colours!

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