UPDATE: The Daily Dot interviewed several plastic surgeons who believe Jasmine Tridevil's third breast to be fake.
EARLIER: How far will you go to avoid getting asked out? For Jasmine Tridevil, nothing short of getting a third boob will do. The massage therapist from Tampa, Florida, claims to have spent close to $20,000 to have an additional breast implanted between her other two in an effort to make herself less attractive to men. In an interview with Orlando radio station Real Radio 104.1, Tridevil notes that she reached out to over 50 doctors before one agreed to perform the surgery. "It was really hard finding someone that would do it too because they’re breaking the code of ethics," she said.
It was also surgically impossible for the doctor to give Tridevil an artificial areola, so she decided to have one tattooed onto the breast. Her parents aren't too thrilled with her new physical change. "My mom ran out the door," she told Real Radio 104.1. "She won't talk to me. She won't let my sister talk to me. My dad... he really isn't happy. He is kind of ashamed of me but he accepted it."
But Tridevil doesn't seem to be ashamed at all. In fact, it seems as if she's gunning for an even greater presence in the spotlight. In her radio interview, she admits that it has always been her dream to be on MTV and achieve reality star status. And her viral post on Twitter makes this painfully clear:
This then begs the question: What are her motives here? People who are simply sick of dating don't go out and undergo a $20,000 surgical procedure to solve their problem. It's clear that Tridevil sees her third breast implant as a ticket to fame. And she's not alone. This stunt is largely reminiscent of the human Barbie phenomenon that has taken off recently, or the human sex doll, the newest entrant into the strange plastic surgery olympics. Thirty-year-old Victoria Wild put herself through three operations in order to transform into the living realization of a male fantasy.
While these women underwent surgeries in order to make themselves more attractive, Tridevil reportedly wanted to be less so. Unfortunately, in viewing a third breast as a way to make herself unattractive to men, Tridevil reinforces the notion that beauty is normative and different is ugly. And she, and the "human Barbie" and "human sex doll," are among many other women who feel licensed to alter their appearance to achieve some end goal. Last year, the number of cosmetic procedures in America totaled 15.1 million, with breast augmentation up 37 percent since 2000. So although Tridevil may see her transformation as revolutionary, and perhaps even worthy of D-list celebrity status, in reality she's just another statistic.
Still, it's a troubling statistic. The fact that this many people, and women in particular, feel the need to undergo dangerous surgeries in the name of beauty or fame reflects poorly on our values as a society.
So how do we squash this trend? By either speaking out against drastic, invasive beauty transformations or ignoring them altogether. So long as these women have a platform to promote their physical alterations, they will continue to do so. And little girls everywhere will continue to think of the big-breasted, bleach-blonde, lip-injected, synthetic woman as the feminine ideal.
And while I don't foresee the third breast in the middle of your chest becoming a trend, I encourage women to counteract this shocking transformation by celebrating the things that make us unique and different, from a personality quirk to a physical idiosyncrasy. The fact remains that, as members of society, we are capable of molding the conversation about beauty in any way we choose, and I for one don't want to live in a world where I have to have a G-cup for a man to want me and a third boob for him to leave me alone.