for anyone who’s particularly taken with Jasmine Tridevil and her story: According
to a number of experts, Tridevil’s third boob is likely a hoax. Surprise!...
Or, y’know, not. As we’ve seen time and time again, pretty much everything on
the Internet these days is a hoax, isn’tit?
In case you missed it yesterday, here’s the short version of the story: Tridevil, a 21-year-old massage therapist from Tampa Florida, allegedly spent almost $20,000 to have a third breast implanted between her existing two. Why? First, to repel men, because dating sucks; and second, to give her a shot at landing her own reality show. If it sounds far-fetched to you, though, guess what? You’re not alone. In order to ascertain whether Tridevil’s Total Recall-esque procedure could actually be performed in real life, the Daily Dot reached out to a few plastic surgeons to get their two cents on the matter; additionally, Snopes, debunker of weird stories since 1995, found a few holes in the narrative that cast further doubt on its veracity. Curious about what points to it being a good old fashioned Internet hoax? Here are the details:
1. The results of a surgery of this nature probably wouldn’t look like they do in Tridevil’s photos.
“[I] believe 100 percent that this is a hoax that everyone is falling for. I would be happy to go on record claiming that this is a falsified story and essentially not possible,” board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Schulman, M.D., told the Daily Dot via email. Although Dr. Schulman noted that it’s “theoretically possible” to surgically create a third breast, the process wouldn’t give the results shown in Tridevil’s photos. First, you’d need to place a tissue expander under the skin between her real breasts in order to stretch it over about six months; then you’d need to replace the expander with a permanent implant. “This technique would create a tight, round breast in the center of the chest,” Dr. Schulman said. “Also, all three breasts will likely be connected because it would be impossible to create and maintain separation between all three round structures.” The hanging breast that Tridevil’s photos show, continued Schulman, “is just not reflective of what we would be able to expect from this reconstruction procedure.”
2. There are no third-party photos of Tridevil after her procedure.
Snopes points out that the only photographs we have come directly from Tridevil herself. Furthermore, all of the photos on her Facebook page were taken in dim lighting, which lends itself nicely to image manipulation. Stranger things have been created in Photoshop before.
3. Ethical issues would likely prevent a reputable surgeon from performing the procedure.
Dr. Anthony Youn, another board-certified plastic surgeon the Daily Dot spoke to, thought it might be possible to create a third breast on a patient; however, he thought it was unlikely that any surgeon would actually agree to do it. “In addition to it just being plain bizarre,” Dr. Youn said, "the potential ethical implications of performing this surgery could possibly get a real plastic surgeon in hot water with one of the two prominent plastic surgery societies, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)." This kind of trouble could lead to a surgeon permanently losing his medical license. Who would be willing to take that risk?
4. We don’t know who actually performed the surgery — and we probably never will.
No one has been able to track down the surgeon Tridevil allegedly used; furthermore, she says she can’t reveal his identity because he made her sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Dr. Schulman sees this as another red flag: “There are some other ‘rogue’ surgeons who are not plastic surgeons by training but may attempt fringe procedures such as these,” he said to the Daily Dot. “These surgeons would likely seek fame and notoriety, and having her sign an NDA would seem to go against this motivation.” Additionally, NDAs are not at all common in plastic surgery.
There is, however, one thing that Snopes might have gotten wrong: The debunking site did discover Tridevil’s real name, Alisha Hessler, which she confirmed on Facebook; they did identify the web domain JasmineTridevil.com as being registered to Alisha Hessler; and Hessler does in fact run a massage business called Alisha’s Golden Touch. However, the website they site for Alisha’s Golden Touch is business entry on Manta, a Yelp-esque site for small business, not the massage service’s official website. As such, there’s no knowing whether the Manta entry was actually created by Hessler/Tridevil herself — which means the entry’s description of the service as a “specialist in massage for three breasted women” and “provider of Internet hoaxes since 2014” might just be someone else messing with us. The official website for Alisha’s Golden Touch, which is also registered to Alisha Hessler, contains no mention of either the third breast or the possible hoax, so do with that what you will.
For her part, Tridevil is sticking to her guns: The Daily Dot reached out to her via Facebook for comment and received the reply, “My surgery was recorded and will be on my show.” Either way, though, the whole thing is a little disturbing: If it's true, either all the people involved are willing to go to absurd lengths to achieve a dubious level of fame; but if it's not, all the people involved are still willing to go to absurd lengths to achieve the aforementioned dubious level of fame, even if it means lying to the entire world about it. Neither answer sits well with me... but maybe that's just me.
What do you think? Is it real, or is it a hoax?