In order to expand and reach more readers, I have moved Adventures of a Young Feminist to a new, self-hosted site! Please update your subscriptions, links, blogrolls, etc. The new site can be found at

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Breast Implications #8: Everybody Loves Boob Jobs

This is my first post in the "Breast Implications" series that was not a direct result of the research that I completed with two friends for our Women's and Gender Studies senior seminar, so it is not so much based on research as observations.

I grew up watching Everybody Loves Raymond. I was 9 when the show started in 1996, so I'm not sure if I started watching it then, but my parents definitely did. It is one of my mom's favorite shows and teaching a class on family therapy gave her a great excuse to buy the whole series of the show.

The other day, my mom and I were watching some episodes. One of the episodes that we watched very closely related to the research that we had done as part of the implications/(in)visibility of breasts project: season 4, episode 1 entitled "The Boob Job."

In this episode, one of Deborah's fellow PTA parent got a boob job. Of course the whole family had to discuss this (that's what they do after all). All of the men in the family, especially Raymond, were very interested in this boob job, showing their fascination and obsession with big breasts. Marie and Deborah, on the other hand, did not agree with the decision to get a boob job.

Later that night, Deborah asked Ray if he thought that she needed a boob job. He answered with "not if you don't think so." Deborah took this as Ray wanted her to get one but didn't want to say it. So after Ray comes back from a week long business trip, it appears as if Deborah has gotten a boob job. Ray is, of course, really excited. Only later, after Ray has told Deborah that he likes her new boobs, do we discover that Deborah has in fact stuffed her bra with socks to give the illusion of a boob job. Deborah gets upset with Ray for not loving her body the way that it is.

While breast implants are very prevalent in Hollywood, it is rarely discussed on shows in a way other than pointing out when someone gets a boob job. I appreciated this episode because it points out some of the body image issues associated with getting a boob job. It talks about loving the body that you have for what it is and using boob jobs to get attention. It also showed how men's reactions can influence women to get boob jobs. Having an unhealthy relationship with your body and your breasts along with having men admire larger breasts can lead to having surgery.

This episode of
Everybody Loves Raymond shows how perceptions of breasts in society affect how women feel about their own breasts. Society's preoccupation with large breasts leads to women who have small breasts to feel insecure and possibly get a boob job. I love how Everybody Loves Raymond handled this issue with humor and a realistic representation of how people react to large breasts and boob jobs.


RMJ said...

But what about the fact that Deborah has to essentially lie about her body to get Ray to be honest about it? That Ray's okay with her having secret major surgery?

Laura said...


I think that those things were a necessary part of the episode to show (some) straight men's obsession with large breasts and the effect that has on women.

Clarissa said...

Altogetheer, it's a very silly show that thrives on patriarchal stereotypes. In fact, it has nothing but patriarchal stereotypes, both about women and men.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin