Britney Marshall, a British 14-year-old, does not want breast implants. Despite her mother’s (?!) desperate pleas, she just doesn’t want them at this point in her rather young life. Marshall and her family recently made the pages of The Huffington Post, The Sun, and the Daily Mail for this rather bizarre twist of mother-daughter roles.
When I was a teenager, my mom complained about my clothes. “Less (skin showing) is more (appropriate)” seemed to be her motto. “Cover your midriff!” “Those shorts are too short!” “I can see your bra strap!” (Gasp!) Probably things that most teenage girls have heard over the years, whether or not they listened to Mommy Dearest’s seemingly antiquated complaints. The overall dilemma seems to be that teenage girls want show more skin and feel sexy–grown up even–while oftentimes their mothers want them to cover up. This can be either to preserve an image of chastity and modesty, or to instill in them the idea that women young and old have a right to feel sexy and beautiful, but that there are ways to do that while still presenting yourself as strong and self-assured.
Oh, the times they are a-changing.
Not only does Britney’s mother, Chantal, encourage her to get breast implants, but she and four of her daughters are the proud owners of £50,000 worth of breast augmentation. I guess more is more in the Marshall family. The Sun quotes Chantal Marshall:
Britney idolises her older sisters so we’ve already starting talking about her getting a boob job. At the moment she doesn’t really have what I would say are boobs–but I’d like her to follow in her sisters’ footsteps.
Yep. You read that right. Britney’s mother actually said that she doesn’t really have breasts. To the media. About a young teenage girl. There are a few pictures accompanying the Sun and Daily Mail articles, and I’m quite sure that at age 14, Britney is much better endowed than I am, as well as many of my female acquaintances. So does that mean I need implants as well? And all my friends?? And anyone whose smaller than a 32GG (Chantal Marshall’s breast size)?
Britney’s mother may be ushering her daughter into rather dangerous territory here. If Chantal Marshall wants huge, fake breasts, more power to her. Her breasts seem to make her feel younger and more glamorous, and it’s her right to do what she needs to do to feel beautiful and empowered. I’m not sure cutting down a developing girl’s breast size and persistently urging her to get implants is the best way to help her develop a strong, healthy self image. Girls face so much pressure from all directions to look a certain way–thin, sexy, flawless, essentially perfect–and it must be overwhelming to have your own mother push you into fulfilling that image. If Britney is like most teenage girls I’ve come into contact with, she’s probably still figuring out who she is and what version of herself she wants to project to the world. Acceptance and support would likely come in handy at this stage in life.
Britney, who has aspirations of being the first in her family to attend college, admits she’s thought about breast implants, but isn’t so sure she’s ready to jump on the boob bandwagon. From the Daily Mail:
I’m too young to be thinking about having a boob job–I just want to work hard at school. I believe a girl should do what she wants and at the moment I don’t want to get a boob job…sometimes I look at them and think [fake boobs] look ridiculous. I have a thick skin and make up my own mind.
Right on, Britney! Her cheerleaders? Her four brothers, who range in age from 15-24. Who knew adolescent boys and young men in their 20s would be the ones in the family not obsessed with breasts?
Photo Credit: madelineyoki via Flickr