I cannot recommend highly enough an article in this month’s Salt Lake Magazine. It is a very educational piece on the popularity of plastic surgery among a certain segment of the Utah populace, namely, young Mormon moms.
The article is full of helpful and fun facts: Salt Lake City is a top-10 city for plastic surgery; it has more plastic surgeons per 100,000 people (six) than New York City (four); and in one report, the “highest interest in breast implants.” (It is not clear how that interest is measured: Visits to the boob doc? Actual implantations? Comments by appreciative onlookers?)
For a number of years, I have assumed that the Utah gene pool accounts for the bosom morphology of our post-pubescent females—high, hard and disconcertingly hemispheric. Now, however, thanks to the magazine article, I know of a surety that Utah breasts are the product of free agency on the part of their proud owners.
The article focuses on one successful 30-something Mormon gal, a hard-driving corporate VP and marathoning mother who, after two children, retooled her body with a breast augmentation, liposuction and mini tummy tuck. Then, following the birth of her third child, she went under the knife for a “touch-up,” consisting of more liposuction (fat removal via a vacuum stick), and a breast upgrade to “newer, more comfortable versions.”
The young Mormon mom with her hips sucked free of lumpy fat and her new and comfortable breast implants is, according to the article, the sign of things to come. In fact, more and more Mormon moms are signing up for tighter tummies and repurposed mammaries after being victimized by the ravages of childbirth and the rigors of breastfeeding. In Mormon wards across the Utah landscape, show & tell breast-implant sessions have replaced traditional Tupperware parties—the marvels of plastic surgery rather than the miracle of plastic food containers.
Everyone participating in the new boob boom rejects the suggestion that it has anything to do with boosting sexual allure and/or getting their groove back. According to a popular Utah plastic surgeon who looks like he came straight from Beverly Hills, “It’s not about having sexy breasts. They see their surgery as restorative. It’s young mothers who want their bodies back.”
Students of Mormon culture agree that the plastic-surgery craze among young mothers is a significant development with wide-ranging implications for the future of Mormondom. The leading expert on Mormon theology has recently weighed in on the burgeoning bosom phenomenon. He is Professor Wilford “Mac” McConkie, holder of the Porter Rockwell Chair in Doctrine & Animal Husbandry at Brigham Young University and author of the seminal book How Holy Is the Holy Ghost? According to Dr. Mac, as he is affectionately called by his colleagues, the current explosion in plastic boobery is an expression of a growing empowerment among Mormon women.
“First of all, I don’t agree with that good-looking plastic- surgeon fella that the sisters in question see their surgery as restorative. It might seem to be right in line with the Mormon claim to the Restoration of the True Church. The thinking might be that these gals are just asserting their right to restore their True Breasts. Just like his remark that they ‘want their bodies back.’ But they all should know already that they’ll have their sexy boobs and sexy bodies restored once they get back to the Celestial Kingdom.
“All that being said, everything always gets back to sex. There has always been a raging ambivalence in the Church about capital-S Sex. On the one hand, sex is at the very center of Mormon doctrine. Folks here on Earth need to have sex to get all the spirits from the Pre-Existence the chance to come to Earth and get a body. So, folks are OK with playing their part and using their parts to get the ball rolling for the spirits up there to get bodies down here.
“On the other hand, no one wants to call attention to how exactly the spirits are propagated up in heaven. It may seem complicated, but for eternal intelligences to become spirits, it’s necessary for our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother to engage in a bit of Holy Conjugation. Most folks don’t want to think about Our Heavenly Parents having a bit of the old slap & tickle.
“Mark my words. Now that the young moms are exerting their free agency, we’ll be hearing a lot more about Our Heavenly Mother, whether we want to or not.”
D.P. Sorensen writes a satire column for City Weekly.