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Zoo Weekly – Sharing the Love…

In the last week or so, there’s been a fair amount of news coverage on the Zoo Weekly Boob Job Competition. For those who haven’t heard about it, the mens magazine Zoo Weekly has recently offered a new competition to their readers – send in pictures of your girlfriend’s cleavage, and whoever is voted the most ‘deserving’ wins $10,000 for a breast enhancement.

Apart from this being downright illegal (the NSW government is apparently holding an inquiry, to which Zoo says that the money could be spent on any cosmetic surgery procedure – still illegal), the fact that this competition is running at all shows so much about the state of feminism in Australia, and how very, very far we’ve still got to go.

The most bizarre and disturbing thing about this competition is that it is based on the idea that women would not only love to get a boob job from their boyfriends, but have had their cleavage photographed, sent into a mens magazine, and ‘judged’ by a gaggle of men. If I ever had a boyfriend so oblivious to my right to privacy, let alone inform me my body needs cosmetic surgery, I would have to – at the very, very least – give him a good slap across the face. If men have the right to comment on our bodies so easily and publicly, does this mean we can send snapshots of their penises into Cleo or Cosmopolitan in hope that we’ll win them a penis enlargement? How many men would thank their partners for that, I wonder?

It also completely forgets the very basic idea that any cosmetic enhancement procedure is still surgery – it’s dangerous. The breast implants can leak, they don’t last forever, they need to be replaced (and, if you really want, upgraded). There have been deaths due to the fluid inside the implant leaking into the lungs or the chest tissue. Not to mention, things can go wrong while in surgery. You could have complications under anaesthesia, or the surgery could be done improperly. I’m sure many of us have seen the before and after photos of breast implants that have deflated or rejected the body. How can this kind of procedure be… winnable? Why is a risky surgery being shown as a ‘great gift for both parties’?

What do you think? Would you accept this gift from your partner?

10 thoughts on “Zoo Weekly – Sharing the Love…

  1. We discussed the issue yesterday on lip radio, and the response from listeners was the competition was sleazy and probably illegal.

    Also, had to make mention of the comment made by Zoo’s editor:

    “It’s impossible to think of a more romantic gift than new breasts.

    “It’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

    The most romantic gift? Are you serious?

  2. This is an interesting progression from reality tv shows such as Extreme Makeovers. What sort of degrading processes do contestants go through to get on that show, just to have all their “flaws” poked and prodded, and their insecurities put on display for the world to see? And how much pressure do they receive from their partners to apply? And how is a show like that legal? Oh wait, it’s Hollywood.

    In the case of Zoo, I wonder if they have to have the girl’s written consent to submit/publish the photo. The fact that the competition is illegal (in Australia) suggests to me the magazine probably hasn’t considered or isn’t worried about that either.

  3. In answer to a few things in the comments:

    Bree – I’ve read some of the editor’s comments as well. I live in a female-dominated household and go to a very left-wing school, and you completely forget, in those situations, that men still think that way. He deserves to be sacked, or at least slapped.

    Michelle – One of the articles I was reading about it quoted an academic who was saying that girls could have their cleavage photos sent in without their knowledge, so I assume that means there’s no permission needed – which is terrible for two reasons:
    1. How degrading would it be to have your boyfriend present you with the prize (if you won) and tell you how he got it? Or find out for yourself about what had happened? And
    2. Why would women agree to this? Is it more of the “Female Chauvanist Pigs” on the scene, or is it a wider movement that women just aren’t worried about having men ogling their breasts publicly and for a competition?

  4. It’s certainly an interesting issue, this whole notion of cosmetic surgery, and while I am personally appauled at the thought of winning 10,000 worth of cosmetic surgery, I have no doubt that there a females out there who would love to win a boob job.
    Our society doesn’t think about the what if’s and but’s, particularly our younger generations, ‘it won’t happen to me’ – but surgery of any kind is absolutely risky business, and the complications are many and varied. Many of which you never hear about.
    The competition we ought to run is to send in pictures of boob jobs gone wrong, or what your boobs will look like immediately after surgery. Running a ‘get even’ competition of small penises, which is a natural defense mechanism, would be degrading to ourselves as much as to the men we would feature. We should be trying to discourage ‘unnescessary’ cosmetic surgery or at least be encourging people to make more informed decisions about having this surgery. A couple of drains shoved in your chest, swelling and bruising. It’s a shame pain can’t be simulated.And that’s just the beginning of it.
    While there are young people out there having this operation, the people I tend to see having this operation the most (and I see a lot of it working in a hospital), are middle-aged, divorced women who claim to be ‘doing it for themselves.’
    Something else on a similar note that I find just as alarming is the advertisement in young womens mags and on the radio in regard to cosmetic surgery, which has been on the increase lately.

    I understand that part of the issue here is men feeling the need to judge their partners body – publicly. Any woman in their right mind would tell him to take a hike. There is nothing romantic about breast enlargement. It’s completely over-rated.

  5. i think this is completely foul. i think the average woman would never, ever get a breast inplant for their boyfriends benefit. like. how low do you think we will go?

  6. It’s absolutely disgusting. I’m so glad my boyfirend doesn’t read Zoo, and I could never even imagine him sending in my photo or even telling me my breasts could benefit from an enlargement. What kind of men are out there? And what kind of women go out with them? Jees!

  7. This is totally insane!

    Despite it just being offensive to women, it’s also not helping any girls who have self esteem problems.

    IF their boyfriends decide to send in their picture, they’re basically saying I dont like you for who you are it’s how you look and i’d prefer you with bigger boobs!

    Imagine if any young girl heard about this? A lot of them already have body image issues, now they have to contend with some brainless men’s magazine people who make it seem that if you don’t have big boobs you’re in someway ugly or not right.

    Some people seriously need a brain cell recount!!

  8. I agree with everyone’s comments so far, but I was thinking what about the impressionable men that read zoo? Not only does it show that some men have such an objectified view of women but it also perpetuates this attitude in society. A lot of really young boys read zoo magazine and if that’s where they get their image of what it is to be a man from then it’s a pretty sad state of affairs.

    But imagine if you were the guy who entered your girlfriends breasts in the competition and then found out you won! How would that even work? Hi honey listen I’ve won you a set of breast implants! Well I sent in a picture of your boobs to zoo and men all across the country unanimously picked your breasts as in desperate need of a boob job… those are tears of joy right?

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