The Real Story On Fake Boobs

Michael Estrin Columns, Lawyer 40 Comments

Law professors won’t tell their female students this, but one method some women use to get ahead in the corporate world has nothing to do with grades, professionalism, or hard work.  Just fake boobs.

In a recent Bitter Lawyer poll, 58 percent of those asked said that implants could only help a woman’s career, the remainder of respondents were split on the matter. Just over 23 percent of those polled said such cosmetic changes were “irrelevant;” nearly 20 percent thought it was “career suicide.”

In this cramped job market, women boosting their looks to compete is now a trend. Looks play a role. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there were about 355,000 breast augmentations performed in the United States last year.  A significant percentage of these patients were, in fact, female lawyers—or at least that’s what the plastic surgeons we consulted told us. While no doctor would identify their patients by name, they all confirmed “a decent percentage” of their clients were lawyers.

While the idealist in all of us would like to believe that law firm life is a meritocracy, anyone who has ever worked a day as a lawyer knows that the word “fair” seldom enters into the conversation when it comes to assessing the skills and attributes of an associate.

Not that there’s a BigLaw swimsuit competition. There isn’t.

Document and Breast Review

Professor Laura Triplett, who teaches courses on the social implications of appearance at California State University, Fullerton, says an attorney with implants will see a reaction from their employers, and that reaction is likely to be positive, though not necessarily overt.

According to Triplett, a variety of factors come into play when measuring the impact of a woman’s appearance on her workplace success, but the most prominent variable is the gender of the supervisor.  (Big surprise.)

“Women who have male employers are going to experience a far more positive impact from having breast implants in comparison to women who have female employers,” Triplett explains.

But if BigLaw’s male-dominated culture makes for a more positive reception of women with breast implants, many plastic surgeons who perform the surgery on female lawyers say the sight of surgically enhanced breasts has little to do with their positive reactions.

“The majority of professional women, including lawyers, who get breast augmentation surgery, really don’t want anyone at work to be able to notice,” says New York-based plastic surgeon Doctor Matthew Schulman. “For professional women, it’s much more about their own satisfaction and the satisfaction of their partner.”

And by partner, Schulman doesn’t mean the managing partner. In fact, he says, if done properly, coworkers aren’t likely to notice a woman’s breast augmentation at all.

Female attorneys who get breast augmentation tend to be older women who are keen to recapture their former figure. Doing that right, Schulman says, is often about working with smaller sizes. To further conceal the surgery, women typically hide behind workplace attire, which tends to leave nearly everything to the imagination.

So if nobody notices, why do it? And more importantly, how does it help?

Inner, Bigger-Boobed Beauty

It all comes down to improved self-esteem, according to plastic surgeon Dr. Sharon Giese, who says that professional women tend to go up only by a single cup size, compared to non-professional women, who can be counted on to enhance by two sizes or more. The reason, Giese says, is that one size is enough for most women to achieve an improved sense of self, and that is often what drives their workplace success.

In other words, if she feels sexy, she’ll be more confident (in the bedroom and at work), and success will likely follow.

In a study conducted by the University of Florida, researchers found that there is a positive link between a woman’s self-esteem and how she feels about her breasts. So does that translate into workplace success?

The answer is yes, according to “Denise,” who spoke to Bitter Lawyer on the condition of anonymity.

“As I got older, I grew less confident,” Denise says. “When I got breast implants, I just felt better about myself, and I think that had a positive impact on all aspects of my life—especially work.”

Chicago BigLaw associate and Bitter Lawyer’s own Law Firm 10 is no stranger to opinions on women in professional legal settings. She agrees that a little enhancement can go a long way.

“Everything in life—both inside the workplace and out—comes down to aesthetics and appearances,” Law Firm 10 comments. “Women lawyers don’t pay enough attention to making themselves look aesthetically pleasing. So if a subtle breast enhancement would make a woman feel better about herself, she should go for it.  If it’s done tastefully, and therefore isn’t obvious, then it doesn’t matter whether the woman is a Supreme Court justice, a fourth-year associate or a soccer mom—go for it. It will positively affect their overall appearance.”

Check Out These Bombs

When the line between an “improved sense of self” and “too much of a good thing” is crossed, it can be a disaster.

According to a staffer at a major Los Angeles-based law firm, one female lawyer who “went too big” with her implants attracted unwanted attention from the entire office. “It was the talk of the firm for a month,” the staffer told Bitter Lawyer, and neither the silicone nor the gossip really helped that woman’s career.

Or consider the case of “Donna,” a high-powered auto executive who made the mistake of getting noticeable implants.

“I went from being the boss lady to the busty lady,” Donna says. “My male employees no longer took me seriously. I never thought that changing my appearance would have such an effect. I told no one at work about my surgical decision. I did this on my vacation time. I came back to work wearing the same clothes as before—nothing revealing—and you would have thought I showed up in a g-string and changed my name to Bambi. I got whistles, leering stares, and asked out on dates by both the single and married men that I worked with. In an age of no tolerance for sexual harassment in the workplace, you would think that these guys would have kept their comments to themselves. WRONG!”

And if men can’t resist bold gestures, reactions from female colleagues can be just as judgmental.

“Anything that looks good on Kendra Wilkinson doesn’t belong on the chest of a woman who regularly appears in a courtroom,” says Law Firm 10. “The key is judgment. Lawyers are expected to have impeccable judgment. A woman lawyer with noticeably fake breasts is just as bad a male lawyer with stains on his shirt—neither is exhibiting good enough judgment about something as simple as their appearance, so why should they be trusted with sophisticated legal work?”

But Donna doesn’t regret her decision. In fact, she says her new breasts have given her increased confidence. Of course, she’s also moved on to another job where nobody knows about her surgery. That confidence is now of indeterminate origins, as far as her new coworkers are concerned.

Fake Racks on Career Tracks: Boost or Bust?

So do fake boobs really help a woman’s career? The answer looks to be yes, but as is so often the case, it’s not what you think.

With the exception of those courting sexual harassment suits, male lawyers aren’t likely to assign interesting work, give credit or pay large bonuses to a woman just because she has a great rack. But all of those rewards do go to people who exhibit confidence, and men and women build that quality in different ways.

Which means that a lawyer considering implants shouldn’t ask how they would help her career; she should ask to what extent her perception of her own sex appeal drives her confidence. And if any of her male colleagues ask her about her breasts, she should paraphrase Seinfeld and reply, “They’re spectacular.”

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  • BL1Y

    Could have used a few more pictures, but otherwise this is definitely one of the better articles from this site.

  • Bill Dugan

    A word to the wise:  Men prefer the real thing.  Personally, I’d rather bang a flat chick and spend most of my time downstairs then waste my time upstairs with a broad with fake balloons.  If the girl has bogus boobs, they’re hard and unnatural and it’s like playing with 2 hard lacrosse balls.  Thanks, but no thanks.

  • BL1Y

    A word to the Bill Dugan: Not all implants are the same.  The is a huge range in quality, and better implants will be pretty undetectable (even when touching them).  But, like the article says, it can do a lot for a woman’s confidence, and confidence is sexy.

  • Craig

    For maybe the first and last time, I actually agree with Dugan. Nothing beats real, no matter how good the “fake” ones are. But after listening/watching countless hours of Howard Stern, I have learned many women do it for themselves, and could care less what guys think.

  • Anonymous

    Educated men find a woman with confidence sexy.  Women, on the other hand, do not.  Nor do they like woman who better than they do.  Deep down, it’s jealousy.  So I can’t imagine fake breasts would really be that impressive to female co-worker.

  • c_broski

    i also prefer the real deal over fake-uns. any time i meet a girl with fake breasts, a giant red flag immediately goes up. even if fake ta-tas can temporarily alleviate a woman’s self-esteem issues, they’re more of a band-aid and not a panacea. in fact, the best quip on fake breasts i’ve ever heard actually came from a stripper, who said anytime someone she knows is considering getting the surgery, she tells them the money is better spent on therapy. perfect advice. the only time i feel it’s justified is if there is some kind of deformity or for reconstruction after a mastectomy, something like that. otherwise, keep your a cups and understand that many, many guys vastly prefer them over fake c cups.

  • Anonymous

    Fake is better. Real boobs sag.

  • Wilbur Moore

    I went to school with a girl who looked good.  She then had 4 kids and her boobs sagged.  So she got a boob job and now it looks like she has a couple of hard grapefruits on her chest.  She did it for self esteem, but I don’t think it worked.  She’s still a needy beeotch, even if she has nice breasts.  I also go with Dugan.  I’d rather be with a flat chick than one with a boob job.  Either way, Im interested in straight intercourse, not the preliminaries.  II also think my friend lost some sensation in her boobs, so what’s the point.

  • Anonymous

    Has Dugan ever seen boobs? Fake or reel?

  • Alma Federer

    You men disgust me.  Why my or any other women’s boobs are the subject of a legal periodical is beyond me.  If we choose to fix our bodies, that should not be a matter for you slobs to discuss.  We don’t have a colloquoy when you men decide to lengthen your schlongs using the Egyptian Finger, do we?  And BL1Y and Dugan hardly qualify as experts under FRE 403.  Now BL1Y likes men and women?  This is way too complicated for me.

  • Anonymous

    You disgust all of us.

  • BL1Y

    Alma: The male equivalent is not penis augmentation (hint: your boobs are not your reproductive organ), but muscle implants.  Not sure where you got the idea I like men from.  Was is that I thought the author did a good job with the article?

  • Bitter2L

    Alma: I am just happy these men realize that small real boobs are better than fake ones.

  • BL1Y

    Bitter2L: I think the more interesting debate is between sagging real ones and perky fakes.

  • jeanette

    I wholeheartedly believe that looking too sexy or too beautiful can harm a young woman lawyer’s career.  You want to be attractive and well-groomed, but you don’t want the men to think of you a sex object.  I think that looking too sexy will cause men to underestimate your intelligence.  In this respect big boobs would be a huge liability. 
    However, for older women it’s probably reversed:  implants might restore a youthful look, rather than an overtly sexual look, and this might be favorable for the career. 
    Of course, I don’t agree that any of this should matter, but there you go.

  • Jessie

    I think it can help if it’s done tastefully. Although I think boobs that are too large or distracting can work against you – especially in a professional environment.

  • kentuckyliz

    Fake boobs sag too, as your collagen breaks down and the scaffolding collapses.  My bff couldn’t get a guy to buy her implants until she was in her mid 30s, just in time for the scaffolding to go.  Now she has low hanging baseballs.  She looked a lot better flat.
    You can have a rack lift of your natch ones.  No implants necessary.
    As a breast cancer survivor, I really detest breast implants.  They hide underlying cancers especially from early detection.  So once a breast cancer is found behind an implant, it’s far more advanced.
    Guess that’s ok if you think having one more bump up in cup size is worth trading your life for.  G’ahead.

  • New Associate

    I haven’t had breast implants, but I have had other plastic surgery.  No one noticed, not even my closest friends, but I noticed, and that’s all that mattered.  I immediately had more self-esteem and confidence, and that translated to every aspect of my life.  As long as women are not going “too big” as the article warns or just doing it to get attention, I don’t think there’s any problem with it.

  • Alma Federer

    I still am aghast that all of you losers feel the need to comment on women’s breasts.  Breasts are one part of a woman, and what is most important is a woman’s brains.  It is what is between a woman’s EARS that define her.  You slobs who’s brains are between your LEGS look at breasts as some kind of dessert.  Women should not put up with men who focus on their breasts.  Remember, its our minds that matter.

  • anonymous

    Following the winter break of my 1L year, about three of my female classmates came back the next semester with massive implants. It was very noticeable and kind of pathetically funny, but it was probably a very good career move. They all picked up summer associateships, despite mediocre academic performance. The key may be to get the surgery done before you are established in an office environment where people are likely to judge you. Sure, your classmates might notice, but they aren’t going to be giving you a job.

  • Ex-BigLaw

    I worked with a junior associate for a while who was, er, amply endowed and displayed cleavage at work regularly.  She was also generally pretty hot, and fun to hang out with outside work.  Unfortunately, it seems she had grown accustomed to men giving her a pass on subpar work product because of this, and as a result, I consistently had to pick up the slack and make up for her sloppiness.  She was nice to look at, but in the end, that won’t get you picked for a project where I need someone I can count on, and I started looking for other associates to handle my projects – nice tits will only get you so far.

  • Observer

    Could it be that too many female lawyers have watched the movie “Erin Brokovitch” and said “Why not!” ?

  • Some Guy

    Breast implants are repulsive.  As an employer, the impression they give me is of someone with poor judgement, major self-esteem issues, and low intelligence.
    I might hire someone who had them, but only if their qualifications were truly outstanding.  As for dating, I wouldn’t consider going out with a woman with fake breasts, and if I woman I was involved with were to get them, I’m sure I’d leave.

  • Anonymous

    Bigger = better. Don’t hate the fakes.

  • Archelon

    Alma, sweetheart, why so bitter?  It’s like offensive and vulgar TV–you can just change the channel.

  • Ace in the Hole

    Good implants are a thing of beauty and most guys knocking ‘em have never tried ‘em.

  • Alma Federer

    Archelon, I get worked up b/c hardly any of the other women have the nerve to speak up.  What difference does it make with a woman’s breasts how she performs at work?  Lawyers are not pole dancers, and we think with our heads.  If a woman has small breasts should not make a difference, then so too should a woman with large breasts, or fake breasts.  Our breasts are for our self-confidence, not for you men to drool over or otherwise criticize.  You don’t see any posts on this website relating to penis size, do you?


    Gee…beautiful women get ahead while ugly ones…don’t…no wonder ugly women love feminists.

  • Bitter2L

    Bigger does not equal better, smaller are usually more sensitvie. And I am still of the opinion real are superior for the same reason. Don’t men care about sensitivity!

  • James

    Duh! nice boobs get attention! from both sides of the asile! What am I missing here?

  • Man

    Two words. Sabrina Sabrok (do a google image search). Anything less & we are not interested. Why can women want tall, dark & handsome, but men are judged for wanting blond, busty, & gorgeous. If a man was handsome like Tom Selleck, charming like Tom Selleck, wealthy like Tom Selleck, but 5’4” rather than 6’4” like Tom Selleck, woman would not be interested. (honest woman). Bigger is better. Huge is great. These woman who can’t understand why men like huge, round, perky & perfectly shaped breasts (with no bra) are most likely jealous, prudy, unattractive feminists. By the way….. We don’t care how they feel or how sensitive they are. How many guys have felt Pam Anderson’s breast? A few. How many have stared at them? Every red blooded American Male. Again…. Sabrina Sabrock, Nicole Coco Austin, Pandora Peaks.

  • LawyerLovestheFakeOnes

    Ummm first off, why is it that women with real breasts need to say why theirs are better. I have big fake boobs and frankly I think they look awesome and feel awesome (and contrary to what some say, are quite sensitive) I am not hating on your real breasts so stop hating on my fake ones! lol I mean c’mon people – everyone can appreciate a nice pair of tatas!

  • Man

    Right On LawerLovestehFakeOnes!!!

    By the way……How Big?

  • Jim C.

    I think the line of boosting your self-esteem or the like is complete BS. It’s just a matter of your not having to be concerned with people’s negative judgements due to your appearance. You’re not really smarter, harder-working, more successful.
    I’m not against improving your appearance like this. As stated, we don’t live in a perfect world. The practical, fundamental reality is that, right or wrong, appearance matters. Let’s just call it for what it is: changing your appearnce to avoid people’s prejudices.

  • Dreamer

    Why can’t men get a fake penis that lasts for more than 5 minutes.

  • BL1Y

    I don’t recall this coming up in the first round of comments (and I don’t feel like reading them all).  The issue for many women isn’t about breast enlargement, but rather other types of enhancement (shape, perkiness, etc).  Perky, firm breasts tend are more likely to naturally occur on younger women, and our brains have not really evolved much since plastic surgery was invented, so a woman with such breasts will appear younger.  On a woman in her 30s or early 40s, such augmentation could make her look more youthful, which will suggest that she may be a better attorney.  No one wants to promote a senior associate or junior partner who looks burned out.  Breast augmentation may give the appearance that the woman is still energetic and will be able to sustain a long career at the firm.  Just consider the male partners in your office.  Who do you prefer to work for, the fit guys with a full head of hair, or the guys who look like they have just Chosen Poorly?

  • Disgusted3L

    Both this article and the male responses to it are just more proof that women still aren’t respected unless we’re considered fuckable by a man. Flat, large, fake, real, we’ll get shit from some quarter of penisdom no matter what. Hey, who cares if we win the case and bring in business! In the end it’s still all about how well our appearance serves the desires of men.

    • Jerry

      If you are smart that’s the best. If not, you are right if you have useful orifices. You still have a leg up on dumb guys , because straight men go for women! Duh!

  • Deja

    I can’t believe I wasted my time reading any of this.

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