As a web-writer, I do browse through my website stats from time to time, and lately I've noticed an interesting search phrase popping up: free breast implants (or free boob job or free breast augmentation...you get the idea). My first thought, of course, was "What makes anyone think they are going to find a doctor offering free implants?"
But now, thanks to a BBC America documentary called 100 Men Own My Breasts (formerly titled My Free Boobs), I have learned about an astonishing way some women are "earning" their breast augmentation surgeries. They use the internet to find men willing to buy their implants for them (or to at least "donate" a little something toward their cause). This phenomenon has been likened by its creators to an online charity fund-raiser for flat-chested girls.
How does this work, you ask? It can all be traced back to the boobies-for-credits website, MyFreeImplants.com. (Actually, I have a feeling it can be traced back to strip club patrons financing their favorite dancers' "improvements"...but alas, here we are in the internet age.)
The website works like this:
A woman creates a profile, including photos, to entice donors to want to send her messages and communicate with her through the site. The donors buy credits to be used toward said communication. More credits can be used by the donor to request "custom" photos and/or videos (i.e., wearing a certain requested outfit) from the ladies. The credits are deposited into the lady's account (minus the website's cut, of course). When she has enough for her procedure, the funds are transferred directly to the doctor of her choice, to assure the funds are used for the intended purchase. The lady may choose any board certified doctor to perform her procedure, though the site does offer a list of "approved doctors".
Though I couldn't find proof of any legal obligation to do so, it does seem that the recipient is expected to post "after" photos once her procedure is complete (along with a nice "thank you" to her donors). In short, the women get free implants while the men get photos, videos, and online chat.
I'm not here to judge, and maybe it's just me, but the whole thing seems a little seedy. I might be a cynic, but I'm thinking the men who visit these sites are looking for a bit more than a smiling snapshot and "How's the weather?" conversation.
On the other hand, if a woman is interested in getting her implants paid for in this way, I guess it's no different from the same woman earning money as a webcam girl, nude model, or exotic dancer, and then using the funds for this purpose. Either way, there is almost always a (ahem) middleman involved.
The difference here is that the funds are earmarked for a very specific (enforced) purpose. In fact, if the girl decides to leave the site before having her procedure, or chooses not to have her surgery, she forfeits all credits earned. Her donors can then simply transfer their credits to another lady of their choosing. After all, every charity must have fiscal oversight. Nobody wants to see unsuspecting donors' money going for something frivolous like the recipient's rent or food.
I must insert my disclaimer here: Neither About.com nor I, your About.com Guide to Plastic Surgery, endorse the above-mentioned website or other websites like it. Each person makes his or her own decisions about whether or not to have plastic surgery, as well as how they will finance it.
That having been said, if you are considering breast augmentation or any other cosmetic procedure, but are not interested in becoming involved in this type of tit-for-tat (pardon the pun) arrangement, I give you this article describing more traditional ways to finance plastic surgery.
And now I'm off to go search ebay to see if I can find women selling ad space on their cleavage to pay for their implants. I'll be shocked if I don't succeed.