If one tiny benefit has come out of this scandal

Jean-Claude Mas, the company’s elderly founder, reportedly told police last November that he had been concealing the material used in his implants since 1997. His PIP gel cost a fraction of the price of the officially approved Nusil gel, moncler jackets and he allegedly described it as “better”. The women who have received PIP implants, which many have come to regard as ticking time-bombs in their chests, are unlikely to agree.

If one tiny benefit has come out of this scandal – which will cause enormous distress and potential injury to so many – it has been the stripping away of glossy euphemism from the cosmetic surgery industry. Over the years, what was initially regarded as a bizarre lunacy, the stitching of a silicone bag into a healthy female breast, has become increasingly normalised, particularly among younger women.

We have got used to the sight of bullet-proof breasts that point skywards, and the cheery chat of “boob-jobs” and “double-Ds”. In the ubiquitous advertisements for cosmetic surgery clinics, and within their consulting rooms, the buzz-words are of “fullness”, “pertness” and “enhanced femininity”. (Which is clearly code for “big breasts” – except it doesn’t make sense. We can all admire a Marilyn Monroe, but no one could accuse the slenderer forms of Kate Moss, Vanessa Paradis, or Audrey Hepburn of lacking “femininity”.)

Somehow, the recent talk of PIP implants rupturing and leaking industrial-grade silicone into lymph nodes – and the sight of a removed, faulty implant spooling into viscous yellow strands like a nicotine-stained tramp’s beard – doesn’t sit well with the dream. And nor should it. For the truth is that post-operative problems are not confined to PIP implants: there is always a risk of rupture and leakage, although at least the official ones contain medical grade silicone, not the material for sofa stuffing.

A common complication after breast augmentation surgery is “capsular contracture”, during which scar tissue hardens painfully around the implant. This can be treated by the surgeon squeezing it manually until the “scar envelope” cracks open, or by the patient undergoing yet more incisions.

Feeling queasy yet? I am. Still, around 25,000 British women have breast augmentation each year, and it is estimated that only 5 per cent of that is for reconstructive purposes. They are caught up too powerfully in the dream of a better, bustier moncler jackets for men them to be deterred by dreary talk of complications.

To read the comments on chat forums hosted by cosmetic surgery groups such as MYA (Make Yourself Amazing) is to get a taster of the fizzing mixture of excitement and apprehension experienced by those who have just undergone, or are about to undergo, breast surgery.

There is talk of having diligently saved up, and detailed technical discussion of surgeons, and of sizes, shapes and brands of implants. There is a deluge of pre-op advice (in one case: “Go as big as your surgeon will let you”) and chat of post-op pain. The tone is sisterly, supportive, sometimes frightened: “I’ve convinced myself I’m going to die on the operating table… but at the same time I really want these boobs, like, more than anything.” Some writers admit that the moment they have one procedure, they are eager for another. In the quest for physical improvement, they can never be satisfied.

And then, on another website, there is discussion about PIP implants which have ruptured, the clunky, reluctant bureaucracy of removal and replacement, and the terrible worry: in these cases, the dream is already dead.

Reading it all, I cannot help but wonder what, exactly, the dream is really made from. Make Yourself Amazing, indeed. I don’t think it’s for men per se, who as husbands or boyfriends are rarely the driving force behind women’s surgery, although there may be the desire to attract male attention. I think it’s more from the conviction that women must endure painful, risky things to make themselves amazing, because they will never be amazing enough as they are.

When you think about it like that, it’s enough to make you feel a bit sad.

Garrulous ghosts in the machine

I’ve heard of a horse-whisperer, of course, but until last week I had no idea of the existence of ghost-twitterers, although apparently the profession has been practising for some time. Moncler jackets for women, cheap moncler women down jackets on sale.A ghost-twitterer is employed to send tweets while pretending to be someone else, and one of this shadowy band spectacularly outed himself in error last week.

Jason Hall, racing correspondent for a local newspaper, was tweeting on behalf of the Channel 4 pundit Simon Holt, when he accidentally made public a message intended for his own wife: “Oh and by the way, I want your hot body tonight babe xxxxx”. Cue much speculation, hilarity, and at least one very red face at Plumpton racecourse. Add to that the fact that the widespread excitement over Wendi Deng joining Twitter, and apparently flirting with Ricky Gervais, turned out to be misplaced when the account was revealed as a hoax. Finally, there was the case of Diane Abbott, who apparently forgot that Twitter is a very public forum and that when white folk aren’t off “playing divide and rule”, some of them can also read.

It’s all been a sharp reminder that Twitter, with its deceptive illusions of intimacy for both twitterer and follower, can be a slippery arena. And that perhaps there’s only one thing worse than being caught out using a ghost-twitterer, and that’s realising – once you have tweeted straight into a pile of trouble – that there is no one else to blame.

Yellow lines mean ready cash

A grim glimpse into the world of the parking warden has been provided by a tribunal for the case of Hakim Berkani. He was sacked by the London Borough of Kensington & Chelsea’s parking firm, NSL, allegedly for refusing to issue large numbers of tickets without proper cause. Mr Berkani – a hero to local residents – claimed that the parking operation was “designed to extract as much cash as possible, by fair means or foul, from the motoring public”. NSL denies the allegation.

It is perhaps unfortunate for NSL, however, that Mr Berkani’s claims chime so exactly with public perception. Most people accept the need to regulate parking, but the indecent zeal of the wardens leaves drivers feeling like carp in cheap moncler an increasingly tight barrel. Everyone has their own tale of an inflexible parking warden who smears a patina of mean-mindedness across the day, but it is worth considering the extreme pressures placed on individuals who might otherwise be reasonable.