Modeling and Self-Image: Navigating the Post-Explant Journey

In the world of modeling, where physical appearance takes center stage, maintaining a positive self-image can be a formidable challenge.

This struggle intensifies for models who have undergone explant surgery, a decision that can be shaped by various factors, including health issues, financial constraints, and complex emotional considerations. In this article, we delve into the often unspoken aspects of this journey, shedding light on the experiences of women in the modeling industry who have removed their breast implants.  

The Beauty Standards Dilemma
In an industry defined by stringent beauty standards, models often find themselves walking a tightrope between unrealistic expectations and their own sense of self. The quest for the “perfect” appearance can lead to unrelenting pressure, pushing some models to make personal choices like explant surgery.

Explant Surgery: Not Always a Personal Choice
Explant surgery, the removal of breast implants, is a deeply personal decision for some models, while for others, it becomes a necessity due to unforeseen circumstances. Implants can fail or cause health issues, making removal essential for well-being. In many cases, the financial burden of addressing these concerns can be overwhelming, further complicating the decision-making process.

The High Cost of Implants and Surgeries
It’s important to highlight the significant financial aspect of breast augmentation and explant surgeries. Breast augmentation surgery can cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on various factors such as the type of implants used and the surgeon’s fees. However, when implants fail or need to be removed, the financial strain continues. Explant surgery and related medical expenses can add to the financial burden, making it a daunting journey for many models.

Impact on Self-Image
The journey post-explant surgery, whether by choice or necessity, is a profound one. Models describe a period of adjustment to their new appearance, marked by physical relief as well as emotional challenges. While the decision to remove implants may lead to relief from health concerns, it can also stir a range of emotions, including self-doubt and vulnerability. Navigating this shift in self-image requires resilience and self-compassion.

Public Perception and Criticism
Public scrutiny and media criticism can amplify the challenges faced by models post-explant, especially when the reasons for removal are health-related or financial. It’s essential to foster a more empathetic and understanding society that respects individual choices and acknowledges the financial hardships some face.

Navigating the Modeling Career
Concerns about how explant surgery may impact a modeling career are valid. However, the industry is gradually embracing more diverse and inclusive beauty standards. Models who have undergone explant surgery can find opportunities that celebrate authenticity and uniqueness. It’s a testament to the evolving definition of beauty, which includes the recognition that health and financial concerns can influence appearance.

Promoting Self-Acceptance
The modeling industry, like society as a whole, benefits from promoting self-acceptance and body positivity. Models and individuals alike can take steps to build self-confidence, regardless of their physical appearance. Resources for mental health support and body positivity advocacy are readily available such as The Body Positive, Body Positivity and The Trevor Project.

In a world where appearance is often overemphasized, it’s crucial to acknowledge the profound challenges that models, especially those who have undergone explant surgery, face. This journey is deeply personal and shaped by various factors, including health, financial considerations, and self-discovery. By fostering open conversations and supporting individual choices, we can contribute to a more inclusive and compassionate modeling industry that recognizes the diverse paths models take to define their own beauty.

MOLL MAG Founder and Editor-in-Chief Ashley Salazar‘s first post explant pictorial as seen in our December 2018 issue.