Why The “Third Boob Lady” Hoax Is Still Incredibly Compelling
Surprise! We made a dumb internet prank about feminism.
#3Boobs #MTV pic.twitter.com/pzAkrsTYpz
— Jasmine Tridevil (@JasmineTridevil) September 15, 2014
Yesterday the story of Jasmine Tridevil, a Florida woman who reportedly had a third breast augmented onto her body through plastic surgery, went viral all over the Internet. It’s totally made up, of course, but something about Tridevil’s made-up reasons for getting the made-up surgery rang surprisingly true for us.
Tridevil’s tale first picked up steam outside of Florida (because where else would this happen?) when she appeared on a morning radio broadcast with Real Radio 104.1 in Orlando last week, claiming she’d spent $20,000 and gone to 50 different plastic surgeons in attempt to make her triple-breasted dreams a reality. The story quickly picked up steam over the course of the last few days as many outlets took Tridevil at her word.
But as Snopes discovered, it’s probably all a lie. Tridevil’s website is registered to a woman who has a history with fraudulent personal information, and who also appears to run a massage parlor which boasts itself as a “Provider of internet hoaxes since 2014.” And it’s not like we didn’t see this coming, either—in one of the videos on her channel, Tridevil’s chest is a completely different color than the rest of her body, and she moves stiffly so as not to disturb what’s very obviously a Total Recall-style prosthetic. In another, she’s literally posing in front of a mirror while the Radiohead song “Creep” plays in the background (which causes me to wonder if this wasn’t genius performance art all along, if I’m being honest).
But it’s not the extra boob that’s the fascinating part of this story, if you ask me it’s actually Tridevil’s supposed motivation for the surgery (Well, the second motivation, because her primary goal was to get a reality TV show). As she told Real Radio 104.1:
I got it because I wanted to make myself unattractive to men. Because I don’t want to date anymore … Most guys would think [the extra breast is] weird and gross. But I can still feel pretty because if I wore makeup and cute clothes, I can still, you know … feel pretty.
Snopes decries this as a red flag, indirectly suggesting that undergoing what would actually be a very “lengthy and exhaustive” process just to make oneself unappealing to men might be the result of a psychological disorder; a surgeon would be ethically bound not to perform surgery on just such a person. But is the idea that women would like to subvert the ever-present male gaze while still wearing makeup and feeling cute that ridiculous? Sometimes we wear crop tops because it’s hot out and giant sweaters because it’s cold out, and we really do not care what you have to say about either of them, anonymous dude in a fashion advice column about which trends men hate.
Really, when you think about it that way, an extra boob is the very definition of weaponized femininity. “Oh, you like makeup but not too much makeup? Let me paint my face eleven different colors because I feel like it. What’s that you just shouted at me from across the street? You think my tits are great? How about one more, then? Yeah, I know I look like a total alien when you were hoping for the girl next door. TOO BAD.”
Which isn’t to say Tridevil is some champion of third wave feminism or anything. After all, there’s plenty of legitimate criticisms against weaponized femininity, and three boobs happens to be a pretty pervasive trope for very promiscuous character in science fiction—in addition to Total Recall lady, there’s also The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six—so it was always bound to have the opposite effect of what she allegedly wanted. But it certainly paints a much more confusing and nuanced portrait of a woman who… well, who claimed she had three boobs for attention. And either way, that last part seems to be working out pretty well for her.
(via The Huffington Post)
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