Volume 93, Issue 78

Thursday, February 17, 2000


CAMPUS AND CULTURE

Boobs get the boot in ad campaign

Hey, Cosmo girl, you've been Busteed

Hey, Cosmo girl, you've been Busteed



By Molly Duignan
Gazette Staff

There appears to be a new herbal solution for women who have a preoccupation with small or unsatisfactory breasts. This product may be the unofficial "dream come true" for every girl who obsessed over their breasts, but questions as to its legitimacy and validity are surfacing among experts.

Bust Plus purports to have the ability to increase breast firmness and fullness while also potentially increasing breast size, said Suze Freeman, the marketing director of Pow Products, the Toronto distributor of Bust Plus.

"Our product is recommended for women who have already completely undergone puberty and whose breasts are fully developed," she said. Individual results vary, but the product really works to balance hormone levels and thus reduce premenstrual symptoms such as cramps and breakouts."

Massaging the breasts twice a day, in combination with taking Bust Plus capsules, will allegedly stimulate the growth and creation of cells in the mammary glands, Freeman said.

"The three month package is meant to increase firmness and fullness, while the longer programs will increase the breast by one to three cup sizes. You will feel the difference via a tingling sensation within a week and visible results will show after a couple of months," she said. After the client has achieved their desired results, they would have to continue taking Bust Plus 30 times a year to maintain the results, she added.

Bust Plus has been on the Canadian market for a year and its clientele ranges from ages 18 to 67, Freeman said. "Most clients who try Bust Plus are in the 30 plus age range. We really want to market this product to a younger, more impulsive group of women who would impulsively spend money to improve their looks. For girls who have serious issues about their breast size, this is an alternative to implants or invasive surgery.

Ivy Bourgeault, assistant professor of sociology and health sciences at Western, said women in university are a marketable group for such a product. Bust Plus and similar inventions prey on the natural concerns of young impressionable women, she said.

"This is an age old product, just a new package," Bourgeault stated. "These products are offering a solution to something that's not a problem. This isn't a new trend, it's just an advancement on old conventions like corsets."

As Bust Plus is a relatively new product, significant tests and studies are not yet available, said Tom Gilles, principle owner and spokesperson for Mountain Top Herbs, the manufacturer of Bust Plus in Utah. "Bust Plus hasn't been on the market long enough to elicit much criticism or any response for that matter," he said. Gilles added there is no extensive medical proof of the product's validity.

The discovery of Bust Plus was accidental, Gilles said. It was found when it was put to use as a hormonal balancing formula for women. "The product itself is a fluke. There was never any need for testing, the effectiveness of it was proved by individual case study and testimonials," he said. "Bust Plus is not FDA approved, either."

Bust Plus is advertised as 100 per cent natural and guaranteed, but Chris Scilley, a plastic surgeon at London Health Sciences Centre, questioned how one can quantitatively measure a breast and therefore prove the product has worked.

"This product sounds way too skeptical. It is a waste of money for a girl to trust in a product that is neither proven nor FDA approved," he said. "Hormonal therapy has never been accepted as a way to change breast size or shape and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone without hard data and proof.

"This product is a bizarre addition to 'fringe' therapy, medicine or alternative medicine," he added. "I would advise any woman to be very cautious about spending money on it or expecting any results. You can never know the potential side effects with 'all natural' products that aren't prescribed by doctors."

Scilley explained hormonal manipulation and therapy included prescriptions such as the birth control pill and procedures such as chemotherapy. "The improvement in breast shape and size would not be a reaction to such a thing," he said, adding women should look for a product proved by double-blind controlled studies, not just testimonials.

Irene Brenner, executive director of Media Watch, a company which monitors and comments on advertisements, argued most women would never reach the size they considered ideal. The best thing a girl can do when contemplating such a drastic move to change her appearance, she added, was to thoroughly research the product.

"Women shouldn't let media, ads and contrived images manipulate their self–image. Few women realize there is no such thing as an 'all-natural' product. Natural is what your breasts are without any alterations, be it surgical or not," Brenner said.

"Women are under pressure from day one to conform to media's ideals. People must look beyond advertising ploys and see the major effect that media pressure has on young women."


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