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May 13, 1992

Image of Perfection Once the Goal— Now Some Women Just Seek Damages

JAMA. 1992;267(18):2439-2442. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480180025003

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THE TWO ITEMS so strikingly encapsulate the current controversy over silicone gel breast implants that a reporter might have been tempted to invent them. But there they appear, for all the world to witness, side by side in the April 1992 issue of Vogue magazine.

In one column of the feature article that spotlights a century of fashion trends in the magazine's 100th anniversary special edition is this sentence: "And in women's bodies, the fashion now is for a combination of hard, muscular stomach and shapely breasts. Increasingly, women are willing to regard their bodies as photographic images, unpublishable until retouched and perfected at the hands of surgeons."

In the adjoining column is an advertisement of a type seldom if ever before seen in Vogue's glossy pages. Addressing itself to "Silicone Breast Implant Sufferers," the ad says [sic]: "You may possibly have a legal claim for damages if you