Amp 90.3 is a radio station that knows what women want: sultry come-grab-me breasts. This summer, hundreds of women will participate in the radio station’s contest “breast summer ever,” in order for the chance to win a $10,000 breast augmentation — follow up surgery, treatment and any extra costs must be covered by the contest winner. To honour this occasion, the Gauntlet awards Amp radio our inaugural Outstanding Enforcer of the Patriarchy Award.
Amp contestants will send in a picture of themselves, where judges will deliberate — obviously intensely and fairly — to decide on who is most deserving of this vehement prize. Ten finalists will be chosen and their pictures will be posted so that listeners can rate which candidate they want to have the biggest (or most shapely) knockers, considering all factors of course.
Women and men undergo plastic surgery all of the time; since 2000 cosmetic procedures have increased 49 per cent, according to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons. After an individual has thought long and hard about what is a life-changing decision, it is their prerogative to fix what they deem to be a major adverse affliction. What Amp radio is doing with this contest, however, is thrusting young women into a surgery that should not be taken lightly.
Amp is telling women that they are not good enough the way they are and suggest other women follow in the winner’s footsteps.
According to the National Institute of Medicine, 25 to 40 percent of individuals who get breast implants need correction surgery to fix something wrong with the first one. That is at least one of four women who are put at risk because of a ‘beautification’ surgery.
Why, then, do over 250,000 women get breast implants in America alone? The obvious answer is pressure from media that show us what the ‘ideal’ woman is supposed to look like. Calgarians have to face a much more monstrous feat —Amp radio does not portray fake women, but they encourage local women to go under a knife because the opportunity presents itself. Misogynistic contests like Amp’s “breast summer ever” tell women to look for faults where none exist.
Worst of all is how this competition caters to the 16–24 male audience. There is no better way to reach out to hormone raging males than to bolster them to objectify women. Amp radio is blatantly encouraging a rise in patriarchy that has no place in our society.
Such contests are, unfortunately, common. Reality shows like Fox’s The Swan took women they deemed “ugly” and changed them, through various cosmetic surgeries, into what five judges thought to be “beautiful.” Journalist Jennifer Pozner was probably right when she said the series was “the most sadistic reality series in a decade,” although we don’t like to pick winners.
To be sure, we are constantly bombarded by advertisements encouraging us to change our image — either through a new car, cologne, clothing or, yes, breasts. Using attractive people to sell products is nothing new. Amp’s contest, however, preys on the insecure to make it particularly worthy of censure. So stay classy Amp radio.