Woman has plastic surgery to add a third breast?

There are some news items that I read and think, “This has to be a hoax”. To check, I look to see if the source is an established news outlet and that it is original reporting by their reporters and not something they have taken off some other source because these days there are many websites that pretend to be news sources but whose purpose seems to be to fool regular news operations by writing stories that on the surface look genuine.

One such recent story was about a 21-year old Florida woman who supposedly had plastic surgery to add a third breast. It went viral and on the surface the story seemed to check out as genuine, with photos and everything.

I am pretty accepting of the right of people to do what they want with their bodies but this was more extreme than anything I had heard of before so I looked more closely and the debunking website Snopes says that it is likely false for a number of reasons.

So why was such a crazy story so widely accepted? I think that it is because one of the reasons given by the woman for her supposed action was that she was trying to get her own reality show.

It is a sad reflection of our times that we have become so accustomed to people being willing to go to extreme lengths for their moments of fame without them having any particular talent or skills or achievements to their name other than self-promotion, and that reality shows seem to have become one major vehicle for them to achieve this, that nothing seems to be out of the question anymore.


  1. Paulo Borges says

    This story illustrates the lack of critical thinking that plagues most of society. The critical thinking is not missing, we did not lose it nor it was taken, it was never there.
    We outsourced critical thinking to realm of the producer of the content, we assume that they make the criticizing part and therefore we accept the validity of the content. This has been working fairly well since the dawn of history, this is why if something was written on a book or appeared on a news segment it had to be true, mainly because the ordinary Joe would not be published or would present a news segment.
    With the advent of technology and the internet, anyone can be the producer of content. This is wonderful, it makes possible for you to read this, it opens endless possibilities for the voiceless to have a voice and spread out new and different but also wrong and sometimes fake content. This change has not been accompanied by the reversion of the onus of proof. It now falls on the reader, which is not armed, prepared or trained to exercise the necessary critical thinking to validate or not the content that overwhelms us, hence people believing in the most extraordinary claims.
    It’s not what is presented, it’s how is present it that will trigger the critical thinking process on a subject.
    A long time ago one of my college teachers made an experiment. He presented a video of a guy that would be the stereotype of the average Joe making absurd claims to half of the class. To the other half of the class he presented the same idea in the form of a scientific study by a fabricated professor, ridden with fake references (this was before Google, reference check meant hours in the library). Almost none of the students that saw the video believed, most of us that read the study we believed it.
    I was, thankfully, one of the believers, it taught me a unique lesson, I had not believed because I was stupid, credulous or less intelligent then my colleges that saw the video, I believed because I had assumed.

  2. kyoseki says

    Whilst I’m leaning heavily on the “of course it’s fake!” side of things, there’s a tiny little niggling voice at the back of my head going “but …. Florida”.

  3. moarscienceplz says

    There are some women who have had their breasts enlarged to absolutely ridiculous sizes (not to mention extreme piercings, tattoos, and other forms of body mods, including a guy that got devil horns surgically implanted), so this is not completely beyond the realm of possibility.

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