Over the last three years charitable giving online has risen by 85% according to the research consultancy nfpSynergy. Perhaps excluded from the survey is the website My Free Implants which has nobly raised $8m since 2005 to help women who are “…flat chested and flat broke” to quote CBS News Atlanta. The altruistic website raises money for women to have boob jobs. All the women have to do is sign up and begin chatting to generous ‘benefactors’, and for every email the donor sends, the charity case receives $1 (with the brains behind the website receiving $0.20), held for them until they reach their target. However, a boob job costs around $5,700, and this would entail an excessive amount of emailing, so many of the women sell their ‘friends’ pornographic pictures of themselves.
The origins of the site pretty much sum it up. Conceived by school friends Jay Moore and Jason Grunstra, at a bar, in Las Vegas, on a stag do. They got chatting to two cocktail waitresses, one had fake boobs, while the other, who was more chest-challenged wanted one but couldn’t afford it. So, being gentlemen, they had a quick whip round with their friends and raised $750 as a charitable contribution. (The same $750 could have been spent on ACT malarial treatment for the third world at $1-$3 per dose.) Encouraged by their success, Grunstra set up a MySpace page to help his friend Natasha, who also wanted a boob job, and within four months Natasha had reached her goal of $5,500. Spurred on by their accomplishments, the two friends hatched their plan into a business and My Free Implants was born.
The ironically named BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) condemned the site as “degrading”, yet as co-founder Jay Moore argued “sex sells”. Although the women are under no obligations to sell their altruistic friends raunchy photos of themselves, the trend is that if they don’t, they won’t reach their target. ‘Models’ as the site terms them, often leave the site disheartened by their inability to raise money when they remain clothed.
Dr Rita Freedman, a psychologist from New York, believes that the site has continued success with men as it boosts their sense of masculinity by allowing them to see women as objects and something they can own. She further argues that some men may be happy to have their wives and girlfriends on the site as it allows them to flaunt what they have.
The site is clearly aimed at men, with the home page displaying a man leering at a woman who appears to be about to remove her pants while attempting an alluring facial expression, as two other women fawn over him, simultaneously pouting and simpering. The only motive for women to join is fiscal. Although many of the ‘benefactors’ claim they joined the site to make friends and to help others, (why this couldn’t be achieved at their local homeless shelter isn’t mentioned) in reality there were only two things on their minds. Take Chris Radler, who doled out $10,000 to thirty-one women in two years, the equivalent of a boob job per year. He maintains that it was the community that drew him to the site, saying that if he wanted to, he could easily find porn on the internet. That the naked women he receives pictures from actually talk to him may have aided his decision to join. However, he completely undermined himself by admitting that he has “…a fetish for fake boobs”. In the photo of himself he has posted on the website he is sitting alone, in front of the computer, naked, pretty much summing up the sorts of people that help these charity cases.
In a world where the average boob job costs the same as emergency medical supplies for 20,500 people in Darfur, the ‘benefactors’ sense of charity seems horribly skewed.