A Brief History Of Breast Implants (Plus A Quiz!)

Sure, you may know all about who in Hollywood has fake boobs, but do you know where the whole enhanced-breast trend started? After the jump, a quick history of implants, which date back to the 19th century — way before “Baywatch” was on TV.

1. The fake-boob trend started in 1890, when Austrian doctor Robert Gersuny started injecting paraffin into women’s chests. The fake breasts looked fine for a while but eventually grew hard and lumpy, which wasn’t desirable. Plus, infection rates were ridiculously high, so the procedure had been abandoned by the 1920s.

2. In the 1950s, surgeons implanted everything from ivory balls and wool to ox cartilage — eek! — but none of it really worked.

3. During World War II, Japanese prostitutes reportedly injected themselves with silicone to attract American GIs, which quickly made silicone a hot commodity. Topless dancers in the US soon followed suit.

4. In 1961, the first silicone breast prosthetic was created, and the rubber sac filled with viscous silicone gel remained virtually unchanged for 30 years, until…

5. The FDA announced in the early ’90s that silicone breast implants could break down into the body and form a carcinogen. U.S. surgeons turned to safer, though less natural feeling, saline implants. And men everywhere had to decide whether they prefer small, natural boobs or large, hard ones. Decisions, decisions!

PLUS: Can you guess the celebrities behind the gigantic faux ta-tas above? Answers will be posted in Quickies this evening.

[Mental Floss]