Beyond natural advancements

Medical science gives us two new monsters —and it won’t stop there.

America is home of the self-expressing consumer. If you want your maverick streak reflected by the coffee you sip, you go to the local café and buy a cup with a âÄúFair TradeâÄù label emblazoned on the side. But stand aside, little-league individualists, because something morbid this way comes: medically super-enhanced individuality. Last week, Sheyla Hershey made history as the first woman to receive a whole gallon of silicon for breast augmentation. She now owns the record: a 38KKK cup size, flush with around 20 pounds of silicon gel. A few days earlier, Nadya Suleman gave birth to eight children and currently holds the record for the longest-surviving octuplets. Suleman, a single and financially (if not ethically) bankrupt mother of six, has announced her intention to parlay her experience for cash, carefully reviewing book deals and trying to eke out $2 million in interviews with Oprah and Diane Sawyer. But these stories of people realizing their personal ambition arenâÄôt enviable âÄî they are disasters. For her ideal, Hershey faces severe chronic back pain, hematoma, and the small danger of her implants exploding. In fact, due to FDA regulations, Hershey had to go to Brazil to find a surgeon permitted to do the operation. Similarly, Suleman and her physician have come under scrutiny by the Medical Board of California for violating fertility treatment guidelines, to say nothing of the morality of giving birth to children in litters and attempting to raise them with 13 siblings. Despite this, public support gives a glamorous sheen and plush financial subsidy for the freakish visions of reality embodied by two women. And so be ready for the next Frankenstein, because we keep buying what theyâÄôre selling.