Sheyla Hershey, of Houston, currently holds the world record for her breast-size — a mind-blowing 38MMM. 29-year-old Hershey has had 32 breast augmentations — a total of 7,000 ccs currently dwell in her chest — in her quest for “perfection”, and now those very same breasts may kill her.
After Hershey flew to Brazil for her world record-breaking last implant, she came down with a staph infection so severe doctors worried it could kill her. Physicians in Texas have already had to remove both implants, and may still have to completely remove one breast.
While Hershey’s story is certainly salacious, it’s also incredibly sad. According to a 2009 interview with The Houston Press, prior to her surgeries, there wasn’t one thing Hershey liked about herself:
“I used to break mirrors at home… I did not want to go out. I just… [wanted to] die… I didn’t like myself at all, from the toes to head… I didn’t have a personality because I couldn’t be happy with myself… I could not put the clothes on because I was almost 200 lbs. I was fat, I was flat-chest, I had a nose like a pig-nose. I wasn’t happy.”
Hershey sites Dolly Parton as her body image icon. Hershey explains, “I had that picture in my head since I was nine. I even take two ribs out to have the waist of Dolly Parton.”
Hershey also has a son, who thinks his mother looks perfect “without the big boobs,” though in 2009, she refused to go smaller for him, arguing, “I don’t care, I like it. I do it for myself, not for anybody else.”
As unfortunate and as terrifying as Hershey’s case may be, we can’t help but hope people read through the bold headlines and bad puns –– Gawker referred to her as a “a giant boob, poor thing” — to see the dangers of plastic surgery, body dysmorphia, and magazines which distort reality to present an unattainable ideal.