Talking about breasts is sort of expected on Grey's Anatomy. It's a show about sexy doctors. So how did Shonda Rhimes manage to make the sexiest body part completely unsexy?
She put them on a guy.
A 13-year-old guy, to be exact, whose dad also has a big ol' pair of fun bags hanging off the front of him. They were both suffering from gynecomastia.
Perky pediatric surgeon Arizona Robbins and plastics guy Mark Sloan managed to convince the boy's family that the breasts have to go -- even though Mom was hesitant to OK plastic surgery on her just bar mitzvahed boy.
Then Chief Webber threw a monkey wrench into their plans for breast reduction surgery when he put the residents in charge, and Mom had to face Alex Karev tackling her baby boy's breast tissue. Here's where things got tricky: Mom was hesitant as it was. And suddenly she's using the excuse that the boy's dear old Dad has the same breasts ... and no one makes fun of him.
Pardon the insensitivity, but Dad wasn't shown on screen. There's no way to tell how big his breasts really are. But if they're anything like his boy's, people can tell. And even at 40, that's going to raise a few eyebrows.
Think of it, ladies. You love your guy, warts and all, but wouldn't you feel a little miffed if his knockers were bigger than yours?
It turns out this man boob issue is not just made for TV. Although it sported a few inaccuracies (surprise, surprise), the male bra is out there on shelves for a reason. As much as 65 percent of guys suffer from enlarged breasts or gynecomastia, beginning in the teen years.
It often disappears within three years, but according to statistics, 36 percent of young military recruits and 57 percent of men older than 50 show signs.
One of the major causes in older guys shouldn't surprise women at all. Ever feel like your C cup is the first to go when you lose weight (oh, why can't it be the thighs first?)? Men who pack on the pounds face a rise in body estrogen, which in turn makes their breasts grow.
Those guys are the lucky ones -- lose weight, and the man boobs go away. The rest face medical intervention. They can use anti-estrogen drugs (like the stuff used for breast cancer) or it's off to the chopping block.
And proving there is some fairness in the world, they don't get off easy when it comes to reduction surgery either. Insurance carriers are notorious for being difficult when it comes to getting the surgery as a woman -- even when you're suffering from back pain and the host of other issues that too-big breasts cause in women -- and they're equally dubious of helping out the guys.
Reputable surgeons generally don't operate on teens with the issue because the breast tissue could recede. So Grey's may have been a bit off the mark. Then again, this was a genetic form of the condition, and if Dad's breasts were any proof, it wasn't going away. Just as you blame your small chest on your Granny, it was all Dad's fault.
It turns out guys with breasts are dealing with the same issues as the ladies. They're just not as sexy. And they don't get yummy Alex Karev to cut them down to size.
Image via ABC