If you hadn't heard, Jana Kramer has a "divorce body" following breast implant surgery amid her split from Mike Caussin, whose infidelity broke their union.
"Two weeks before I found everything out, I got a boob job," the 37-year-old country singer told Extra of what led to her divorce. "I didn't plan on this to happen. Now that I'm healed, I'm like, 'I got a divorce body, OK?'"
The implants, Kramer explained in March, raised her confidence, especially after giving birth to two children, which introduced "a new set of insecurities with my body." The results, showed off in a topless Instagram photo, made her happy and "free," while the timing, she admitted, was "interesting."
We've heard of the "revenge makeover" or its demure cousin the "breakup haircut," physical transformations for emotional comfort and empowerment or to represent a new start. "Turning a new leaf," Katy Perry wrote on Instagram following her 2017 split from (her now main squeeze) Orlando Bloom, with a photo of her blond pixie cut. Khloé Kardashian, host of the reality series Revenge Body that guides people through post-breakup makeovers, hit the gym hard after her 2016 divorce from Lamar Odom. "Yeah, it’s a revenge body," she told Women's Heath of the results. "But it’s just as much for all my critics who called me ‘the fat one’ for my entire existence.” Blake Shelton jokingly credited "the divorce diet" for stress-induced weight loss while divorcing Miranda Lambert (she, however, went even blonder).
But psychologists like Theresa DiDonato of Loyola University Maryland use a textbook phrase — "self-expansion theory" — to describe that creative itch. "People are motivated to grow in order to achieve goals and one way to do that is through close relationships, where the identities of two people often merge," she tells Yahoo Life. "But evidence shows that during breakups, self-concept shrinks, leading to identity questions" often answered through hobbies or haircuts, a physical signal of growth.
As people reflect, says Veronica Lamarche, a senior lecturer of psychology at the University of Essex, they might reach for change they can easily control, like appearances. "When rejected, humans are motivated to fit in with others, such as becoming more attractive — we like positive enforcement," she tells Yahoo Life. "If change makes an ex-partner jealous, that can soften rejection; if it opens sexual opportunity with others, that can validate."
Breakups can also ignite change that was simmering within — Kramer had wanted breast implants for "many years," posting on Instagram, "Bottom line, I’m choosing myself, I’m choosing my size, I’m doing what’s right for me." And before chopping off her dark hair, Perry admitted, "I’ve always wanted to look like Miley Cyrus" who once rocked the look.
That's why breakup beautification is nuanced, says Kristen Barber, an associate professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. "It can be seen as an anti-feminist reimagination of the body for women defining themselves in relationship to men," she tells Yahoo Life. "But it can also be seen as an act of agency, whereby women are remaking their bodies in ways that make them feel good. Of course, it can be both simultaneously."
"There are debates about what self-love looks like and whether it's expressed through how we treat our bodies," she notes. … "From a sociological perspective, reimagining your body is never an individual experience. It might feel deeply personal but [these decisions] connect to others in a context where certain bodies are valued … but this doesn't mean there isn't room to relate our bodies in ways that make us feel good despite social expectations."
As Perry once said of her breakup 'do: “I feel like there’s a new wave, a new authentic vibe coming in and I think this matches. I want to redefine what it means to be feminine."
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