How did we ever get along before crowdfunding? So far it’s provided new ways to enable people to make microloans to the poor, fund community projects, not to mention given us ways to fund new technology start-ups and even, new movies.
Now comes My Free Implants (MFI) -- a site that encourages users to ‘Invest in Breasts’ via crowd funding.
For the uninitiated, MFI connects women who are contemplating breast augmentation surgery, but are unable to afford it, with contributors who donate money to women to ‘realise their dreams’.
The homepage appeals to the inner philanthropist in us all with unsettling appeals like, "Help the women of your dreams achieve the body of their dreams" and "Make A Difference For As Little As $1".
Yes, you too can make the world a better place by helping women who have had to suffer years of being deprived of a boob job; women like ‘Tabitha’ who’s featured on the front page of the site in a red polka dot bikini which she’s lowering ever so suggestively.
As ‘Tabitha’ explains in her own words: "In today’s economy it is almost impossible to get a loan for cosmetic surgery. My Free Implants provided me with a no debt solution where I made amazing connections with generous men. Once shy, I am now proud to display my new body for the world to see."
But My Free Implants isn’t one of those short-term, fly-by-night boob solutions that just gives money away to poor women. It’s more of a hand up, rather than a hand out. The women aren’t just given boob welfare for free. No siree! They have to earn it.
As blogger and satisfied My Free Implants customer KayDoubleDee wrote about her experience: "The site is based on the social networking model, you need to form friendships before you get anywhere, which takes time. A lot of time!! The name may be My Free Implants, but it’s not a case of making a profile and hoards of men throw fist fulls [sic] of dollars at you for nothing. They do not grow gardens of money trees. The site requires hard work, time, effort and patience."
And what sort of ‘hard work’ must these women toil at in order to get complete strangers to fund their new breasts?
In order to get money, women are expected to trade custom photos and videos of themselves for donations, exchange private messages, engage in audio and video chats and write blogs.
And if you really are committed to achieving that D cup, you can earn $100 for winning the "best ass on MFI" competition, or the princely sum of US$2 for a photo of your vagina.
But before you jump to the wrong conclusion and assume that any man willing to trade cash for a custom video of a woman is a lonely creep, let me assure you that these gentlemen have standards.
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern quotes one of the online benefactors: ‘“Some women go on and are like, I’ll show you a video of me masturbating for $200,” said the college student. “And that’s actually really annoying. But I’m a dude. If girls want to send me a naked picture, I’m not going to say no.”’
Of course, the money doesn’t go directly to the women who are actually providing these 'services' to the men.
Instead, the money goes into an 'escrow account'. Once the goal is reached, the site then pays the money directly to a surgeon to perform the operation. And the website owners also take their cut.
The site claims to have been a 'stunning success', raising over US$8 million for breast augmentations.
There’s no mention however, of additional funding for the lifetime of medical treatment required to maintain the little bags of confidence. Or to pay for follow-up medical treatment when things go awry. You know, those minor things like disfigurement, chronic pain or even death.
But hey, no online service can be expected to solve ALL the world’s problems. The My Free Implants people have made a big enough contribution to humanity as it is. It’s up to someone else to create My Free Corrective Surgery.
Kasey Edwards is the best-selling author of 4 books 30-Something and Over It, 30-Something and The Clock is Ticking, OMG! That's Not My Husband, and OMG! That's Not My Child. www.kaseyedwards.com