World-Wide Interest in Cosmetic Surgery


The Miss Universe pageant, held on Monday in Las Vegas, has awarded two consecutive titles to contestants from Venezuela, reinforcing the Latin American country’s reputation for beauty pageant winners. In a culture which places a high premium on physical appearance, cosmetic surgery has become commonplace with Venezuelan women at younger ages than ever before.

19-year old Laura, being interviewed after the beauty pageant, admitted she already had two plastic surgeries, and was going for a third one upon her arrival back in Venezuela. “There is a great pressure on young girls to look beautiful, which, however, means also to feel beautiful, because one does not happen without the other,” she stated in a T.V. interview.

Venezuela has become one of the most popular “cosmetic surgery” destinations lately. Average breast augmentation in Venezuela costs $2,500, which is much more than in the United States, in comparison to our average salary. Yet, the interest is growing – and not only there.

Pursuant to the survey was sponsored by the 2000-member International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) and released to coincide with the ISAPS 20th Biennial Congress in San Francisco this year, nonsurgical procedures, such as botulinum-A (Botox) and laser hair removal, were actually performed more frequently in the United States last year than invasive plastic surgery. The trend is leading aesthetic plastic surgeons in the United States to modify their practices to adjust to shifting demand. 

The survey found that 17.1 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed worldwide in 2009, and 3 million of those were in the United States. The top-5 countries were:

the United States with 3,031,146 procedures

Brazil with 2,475,237

China with 2,193,945

India with 894,700

Mexico with 835,280.

China and India’s prominence can be explained by rapid economic growth, which necessarily puts pressure on appearance in contesting for higher paid positions. A recent Wall Street Journal report revealed that China’s $4 trillion gross domestic product has surpassed that of Japan…

As there are rapidly growing middle classes in China and India, their disposable incomes are likewise increasing. Plastic surgery is extremely popular in China, about as much as it is in Western Europe and the United States. The media interest, celebrities, even bad publicity adds to the overall popularity of cosmetic-plastic surgery.

(to be continued…)

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