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Unhealthy Vision of Beauty in Venezuela

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From the New York Times, the video is on Venezuela’s unhealthy obsession with unnatural beauty and excess plastic surgery. Beauty pageants are a large part of the culture, and the head of Miss Venezuela claims that “Girls don’t have to be natural. They have to be beautiful.” Women contestants go to the plastic surgeon, since in order to win a competition you have to have cosmetic surgery on your nose, your breasts, and some liposuction.
This obsession with plastic surgery is obviously unhealthy and distorts body image, especially for children. While procedures such as breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, and liposuction are important elements of plastic surgery, the cultural pressure to have such procedures is inappropriately high. While the Venezuelans I’ve spoken with may have a greater focus on beauty than the average American, they don’t have the same unhealthy viewpoint as stressed in the article. Cosmetic plastic surgery should be a personal decision to produce natural results in a safe manner.
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    Houtan Chaboki, M.D.