Plastic Surgery: Latina Obsession with Perfection

Part four!

I’m just going to jump into this and not beat around the bush, because I find it ridiculous. There’s this new thing called ‘beauty tourism’. Heard of it? Until recently, I hadn’t, but it’s apparently rampant, with South and Central America as major destinations.

From what I gathered, beauty tourism is traveling abroad for cosmetic surgery. This concept is both brilliant and disturbing. It’s much cheaper and you get better deals than you would in the United States. People are doing it to save money, which is terrifying. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Apparently, nose jobs and tummy tucks have become so desirable that people are willing to travel to other countries to have them done. These countries do have trained medical professionals, but if something goes wrong, the odds of you suing the hospital or doctor are slim. You probably wouldn’t win the case if it even made it to court. If you don’t go about it the right way, you could end up botched.

Latin America is quickly becoming a plastic surgery hub. Prices are about 30-50% cheaper as compared to Europe or the US. Leading the sector are Brazil and Colombia, but Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, and Mexico are active in the industry too. People participating are doing so through sites that link buyers to reputable and skilled surgeons.

rsz_picture_1(1) is one such example of this. They advertise in a clever manner, stressing the skill level of the surgeons and assuring you of your comfort. offers all kinds of procedures, from breast lifts to labiaplasty. They operate in Bolivia and are quick to mention their credentials and discuss the beauty of Santa Cruz. However, to be fair, Bolivia is reputed to have some of the highest medical standards in South America. Still, the idea is pretty sketchy and difficult to research as thoroughly as would be prudent.

Operations like this provide gateways to tons of destinations, including Brazil, where there’s already a high domestic demand. There, the most popular procedures include breast implants and liposuction. If you’ve been operated on, you’re considered to have a higher social standing. In my opinion, that’s one of the reasons it’s becoming so popular. The government even offers tax-deduction systems to support plastic surgery procedures. Which is interesting in the case of people who actually require reconstructive surgery, but kind of scary in the event of elective cosmetic surgery. Then there’s the fact that the poor in Brazil get cosmetic surgery for free. That’s right, they get it for free because Brazil has the philosophy that beauty is a right.

But don’t forget Colombia. ABC News ranked them among the top seven countries in performing plastic surgery. Columbia came in fifth with 90,000 procedures performed in 2010. People are practically flocking there to follow their various inclinations. I cite, for example, the Lopez sisters.

Jennifer and Karen Lopez are Colombian sisters that reside in South London. Both have returned to Colombia to have plastic surgery procedures. And are you ready for Jennifer’s reasoning? She wanted to look like her famous namesake.

It’s true. But I still can’t believe it. She underwent liposuction, butt filling, and breast implantation in one day so that she would have a more Jennifer Lopez-like body. And she was only 15 years old. Her sister, Karen, did the same procedure, but started with a nose job at age 14.


The kicker? Karen says that her new butt is a curse because guys always want to touch it. Apparently she gets too much attention from her shiny new rear end. And Jennifer says that when she’s started to gain weight, her first reaction is that she can just get liposuction again.

The before and after pictures make me incredibly sad, because there was nothing wrong with them in the first place! Karen went from a 32AA to a 34C at the age of 15. No one should even be considering the idea of even possibly getting plastic surgery at that age. Are you ready for why? Prepare yourself:

“I had a 21-year-old boyfriend but I was really skinny with tiny boobs. All his ex-girlfriends had big boobs so I felt really insecure. It took me months to persuade my mum but eventually she let me.”

I mean, what the hell did I just read? It’s totally irrational. Shouldn’t doctors interview their patients as a form of triage, turning away patients with motivations such as these? Apparently not. And what mother would let her daughter have that procedure at such a tender age? And because of insecurities, no less. It’s even more sad that the insecurities stem from her possibly distorted take on her older boyfriend’s past relationships.

The thing is, it’s not just teenagers and everyday folks getting this done. People who are prominent in Hispanic media are getting cosmetic surgery as well. Have you heard of Eiza Gonzales?

-7She’s a prominent Mexican actress and singer, best known for her roles in telenovelas. A few years ago, she elected to get a nose job. When she was asked about it, Eiza said that she wasn’t going to lie. Her response was that she didn’t like the way she looked before and wanted to change it. She said she didn’t want to cover it up with some story about doing it for medical purposes.

So here’s my opinion: kudos to Eiza for being honest. I totally respect that when people asked, she was upfront about it. That being said, I also have no idea what she meant about not liking how she looked because the woman is freaking gorgeous. She did not need a nose job and certainly doesn’t need any other work in the future.

2 thoughts on “Plastic Surgery: Latina Obsession with Perfection”

    1. Hi Camille! I can send you the sources if you’d like – all my research in this area was moved over from the website I originally moderated, so my sources got lost in the shuffle. It’s been quite a while since I updated my work on the site, and has been on my to-do list, but please let me know if you’d like them!

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