Venezuela’s Awful Economy Means It’s Running Out Of Breast Implants

The country's financial woes means that women are turning to unregulated ways of getting their breasts enlarged…

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by Sophie Wilkinson |

As Venezuela’s economic situation goes further down the drain not only are people forced to queue hours each day to get their hands on the simplest of rations, such as chicken, oil and flour, but women are turning to ever-cheaper breast implants.

It might sound silly at first but in Venezuela, it’s assumed (and sometimes proven) that women can find their way out of poverty if they simply look good enough to either get a rich husband or become a celebrated beauty queen. So plastic surgery is everywhere – 85,000 procedures take place every year in the country. In the worldwide league table of plastic surgeries, this is only less than countries with much bigger populations than Venezuela’s 30 million, including the US, Germany, Brazil and Mexico.

However, now that there’s a shortage of money, which is being put under strict control by the government, women can’t afford breast implants any more. ‘The women are complaining,’ Ramon Zapata, head of the Society of Plastic Surgeons, told The Times. ‘Venezuelan women are very concerned with their self-esteem.’

They’re so frustrated that they’re taking the matter of breast implants into their own hands, either going online to find unregulated, cheap implants or buying Chinese implants, which are a third of the cost of US or European implants (a hefty £400 – the average Venezuelan’s salary). The catch is they’re much lower quality as China’s got a whole different set of safety standards.

They could, of course, leave the country, but there’s an ongoing argument between the government and air lines, which means that there aren’t even that many flights heading out of the country any more. Jason Sinclair, a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association, said: ‘The country, unfortunately, is disconnecting from the world economy and runs the risk of deeper isolation.’

We figure if this is the lengths women are going to to get plastic surgery at a time of economic hardship, just how bad is a) women’s desire for plastic surgery to better themselves and b) the rest of the economic situation in Venezuela? Dark times.

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Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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