I decided to post about the increase in minorities getting plastic surgery because of my own personal experience. My mother who is of Hispanic decent recently decided to have a cosmetic procedure done, and she was pretty nervous to begin the process, so I offered to go with her to the doctor’s appointments. I must have went with her to about eight appointments and each and every time I went, regardless of the day or time the office was packed with ethnic women. My mother who was very social with the staff even learned that the nurses and secretaries who were of different ethnic minorities had all undergone some type of plastic surgery, if not several. This peaked my interest into finding out more about the plastic surgery trend in minority groups, and I ran into a few interesting articles.  

          The National Center for Biotechnology Information wrote an article on the Socioeconomic impact of Ethnic cosmetic surgery, in which they discuss the increase in the popularity of cosmetic surgery and ethnic populations contributing to the economic growth of the cosmetic surgery industry, with minority populations accounting for 22%of the 11.7 million cosmetic procedures performed in 2007.  Also the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reported that between 2006 and 2007, ethnically oriented cosmetic surgical procedures grew at almost twice the rate of cosmetic surgical procedures (annual increases of 13% and 7%, respectively).  The article states that factors such as increased cultural acceptance of plastic surgery, growing ethnic populations, and media emphasis on personal appearance have contributed to the increase in minorities seeking out cosmetic surgery. 

         Sam Dolnick wrote an article for the New York times titled Ethnic Differences Emerge in Plastic Surgery, in which he wrote “Dominicans in Upper Manhattan are having their buttocks lifted, while in Flushing, Queens, surgeons have their attention trained a few feet higher, on upturned noses that their Chinese patients want flipped down. Russian women in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, are having their breasts enlarged, while Koreans in Chinatown are having jaw lines slimmed.” When I read that it kind of shocked me, is it that simple to clump each race with the a certain procedure? Apartly so, in the article Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, the president of Long Island Plastic Surgical Group said, “When a patient comes in from a certain ethnic background and of a certain age, we know what they’re going to be looking for. We are sort of amateur sociologists.”

           The argument is made that a majority of these operations being done on ethnic minorities are assimilation issues, because minorities who undergo cosmetic surgery essentially want to assimilate to the american cultures idea of beauty, a flat stomach, small nose, larger breast, tighter arms ect. For example in the Asian community one of the most popular plastic surgery operations is an eyelid procedure which makes the eyes appear larger. Who said bigger eyes are beautiful? American society and the media did. It is almost impossible to love the way you look, when every commercial tells you to lose weight, or get rid of your curly hair becasue staright hair is more beautiful, and girls aspire to be like the American models they see in the magazines, and the majority of clothing stores target smaller framed women. There is an ideal of beauty in our society that many people can not obtain unless they have cosmetic surgery.

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One response

  1. Kori says:

    I can relate considering that two members of my family succumbed to cosmetic surgery. My aunt got botox injections and gastric bypass surgery while my cousin opted for breast implants. I think we’re all followed by perceptions of beauty and it becomes rather difficult not to buy into it. Although I haven’t surgically altered my body in any way, I will admit that I do strive to obtain straight hair. I’m not sure if I prefer it straight because society dictates that straight hair is better. I will say that I prefer it because it’s more manageable and less time consuming than my naturally curly hair. The same thing can be said for my aunt and cousin, ultimately they feel more beautiful and happy. If cosmetic surgery makes people happy, I’m all for it.