Cosmetic Surgery in Venezuela
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Venezuela is a country located on the north coast of South America. It has a population of 29 million. Cosmetic surgery has become rampant for Venezuelan citizens, especially for young people and women (Espejo, 2011). Various factors facilitate this tendency, but the research will focus on such of them as motivation, customer identity, and ethnicity and social class.
Motivation factors are drivers with regard to individual behavior (Solomon, Bamossy, Askegaard & Hogg, 2003). They include recognition, advancement, and achievement. Motivational factors that have led to rapid the increase of cosmetic surgery are the following:
Venezuelan government always has an objection to materials or commodities supplied from the Western countries. Despite this fact, it does not reject beauty materials imported from the West. In fact, fashion models who happen to have used these products for their hair, nose, teeth, breasts, and skin, receive governmental praise. For instance, when Maria Gabriela Isler has crowned Miss Venezuela in Russia, both president Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro openly thanked her for her effort to achieve that award for the Venezuelans (Grant & Chen, 2010). By the way, Maduro referred her triumph of Venezuela to himself. It has led to many Venezuelan ladies using these products and having cosmetic surgeries to have the same hype.
Plastic surgery and the use of many products have led to the death of many Venezuelans, including Miss Venezuela 2000 (Blum, 2003). She died of breast cancer that was facilitated by use of cosmetic products. Moreover, a journalist Adriana Carolina fell into a coma for a week and a half and died because of polymers that enlarged her buttocks. The government has been watching helplessly. If the government was dedicated to narrow down this tragedy that killed and eroded the Venezuelan culture, it should have set stringent rules that would forbid the supply of these products. Also, the government should have heavily punished those who offer these services
The advertisement for cosmetics products has also facilitated the use of them. Commercials on television and advertisements in newspapers and magazines show a positive side of using these products, e.g. elegance and beauty. Most of the Venezuelan media have dedicated lots of energy to advertising these products (Lusted, 2010). They show how people’s appearance will change instantly if they apply these materials and have various cosmetic surgeries. The advertisement demonstrates that if one does not use these commodities they are not magnificent in appearance. Mass media show different women who have used these products, and what they have achieved in life. Therefore, many young people have been inspired by these adverts to have plastic surgery (Stearman, 2009).
Many young Venezuelans either had cosmetic surgery or used their products. It has led to many of their colleagues who do not believe that they stick to the standard, undergoing surgery, or using cosmetic products. Most women also use these products due to their friends’ example either at work or in the salon. Also, research shows that some of the people who either work for these firms or perform this surgery always suggest their friends the value of either using the products or having surgery (Libert, 2000). It has contributed to the rise of cosmetic surgery because the information shared by the colleagues tends to have an impact on one`s decision-making process. Most people follow their friends’ advice and appreciate their opinions thus they are obsessed with the idea of changing their appearance.
Almost everybody in Venezuela is involved in cosmetic surgery regardless of age disparity. Young and old are in the bracket of cosmetic product usage (Waterhouse, 2008). Parents and their children are in the same pot of cosmetic surgery. No one is raising the alarm about this surgery in the long term. It is well-known that if a father kills in front of his young son and he smiles and laughs, the son will love killing. Merely the same concept can be applied in Venezuela; if a mother is yearning for plastic surgery, what will stop her daughter from undergoing it.
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Economy slip up also facilitates to use of cosmetic surgery, regardless of high inflation in Venezuela there is an urge for cosmetic products. That is because many government programs are designed to direct cash to the poor. Hence, there is much liquidity that leads to inflation, but also to a lot of cash on hand. Wealth redistribution has not narrowed down materialistic consumption traits. Instead, it has made it rise. Due to more money at hand, it has facilitated more of the Venezuelans to seek for these commodities. Much money on hand economically is a dangerous entity because it makes one spend extravagantly and recklessly (Di Giuseppe &Ronconi, 2014). It is logical that in case women have money on hand their number one priority will be their physical appearance. Hence, many Venezuelan women use cosmetic products and have surgery as their priority.
Accessibility, cheap products, and service are other motivating factors. Cosmetic products are rampant in Venezuela. They are found everywhere in Venezuelan outlets, e.g. in the mini shops, supermarkets, road vendors, and even in the ghetto. That makes those who have no idea about these products be curious; hence people purchase and start applying them to acknowledge the impact. The majority of these products are very cheap, e.g. pills, creams, injections, and many others.
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This factor makes these products affordable for many people. In Venezuela, breast surgery costs $2000 that is half the American amount for breast surgery; also in Venezuela nose construction is $1500, which is half price for American nose surgery (Tull, 2012). It shows that service provision is cheap in Venezuela. Due to affordable prices for these products and services many women prefer them. Breast cancer is a threat to the entire world (Taylor, 2010).
Moreover, plastic surgery is cheap and simple, and it does not involve many procedures. Procedures to correct physical imperfections vary one from another. Surgical solutions preferred are chin implants, facelifts, eyelid lifts, and nose jobs (Gulbas, 2008). Also, there are non-surgical processes; they are Juvederm and Botox that is injected into the skin to soften the skin folds like laugh lines and wrinkles. In regard to the type of injection, the patient must repeatedly have the procedures after six months to one year to maintain the same results. After the procedure, the recovery period takes a little number of days. What makes most of the cosmetic surgery popular in Venezuela is the fact that the surgeons do not use anesthesia majorly.
Social media include Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The world nowadays is obsessed with them. In the many self-photos are circulated, which demonstrate individuals with a flatter stomach, straight nose, big breasts, and reconstructed lips and teeth. For instance, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts with cleavage and pouty lips have more likes than ones without them. Hence, the matrix is simple: for an individual to have the mass following in social media; one should have some appearance associated with plastic surgery. Most of the Venezuelans have access to social media and get carried by social media trends in beauty (Espejo, 2011). It has led to many Venezuelans opting for cosmetics products, performing surgery, and services to have the same physical resemblance to individuals in their social media accounts.
Many Venezuelan women are aging. The problem with the aging factor is that it lowers the self-esteem of most women (Smith & Kenfally, 1997). The majority of women want to rectify this situation. This desire makes them visit places, read and watch materials that will enable them to reverse the situation. Eventfully, they come across sources that have plastic surgery. Some women who have undergone successful cosmetic surgery appear in the articles in magazines. It encourages the elderly women of Venezuela to undergo plastic surgery to look young forever.
The concern about self-esteem has developed the reason for most of the women to undergo plastic surgery. Self-esteem is one of the factors that make individuals register confidence and be able to face life in a different way or be able to solve any problem upon being confronted (Haiken, 1997). Most of the women from Venezuela have made it a routine to develop their confidence by undergoing surgery and becoming presentable. For instance, the women have learned that to secure some jobs like in the tourism industry one has to be presentable. Hence, they have gone the extra mile to make their dreams come true.
High demand for cosmetic products has also facilitated their rise in popularity. Many young individuals and women buy and use all cosmetic products, starting from the skin to nails (Kaadedjian & Taylor, 2010). Due to this big market share for the products, it makes them well known. The price is also very cheap. The cheaper is the product; the higher is the consumption rate. It has led to rising in popularity of these products in every corner of Venezuela
Venezuela is a country full of entertainment activities. They include music, art, and many others. The majority of artists associated with these entertainments have undergone cosmetic surgery. For instance, Venezuela has won Miss World thrice in a decade. All the beauty queens have done plastic surgery in their bodies in one way or another. For youths, celebrities serve as a source of inspiration. Some see them as their role model. Most individuals do what their role models do, including plastic surgery (Hansen & Selden, 2008). Also, these celebrities advertise these products on their own, or by allowing their image to be used in advertising. It makes their followers flock in the buying outlets to purchase the products. Hence, cosmetic products continue rising its popularity in Venezuela
If we could critically analyze beauty pageants, it is a very rare case for black women to win. Only in 1998, a black woman won, and there were some specific issues (Friedman, 2005). The majority of Venezuelans have a belief that black girls will never be beautiful. It is argued that the darker is the country the more whiteness is indispensable. Whiteness is associated with leisure, modernity, and wealth. So, to be equal to white people, one should look like them. The only way to have a similar physical appearance can be achieved by using these products and performing some cosmetic surgery. Many Venezuelans fall under this category.
Most of the ladies have the urge to be beautiful and good looking, but at the same time, they want to increase the intensity of their beauty to outdo their female counterparts. For this reason, they have realized the need to undergo plastic surgery. This notion has made it possible for the rise of cosmetic surgery in Venezuela (Grant & Chen, 2010). On the other hand, the women have made beauty their main concern
It would reduce the feeling of being frustrated. Most of the women in Venezuela had realized the poor rate of hiring among averagely looking women. They had understood that the behavior of envying their counterparts would not help them achieve their goals. In addition to that, the difficulty to secure a job or receive attention had made them seek for surgery (Brown, 2002)
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In conclusion, the rise in the popularity of cosmetic products and plastic surgeries in Venezuela is facilitated by many factors. Motivational factors, such as government reluctance, advertisement, peer influence, lack of parental guidance, economic tragedies, easy accessibility of cosmetic commodities, and cheap procedure have caused the rise of cosmetic surgery. Parents should take the initiative to liberate their kids from this obsession with cosmetic surgery. They should do everything to make their children feel comfortable with their physical appearance. Also, since there is a lack of information about cosmetics in the Venezuela population, there should be campaigns all over Venezuela to sensitize the citizens on the long-term effects of cosmetic surgery. The government via its various departments should also make its citizens proud of their color and appearance.
Factors of social identity that have led to the rise of cosmetic surgeries include social media, low self-esteem, role models, and aging women. Social media feed consumers with information on materials and products that enhance cosmetic surgery, due to the large number that happens to be associated with it; it has led to the rise of cosmetic surgery in Venezuela. The aging population has also facilitated to increase in use of the products; the old generations redeem their beauty by undergoing cosmetic surgery.
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The factors concerning ethnicity and social class include racial disparity, competition among Venezuelan ladies, reduction of frustration among Venezuelan women, and beauty enhancement. There is a notion that being white is next to paradise; that whiteness is associated with almost all goodies in the world. It has led many Venezuelans to do all they can, including cosmetic surgery to be white. Ladies are also in competition among themselves; therefore, many of them have undergone cosmetic surgery to be more appealing.
Frustration among Venezuelan women, like escort ladies, also is also a reason for the rise of this trend. Ladies come up with the assumption that the average woman happens to be physically the lesser the rate she is paid. Hence, to enhance demand one has to look exemplary well physically. It has led to an increase in cosmetic surgery in Venezuela to enhance better physical appearance.
Media have also facilitated more popularity of cosmetic surgery. The media right from news anchors to program actor has undergone cosmetic surgery either in one way or another. The majority of individuals in Venezuela watch television, hence, they find themselves copying famous people by undergoing cosmetic surgery.