Cosmetic procedures are a standard in Brazil
While some nations may not feel favorably toward plastic surgery, residents of Brazil not only acknowledge the practice as acceptable, but the majority recognize the benefits associated with cosmetic procedures.
According to The New York Times, plastic surgery helps to foster equality among social classes in Brazil. The source noted that there are a plethora of establishments that connect patients to surgeons in clinic or hospital environments. Not only are people in the area more likely to visit these doctors, but they may go back for more procedures.
Alexander Edmonds, the journalist who visited Brazil to explore its cultural acceptance of cosmetic surgery for The NY Times, spoke to one woman who recently underwent breast augmentation. She explained that her surgery did not come from the desire to adhere to commonly accepted beauty standards, but from her own desire to increase her self-perception.
"I didn't put in an implant to exhibit myself, but to feel better," she said. "It wasn't a simple vanity, but a ... necessary vanity. Surgery improves a woman's auto-estima [self-esteem]."
In Brazil, plastic surgery is common among women of all social classes, equally as prevalent in poor regions as it is in richer ones, the author noted. Much of this philosophy comes from Brazil's most famous plastic surgeon, Dr. Ivo Pitanguy, who believes that "the poor have the right to be beautiful too.' His beliefs led to years of charity plastic surgery and even now, his students offer free cosmetic surgery through the public health system.
Edmond explained that since Brazilians are so favorable of receiving enhancements, women have equal and relatively inexpensive opportunities to pursue surgeries. This not only puts people on equal footing, but gives everyone the opportunity to look, feel and (since beauty carries power and privilege) be treated better.
Cosmetic procedures are so common among Brazilian women that one group of dancers that performs at the annual Carnival festival in Rio sent out a call for all-natural women. According to Reuters, the organization had a difficult time recruiting just 22 women who did not have breast or butt augmentations.
The spokesman emphasized that the group was not making a statement against cosmetic surgery - they merely sought women without enhancements to stand out among the throng of other dancers who had implants. The natural look was an ode to the original roots of Carnival - a time where there was "more variety."