While browsing charts and graphs about property bubbles and purchasing power parity, I came across this chart in The Economist which shows how much plastic surgery is performed in the following countries.
There is a lot to be said about this from a statistical viewpoint, especially that the results may be distorted by medical tourism (for example from China to South Korea, to take two of the more extreme examples on the chart). Also, the graphic depiction of the chart is somewhat misleading because the values on the top scale are only per mille values. The 986 to 999 people in a thousand who don’t get any plastic surgery are not shown, so the graphic overemphasizes the difference between the listed countries.
Taking that into consideration, I was surprised by the top three: South Korea, Greece and Italy (although I wonder where Italy would end up without Mr Berlusconi’s many operations). Europeans would not expect Greeks to spend that much money on plastic surgery while there is allegedly not enough money in the country’s medical system to buy medicine. But then again, it’s just a few out of a thousand and maybe Greek tax-dodging millionaires are getting plastic surgery to escape arrest or revolutionary crowds.
I was not at all surprised to find the USA, Colombia and Brazil high on the list. Not that I am that closely inspecting all of the Brazilian women whom I meet, but from the ones I have met, I suspect there are more fake boobs than footballs in Brazil. And in Colombia it’s even government policy to make people lazy and fat, which they then apparently have to counter by plastic surgery.
The interesting question is whether the women in the countries with a lot of plastic surgery are now more beautiful, or if the ones in the countries without much plastic surgery were already more beautiful to begin with and therefore didn’t see any need for plastic surgery. Let’s have a look at representatives of the top three and the bottom three countries:
I would say that my personal chart is the exact reversal of the above one.
Probably, the numbers say much more about the self-confidence than about the beauty of the citizens of the listed countries. – I’ll rather stick to the countries with less plastic surgery, if only for the personality of their people.