Discovering Latina Beauty



In recent years, beauty has become increasingly important to Latin-American women. This is due, in part, to a beauty-obsessed culture and the vigorous promotion of attractiveness in the media. The attitude has also been fueled by the emergence of prominent Latinas such as Jenifer Lopez and Salma Hayek, whose looks have become a standard not only of Latin-American beauty but of beauty in general.


Hispanic Women

Although Hispanic women have perhaps always been focused on good looks, the definition of what it means to be a beautiful Latina has changed over the years. A century ago, women of Latin-American descent wanted to look more American. The less ethnic they appeared, the more beautiful they considered themselves to be. Today, that ideal has become much less important to these women. Modern Hispanics are proud of their heritage, and Jenifer Lopez and other Latinas have been idolized for their Latin-American beauty and their voluptuous, stereotypically Latina buttocks. As a result, a lot of Latinas have returned to their culture's traditional definition of beauty.

Plastic Surgery Fixation

This fixation with appearance has lead many Latin-American women to seek plastic surgery. In 2006, Latin Americans accounted for 9.3 percent of all plastic surgeries, more than any other ethnic group. There were 930,000 plastic surgeries performed on Latinos that year, which was 68.7 percent more than the 553,000 performed just two years before. In addition, there was a 49 percent increase in cosmetic surgeries among Latinas between the years of 2010 and 2011, and a 2009 study conducted by the research firm Simmons indicated that 61 percent of Latinas believe that "how [they] look on the outside projects the way [they are] on the inside."

TV Shows and Plastic Surgery

The growth of plastic surgery has been stimulated by shows such as "Bridalplasty" and "Extreme Makeover," which have improved awareness of plastic surgery, and by the increased availability of plastic surgeons that can speak Spanish. In addition, advertisements have begun to promote low cost plastic surgery, and many clinics are now providing patients with
plastic surgery financing. Plastic surgeons have also started to aggressively solicit business from Hispanic women.

Plastic Surgery among Latin Americans

Among Latin American women, the most common cosmetic procedure is buttocks enhancement. This procedure started in South American countries such as Brazil and is still one of the most common plastic surgeries performed in there. Hispanic culture has traditionally valued a curvy figure and large buttocks, and more and more Latinas are reaching for this ideal. This procedure is so important to many Latin Americans that they are willing to use plastic surgery financing in order to afford it.

In Latin American countries, plastic surgery has become commonplace. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Brazil is third in terms of the number of plastic surgeries performed and Mexico is fifth; other Latin American countries rank among the top 25. In Bolivia, more than 70 percent of women in the middle and upper class have undergone cosmetic enhancements, and Cuba is a common destination for medical tourism due to its low cost plastic surgery and high availability of plastic surgeons. Procedures available in these countries include liposuction, tummy tucks, breast surgeries, nose jobs, face lifts and cosmetic dental surgeries.

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