More Americans undergo plastic surgery than people in any other country in the world.
But when countries’ populations are taken into account, five other nations have more cosmetic surgeries per capita than the U.S., according to data from Trend Monitor and graphed by The Economist.
The top 7 countries with the most plastic surgeries are:
1. South Korea
6. United States
Americans spend more a year in the cosmetic industry than they ever will on their education. Why?
1. There is a lot of money to be made in beauty, now more than ever.
Every month, there seems to be a new product on the market promising youth for older women and glamour for younger women. Every magazine has a huge beauty section because the advertisers are willing to pay big bucks for huge glossy ads about eyeshadow or lipstick. And it’s no wonder beauty is a big business: it doesn’t cost a lot of money to produce a small tub of cream (Creme de La Mer costs upwards of $100) but women won’t think twice before swiping their credit cards to buy it.
2. The anti-aging industry is growing at a furious rate.
Ten years ago you had only Oil of Olay promising to erase fine lines and wrinkles. Now you have microdermabrasion products, Retinoids (think Retin-A, which isn’t just for acne anymore), antioxidants and peels. On top of this, you have a whole list of new minor cosmetic procedures that women are trying as early as age 20. These fillers (think Botox and Restylane) offer women a simpler, less costly option to look younger. They are becoming so mainstream, women in Dallas are getting them done in the mall of all places!
3. On a lighter note, a ‘less is more’ trend that I hope takes off.
It started with an article in a magazine about how the French are so much more casual than Americans with their makeup and we all know French women are so very sophisticated. This unleashed a few ‘Beauty secrets from the French articles’. Then the New York Times writer Alex Kuczynski wrote a book that got a ton of recent buzz about how she became obsessed with cosmetic surgery and has opted to now go au naturel. Perhaps this new trend is a result of the number 1 and 2 trends I outlined above. We’ll see if it has any sort of affect. I’m somewhat doubtful it will. But on the streets of New York, you don’t see a lot of bright lipstick and heavily lined eyes. I can’t speak for anywhere else, however. But since New York is the trendsetter of American beauty and culture, we’ll see where that takes us.
4. The celebrity factor…in advertising.
Over the past five years or so, celebrities have become spokesmodels for beauty products, unseating the ‘Supermodels’ of the late 80’s, early 90’s. This reflects a general trend in advertising, I think, where celebrities have pitched all sorts of products from watches to foundation. They don’t wear a ton of makeup when stalked by paparazzi, I’ve noticed, but they sure make a ton of money pitching it for ad agencies.