Venezuelan women are revolting complaining. While the citizens of the socialist utopia can withstand shortages of food, toilet paper, and now even news paper, in a nation thought to have one of the world's highest plastic surgery rates, AP reports beauty-obsessed Venezuelans face a scarcity of brand-name breast implants, and women are so desperate that they and their doctors are turning to devices that are the wrong size or made in China, with less rigorous quality standards. No one is giving the frustrated women much sympathy, especially not the government where late President Hugo Chavez called the country's plastic surgery fixation "monstrous," and railed against the practice of giving implants to girls on their 15th birthdays. However, many have taken to Twitter under the hashtag "Without Boobs, There's No Paradise."
Venezuelans once had easy access to implants approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But doctors say they are now all-but impossible to find because restrictive currency controls have deprived local businesses of the cash to import foreign goods. It may not be the gravest shortfall facing the socialist South American country, but surgeons say the issue cuts to the psyche of the image-conscious Venezuelan woman.
"The women are complaining," said Ramon Zapata, president of the Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Venezuelan women are very concerned with their self-esteem."
Venezuela is thought to have one of the world's highest plastic surgery rates, and the breast implant is the seminal procedure. Doctors performed 85,000 implants here last year, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Only the U.S., Brazil, Mexico and Germany — all with significantly larger populations — saw more procedures.
However, no one is giving the frustrated women much sympathy, especially not the government.
The consumerism of plastic surgery has always jibed awkwardly with the rhetoric of socialist revolution. The late President Hugo Chavez called the country's plastic surgery fixation "monstrous," and railed against the practice of giving implants to girls on their 15th birthdays.
On social media, some Venezuelans take a judgmental tone, saying the panic over implants shows the real shortage here is values. Others joke that the scarcity will force Venezuelan women to start developing their personalities, using a Twitter hashtag that riffs on the Colombian telenovela "Sin Tetas, No Hay Paraiso" ("Without Boobs, There's No Paradise").
So - Venezuelan women are going global...
In the absence of U.S. brands, plastic surgery has become an area dominated by Venezuela's chief trading partner, China, whose goods are often given priority for import over those from other countries. They're also a lot cheaper. While a pair of implants approved by European regulators can cost as much as $600 — about the same as the annual minimum wage here — the Chinese equivalent goes for a third of that. Some Venezuelan doctors refuse to use the Chinese devices, which are not subjected to random government inspections or clinical studies.
"I'm not saying they're not safe, but I've removed more than a few ruptured Chinese implants. I just don't feel comfortable with them," Slobodianik said.
We leave it to 46 year old Lisette Arroyo to sum up Venezuela's socialist utopia...
"This country is not what it used to be," she said earlier this month as awaited surgery in a blue paper gown.
No indeed it's not.
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Frankly we think it's "fair" that Venezuelan women should have the right to fake boobs...
and $15 an hour minimum wage...