So a few minutes after arriving in Buenos Aires, I noticed some woman with a broken nose sipping coffee at a cafe. A day later I saw another broken nosed woman chatting with a well coiffed tough looking guy; I wondered if she was a domestic violence victim. Then yesterday I saw another one, and thought, wow, are the men here abusive? Maybe its all that hot Mediterranean blood. Then today I saw another one, and thought, okay, something is up; all of the broken noses have the same exact bandaging. Later, we met a tour guide who started cracking jokes about the "lions" here in the BA jungle -- she pointed out plasticated boobulation examples everywhere; she said the national health insurance even covers it. So I did some searches, and a bunch of weird things showed up. I don't typically follow the Miss Universe news, so I missed the fact that Miss 1994 Argentina died recently from a botched buttocks implant. And this freaky woman has issues with hers as well. Apparently though, this is all old news. This 1999 Newsweek article has a punchy quote:
In "The Masks of Argentina," author Luis Majul estimates that one in every 30 Argentines has undergone cosmetic surgery. And with prices plummeting, face-lifts and nose jobs are becoming "democratized," says plastic surgeon Maria Cristina Zeaiter. But the country's elite sets the tone; everyone from Diego Maradona to President Carlos Menem has gone under the scalpel. Menem's ex-wife, former First Lady Zuelma Yoma, is a frequent client of cosmetic-surgery clinics. But few Argentines are put off by such dangers. "Mankind suffers two great ills: aging and ugliness," says cosmetic surgeon Jose Juri. "Plastic surgery can treat them both."
So, it turns out that, not only do folks here get a lot of plastic surgery, but BA is actually a major plastic surgery "medical" "tourist" destination. Here's a rather disturbing CNN expose.