23 November 2008

Dancefloors, Breast Implants and Paradise

Nightclubs in Argentina are offering patrons the chance for a D cup

A hit telenovela is raising a storm of controversy on Latin American TV screens. Sin tetas no hay paraíso (Without Tits There Is No Paradise), is so popular that the title is fast turning into an everyday saying. The programme — about a young girl who believes breast implants will gain her a better life but lead her to a world of prostitution and drug dealers — has left many people talking about the show’s glamourisation of unequivocally-enhanced busts. But with contests, like ones in Argentine nightclubs where new breasts are given away as monthly door prizes, can the current public obsession with plastic surgery really be blamed on a single show?

“I want my tits!” scream contest hopefuls who pay between $5 to $20 to get into nightclubs for the chance of winning big. In a country where the minimum wage is $240, implants costing $2,800 are seen as an incredible jackpot. For Argentinean club owners, the women who come out to compete –and the men who follow– make for big business. The contests have become so ubiquitous in Argentina that locals are starting to refer to them as “dancing for your boobs” in reference the local version of Dancing with the Stars.

“People have gotten bored of cars and motorbikes as prizes. They want something new” defends local promoter Rodrigo Herrera. His club, located in La Rioja province in the north-west of the country, is just one of many across Argentina holding breast implant raffles.

Herrera says that people quickly tire of this kind of promotion at club events. Nevertheless, breast implant parties have become a goldmine. “People will never tire of sex” said famous British porn publisher, Paul Raymond.

Implants have become so common that getting a boob job is an everyday topic of conversation at any café or bar. There are TV shows about breast implants all day long and just by flipping through the Argentine channels, you end up knowing the advantages of gel implants over silicone, where the doctor should make the incision and whether it’s more or less painful to put the implant under the breast muscle rather than on top. Implants are so present that they’ve almost become an everyday consumer item. Subjected to constant advertising, many young girls are putting the surgery high on their wish list.

“You can’t raffle off breast implants as if they were a toaster-oven,” denounces Francisco Famá, spokesman for the Argentine Plastic Surgeons Association. That may be logical, but not everyone is paying attention. “Surgical tourists” are being enticed to Argentina on nip-and-tuck packages that cover not only the cost of the procedure, but also airfare, hotels and sightseeing trips.

With favourable exchange rates and highly-skilled surgeons, Argentina has quickly become one of the world leaders in plastic surgery, with more operations performed there than almost anywhere else.

15 November 2008

11 November 2008

The Teaches of Piggy

My new favourite thing!