Plastic Surgery in Rio




all year gorgeous go/went/gone
obvious pretty (2) temperature
involve outweigh spend/spend/spent (2)
peek shape (2) go under the knife
thigh liposuction choose/chose/chosen
breast it turns out come/came/come
nose check up get a peek (2)
boobs manage (2) know/knew/known
save up afraid to figuratively
heal pharmacy augmentation
stay (3) so far (2) go/went/gone
belly illusion think/thought/thought (2)
waist satisfied do my nose
extra outdoors see/saw/seen
swell admit (2) symmetrical
fear anorexic good/better/the best
risk support dental floss
exist work out operation (2)
mirror improve do/did/done
goal (2) right (5) find/found/found
size essential wear/wore/worn
try on try/tried keep them up
literally for sure know better
excited figure (3) leave/left/left (2)
strap fall down knife/knives
benefit look like at any moment
wonder strapless check out (2)
funny judge (2) come this far
saggy constantly lose/lost/lost






It’s basically bikini season all year.

Between the gorgeous beaches and the tropical temperatures, people spend a lot of time outdoors, with not very much on, especially here at Brazil’s most famous beach: Copacabana.

It’s pretty obvious why people call this place “Sea and be Seen.”

Exercise and diet aren’t the only way people here shape their bodies — more cosmetic surgeries are done in Brazil than anywhere in the world.

In 2013, almost one-and-a-half million people went under the knife, to get the looks they want.

I’ve come to Rio de Janeiro to get a peek into the world of plastic surgery.

Actually it turns out that people here are pretty open about it.

Female three: “Men always choose women with bigger breasts, or have a smoking-hot body.”
Female five: “I’d like to do my nose — don’t come so close! And maybe some big boobs.”

Female six: “Maybe you are afraid to do it — and then your friends do it; and they look good, and so you do it.

Of all the women I’ve talked to, only one said she would like to stay all natural.

By now I should probably know better . . . but I’m still surprised to see so many young women in the waiting room of a plastic surgeon’s office.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

One of the is Isis, a 23 year old pharmacy student. She saved up for two years to get her surgeries: a breast augmentation here; a liposuction at another clinic.

Isis went to two different doctors because it was cheaper.

Today Dr. Josas is checking up on how she is healing.

Dr. Josas: “So Isis, tell me what you think of the results so far. Is everything symmetrical?”
Isis: “Waist, belly and back are all fine. But I’m not satisfied with my thighs; there’s still some extra fat.”
Dr. Josas: “You’ll have to wait a few more months. One month after the liposuction, there’s still some swelling.”

They talk about surgery as if it were a cup of coffee.

But what if something goes wrong?

Isis: “The benefits outweigh the fears. Every surgery comes with risks, especially when there’s anesthesia involved.

Dr. Josas: “It’s very common, here in Brazil, especially in Rio, that girls come with this illusion of perfection. They want big breasts. They want to be pretty, just like the girls on TV or the movies.

If she talks to me like, ‘Oh I want to have the biggest breasts, or I want to be perfect,’ I’m going to tell her, ‘Isis relax. Nobody reaches perfection — perfection doesn’t exist.’

. . . But if I can help make her look better, with surgery with low-risk — then I think it’s okay to do it.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Isis isn’t anorexic; but she has set herself some high goals.

She doesn’t want to show me photos, but already before her liposuction, she managed to lose 30 kilos.

She works out every day, together with her husband, Wilcur. Today is her first day back at the gym since her operations.

Isis: “I always look in the mirror and want more. The more I work out, the more I want to improve my looks.

Wilcur: “I think she looks good the way she is. She did before, too. But in her head, there’s always something that’s not perfect enough, that she wants to improve.

And if that’s what she wants, I have to support her.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Since her surgeries, Isis loves to go shopping with her cousin Layla. She says finding the right bikini used to be torture.

But all that’s changed. Now she’s got three-hundred-twenty milliliters (320 ml) in each breast, about the size of a coke can. She used to wear size small; now she’s excited to try on a large.

But Layla can’t find a bikini she’s happy with.

Journalist: “So how is it?”
Isis: “I think Layla looks great; but she doesn’t agree.”
Layla: “Where are they? I don’t have any breasts.”
Journalist: “So would you do surgery to keep them up?”
Layla: “I will for sure. Very soon.”

Journalist: “So when you look into the mirror, how do you see yourself?”
Isis: “I like myself now. I like what I see. Now I can wear strapless bikinis. Before I wouldn’t have.”
Journalist: “If you’re happy, why do you want to do another liposuction?”
Isis: “There are still some parts of my body that I want to change, especially here on the side; there’s still some fat left. Now that I’ve come this far with the liposuction, I want to do it right.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

On our way to the beach, the girls teach me some essential Brazilian vocabulary: strapless bikini tops are called tomara que caia , literally “I hope it falls down.” And I have to admit, they do look like they do look like they could fall down at any moment.

And it gets even better: they call the bottom part “dental floss”. That’s pretty funny.

But I do wonder, if I had to walk around in dental floss most of the time, would I want surgery too?

Isis: “When you go to the beach, people always check out your body. You’re constantly being judged. That’s how it is here.”

Journalist: “Maybe this is the reason why you are doing all these surgeries?”

Isis: “No, I don’t think so! Liposuction was something I always wanted, ever since I was fifteen (15).

As for my breasts, I figured I had to bet them done after I lost so much weight. They were so small and saggy.

I thought I had to, to look better for other people. But it’s something I’ve always wanted to do anyway.”

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


Body, Figure. People in Rio go to the beach and wear bikinis only in summer. Is this true or false?

Head, Face.
This place is called “Sea (See) and be Seen”. What does this mean?

Hair, Eyebrows.
Do more Americans go under the knife (have plastic surgery) than any other nation? Is the United States ranked number one in terms of cosmetic surgery every year?

Eyes, Nose, Mouth, Ears. In Brazil, people are ashamed and secretive about having plastic surgery. It is considered a great shame. Is this correct or incorrect? Do they speak seriously or casually about cosmetic surgery?

Forehead, Chin, Cheeks.
Only celebrities undergo cosmetic surgery, but ordinary people prefer to stay natural. Is this right or wrong? Is plastic surgery very widespread (common) in Brazil?

Neck, Shoulders. How do the doctors feel about people having plastic surgery? What do doctors think about cosmetic surgery?

Chest, Breasts. In Brazil, people want to have plastic surgery because they are physically “unattractive” or to restore disfigurements from accidents. Yes or no? Why do so many people want to have cosmetic surgery?
Stomach, Abdomen, Waist, Navel. Have your friends, classmates or coworkers had plastic surgery? What happened? Has it changed their personality or character? Is plastic surgery becoming more common in your city or country? What are some common procedures?

Back, Spine. Why do people have plastic surgery? Is it for vanity, social, economic, aesthetic, professional reasons, self-esteem or all of the above?

Arm, Elbow, Hand, Fingers, Thumb. How important (or essential) is having an “attractive” (beautiful) physical appearance? Is it vital, extremely important, very important, in the middle, so-so, not very important or not important at all?

Hips, Buttocks. What kind of people have plastic surgery? Men, women; teenagers, young adults, middle-aged, old people; poor, working class, middle class, upper-middle class, upper-class (rich), celebrities?

Leg, Knee, Foot-Feet, Toes.
What will happen in the future regarding plastic surgery?

Skin. People shouldn’t have plastic surgery — they should just appreciate themselves and accept who they are. What do you think?

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