Given attitudes to cosmetic surgery here in the UK, it's easy to forget that in other countries and other cultures it may be a slightly more controversial topic.
That's not to say that other countries don't fully buy into the surgery as a successful treatment for all sorts of bodily complaints. Cosmetic surgery is popular the world over – it's just that people think, discuss and value it differently depending on where it fits into the society of which they are a part.
Let's take the nose job as an example. Any surgery that alters or reshapes the nose is known to the surgical community as a rhinoplasty. This is one of the most common procedures globally and it's interesting to see how patients respond to having the work done depending on their social contexts.
The two sides of the Channel
In the UK, people tend to be rather open about rhinoplasty surgery, although some people will make reference to past injuries or be more happy giving functional rather than cosmetic reasons for the surgery. In general, however, being realistic and honest about cosmetic surgery is seen as the best way of dealing with a potentially awkward subject. That's not necessarily the way things happen over the Channel.
In France, there is more of a taboo surrounding cosmetic surgery and people are a little less keen to discuss it. While the French do have a reputation of being incredibly forthcoming about all sorts of potentially controversial topics, they are surprisingly reticent about the subject of 'having work done'. This is due to the fact that it is considered in poor taste to flaunt wealth in any way, whether this is luxury cars, expensive jewellery, or cosmetic surgery. This is purely a social construct.
Contrast it with the state of affairs in Brazil. Brazilians are so open about things like cosmetic surgery that a good nose job is something of a status symbol. There's very little in the way of a social taboo against the idea of making an investment in your appearance in the country that brought us samba dancing, the carnival and Copacabana beach! Much of the population of Brazil live close to the poverty line, so any disposable income and the luxuries it provides tend to be flaunted.
It's interesting that two relatively liberal societies in Brazil and France should have such different attitudes to cosmetic surgery. Perhaps that fact ought to prepare us for a surprising fact: where do we suppose the world capital of the nose job is?
A Persian pastime
It's tempting to say somewhere like L.A. where appearances really are everything. However, the actual answer is Tehran, the Iranian capital - there are said to be as many as 200,000 Iranians who undergo nasal surgery every year. Iran is rarely considered to have the kind of liberal backdrop that you might expect of a cosmetic surgery hotspot and nor is it usually associated with any great focus on physical appearances – at least not to the extent that it would outdo the likes of Hollywood!
Nevertheless, the social context of Tehran does put extraordinary value on the rhinoplasty. Again, a great nose job is a key identifier when it comes to social stratification. The standard of surgery a person receives points to their social status, to perhaps an even greater degree than in the US. It's not just about the aesthetic value of the new nose; it is also about the simple fact of the new nose and the quality of the workmanship.
So while nose jobs and other forms of cosmetic surgery remain something of a sensitive issue on an individual basis, there are social factors that help to break the taboo in all sorts of settings.
If you would like more information about rhinoplasty surgery or would indeed like to book a consultation with our expert surgeons Mr Nick Percvial or Mr Miles Berry please click the link below or give us a call 0207 486 6778