This past week I have been preparing for a speech I will be giving in Monaco next Saturday at the Monaco Spa Congress. The title of my speech is A Spa Dialogue: Tracking perspectives in the Spa Industry. While I will be focusing on the spa dialogue between North America and Europe, I wanted to have a better understanding of what the spa industry and medical tourism was like in some areas of the world with which I am less familiar – namely Africa and South America.
Then today in the NY Times there is a prominent article about what’s happening in the Brazilian world of beauty. I have always known that Brazilian women were some of the most beautiful in the world (they win a lot of contests) and that their society is very body conscious. Someone once told me that having plastic surgery is sort of a “badge of honor” there and that people proudly wear their surgical bandages for others to see.
In today’s article they highlighted this obsession with beauty perfection and the fact that there seems to be a shift in standards. Instead of a more plump and rounded guitar-shaped figure being popular, the tall and thin Gisele Bundchen-like figure is “in”. That has resulted in Brazil becoming the country that swallows the most diet pills and is now exhibiting the sad results of anorexia. Apparently Miss Brazil 2001 admitted to having had 23 cosmetic procedures before winning the crown. Wow – and that was a long time ago.
This all gives me mixed feelings. On the one hand I am looking forward to spending some time in Monaco where there will be a large French contingency. The French, of course, are known to be quite confident with their natural beauty. On the other hand I think, hmmmm those Brazilian plastic surgeons have certainly had a lot of practice….