Miss Universe and Plastic Surgery
An Inside Look at Plastic Surgery in the World of Beauty Contests
The Miss Universe competition is one of the most anticipated events of the year. On January 30, hundreds of the most beautiful women in the world will come together in Manila, Philippines, for the chance to be crowned as this year’s Miss Universe. For decades, the Miss Universe has served as the premier showcase of talent, fashion, and beauty. In effect, it has done an incredible job by inspiring generations of women to become role models for their communities.
The Legitimacy of Plastic Surgery in Beauty Pageants
However, beauty pageants such as Miss Universe do not come without their controversies. Among the topics that have sparked debate among those in the community is the presence of plastic surgery and the role it ultimately plays in determining winners of the pageant.
Some have argued that it can be counted as a form of cheating, often comparing it to steroid abuse in professional sports. Others such as former Miss USA, Shanna Moakler, have encouraged participants to undergo procedures, knowing that it is a personal decision that varies among contestants.
At this time, the Miss Universe Organization, the governing body for the competition, currently has no restriction in regards to plastic or cosmetic surgery, but it does discourage contestants from altering their own natural features.
“Plastic surgery is supposed to enhance features of the body in order to produce results that are natural to the shape and form of the body”, shares Dr. Patrick Hsu. “The well-being of our patients comes before anything else.”
Venezuelan ‘Beauty Factories’
Despite the consensus among board-certified plastic surgeons, the industry around beauty pageants is often vulnerable to malpractice. As the New York Post reported in 2015, Venezuelan ‘beauty factories’ have become a staple in the region, and often attract parents from lower-income families as a means of lifting their own families from the strains of poverty.
It is worth noting that Venezuela is regarded as a powerhouse in the world of beauty pageants, having produced a record-breaking number of winners, including seven Miss Universes, Six Miss Worlds, and Seven more Miss International winners. And while it has given the country tremendous success and international pride, it has left girls as young as 12 open to a number of procedures such as implants, liposuction, and hormone therapy.
Even though patients under the age of 18 are not uncommon in the field of plastic surgery, Dr. Hsu believes it is best to wait until the patient is of legal age and has fully developed in order to provide results that are natural to their shape and physique.
Plastic Surgery’s Place in Your Future
In the end, what plastic surgery’s official place in the world of beauty pageants is entirely up to its judges. Most judges do not disclose their criteria and often make their decisions on their own personal ideals of what makes a proper beauty queen, with or without the use of plastic surgery.
It is important to remember that anyone considering plastic surgery should always consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon and must always remain realistic over their goals. With the right care, plastic surgery can provide results that not only last a lifetime, but can make any woman feel like a beauty queen.
As Shanna Moakler told Inside Edition during a feature in 2016, “I think it’s really important that women understand that they don’t have to be ashamed to make changes to their body. I don’t think you have to be ashamed if you are unhappy with one part of your body and you want to fix it.”