March 10th, 2010
07:00 PM ET

$10 billion spent on cosmetic procedures despite recession

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

What recession? Despite record unemployment, rising health care costs and sinking home values - Americans shelled out more than $10 billion on cosmetic surgery and other procedures last year.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/10/art.botox.jpg caption="A woman receives a Botox injection. "]
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery says there were almost 10 million surgical and non-surgical procedures done in the U.S. in 2009, that's down only two percent from the year before. At least we want to look good for the coming collapse.

About 85 percent of the procedures were non-surgical - things like Botox - which are cheaper than surgery. In total there were 2.5 million Botox injections, more than one million procedures with other chemical fillers and 1.3 million laser hair removals done.

As for surgery, the most popular procedure was breast augmentation. There were 300,000 of those surgeries - followed by liposuction and eyelid surgery.

Some insist there's a direct connection to the lousy economy. One plastic surgeon says a lot of people have cosmetic procedures done to increase their chances of finding a job; he says people think if they look better, they're more likely to get work, and beat out someone who doesn't look as good.

He says even the unemployed are getting work done: "That's their stimulus - spending money trying to get into the workforce."

What a country. As we told you yesterday in the Cafferty File - almost half of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, but millions of us are running off to the plastic surgeon.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean that despite the worst recession since the Great Depression, Americans spent more than $10 billion on cosmetic procedures last year?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 7pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: Cosmetic Surgery • Recession
June 25th, 2008
02:15 PM ET

1 in 5 Americans to get cosmetic surgery by 2015

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.surgery.gi.jpg caption="American Society of Plastic Surgeons predicts that by 2015, 17% of all Americans will have some kind of plastic surgery."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The good news is our life expectancy keeps going up. We're living longer and healthier lives than we ever have before. The bad news is with extra years comes extra wrinkles, sag, cellulite and a general deterioration of our otherwise stunning good looks.

Enter the cosmetic surgeon. In fact, enter a whole army of cosmetic surgeons. Americans are nothing if not vain. In the face of $4 gasoline, a possible lengthy and painful recession and economic hardship that threatens to touch everyone's lives, millions of us still manage to come up with the money and the gasoline to get to the plastic surgeon.

Just last year, Americans spent more than $13 billion for almost 12 million procedures, up from 8.5 million procedures in 2001. Surgeons say there has been a bit of a slowdown recently because of the economy, but they expect many, many more of us to go under the knife in the coming years. We may be broke, but at least we'll look good in the unemployment line.

A new study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons predicts that by 2015, the current number of procedures will quadruple to more than 55 million. It's estimated that 17% of all Americans will be getting work done – that's almost one in five people.

However, the head of this organization says they are concerned that with the predicted growth in surgery, people not take shortcuts and go only to board-certified plastic surgeons. I wonder who Joan Rivers went to.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say about our society if almost 1 in 5 Americans will be getting cosmetic surgery within 7 years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Cosmetic Surgery