In Brazil, Beauty Is Never Enough

Remember this song?

"Tall and tan and young and lovely."

As she is, even "The Girl From Ipanema," is getting a little extra help these days.

Vanessa Nunes, 32, wasn't happy with her looks so she got a breast job.

"I was looking like a girl, I was feeling like a girl, and now, right after leaving the clinic I felt different already," says Nunes. "Something like, 'OK people are looking now.'

"I like it."

As CBS News Correspondent Trish Regan reports, more and more Brazilians, long recognized as some of the most beautiful people in the world, are willing to go under the knife to become even more beautiful.

In the last five years, the number of plastic surgery procedures performed in Brazil has more than doubled.

Breast and even buttocks augmentations, typically right before the country's annual Carnival, have become so popular that there's often a shortage of silicone. It's caused some to dub the country's annual party the "Silicone Carnival."

Meanwhile, Miss Brazil 2001 has freely admitted to having 23 cosmetic procedures, including liposuction, breast implants and silicone for her cheeks and jaw, all before the ripe old age of 22.

One reason for all the plastic surgery in Brazil might be the year-round hot weather. People spend a lot of time outdoors at the beach and there's pressure to look good.

The man said to be behind this Brazilian craze is Dr. Ivo Pitanguy.

He says looking good is not a luxury, but a spiritual necessity.

"If you correct the defect, whether aesthetic, whether reconstructive, it's not important. You should be in peace with yourself, in harmony," says Pitanguy.

For Nunes, it means not only feeling, but looking like a woman. To her, the risks and the pain of plastic surgery were worth it.

Asked if she'd advise her friends to get plastic surgery, she says: "Definitely. Don't even think twice. Get it done."

Because in a place like Rio, where vanity is actually admired, the girls from Ipanema have an image to live up to.
  • Jaime Holguin

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