Recently, women in Venezuela have been increasingly using plastic surgery to augment and change their bodies. To reflect this new enthusiasm, the mannequins in Venezuela have also gotten their breasts and asses inflated to ridiculous proportions. What are fundamentally clothes hangers, designed to show how garments look on a human body, are now transforming the notion of the ideal female figure into a body with extreme measurements.

We can be quick to judge, but the New York Times' report on these new mannequins is more about the history of attitudes toward beauty in the South American country, and how the society has arrived to this point where impossibly-large plastic boobs dominate shop windows.

In a culture where beauty is skin-deep and quick fix surgeries are a much-talked about fad, it was only a small amount of time where these busty mannequins became the standard at both cheap stalls and high-end retailers. Some people are even pointing to these figurines as the body type they want to have. “I have lots of clients that come here and say, ‘I want to look like that mannequin,’” a shop-owner said. “I tell them, ‘Okay, then get an operation.’”

An owner of a local mannequin factory explained the recent real-life and artificial phenomenon. “The mannequins were natural, just like the women were natural,” she said. “The transformation has been both of the woman and of the mannequin.”

Whatever the notions of artificial enhancement are in that country and in ours, one thing can't be argued against: sex sells, even if it's outrageously depicted. One shop-owner spoke to the Times about how she makes sure the chestier mannequins get preferential treatment and placement. “These are the princesses,” she said, as she placed them in front of others, “because they have the best bust.”

[via The New York Times]