Growing up as an American, one of the first things I learned was to never judge a book by its cover. Although it is well known that American ideas and cultures are not exactly similar to neighboring countries such as Mexico or Canada, I had always thought that this particular way of life in not judging someone by how they look was global. I can honestly say that after taking this class and watching my telenovela, judging based on looks is a lot more prevalent and accepted in other countries then I had ever imagined. After doing some research, it blew me away after finding out that plastic surgery loans are the third highest in demand when it comes to loans behind mortgages and car payments in South America.
Osmel Sousa, head of the Miss Venezuela Beauty Pageant, is a very well known plastic surgeon in not only Venezuela but most of the world. Sousa argues, "If it can be easily fixed with surgery, then why not do it?." He also goes on to say that to be considered beautiful, body enhancements are often necessary. "...inner beauty does not exist, thats something that unpretty women do to justify themselves," says Sousa, as he performs hundreds, if not thousands of surgeries every year. After reading those simple quotes, I was extremely blown away. I was raised being taught the complete opposite in that a persons true identity is on their insides. Sousa goes against this essentially saying women are only good for their looks. I will say, however, that Sousa's ideology make a lot more sense with what I see in telenovelas as most women have breasts large enough to potentially give them serious back problems as they age. As I reflect on Sousa's words, I can only hope that his thoughts are not the same thoughts as the other 400 million people living in South America, but something tells me I am wrong. As previously stated, surgery loans are the third highest loan in demand making it almost crystal clear that looks are extremely important in South America.
After learning about judging in South America, two thoughts or reflections come to mind: first, how sad it is that we live in a world where we make opinions about people before we ever hear a word out of their mouth and second, how Sousa's words will play into my telenovela, El Señor de Los Cielos. Besides the large breasted women in my telenovela, the only other relation to plastic surgery was when Aurelio Casillas has to get his face changed after being spotted by the Federal. I hope Sousa's words are not as bad as I think, but I will find out more as I watch my telenovela unfold as a reflection of the South American people.