For many, the New Year brings crowded gyms and crash diets. It has also become a time of increased business in another industry designed to get you in better shape: plastic surgery. An
The intuitive answer is also the correct one. Plastic surgery is spiking after the holidays because people were given plastic surgery as a gift (often in the form of gift cards to a particular clinic). The trend is not new; the Wall Street Journal reported on a similar rise in 2011, noting “After many cosmetic procedures patients want to go underground during the days-long recovery period, which might involve swelling, bruising and oozing. The holiday season makes it easier to avoid interacting with others at work or in school car pools.” Alternately, people want to have work done in time to look good for gatherings over the holiday season, leading to higher numbers in December as well, especially for quick, non-invasive procedures.
The type of procedure being given as a gift varies. Elle.com reports gift cards given in amounts that would pay for lower-cost procedures like medical-grade chemical peels, noting a “dramatic increase” in the number of gift cards being sold. But gift-givers (usually family members) have also footed the bill for their loved ones’ breast augmentations (including MTV reality star Snooki being gifted new breasts by her co-star J-Woww), nose jobs, or Botox treatments. “I’ve really seen it all with holiday gifting. I’ve seen mothers get daughters laser hair removal. I’ve seen sisters give sisters treatments, usually an injectable,” Manhattan-based dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Hale told Elle.
Giving plastic surgery as a holiday gift may not necessarily be on a universal upswing. Much of the data reporting an increase comes from larger cities like Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York City. Stories don’t seem to cite anyone from small towns or rural outposts. Then again, it isn’t a uniquely American phenomenon. Plastic surgery Christmas gifts are apparently prevalent enough in Germany for a politician to comment (according to Time) that he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to give such gifts to teenagers.