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The plastic Oh No! band
The Music Maker

The plastic Oh No! band

Leafing idly through the Spanish newspapers the other day, I stumbled across an astonishing statistic - approximately 40% of Spain's population has undergone some kind of "medicinal aesthetic treatment", writes columnist Peter Edgerton

Friday, 2 February 2024, 19:34

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In 2010, when asked why she was against the idea of plastic surgery, Julia Roberts said, "I want my children to know when I'm angry, when I'm happy and when I'm confounded," which is, I think, excellent reasoning. Speaking up for the chaps, the outlandishly dashing actor Kevin Costner has expressed similar sentiments on more than one occasion.

Leafing idly through the Spanish papers the other day, I stumbled across an astonishing statistic - approximately 40% of Spain's population has undergone some kind of "medicinal aesthetic treatment". Blimey, I thought, that's a whopping number, especially if you take into consideration children and old people who have undoubtedly got better things to do with their time. That's the thing with statistics though - they're always worth investigating a bit more deeply.

First, who had come up with this ostensibly irrefutable fact? Aha! The first red flag reared its ugly head, if flags have ugly heads to rear, that is. The source was a doctor in charge of - you've guessed it - the aesthetic medicine unit at - you've guessed it again - a plastic surgery hospital in Malaga.

To paraphrase - indeed, almost certainly misquote - Mandy Rice-Davis, well she would say that wouldn't she? The thing is, if you were thinking of getting your nose reshaped but simultaneously having some serious doubts about the whole thing and then you read somewhere that getting on for half of everybody else had done something similar, you might be encouraged take the plunge just as, in 2016, throngs of fully fledged adults were seen to be leaping unbidden in and out of random shop doorways in pursuit of ghostly Pokemon characters largely because loads of other people were doing it too.

It's also worth looking at the phrase the doctor used: "medicinal aesthetic treatment". It's a bit flaky, isn't it? In fact, what does it actually mean? Could it include going to one of those nail parlour places to have your digits varnished? On the face of it, that's not really medicinal but if it helps with your self- esteem and, consequently, any mental health issues you might have, then I suppose it is.

No, I find it difficult to believe that forty per cent of Spain's adult population has had one of these medicinal aesthetic treatments but, rest assured, I'll be keeping a beady (untreated) eye out next time I'm on Calle Larios. Whatever the case, I'll certainly be sticking with the sixty per cent, if only to be able to claim to have something in common with the outlandishly dashing actor Kevin Costner.

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