Between 30,000 and 40,000 women get breast augmentations each year in Venezuela—and President Hugo Chavez is not happy about it. On state TV this weekend, he called it “monstrous” that even poor women feel pressure to get breast lifts, and that some doctors “convince some women that if they don’t have some big bosoms, they should feel bad.” Venezuela is one of the world’s biggest markets for the surgery—billboards advertise bank loans for boob jobs; parents have been known to give their 15-year-olds breast implants as a gift; and last year, a National Assembly candidate attempted to finance his campaign by raffling off a breast lift.
Needless to say, plastic surgeons were not happy with Chavez’s denouncement, the New York Times reports. “I don’t think there should be any type of discrimination against these aesthetic procedures,” says one. But Chavez’s opponents aren’t happy either: One editorial in an opposition newspaper compared the president to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, owing to his “antiquated, militaristic, coarse, repressive attitude on the freedom of women.” Hilariously, Chavez also said that he once received a letter from a supporter asking for his help getting a breast lift. His response? “Of course I had to reject it.” (Click for the tale of boob job with an unhappy ending ... for a snake.)