Though President Ronald Reagan is often credited with ending the Cold War and having a hand in bringing down the Berlin Wall, in her book American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and Our Quest for Perfection, author Laurie Essig asserts that The Gipper’s trickle down economic theories have made plastic surgery more readily available to lower-income Americans.
Essig claims that after the implementation of trickle down economics, a theory she sees as less-than-successful, many Americans were put at an economic disadvantage and later began to see plastic surgery as a remedy to their financial troubles, though it could put them into deeper debt. Some saw plastic surgeries increasingly as a way to further their careers (or simply hold onto them), and less as just elective procedures to look more thin or beautiful, according to a 2.5 star review of the book for Bloomberg Businessweek.
Most of the 140 patients Essig interviewed for American Plastic saw plastic surgery as somewhat of a necessity in an ever-growing (and increasingly younger) job market. To that effect, one woman told Essig, “it’s about how you look, not what you do. I do believe that nine times out of 10, women with the hot bodies get the best jobs.”
More than just tummy tucks and liposuction leading the industry, Essig sees Botox with its dropping prices and ease of availability driving middle and lower income consumers into their plastic surgeon’s office and as they seek increased confidence in an uncertain economy.