Fortune-seeking women swell with desire for drug barons
THE sorry television saga of a pretty young woman
who undergoes breast enlargement to win the heart of a
drug dealer is gripping Colombia, where the series
reflects an unparalleled boom in plastic surgery.
The story of Katherine, a
desperate teenager struggling to escape poverty, is told
in a nightly drama called Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso, or
Without Breasts There Is No Paradise.
More and more young
office workers, who earn an average of £120 a month, are
paying £800 for breast augmentation. Five years ago
30,000 Colombians had implants; this year more than
100,000 procedures are expected to be carried out..
Gustavo Bolivar Moreno,
an investigative reporter and author of a bestselling
book about would-be molls that inspired the series, has
been praised for revealing the bleak truths about many
young women’s ambitions. “All adolescent girls are
self-conscious about their bodies,” he said. “But I have
met 13-year-olds saving up surgery money specifically to
reach their ultimate goal — a cocaine smuggler.
“Not a doctor, or even a
footballer, but the type of criminal who, 13 years after
the Medellin cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar was killed,
still enforce their aesthetic on a generation of women
in a brutal fashion.
“Even when the women have
gone under the knife to measure up, they are merely used
and discarded in the worst possible ways,” he said.
Sin Tetas follows the
rise and fall of a girl who prostitutes herself to pay
for a D-cup that will attract the attention of a
glamorous local thug with dark glasses, armed guards and
a swimming pool. In one episode she says she wants to
become a moll “because even if my man dies, I will be
out of the mud”.
The saga continues until
next month but the story of Katherine and her friends is
unlikely to end happily. “Her smile was wondrous, but
her breasts became her road to hell,” said a trailer for
the series on Caracol TV.
Young women interviewed
in Bogota last week said they recognised Katherine in
the programme. Johanna, a communications student aged
22, said: “It’s really popular because it shows real
life. Girls like to be skinny but men want them to have
big chests so they go along with it.”
Diana, a 21-year-old
student, said: “Of course it’s exaggerated and not all
girls go to such extremes to get the surgery, but enough
It remains unquantifiable
how many women are setting their sights on a drug
dealer, but a Bogota police report suggests up to
350,000 young men, out of Colombia’s 41m people, are or
have been involved in the drug trade.
“Americans like to go
blonde, but here they like to go big,” said a member of
the Colombian Plastic Surgeons Society. “Sometimes you
have to calm them down a bit before they damage
The Bogota surgeon, who
asked not to be identified, estimated that one in six
young women in richer cities such as Medellin and
Cartagena had had some “work done”, a higher rate than
in Beverly Hills.
celebrities are taking a stand against the trend:
Shakira, the 29-year-old pop star whose latest hit, Hips
Don’t Lie, reached number one, said she considered
breast augmentation but then turned against the idea: “I
worried that I was not going to be looking good enough
for my fans, but I realised I was good looking enough
“Now I see all these poor
women trying to get out of the ghetto with plastic
surgery and my heart sinks. I understand why they do it,
but not only is the pressure on them cruel but it makes
us natural girls look a little bit small.”