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February 14, 2022

Boob job data shows economy is perking up

To gauge the economy’s performance, we always look at jobs data, but maybe we should be looking at boob  jobs data.

Istockphoto_11087653-woman-measuring-herself Yes, in spite of all you heard about the recession’s easing last year, perhaps nowhere was it more reflected than in the world of cosmetic surgery, which enjoyed a nice mini-renaissance in 2010.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the ultimate sign the economy is back has nothing to do with housing markets, employment numbers or currency rates. It’s all in the breasts.

By numbers in a recent release from the ASPS, some 13.1 million cosmetic plastic surgeries were performed in the U.S. last year, a five per cent uptick from 2009.

Breast augmentations, of course, were the most popular procedure – 296,000 pairs of boobs were, uh, augmented last year, a two per cent increase from 2009. Other operations (nose reshaping, eyelid surgery and liposuction) jumped from a year earlier, too, though facelifts were the big winner in 2010. More than 110,000 facelifts were performed last year, a nine per cent rise from a year earlier.

Interestingly, the ASPS may not attribute last year’s jump to what you or I may – which is to say, the economy’s improving, so presumably consumer confidence is, too. If Jane Q. Saggytop is uncomfortable with her signs of aging, we’d say, she’d be more likely to spend money on cosmetic surgery in a strong economy than if the financial world was crumbling around her.

But Phillip Haeck, MD, president of the ASPS, suggests maybe the downturn’s threat to employment forced an aging workforce to reconsider its looks as a means to prolong their careers.

Men and women are “investing in plastic surgery procedures to help stay competitive in the workplace,” he says in the release.

Interesting. Normally, cosmetic surgeries have been viewed as recreational, but Haeck seems to insinuate the recession has spooked us into altering our looks as a professional aid.

Could this really be the latest, perhaps most depressing, consequence of the recession? Do you think people are getting cosmetic surgery to prolong their career and presence in the workplace?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...