The New York Times recently brought an interesting trend in Venezuela to light: an obsession with the "perfect female form" that has resulted in huge numbers of plastic surgeries among women, and an amplified new mannequin form. You won't see any of the mannequins you're used to here in the U.S. if you head to Venezuela, but instead a form with extreme, not exactly "natural" proportions.

These mannequins are now the new norm: a large bosom, tiny waist and large derriere, all supported by very thin legs.

They say Venezuela is known for two things: oil and beauty. And what is driving the obsession with beauty? Largely the vision of "perfection" driven by the country's beauty pageants. Osmel Sousa, head of the Miss Venezuela pageant, told the New York Times, "When there is a defect, I correct it, if it can be easily fixed with surgery, then why not do it?" He also said that he doesn't believe that "inner beauty exists." That it was an idea "unpretty women invented." Um, okay buddy.

Not everyone in Venezuela feels this way, of course, but this thinking has seeped its way into society, driving a huge surge in plastic surgery since the 1970s and '80s. Cosmetic surgeries are now so common in Venezuela that a woman with breast implants is often referred to as "an operated woman". The new mannequins are also being called "operated," though more jokingly so. Surgeries are openly discussed among women, and while these mannequins are meant to imitate life, they're likely causing even more women to want to imitate them as well. (NY Times)

Watch the video below for more from the NY Times!