"I think this competition is long overdue," said Marton Szipal, a photographer and one of the judges. "Hungarians used to laugh about plastic surgery but it's time for Hungarian women to care more about their appearance. They are the most beautiful in Europe."
The overall winner, Reka Urban, a 22-year-old hostess, won an apartment in Budapest, while the first runner-up, Edina Kulcsar, was given a new car and the second runner-up, Alexandra Horvath, took home diamond jewelery worth two million forints (£6,750). Their surgeons also received awards.
Contestants proudly assume that the perfect body they now own and makes not only males’ heads turn is partly the work of a plastic surgeon.Hungary, like the US, has experienced a significant economic downturn, but like the US, plastic surgery is not seeing a significant decline. In the US, boob jobs actually went up last year. Perhaps that is because we have no choice but to go under the knife. The human body (especially the female body since women account for anywhere between 85 and 95% of patients worldwide) cannot possibly be beautiful without heroic medical intervention. One of the fastest growing surgeries in the US is labioplasty or vaginoplasty. These surgical interventions reshape the vagina, tuck the inner labia into the outer, tighten the vaginal canal. They are meant to give all women what a friend once called "the twat of a tot." Perhaps not a tot, but at least a prepubescent. Like the Miss Plastic Hungary contest, another beauty contest for vulvas is taking place. The International Vulva Knitting Circle is busy knitting vulvas, of various shapes and sizes, to
challenge female genital cosmetic surgery (see http://www.newviewcampaign.org/fgcs.asp). Following our cosmetic surgeons’ fabulous lead, our aim is to ironically mass produce our own grass-roots line of vulvas that promotes diverse genitalia, and speaks back to the corporate regulation of our sexualities. Note we are deliberately not using a pattern for this project - encouraging people to explore real-life bodies for any anatomical and schexy details, and, most importantly, to get creative - this is ALL about diversity! (And desire, let's be honest).I'm not really sure what "schexy" is, but I am fairly certain, having interviewed about 70 cosmetic surgeons from around the world, that the surgeons are not being "ironic" when they reshape female genitals so they all look the same. I am also fairly certain that the organizers of the Miss Plastic Hungary beauty contest were not being ironic (although much of the media coverage of it might be a bit tongue in cheek). What I am certain of is that we live in interesting times. On the one hand, Beauty Capitalism allows us all to buy the perfect body including the perfect vagina. One size fits all. In this sense, it is an unusually "democratic" project since no one need ever look "different" or "ugly" again. The standardization of bodies comes at a high cost- some are paying in dollars and cents, others with their lives. On the other hand, Creativity and Resistance live on in groups like the Vulva Knitting Circle. Humans have always resisted standardization. As Michel Foucault points out in his work Discipline and Punish, convincing humans to work at factories was not easy- getting them all to show on time was so difficult that they had to shut gates to keep latecomers out- and keeping them there for a full day's work was so difficult that they had to lock them in. Today, we can either standardize our bodies, lock ourselves into the factory, or resist or engage in both projects simultaneously (which is what most of us do, after all). But I can't help think that the future will hold a strange mix of fully standardized bodies and some crazy knitting women refusing to submit.