Beauty contest celebrates Italy's alarming obsession with silicone

Research showed 14 per cent of 16- and 17-year-old Italian girls would undergo breast surgery

Milan

Italians attach rather less stigma than other nationalities to cosmetic surgery – as evidenced by the number of scarily enhanced 60-year-olds you see at the supermarket.

There's even a national beauty contest for ladies whose looks owe as much to the scalpel as Mother Nature.

And with the results just in for Miss Plastic Surgery 2012, step forward one Fanny Perini, whose exceptional false breasts trumped those of her competitors in the fourth annual contest held this week near Rimini.

Fanny, 5ft 11in, a Sagittarius, is a nurse from Bologna. She likes sports, particularly swimming, is single, and is probably kind to animals.

But it was the consummate boob job that won it for Ms Perini, 38, after the "expert panel" of plastic surgeons, journalists and "artists" saw rivals face off in a two-hour silicon-fest that culminated in the swimsuit and evening-wear competitions.

"I'm delighted to have won," she told the Adnkronos news agency. "I can't wait for my parents to see me on television."

Ms Perini revealed that she went under the knife for the sake of "bigger breasts and nipples as high as they were when I was 20". For her efforts, she won a Jacuzzi. For hopefuls who failed to scoop the main prize, there were consolation titles including Miss Rhinoplasty, Miss Silicone, Miss Botox and even Miss Chemical Peel. But many Italian health experts fear the nation's obsession with cosmetic correction is getting out of control. The popularity of cosmetic surgery is rising sharply, even among teenagers, who feel pressured to conform to old stereotypes.

In 2009, the Italian health ministry was forced to ban breast enhancement in girls under 18.

The then-Health Minister, Francesca Martini, declared there was a "Wild West, cowboy-style system of plastic surgery for young women and this must stop".

Research showed that 14 per cent of 16- and 17-year-old Italian girls said they would undergo breast enhancement surgery and 30 per cent reported feeling dissatisfied with their bodies.

Feminist commentators say the pressure has come right from the top. Prosecutors in Milan have accused former prime minister Silvo Berlusconi of paying for breast enlargements, buttock-shaping and lip-plumping for seven young women in his personal harem.

Yesterday the cosmetic surgery pageant's organiser, Elio Pari, sought to deflect criticism by stressing how inclusive the event was, with no age, height or weight limits.

Among the older competitors this year was 52-year-old Marcella from Cagliari, who has had 15 operations to reshape her breasts, face, stomach and thighs. "So far I've spent €60,000 [£47,000], but it's money well spent," she said.

"Despite my age I still look like I'm 30, and I'm proud of it. My motto is: 'As long as there's a surgeon there's hope'."

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

HR Business Partner - Essex - £39,000 plus benefits

£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...

Foundation Primary Teacher

£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are looking for Founda...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?