PHOTOS: The Distressing Worldwide Boom in Cosmetic Surgery- page 3 | People & Places | Smithsonian
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(Zed Nelson / Institute)

PHOTOS: The Distressing Worldwide Boom in Cosmetic Surgery

Photographer Zed Nelson traveled the world documenting how body improvement has practically become a new religion

Nose Job

Nose job
(Zed Nelson / Institute)
Nelson’s project began when he noticed, while travelling internationally, that global standards of beauty had become eerily homogenized: He saw skin-lightening products in Africa and surgical procedures to “Westernize” eyes in Asia. The popularity of rhinoplasty in Iran was especially apparent (Elham, 19, of Tehran, after her procedure).

“When I arrived in Iran, I was amazed,” Nelson says. “My interpreter had had a nose job, as had her mother, her sister, and her two best friends. People were proudly walking in the streets with bandaged noses, excited to be the new owners of small, chiseled, American-style noses.”

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