Generation Botox: Should the Right To Beauty Be a Basic Human Right? Anthropology Professor Offers Insight

CBC Radio One Canada

The realm of plastic surgery is a complex territory, with some claiming that it's a form of self-exploitation and others insisting that it can be an empowering tool for young women. 

Alvaro Jarrin, associate professor of anthropology at the College of the Holy Cross, examined the fraught lines that define "Generation Botox" in an interview with CBC Ideas, a long-running scholarly radio documentary show on CBC Radio One Canada. 

As a medical anthropologist, Professor Jarrin spent years studying Brazilian plastic surgery, which culminated with the publication of the book "The Biopolitics of Beauty: Cosmetic Citizenship and Affective Capital in Brazil," tracing how beauty has became a national health issue in Brazil to the point where it's now considered a human right. 

According to Jarrin, Brazilian plastic surgery patients strongly believe that appearance is central to moving up in society, but does participating in this beauty culture really lead to upper mobility? "I don't know that it really matters [if it's true or not], because culturally [in Brazil] the belief is that it does."

To listen to the full interview, go to