It was a claim that was bound to go bust in the face of scientific evidence. A local company's assertion that its dietary supplement drink can help women develop a perfect heart-shaped chest has been deflated by experts, who say there is no scientific evidence to support this. The distributor of this made-in-Japan potion, suggestively named Push Up Drink, claims that a study undertaken by Thailand's medicinal plant research institute found that some ingredients contained in the drink do help enlarge breasts.
Recently a television ad in Taiwan also came under fire, as it implied that drinking one kind of yogurt drink can make a person pretty and a well-rounded beauty. Women's groups in Taiwan complained that the ad misled young girls by depicting an ample bosom as a prerequisite for prettiness.
With dietary supplements and cosmetic surgery enjoying a boom, it is natural that such claims surface regularly. In Hong Kong alone, dietary supplement sales were worth almost HK$5 billion last year.
According to data released by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery recently, more than 1.7 million breast enhancement procedures were performed worldwide last year. That's not counting the unknown number of cases handled by quacks. They are all part of a booming industry which is pushing their perceived notions of beauty onto hapless customers.
With more and more such surgery being carried out, cases of botched operations are also rising so fast that the E! cable television channel now has a series based on this called, what else, Botched. One of the clips posted on the channel's website features a woman who has LLL size breasts and claims to hold the Guinness World Record. The woman tells the doctors on the show she spent a quarter of a million US dollars on enhancement surgery. Though she can't now wear a seat belt while driving, she tells the show that she wants to go bigger and make them triple Q, as she claims this will help her self-esteem.
Such artificially boosted self-esteem is fine as long as it works, but one can't help wonder how long it will last before it starts to sag.