Housing Woes Mean Less Botox

Housing-led economic slowdown causes pain for plastic surgeons.


Don't look now, but the housing-led economic slowdown has apparently taken a bite out of yet another sector of the economy. This time, it's plastic surgery. This from the Los Angeles Times:

It used to be a high point of Goldy Anthony's life. Every six weeks or so, as a kind of personal morale booster, she and a group of girlfriends would make appointments to see a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon for little touch-ups—getting lips plumped and frown lines on the forehead smoothed out. He was "an artist" with Botox and Juvederm, she said.

Afterward, in a carefree mood, the ladies would dine at a popular restaurant on the Sunset Strip.

No more. The sub-prime loan crisis, the housing slump and the general decline of the economy have claimed another covey of victims. Anthony is in the real estate business, and under current conditions, the cosmetic treatments—at $1,800 or more a pop—can no longer be squeezed into her budget. It's the same with others in the group.

It takes a great deal of work to feel sorry for Goldy Anthony—who says she prefers a stab of Botox over even a nice dinner. But the significance of her plight should not be casually dismissed. For one, the anecdote represents just how far problems in the housing sector have spread—whoever thought a guy not paying his mortgage in Las Vegas could keep a Botox fan away from her plastic surgeon?

And two, when the Goldy Anthonys of the world start giving up their Botox, rest assured they're cutting back on other things, too—dog perms, wheatgrass juice—who knows, maybe even some items that regular people buy. But in an economy like ours, so heavily dependent on consumer spending, that's terrible news. No matter what you think about Goldy Anthony, the U.S. economy loves her—think of all the discretionary dollars she puts into the system. So when she stops seeing her plastic surgeon, it means the economy isn't too far away from needing a little Botox itself.

Full article here.