Experts in plastic surgery in New York say different ethnic groups and immigrants have priorities when it comes to going under the knife.
It appears the Irish come to have their ears pinned back.
Victoria Pitt-Taylor, a professor of sociology at Queens College, has written about popular attitudes towards plastic surgery. She described how European Jews have nose jobs and Irish immigrants and visitors have their ears pinned back in an effort to look "more American.”
She told “The New York Times,” "The bulk of those operations were targeted at assimilation issues."
The Irish aren't the only nationality that has had niches around their need to go under the knife. Dominican women in Upper Manhattan tend to get their buttocks lifted. The Chinese in Queens get their noses flipped down, Russian women in Brooklyn have their breasts enlarged while Koreans in Chinatown have their jaw lines slimmed.
Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, president of Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, said, "When a patient comes in from a certain ethnic background and of a certain age, we know what they're going to be looking for. We are sort of amateur sociologists."
Doctors say that in many ways an extreme makeover is a tradition among immigrants who move to New York City. This fact, “The New York Times” report says, shows the skin-deep perspective, aspirations and insecurities among New York's 21st century immigrants.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons figures show that 750,000 Asians in the United States had plastic surgery in 2009, or about five percent. About 1.4 million Latinos, or three percent, went under the knife and four percent of Caucasians did the same.
The clinics are also offering layaway plans to help them afford operations, and illegal practitioners are also readily available in many neighborhoods.