|Miami - the Most Vain City in America?|
Vanity, thy name is Miami.
Just look around at all the botoxed faces and tucked tummies decked out in designer duds, driving down U.S. 1 in Maseratis. Send them season's greetings for boosting our economy.
Miami recently ranked as the most vain city in the United States, based on residents' responses to a poll conducted by Mandala Research and released by LivingSocial.
Miami also topped the nation in such procedures as laser hair removal, tummy tucks, liposuction and collagen injections, according to the poll, based on an unscientific percentage of respondents who know someone who had the work done.
It all translates into a windfall for local businesses that cater to enhancing beauty or selling the finer accoutrements of life.
"Miami has a little bit of 'You are what you wear, you are what you drive' culture," said Cynthia Cohen, an expert on the luxury market and president of Miami-based Strategic Mindshare, a retail strategy consulting firm.
No doubt, the weather helps promote the Miami attitude.
"It's easy to have a luxury car in Miami because it's not going to be messed up by snow and salt," Cohen said.
Also, a Prada dress doesn't have to be covered up by a parka, or those Christian Louboutins traded in for lug-soled boots.
"You can always wear expensive high heels in Miami, and the worst thing that is going to happen is they get rained on," Cohen said. In fact, Miami consistently ranks as one of the largest luxury car markets in the country, and local designer shops generate top revenue, thanks to high-net-worth residents and visitors willing to shell out for high-end goods.
Demand for cosmetic procedures, along with breast enhancements and even derriere lifts, also is surging. The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery said Americans spent almost $10.7 billion on cosmetic procedures in 2010. Dr. Constantino Mendieta, a Miami plastic surgeon and spokesman for the organization, said Miami is one of the top cities. His own business is up 10 percent this year.
Scarborough Research shows that South Florida adults are 50 percent more likely to have had cosmetic surgery in the past three years than adults nationwide.
"Miami Beach, South Beach, no question it's the vain capital of the world," said Dr. Leonard Tachmes, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon whose clinic and medical spa is in Miami Beach. "South Beach — there is nothing like it anywhere. The people are very obsessed with beauty and style and fashion and their bodies, and it's a little crazy."
Just take some of Tachmes' most popular procedures: the Brazilian butt lift, liposuction and breast augmentation.
"We are busy, and there seems to be no end in sight," Tachmes said.