Silk Buttocks in Venezuela


HAVANA TIMES, April 6 –Beatriz, I believe, is the name of the young girl in 1103.  I live in 1203, with my room just over hers.  At times, in the early morning, her voice floats up to me as she speaks in anguished tones with someone on her cell phone.

She was recently operated on.

But even if she is operated on 1,000 times a year, her disease has no cure although she doesn’t know that.

Sometimes we meet in the elevator.

She doesn’t imagine that I know some of her “secrets”.

A few days ago I noticed something strange in Beatriz’s body.  Suddenly she appeared electrified, as if an invisible wand had passed along her backbone, making her appear like one of those rigid dolls that as a child always seemed very impractical for playing.

“The operation was pretty simple,” I heard her say that night and I understood the reason for the change.  She had implanted a pair of new buttocks.

I know that she works in an office with a normal schedule. She has two children and no one else lives with her, so I suppose that she’s been saving for a long time to make this “change.”

“Maybe I can find someone who’ll love me,” is another of the phrases that arrives at my ears from Beatriz’s apartment, and I almost feel sorry for her.

But not that sorry…  I could tell her that I adore women “with flat butts”.  But that wouldn’t raise her self-esteem either, much less draw her closer to experiencing that thing called love, which very few lucky people come to know.

Like many Venezuelan women, Beatriz gets up at 5 am every day to get her hair done at 6, the hour when many of the Beauty Parlors open.

Sometimes, when she is sick and doesn’t hide behind her make-up, I see her and she even looks attractive…if she weren’t sick.

I open the newspaper, read the classifieds and every work center that advertises for Women includes is a persistent note: MUST HAVE NICE APPEARANCE.

I’ve already learned that “Nice Appearance” includes hair that is washed and straightened every morning, eyes and features barely perceptible beneath the layers of make-up; eyebrows gone, it’s better to substitute those infamous and unnecessary tufts with a tattoo highlighted with expensive eyebrow pencils.

I enter a mall and there are a large number of women lining up to pass a test: “Are you ready to give your body the silicone it needs?”  The exams are free, a kind of sample, or better yet, a way of hunting new clients thirsty for love.

Like Beatriz.



Caridad: If I had the chance to choose what my next life would be like, I’d like to be water. If I had the chance to eliminate a worst aspect of the world I would erase fear. Of all the human feelings I most like I prefer friendship. I was born in the year of the first Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, the day that Gay Pride is celebrated around the world. I no longer live on the east side of Havana; I’m trying to make a go of it in Caracas, and I continue to defend my right to do what I want and not what society expects of me.

2 thoughts on “Silk Buttocks in Venezuela

  • The lengths to which these women go sound like those of another city–that of the capital city of Panem in “The Hunger Games”! This sort of thing has been going on since the beginning of civilization, however, and probably will continue ’til its bitter end. In the meantime, there will continue to be those few who realize from whence true beauty really flows, and also, a few more who, having been slaves to fashion and trends, eventually have a serendipidous enlightment, and go beyond the superficial.

  • Venezuelan society in particular, and the world as a whole must continue to mature and learn to accept that not everyone will measure physical beauty or even the desire to attain and maintain it in the same way. Progressives must be especially careful accept that there will be those who choose, even after social enlightenment, to cling to archaic physical beauty standards, however measured, as a barometer of self-worth. Lesbian sarcasm, especially that sort critical of a woman who chooses to pursue a nicer bootie or a larger set of tatas (calm down ladies!) is just as discriminitory as jokes about women who ride Harleys. Live and let live.

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