PrimeTime: Miss Brazil's Plastic Surgery

ByABC News
May 2, 2001, 5:32 PM

May 3 -- Juliana Borges, the Brazilian bombshell set to compete in next week's Miss Universe pageant, is not shy about the fact that she's had 19 surgical procedures, including collagen injections in her lips and silicone implants in her breasts, cheeks and chin.

"It's like studying for a math exam and you get good grades," says Borges. "You study and you work hard to have the perfect body."

But is it perfect if it's been surgically enhanced? Should beauty pageant contestants who've had plastic surgery be allowed to compete? These are questions being asked by some of Borges' competitors in the Miss Universe pageant.

Creating Beauty

When Evandro Rossi, who trains up-and-coming women for beauty pageants, spotted Borges in her hometown in the south of Brazil, he saw something he could work with.

"I took a rough gem that wasn't worked," he says, "and created her. I made these small changes She was a diamond that hasn't been worked and I brought her to life. I created Juliana and it worked."

As part of the "creation" process, 22-year-old Borges underwent 19 surgical procedures, all in the last year.

"I had several surgeries," she says, "but they were all totally subtle, so I wouldn't have any marks, any scars and so there wouldn't be a big difference to how I was before."

Those "subtle" surgeries include breast implants, bioplastic sculpting in her cheekbones, silicone remolding in her chin, a sharpened jaw, pinned back ears and liposuction in her waistline and back.

"The same way someone has to study to become a doctor," says Borges, "someone has to train. I have to work on my figure to get it where I want it It's something I needed for my profession, for my work."

She adds, "I have a doctorate in body measurements."

An Unfair Advantage?

But some of Borges' competitors think her enhancements are an unfair advantage.

"How can you really be proud of your body if it's not really you?" asks Kandace Krueger, Miss USA. "I work very hard to be in shape and try to follow a strict regimen of diet and working out, and therefore, I feel like I can be especially proud."