If you’ve seen recent headlines, you may already know that the US leads the world in number of cosmetic surgeries. Surprised? Probably not, but it’s official according to what the International Society of Plastic Surgeons reports in a recent release, and it’s no surprise that the media are all over it:

“Plastic Makes Perfect”

“Top Countries for Plastc Surgery? We’re No.1″

“U.S. Leads the World in Plastic Surgery”

“The United States Remains the Capital of Plastic Surgery Worldwide”

Oh, yes—while French women are small breasted, wrinkled, “natural” beauties, American women are fake breasted, frozen, artificial beauties, right? That’s an old stereotype that this would seem to support, but the fact is, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

First, the numbers show that overall, only 21% of the world’s cosmetic procedures were performed here in the US. Sure, it’s the highest total for any single country, but not significant when you look at the per capita rate. Those top honors go to Greece, Italy and South Korea. (Bet you weren’t expecting that!)

Second, cosmetic procedures aren’t just nose jobs, liposuction and facelifts, as we’ve been led to believe. The grand majority of cosmetic treatments, which everyone broadly categorizes as “cosmetic surgery” or “plastic surgery,” falls into the non-surgical realm, which includes laser treatments, injectables, microdermabrasion, peels and the like. Puts those numbers in a whole new light, right?

According to that same report, the global market for cosmetic procedures is expected to grow about 10% more over the next year. So this isn’t an industry that is expected to slow or even stabilize, but continue to expand and that means facing facts: caring about the way we look isn’t just about boob jobs and liposuction. It’s about the concerns we all share: healthy, youthful-looking skin and, in general, the quest to age with grace.