Plastic fantastic

Just what the world needs: a plastic surgery competition

Yes it's true. Pravda, that bastion of extraordinary news, reports this week on the Miss Plastic Surgery competition in Hungary.

Quote of the week?

Contestants showed off breast implants, nose jobs and facelifts as Miss Plastic Hungary 2009 strove to promote the benefits of plastic surgery in a country where artificial enhancements are viewed mostly with a wary eye.

Oh, and:

The pageant also meant to show that cosmetic corrections did not necessarily have to be about oversized breasts, bulbous lips and skin stretched to near tearing point.

Pravda can be so POETIC when it chooses. Bulbous lips indeed: this is the stuff of greatness. But, before you judge, at least acknowledge the diversity of the competition:

Nearly all the contestants showed off augmented breasts, with reshaped noses also popular. One finalist had surgically adjusted toes.

How often do you get to see surgically adjusted toes, eh? This is practically educational.

Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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New Digital Editor: Serena Kutchinsky

The New Statesman appoints Serena Kutchinsky as Digital Editor.

Serena Kutchinsky is to join the New Statesman as digital editor in September. She will lead the expansion of the New Statesman across a variety of digital platforms.

Serena has over a decade of experience working in digital media and is currently the digital editor of Newsweek Europe. Since she joined the title, traffic to the website has increased by almost 250 per cent. Previously, Serena was the digital editor of Prospect magazine and also the assistant digital editor of the Sunday Times - part of the team which launched the Sunday Times website and tablet editions.

Jason Cowley, New Statesman editor, said: “Serena joins us at a great time for the New Statesman, and, building on the excellent work of recent years, she has just the skills and experience we need to help lead the next stage of our expansion as a print-digital hybrid.”

Serena Kutchinsky said: “I am delighted to be joining the New Statesman team and to have the opportunity to drive forward its digital strategy. The website is already established as the home of free-thinking journalism online in the UK and I look forward to leading our expansion and growing the global readership of this historic title.

In June, the New Statesman website recorded record traffic figures when more than four million unique users read more than 27 million pages. The circulation of the weekly magazine is growing steadily and now stands at 33,400, the highest it has been since the early 1980s.