Controversy Marks Mardi Gras In Buffalo

February 22, 2012 Updated Feb 22, 2012 at 9:20 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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February 22, 2012 Updated Feb 22, 2012 at 9:20 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) The "Fat Tuesday" bash in downtown Buffalo is over, but a controversy sparked by the festivities continues.

Some Chippewa bars joined together to giveaway a free breast augmentation voucher to the person who collected the most beads.

The promotion was called "Boobs For Beads" and was set up by numerous bars that participated in the Mardi Gras celebration.

The person who collected the most beads won a free breast augmentation surgery. If they chose not to get breast implants, they could apply the voucher for a nose job, tummy tuck, or other cosmetic surgery.

Those against the contest say that it reinforces the poor body image of young women, and it is sending the message that people can fix everything that they believe is wrong with their body.

Owners say it is not just women who could win, men could also participate, but critics say including both genders does not make the competition any less demeaning.

Bar owners are calling it a light hearted contest, and those participating say it is a great promotion to get people downtown. They say if you don't want to get involved, don't go to the bars.

Despite the controversy, money raised from the Mardi Gras parties will go toward the "Give For Greatness" campaign to support the arts, and also to Buffalo Hospice.