Korean Plastic Surgery

If you get off the subway at the Apgujeong station in Seoul, the first thing to greet you when exiting the turnstiles is this advertisement:


As a woman, am I supposed to fit that shape if I stand in front of that mirror?  Not likely.

I took a picture of this subway advertisement in Seoul way back in March.  I didn't quite understand... it is advertising that you can change the shape of your face?  And if so, who does that?  Turns out, that is exactly what it is advertising and Koreans do that!


Walk through the Apgujeong station and you'll see life-size poster advertisements on every wall showing before and after pictures of people who have "improved their looks" with plastic surgery done by the cosmetic surgeons on the streets above the station.   Almost all of the posters show a change to the shape of the face, eyes, or nose.

   

   

      



Koreans, in general, are very concerned with their looks.  Young women will wear short mini skirts and heels despite freezing weather in the winter because it's more attractive than pants and boots.  Koreans spend a lot of money on clothing, accessories, make-up/skin products, and plastic surgery in the quest to look good.  Plastic surgery seems to be almost an obsession here in Korea.  While searching for information about this, I found an interesting news video titled Why are Koreans so into their Looks? which shed some light onto the subject.

This CNN report (article and video), Plastic surgery boom as Asians seek 'western' look, is worth watching for a shocker.  It features a 12-year-old Korean girl who had eyelid surgery.  It wasn't the girl's idea, it was her mother's!  "I'm having her do it," says Jang, "because I think it'll help her. This is a society where you have to be pretty to get ahead. She's my only daughter."  Wow.  She's 12.  In the video, the reporter is standing in the Apgujeong district of Seoul saying that it is the "plastic surgery capital of Asia".  From realself.com: "The Apgujeong district in Seoul is already famous for it's ubiquitous plastic surgery clinics. These clinics use aggressive advertising and promotion to get patients in the door."  The aggressive advertising is certainly evident in the subway.

This NTD news video, Where Only the Beautiful and Handsome Can Survive, discusses how young adults view their personal appearance to be more important than their qualifications when applying for jobs.  More and more Korean women and men are getting plastic surgery with the hopes that it will help them land a good job.

The most popular cosmetic surgeries here in Korea are the double eyelid surgery to create an upper eyelid crease making the eyes appear larger, rhinoplasty to change the shape of the nose, and cheek and jaw surgery to change the shape of the face.  In contrast, the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the United States are liposuction, rhinoplasty, and breast augmentation.

double eyelid surgery:

rhinoplasty:

cheek and jaw surgery:

Here in Korea, there are a lot of beautiful people and the women seem to age very well (at least until their late 60's).  However after learning about the prevalence of plastic surgery in this country, I'm starting to wonder how many of those people really are natural beauties and really are just aging gracefully?  This also makes me wonder that if a guy marries a girl who is beautiful because of surgery, what will they think when they have a daughter who looks like mom's "before" picture?  Maybe they'll gift her some plastic surgery at age 12 also.


*******
"Money can't buy you happiness
but it can pay for the plastic surgery."
~Joan Rivers

48 comments:

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  12. We all were born with a particular type of physical attire, which some may like while others may not. This is a very common thing and reality tells us that all of us want to look perfect. Simply stand in front of the mirror or ask your dearest pal, we all have some qualms about the way we look. Earlier when medical science had not reached the height as it has today, there weren’t a lot of options in our hands but today things have changed a lot. Different types of cosmetic surgeries are there to help you look better. One of the popular ones is the tummy tuck or abdominoplasty, providing new look to your abdomen. In this process, extra skin is taken out from the lower abdomen so that the muscles can be tightened along the abdominal wall. Another common surgery that a cosmetic surgeon performs is an eyelid surgery, helps to reshape the eyelids by removing extra skin and strengthens the tendons. This can help improve vision in those people who suffer from drooping eyelids.

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  13. A few months ago, I heard a news about a guy divorcing his wife because of what she looked like. Apparently, the wife underwent a few plastic surgeries that her husband didn't know about. When the wife gave birth, his husband was shocked of their child's appearance. Then, the wife admitted of her previous surgeries, her husband then got mad and divorced her. I guess, that would be an answer to your question. We are born with features that can be passed on to our children, and if someone accepts us despite this fact, then wouldn't that be true love? There's nothing wrong with plastic surgery and I'm not against it, but this is one of the many consequences that you may face undergoing this operation.

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  16. Yup, Koreans are very much concerned with their looks. I think mostly because of the competitive streak in their culture, as well as the fact that they get judged even more so on their looks than in most other countries. Plastic surgery is probably so common to South Korean culture now, as make-up is seen as a necessity to many in America. This post by Seoul Touchup highlights this fact more than anything else. http://www.seoultouchup.com/the-work-of-plastic-surgery-or-photoshop-miss-korea-2013-contestants/

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  17. I'm not against plastic surgery but I'm not sure about girls on the beauty pageant to have plastic surgery since these girls are supposed to be role models for young girls. I think beauty pageant is to show off your natural beauty and your individual characteristic. All the girls on the Korean pageant looks the same is it really a contest?

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  23. i'm getting surgery done in a few weeks. Does anybody have any words of encouragement prior to going into this?

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  35. I worked in Apgujeong and I have to see those posters everyday on my way to work~ lolz~ It's true that Korea are very concerned about looks, not only their own looks, but also other people looks. When I was in other countries, I never know that sending a CV / Resume without your photo will result in no one will calling you back even you have a good qualification. And this only happens in South Korea, which is s*ck and discriminating I must say. >.<

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  44. Very nice blog! Plastic surgeries can improve your facial structure and it will enhance your beauty too. All thanks to technology!

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