Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fix my Face

Advertisements in the subway in Seoul will tell you that something is very wrong with your face.  It could be the shape.  Maybe your face is too 'big'.  It could be your small and 'flat' nose that is the problem.  Perhaps you don't have a 'V-line' chin (a very sharp jawline in the shape of a V)?  Or maybe you are concerned that your eyes are 'too small'. 

Korea is one of the top-ranked countries for plastic surgery procedures and listed medical practitioners in the field.  Korean plastic surgeons sometimes carry out more than 16 procedures in one day.  They have good hands, good skills, and they rarely get sued.    Korean cosmetic procedures are often walk-in, walk-out procedures and you don't have to sign lengthy legal documents or disclaimers.  You don't even need a psychological check to get a serious procedure done (which is the requirement for some surgical procedures in Australia).
(A common Korean subway advertisement for a plastic surgery clinic that suggests that you will get a bigger diamond ring after cosmetic surgery)

Why does Korea have such a buzzing plastic surgery scene? This is no Miami, after all.  And, we don't have the same bikini breast-obsession as the women of Rio in Brazil.  Koreans are very focused on replicating American 'beauty ideals', that is the stereotypical 'high-bridge nose, large eyes, plump lips, and contoured face' (very generalized, of course).

The intense interest in Korean celebrities (who often receive a lot of invasive surgery to enhance their careers) has spawned unrealistic expectations of what Koreans should look like. One concern, among many, is that in the future Koreans will start to look increasingly 'less Korean', due to the excesses of plastic surgery.  Pictures of parents and children together are also a little confusing, as parents who have had surgery rarely resemble their children with their natural genetic traits. 

1 comment:

  1. onnie~ Can I translate your blog posts into Indonesian and post them to my blog. I'll be your identity blog. I really like your blog :D

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