Is South Korea the silently obsessed with a craze for cosmetic surgery?
If you think cosmetic surgery is popular in the UK and US then you should see how it’s going down in South Korea! In no uncertain terms it has skyrocketed over the past few years. In America the breast and Buttock Augmentation procedures are the big hitters, but in South Korea, it’s a different story.
South Korea is currently one of the top countries in cosmetic surgeries. The most common procedure is the double-eyelid surgery. The double-eyelid is the crease that forms when opening the eyes, in between the eyebrow and the eyelashes. Many Asians don’t have double-eyelids and subsequently this is what many request to have, whether it’s to look more like their Western counterparts, or in some cases, more doll-like.
This particular procedure takes roughly 30-40 minutes, allowing the patient to go home on that very day. A few days later, the patient returns to get the stitches removed. The surprising thing is that cosmetic surgeries in South Korea are pretty cheap. In America, these surgeries can range from $2,500 to $4,000 while in South Korea it is possible to get 2 types of surgery done with less than $2,000 (£1,290).
The plastic surgery industry made $5 trillion in 2014 in South Korea alone, 16% of the world’s total percentage of procedures performed in 2014 (source: The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery).
It’s thought that this trend started as a form of admiration for K-Pop celebrities. These celebrities are observed as perfect, doll-like human beings by their adoring admirers. Melodious singing voices, catchy dance moves, colourful personalities, and of course, pretty faces are what it takes to be a K-Pop star.
Another interesting fact is that South Koreans view cosmetic surgery as ‘normal’, carrying positive connotations. In the Western world, we associate plastic surgery with something that’s fake, whereas in South Korea, it’s referred to as “reforming surgery”, meaning that something in need of repairing is fixed.
The only downside, should you be looking to pick fault with this, is that most go for the same look; big eyes, a v-shaped jawline, and a higher and smaller nose are the facial characteristics everyone seems to want to opt for.