|If they're going to keep recycling this meme, |
then I'm going to keep recycling this graphic.
It's becoming a cliché: writing about how plastic surgery in Korea is itself a cliché. But there it is, yet again, in the mainstream American media.
From the New York Times:
For Ms. Chang, 25, a makeup artist, the 2.3 million won, or about $2,000, eye job is just the finishing touch in a program several months long to remake her face. In the previous two months, Ms. Chang had not only had her teeth rearranged, but her jaw bones cut and repositioned, for 22 million won.How common does something have to be for it to be "a favorite"? Fifty percent? A mere ten percent? Two percent and rising? I wonder seriously what proportion of under-30 women in South Korea are rearranging their upper and lower
“You must endure pain to be beautiful,” she said, adding that an eye job is so routine these days “it’s not even considered surgery.”
Cosmetic surgery has long been widespread in South Korea. But until recently, it was something to keep quiet about. No longer.
And as society has become more open about the practice, surgeries have become increasingly extreme. Double-jaw surgery — which was originally developed to repair facial deformities, and involves cutting and rearranging the upper and lower jaws — has become a favorite procedure for South Korean women who are no longer satisfied with mere nose jobs or with paring down cheekbones to achieve a smoother facial line.
And no, the proper calculus would not simply take the population of the twenty-somethings and divide by the number of procedures performed (or vice-versa). That would skew the actual proportion by adding in all the Japanese who come to South Korea to get it done more cheaply and all the Chinese and other East Asians who come to South Korea to get it done more expertly. Hub of plastic surgery indeed.
And I do wonder how many people are going more extreme. Or is this one of those things, like tongue-snipping, where it gets talked about more than it actually gets done?
As the article actually suggests, eyelid surgery is so routine as to hardly be considered "major." In fact, I have on numerous occasions (see here, here, here, here, and here) likened it to getting braces in the United States (which costs even more, alters one's appearance, and often requires invasive surgery in the form of teeth removal). But the other forms of surgery are extreme enough that the typical squeamish Generation-Y Korean female is going to think twice, then thrice about this and usually decide no. The costs-more-than-a-car price tag helps.
D'oh! I forgot to add my admitted overgeneralization (from my infamous CSI post) about Korean-born women who get breast enlargement surgery:
You see from other parts of the show that the young Korean mother (murder victim #2) is sort of hot. Thin—maybe too thin for someone who has had a kid—and crazy nutso. But hot. Though she's lying on her back, you can see her breasts are still standing at attention, which is nearly a sure bet that they're mercenaries. The moral of this episode is simple: never trust a Korean-born woman who gets a boob job. They're nuts. I'm not kidding. Certifiable. If you don't like 'em small and natural, move along, brother. Move along.Yeah, I'm sure there are some exceptions to the rule, but my point in adding that was to distinguish South Koreans' acceptance (as of now) for minor plastic surgery (eyelid surgery or slight changes to the nose, chin, or jaw) from that for breast "enhancement."