Battlepanda: Plastic surgery junkies


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Plastic surgery junkies

Well, we all know that the Koreans are knife-happy, but this is ridiculous:
78 percent of S. Korean women feel the need to get cosmetic surgery
Nearly eight out of 10 women in South Korea believe cosmetic surgery is necessary to meet the expectations of an appearance-focused society, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The survey, conducted in September on 810 female residents of the capital area who are aged 18 or older, showed 77.5 percent of the respondents say cosmetic surgery is necessary to make them look more attractive.

Only 2.1 percent of the women surveyed said cosmetic surgery is not necessary while 20.4 percent said people should not have the surgery if possible, said Eom Hyeon-sin, a student of the fashion design department at Kyung Hee University, who conducted the survey as part of her doctoral thesis.

Those who said they had already had cosmetic surgery totaled 47.3 percent, according to the survey.

The rate was 61.5 percent of young women between ages 25 and 29 while 56.6 percent and 42.9 percent of the women in the 30s and 40s answered they did, respectively. Nearly 40 percent of those aged 50 or older said they had experienced cosmetic surgery.
I did a double-take when I saw this story on the wires. Can those figures really be true? Then again, I guess Korea is a country where the government gives tax deductions for cosmetic surgery. Michael Hurt has a rather scary collection of before/after pictures...individually, I have to say, with the pan-asian aesthetic in mind, the girls look prettier -- after surgery they have huge, pixie-like eyes, tiny chins, rounded cheekbones, small but perky noses. But collectively the effect is rather uncanny -- they all look kind of similar. So what happens when everybody has plastic surgery and everyone is as cute as a button? Is there going to be cosmetic surgery inflation? Is Korea going to become a nation of Michael Jacksons?

Then there are frenectomies:
I walked into class earlier this week and asked one of my ten-year-old students why she had been absent the previous class. She told me she had gone to the dentist, but her classmate quickly added, "She cut her tongue". I asked her why and she told me it would help her speak English better, and insinuated that my Korean co-teacher had said it would help her pronounce 'S' better. This student has never had any noticeable problem pronouncing English words (it's her shyness that hampers her more than anything), so the fact her parents would do something so unnecessary left me shaking my head in disgust. Actually disgust was what I felt after I asked to see the result (she was pretty blase about the whole thing, saying it had only hurt for a day or two) and saw the stitches under her tongue.