Korean Cosmetic Surgery – An Introduction
If you’ve spent more than five minutes if Los Angeles, more specifically Hollywood or Malibu, you’ve probably seen more than your share of cosmetic surgery advertisements. Chances are you left thinking “no wonder everyone is loopy over there?”. Well, what if I told you that there’s another place (a whole country) that makes Los Angeles look like they’re freaking Quakers?
You probably wouldn’t believe me until I told you a few things about the country.
Now, before you start embarking on any guessing games it’s probably not one of the ones you’d think of if you’re a red blooded American. So let’s just cross out: Iceland, Norway, Sweden (Swedish models anyone? Yep, they’re natural.), France, Italy, Monaco, and every other European country where there’s a good amount of people with bad taste in music and impeccable fashion taste. The country we’re talking about barely crosses our minds for anything other than how crazy their neighbors to the north are, yep I’m talking about the Koreans.
South Korea is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world when it comes to cosmetic surgery. Not only is Korean cosmetic surgery nearly legendary in the plastic surgery world, but Koreans seem to be in love with getting their own work done. How much do you ask?
According to the BBC, the conservative numbers suggest that over 50% of all South Korean women in their 20′s have had work done. They even have a word for it: Ul-jjang, which literally means “best face”. Even Americans don’t have an idea of what the best face is, sure we like looking at them, but we’re so focused on just not being fat when we can we haven’t gotten that far yet!
As a matter of fact, South Korean cosmetic surgery is such a big part of their way of life that it turns out Korean women are known to spend around 30% of their incomes on simply looking good (so regardless of whatever stereotypes you’re thinking about right now, you have to admit that’s an impressive amount).
Don’t think that Koreans don’t pay attention to the outside world, it seems that American and European culture has played a huge role of shaping the South Korean psyche since the most common form of Korean cosmetic surgery is what’s known as a double eyelid operation. It’s an operation that’s designed to make one’s eyes look bigger, essentially taking away from the Asian, slanted eyebrows that many Americans actually envy. Oddly enough this focus on looking more Western isn’t one that’s just held by white collar workers, but it seems to permeate through every social strata, from shipping clerks to nurses. There’s definitely a love affair with Korean cosmetic surgery.