With the advancement of medical technology, plastic surgery can be as simple as a weekend trip to the Apgujeong street in Seoul, Korea. New nose, new lips, bust enhancement, sharper chin and better skin; but plastic surgery for the heart? We’re not quite there yet.
According to a study, 15 million people worldwide had plastic surgery in 2011, with South Korea topping the list of the highest proportion of its population having surgery, often in a bid to look more ‘Western’. But why is this the case? Are Asians feeling some sort of inferiority complex? Or has the creation of wealth in Asia propagated the desire to look even better, since going under the knife has proven to be less risky than before?
Amongst all these reasons we give, I believe the winner goes to: the media portrayal of plastic surgery.
1. Creative ads are given too much hype around it
In the picture above, we find a Chinese lady, whom many would say looks pretty attractive. Her husband, Jian Fing, never questioned that too. However, when his wife gave birth to an “ugly baby girl”, things took a turn. Her husband, Jian Fing, refused to believe that his child would turn out so “ugly” and followed up with a request to test if the child was his.
As you might have guessed, the DNA tests revealed the truth. The tribe has spoken, and the child is his. Realizing that she could no longer withhold the truth, this Chinese lady finally decided to come clean with Jian Fing. She told him that she had spent over $100,000 on plastic surgery before meeting him. And with that, true love failed when Jian Fing decided that he no longer loved her. Jian Fing took the case to court, and the judge agreed that Fing’s wife did trick him into thinking she was beautiful, ordering her to pay $120,000 for the dupe.
But you know what makes the best part? This ugly story was fabricated.
The picture above was actually part of a Taiwanese plastic surgeon’s ad. Media cropped the Chinese characters, which can be translated into “the only thing you have to be concerned with is explaining it to the children”, and circulated it with a fancy story. Clever ad execution aye?
2. Survival of the prettiest – celebrities are endorsing plastic surgery
The rise of K-Pop , or Korean Pop is really propagating the desire and even necessity for plastic surgery. Take a look at these Korean celebrities before and after surgery – world’s apart isn’t it? Yet, they really owe it to plastic surgeries for their claim to fame. With celebrities donning the “perfect look”, every one has a new distorted view of beauty. Take a look at the video below and notice how many of these common people don’t even look ugly in the first place:
The result?enablejsapi=1&html5=1& Clones of beautiful people crafted out of the hands of the most well-known surgeons. The same ones, of course.
3. Ads for plastic surgery are infiltrating our daily lives
Plastic surgery ads are everywhere. They have no associated stigma anymore. In fact, people are seeing it as a mere investment for the future. It’s about getting ahead in the fast-paced, competitive and stressful Asian culture. It’s about being the best, as long as money can buy it. Parents in Korea are giving their children plastic surgery packages as birthday or graduation gifts. Are they wrong for wanting “the best” for their children?