According to recent figures, South Koreans, especially those in the 19 to 49 age range, currently undergo more plastic surgery than in any other country.
A South Korean TV reporter recently underwent drastic jaw surgery to achieve a heart-shaped face, a desired facial characteristic among East Asian women.
The reporter’s cosmetic surgeon gave her an unusually pointed chin and the backlash on one Japanese online forum was harsh, according to RocketNews24.
One forum user wrote in, “Someone please tell this was Photoshopped!” while another asked, “Is it really possible to taper someone’s chin that much?”
Other responses to the post-surgery images included, “She really doesn’t know what true beauty is” and “It looks like you could plow a field with that chin.”
With about one in five women in Seoul going under the knife, South Korea is the largest global market for plastic surgery.
The most popular cosmetic procedures include rhinoplasty, double eyelid surgery to reduce excess skin in the upper eyelid and make the eyes appear larger and liposuction to use high-frequency sound waves to eliminate fat.
Experts blame the popularity of cosmetic surgery among young South Koreans on an obsession with celebrity culture and a desire to look more western.
According to a 2012 report, Botox and laser hair removal are favorites among non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
Normally a last resort operation to correct facial deformities like an excessive over or under bite that causes an inability to chew properly, this high-risk yet popular jaw surgery involves re-aligning the jaw and shaving off parts of the bone to create a heart shape.
Along with a high-bridged nose and big eyes, a small face with a V-shaped chin and jaw line is considered a mark of feminine beauty in most of East Asia.
According to figures released in 2013, South Koreans have more plastic surgery per capita than any other nation, with one in every 77 going under the knife.
The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) figures showed that 15 million people across the world turned to plastic surgery for cosmetic enhancement in 2011.
Experts believe that South Korea’s booming music industry is responsible for the rising number of cosmetic surgeries. Patients have begun visiting plastic surgery clinics with photos of celebrities and asking plastic surgeons to emulate American noses or eyes.
South Korean singer Psy commented that his record label asked him to undergo plastic surgery. Psy’s song “Gangnam Style” quickly became a global hit in 2012.
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