Plastic surgery is a market that has grown worldwide, but especially in South Korea, the incentive for this starts from an early age. The country was the plastic surgery champion for a long time. In 2014, for example, an average of 980 thousand plastic operations were performed. This corresponds to 2 out of every 100 people living in the South Korean country.
And yes, it is true that parents have the custom of presenting their children with plastic surgery, usually before entering college. This surgery is in the eye region to make the eyes less characteristic, but in a very subtle way.
Let's better understand how the popularity of plastic surgery began, what the tradition is and how plastic surgery is seen there. Are surgeries cheaper? How does access to cosmetic surgery work in the country?
South Korean beauty standard
The standard of beauty changes a lot from one culture to another, but something that doesn't change is the search for perfection. For this, people adhere to plastic surgery, cosmetics, diets and other ways to seek the ideal appearance.
In Korea, the demand for physical perfection is high, especially among k-pop idols, this unfortunately even contributes to the high suicide rates in South Korea. The South Korean beauty standard is influenced by the Western Aryan, which are big eyes, fair skin, thin upturned nose,
The standard also requires the eyes to be enlarged, so the use of lenses is common. And also the shape of the face in V. Cosmetic procedures are often performed by ordinary citizens such as double eyelid and jaw shaving.
For South Koreans, the head should have a small shape and a delicate face, straight eyebrows, and fair skin (white skin means nobility, while more tanned skin is associated with manual work) all to look younger. Because they are considered to have beautiful skin, cosmetics are coveted around the world.
They are also concerned about body aesthetics. The default in this case is thin, slender. The standard for men is over 1.75 m and defined abs. And the shorter women with thin thighs without touching each other. There are not common overweight people, but they still exist. However, these people suffer prejudice because when they are overweight they are called lazy people.
These little things may seem like they are not of great importance but even getting a job is difficult if you don't meet the required standards. In the capital of South Korea, Seoul, huge advertisements encouraging plastic surgery are very common.
double eyelid surgery
It is common for South Koreans to have drooping eyelids, leaving them with a saddened look. The main purpose of plastic surgery is to make the eyes “less Asian”. So to reverse this it is common, still young, for them to have plastic surgery. The procedure costs on average US$ 1,500 or R$ 4,000.
The surgery itself is simple, there is no need for hospitalization and can last from 40 minutes to 1 hour. In 15 days the result is already visible, but only in 3 months the final result appears. The surgery must be done by the plastic surgery professional or by an ophthalmologist who is an eye surgeon, because if not taking care of the health of the vision, the person may even stop seeing.
Anesthesia can be either local or general. Until completing the 15 days after surgery, the person must take all the care not to harm the vision or stain the skin around the eyes.
From dream to nightmare
In South Korea, both men and women are bombarded daily with advertisements on walls, buses and billboards to improve their appearance simply and easily. Many are convinced of this from an early age.
So, in turn, this market becomes much more profitable than you might imagine. People from everywhere go to Korea to have access to cosmetic procedures with more possibilities for doctors and prices. Korean makeup brands are expanding all over the globe.
The problem lies in the bad faith of many professionals when practicing medicine. Because it gives a lot of money, unfortunately there are many cases of people who are not even qualified professionals and perform procedures that deform the person. Or, who are doctors from another specialty who are venturing into plastic surgery.
These “doctors” use photo editing features to make before and after faces in order to attract potential patients. This had serious consequences for many people who dreamed of being part of the pattern and ended up having their face disfigured. Another problem faced is that of “ghost doctors”, someone who performs surgery in the place of another surgeon has been hired. The patient does not even know when it happens because the 'doctor' comes into action when he is sedated.
The profit from plastic surgery in South Korea is higher compared to the USA and Europe, perhaps because they are surgeries a little cheaper than other places and because they do most of the procedures. Because of these issues, the Korean Association of Plastic Surgeons is calling for stricter rules for physicians in the field and also with regard to advertising cosmetic surgery.
The Korean Medical Association even tried to implement the project to install cameras in all operating rooms, but most doctors disagreed, saying that this could distract professionals and inhibit patients.
Kwon Dae-hee case
CNN Brasil made a special article to talk about the case of Kwon Dae-hee, a young man of just 24 years old who surrendered to the plastic surgery procedure. The procedure was to thin the jaw, but he bled profusely during the procedure. He died seven weeks after complications. He was a victim of ghost doctors.
Kwon was insecure about his appearance. The change he wanted to make was the imposed standard common in K-pop idols. The family did not support him to have the surgery even so he wanted to change to feel better. The case happened on September 8, 2016 at a plastic surgery clinic in Seoul.
Kwon spent 6.5 million won in the unsuccessful operation. The case was discovered by looking at the room's security camera. Although many do not agree, some places already have this feature. The cameras show different doctors changing places and still a time of about half an hour with no doctor in the room, only assistants and nurses. Kwon's family wanted to prosecute those responsible. But the laws surrounding ghost doctors were not concrete.
Many travel long distances to get plastic surgery in South Korea, and some procedures are just as drastic. that when trying to return to the country of origin, people are prevented from boarding because the face does not look like the photos of personal documents.
Because of this, the “certificate of plastic surgery” was created, issued by Korean hospitals at the request of foreigners who perform the procedure.
What do you think of this culture wrapped in aesthetics? Would you do any of these procedures?