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The Rise of Plastic Surgery in Korea

There is a statistic about plastic surgery that may surprise Americans – More than any place in the world, South Koreans have more plastic surgery procedures than any other place in the world.

Reasearch has been done that shows that 20% of women in Korea have had Botox injections or had some sort of procedure. In Seoul, you will see advertisements everywhere for clinics that provide plastic surgery, which show before-and-after pictures of people who have had procedures done.

These kinds of images are why Woori, a 19-year-old from Seoul, had some plastic surgery done last month.

“Whenever I looked in the mirror or saw a picture of what my face looked like, I would become stressed,” says Woori. “I noticed that my lefty eye was bigger than my right. The biggeset problem I saw was my nose. Even people who didn't know me at all would always comment on how big my nose was. They told me it completely covered my face.”

So, with the use of her own hard-earned money, Woori decided to undergo a procedure that would raise the bridge of her nose and lift her eyelids.

Woori has said that following her procedure, she has become more popular with boys, and it has been a great help to her in the professional world.

“Koreans are always obsessed with our looks. Before I had plastifc surgery, if I had 15 interviews for different jobs, I wouldn't get any return calls. Now, I get many different calls." says Woori.

Woori is now proud to be modeling for her plastic surgeon. Dr. Soo-Young says that the standards that are part of Korean beauty have been largely influenced by western culture. His patients come in and want to go away looking like Barbie, even though, for Asian women, this is not very realistic.

“The competition is fierce in the Korean society,In Korean society,” says Cho. “If they believe they have a face that looks poor or old, they may lose out in competition others in the competition. So, in order to win against other people, they have to change their body and their face.”

Most job and school applications that are done in Korea require a candidate’s headshot. Cho says that plastic surgery done in Korea can absolutely change a person’s future for the better.

In Korea, people believe – or at least the market makes them believe – that good-looking people have better jobs or are offered better opportunities. It is truly a sad reality. Are they focusing on their education, or are they being hired just because they’re good looking? It’s something their society needs to think more deeply about.

On the other hand, in all societies, plastic surgery has been shown to improve self-image, and perhaps the confidence that comes from that is why they get the jobs.

Before undergoing a plastic surgery procedure, be sure to talk to your doctor. Understand what procedures you may be a candidate for, and then go from there. It is also very wise to be sure that your doctor is a board-certified surgeon.

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