What pops up in your mind when someone mentions Korea? Possibly the Korean music industry, better known as k-pop, or maybe the Korean dramas that many claim are real tearjerkers, like the world-famous series, Descendants of the Sun. During recent years, Korea took in another association–plastic surgery. It all began after the Korean War when David Ralph Millard, the chief plastic surgeon of the U.S.
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Marine Corps, and his team offered complimentary reconstructive face surgery for injured soldiers due to war efforts. Soon after, Korean citizens sought Millard to change their Asian eyes to Occidental ones (The New Yorker). Ever since, plastic surgery clinics advertise themselves by posting flyers on the street to train station walls encouraging citizens to attain the perfect nose or the slimmest face shape. In an article published by the Washington Post, writer Ana Swanson went to the extent of calling South Korea the plastic surgery capital of the world. This holds truth for statistics show that while the United States has been leading in the cosmetic procedure realm, only 5% of American women have been under the knife compared to the significantly larger 20% of Korea women ages 19-49 who have (International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons). Lots of non- Koreans dismiss the beauty of the culture and physical composition of Koreans with beliefs that they have modified their looks and there is no such thing as a natural beauty anymore. With such a mass of misconception or a belief may hold some truth, it is essential to dive deeper into this theory today more than ever.
When a patient enters a plastic surgery clinic, they speak to a consultant, and then the doctor. The meeting with the doctor involves him/her telling their patient where imperfection lies by drawing a series of lines on their face using markers. About 980,000 Koreans went through this protocol in 2014 (International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery). Though women make up an enormous part of this number, men also alter their faces. In fact, Dr. Choi from JK Plastic Surgery stated that 15-20% of his patients are made up of males (businessinsider.com). The most popular cosmetic surgery in Korea is a blepharoplasty. During the procedure, …the doctor removes skin, muscle, and fat from the eyelid… (harpersbazaar.com). The goal is to transform a monolid to double lids in order to make the eyes appear bigger. The second most common surgery is a rhinoplasty. This is when an incision is made and …the skin that covers the nasal bones and cartilages is gently raised, allowing access to reshape the structure of the nose… (plasticsurgery.org). People undergo this procedure for a tall and defined nose bridge. Having a small face is associated with femininity, a strictly enforced standard to be met by Korean women. By choosing jaw reduction,
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