About a third of South Korean women between the ages of 19 and 29 have undergone cosmetic surgery before.
Plastic surgery is so popular in South Korea that 70% of high school students undergo eye surgery or receive it as a graduation present from a family member.
South Korean doctors are excellent in their work and there are few surgical cases.
Blepharoplasty or double eyelid surgery is the most common procedure in South Korea. Unlike the US and Nigeria where big butt Brazilian butt lifts are more popular, others include face lifts and nose jobs.
Can you imagine how an overweight or plastic surgery teenager in South Korea feels? Beauty standards are very high in South Korea, but why the obsession with plastic surgery?
After the Japanese invasion, South Koreans struggled with their identity
The country is at the mercy of foreign powers and is struggling to find its identity.
From 1910 to 1945, Korea was under the colonial rule of Japan. They hated it and still feel anger and resentment towards the Japanese to this day.
Shortly after colonial rule, Korea came under the United States government and was divided into North and South by the US
From all indications, this type of plastic surgery aims to reduce the Oriental or Asian face, which is usually rounded with small slanted eyes – they want to eliminate any resemblance to the Japanese.
South Koreans undergo blepharoplasty, or double eyelid surgery, which gives them an eyelid and widens their eyes.
It can be argued that the US invasion of their lives and country has made Asians prefer Western notions of beauty.
South Korea is a collectivist and conformist society
Like the South Korean film, Divergent. The central theme of the film is that everyone in society has to behave in a certain way, if you try to be different or special, you cannot exist in that society.
South Koreans are neo-Confucians who believe in a unified society. If plastic surgery is the prevailing beauty standard, everyone should join. There is no room for isolation, but for conformity.
Social media and celebrities are the standards of beauty
K-pop and K-drama are popular exports from South Korea, and they influence prevailing beauty standards.
Social media also plays a role, South Koreans love the internet and it is one of the best connected countries in the world, with an internet usage rate of around 91.6% in 2018.
Internet users are people between the ages of 20 and 29 who are reported to spend an average of 24.2 hours online per week.
Kim Tae Hee is Kim Kardashian South Korean and the standard for most cosmetic surgeries.
A survey of 290 young South Korean men and women cited famous Korean actress Kim Taehee as the most attractive female celebrity, and many Koreans aspire to look like her.
For South Koreans, looks are character
Attractiveness is key to success in South Korea. You can be denied a job in South Korea if you don’t look attractive. People get plastic surgery so they can get their dream jobs.
This is because South Koreans believe in physic which means that a person’s facial features are related to their fate or character.
A popular story that shows the belief in physics is that of a 20th century president, Chun Doo HwanThe mother broke his teeth with a rock after a wandering monk told him that he would have a successful son if his teeth protruded less.
Many parts of the world are trying to reject the stereotypical model of beauty with phrases like fatphobia, skinnyphobia and advocating diversity in beauty.
However, for South Koreans, beauty can be changed, made better and uniform.