Went to the Plastic Surgery Capital of the World…

…Seoul, Korea!

Sorry for the long hiatus. I was on vacation.

I wasn’t just goofing off, though, mind you.

(Though Taylor Lautner can goof off as much as he wants. We’ll all just sit here and stare.)

I was looking out for signs of plastic surgery since, as pointed out by the title of this post, Seoul is the plastic surgery capital of the world…It was pretty obvious because, well…

There were literally advertisements everywhere: before and after pics of plastic surgery patients at various clinics, boasting slogans like, “Everyone has done it except you.”

I took pictures of some of the drastic ones because, well, it’s interesting. There’s a whole culture revolving around plastic surgery in Korea. People get it as birthday gifts or graduation presents. 1 in 5 women in Seoul has gotten plastic surgery (though many procedures are limited to minor tweaks like the double-eyelid surgery). The double eyelid surgery, in turn, is viewed as many Americans view ear piercings.

In a country where beauty lands you jobs and gives you a competitive edge, plastic surgery is an essential part of many Koreans’ lives.

Look at these pics…

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Crazy, right?

Though I have nothing against plastic surgery, there’s one thing with this whole phenomenon that really bothers me.

Take a look at all the “after” photos.

Big, round eyes. Tall, small, narrow nose. White skin. Smooth jawline and sharp chin. Small face.

Don’t all the girls look kinda…similar? I think plastic surgery can definitely be used to enhance your features, but in some cases, it seems to be turning many young girls into clones.

Pretty clones, I guess. But they’re still clones.

It doesn’t have to be this way, but it seems like everyone wants to look a certain way. These features have come to represent what it means to be beautiful in Korea. Most of the popular K-Pop stars and K-drama actors and actresses tend to have similar features, and it’s no wonder.

Many of them are getting plastic surgery in similar ways (why, some even have the same plastic surgeon!), thus producing almost identical faces. Of course, there are differences from face to face, but the overall appearance is strikingly similar.

Sure, many countries have this problem, a standard of beauty that everyone strives to fulfill. In other countries, however, I feel like the problem isn’t so severe. Or, at least, not in America. In America, there are various types of looks that one would consider beautiful.

There is the sexy-puffy-lips-sultry-eyes look of Angelina Jolie, or the girl-next-door look of Jennifer Aniston and Blake Lively. There is the hourglass figure of Sofia Vergara, the fuller figures of stars like Queen Latifah and Kim Kardashian,  and the twiggy, boyish bodies of actresses like Nicole Kidman and Kate Hudson.

In Korea, the standard of beauty seems much narrower and much more marginalized.

With such high plastic surgery rates within the Seoul population, people will definitely start to look similar.

And no, I’m not being racist. Koreans do not “all look alike” naturally, but if they get plastic surgery to look like a K-Pop star or an actress or one of those ads in the subway stations, they’re certainly bound to.

I support plastic surgery, but when people end up looking like clones, it saddens me.

It’s one thing to make yourself look better. It’s another thing entirely to change your face so completely that you look nothing like yourself and have transformed into an Asian barbie doll.

After all, if we are all beautiful, then what’s the point of being beautiful in the first place?

Clone-like Miss Korea 2013 Contestants (from KoreaBang.com)

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