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updated 7:33 AM UTC, Oct 20, 2017
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Plastic Surgery; China’s Kowtow to the Kardashians

Featured Plastic Surgery; China’s Kowtow to the Kardashians Illustration by Alicia Liu

In less than two years a Nanjing woman has spent over ¥110,000 on plastic surgery after going under the knife a total of nine times.

The woman is still disastrously unsatisfied and has battled in the Qinhuai courthouse for compensation medical expenses and mental damage. The plastic surgery hospital argued Miss Jia frequented the surgeries with a serious lack of proper caution.

Between 2014 and 2016 Ms. Jia undertook various surgeries to improve her looks, including nose and eye reconstruction, chin shaping and nasal repair surgery, which still failed to satisfy her, making her instead feel uglier.

It is said that the court ruled in favour of Miss Jia and that the hospital had committed a “serious dereliction of duty”; that doctors should have assessed the patients psychological needs, after having already undergone numerous procedures, in order to assess if they have an “addiction” or not. After mediation, the hospital agreed to a compensation of ¥70,000.

Unsatisfactory plastic surgery is a problem that has plagued those in the beauty industry from around the birth of the idea itself. Somewhat simmering in developed countries, complaints are becoming less due to highly regulated medical practices. In central and south America, the problem is increasing rapidly, due to a severe lack of authority and regulation of medical practitioners. Now we are seeing the same in Asia.

A 2016 report by Forbes magazine ranked South Koreans third behind Brazil and the United States of America for the most plastic surgeries performed in the year. Behind South Korea ranked India, Mexico, Germany, Colombia, France and Italy. While China is not on the list, it can be assumed that she will be, and soon. The industry in China is thunderous and worth over ¥400b, according the BBC, and is expected to double by 2019. The Chinese drive to plastics comes from an ever-increasing national obsession with K-pop (Korean popular culture), a preoccupation that transcends the boundaries of clothing fashion and settles itself in the psyche and insecurities of beauty.

Humans are an obsessive bunch and in our modern world, when something goes viral, it happens fast; fashions change and everyone needs it then and there. Asia is no exception to this; in fact, it would seem that the Chinese are even more vulnerable due to their new-found high disposable income. As millennial Chinese women earn higher paychecks and plastic surgery becomes cheaper and more readily available, the trend to shifting from a healthier natural attempt at beauty to an unhealthier plastic lazy obsession, or could we say addiction?

The Brazilians are known for their “butt-lifts”, while the Italians and Greeks are more interested in breast augmentation, Northern Americas and many Northern Europeans score highly in liposuction surgeries, breast augmentation plus, interestingly, penis enlargement and peck implants. However, when we look at what Asians want, the finer, more intricate “imperfect” body parts are the focus, such as double eye lid surgery, leg stretching, cheek lifting and raising the nose bridge.

In June 2017, The Nanjinger conducted a survey of over 103 Chinese women, which asked them to answer a range of questions regarding health, mental health and plastic surgery. Of the women questioned, 20 percent had undergone plastic surgery, with the majority having had the double eyelid procedure. This was followed by mouth and chin reconstruction. Most of the women reported a healthy attitude to their diets, eating little meat and more fruit. Exercise was taken less seriously, with 47 percent admitting they rarely do any exercise. When the women were asked, “What is your ideal body shape?” answers varied between 34 percent wishing for “slender with long legs”, 29 percent who wanted to be “healthy and strong”, 35 percent who hoped for “hour glass with big breasts and hips” and only 5 percent who said they “don’t care”.

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