3 Telltale Signs of a Korean Plastic Surgery Addict

Written by Chelsea Kim on . Posted in Korean Plastic Surgery

In the hustle and bustle of our everyday 21st century life, we don’t really take notice of the potential dangers of our selfie-loaded culture. But obsession with self-image can indeed become a problem, as in a rather recent case where a British teenager reportedly tried to kill himself because he wasn’t satisfied with the quality of his selfies. This is why some people choose to opt for cosmetic surgery, but even then it could still be a problem!

As highlighted in the 3 lessons to learn from extreme plastic surgery in Korea that went wrong, Hang Mioku, a former Korean model is a good example here: she was perpetually dissatisfied with her looks and after being low on funds, made the unwise decision of injecting herself with cooking oil. She was a plastic surgery addict. According to plastic surgery statistics, South Korea is said to be the most cosmetically enhanced in the world, with plastic surgeons that are 1.7 times more experienced than Taiwan, 6.9 times more than Thailand and 17 times more than China.

Even with some of the best plastic surgeons in Korea, this cannot fully protect plastic surgery addicts from themselves. There have been countless of cases where after feeling dissatisfied with their looks, teens to adults have killed themselves.

If you know someone who is keen on cosmetic surgery, a sensitive soul and image-conscious, you’ll want to keep an eye out on the 3 signs of a Korean plastic surgery addict – just in case.

Sign # 1:
Obsessive, Compulsive and Image-conscious
Does the person worry too much about their looks? Everyone worries about how they look to others at some point, but they don’t check their little compact mirror for the thousandth time in a day,or compulsively taking a million selfies in a single day, before crying their eyes out at every single picture — lamenting on how ugly they think they look.

But in reality, they’re not a Frankenstein-zombie hideous monster that they make themselves out to be.

Sign #2:
How far do they go in their pursuit for the ideal image?
Are they spending all their resources such as money, time and energy on cosmetic surgery purposes? Do they eat instant ramen noodles 24/7 for months on end, miss out on work or skip out on school often? Simply put, is their mental, emotional and physical health deteriorating in their pursuit of the ideal image?

This is unfortunate. All we got is the present moment, really. Cosmetic surgery is a means to an end, but when people forget about the importance of the process, the journey itself, life itself can be hell. There is a difference between saving up for a nose job, and forsaking everything you are and have right now, for a nose job that will be done in a year.

Step #3:
Reacting Aggressively and Violently to Help

Okay, so you may know someone who may be an addict, based on the first two signs. Maybe you’ve tried to butt in and tell them that maybe they’ve gone too far. Do they react violently to you? Violence is not always physical, it can be emotional too. Marshall Rosenberg, a psychologist and author of the book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, had once said, “All violence is the result of people tricking themselves into believing that their pain derives from other people and that consequently those people deserve to be punished.”

As cliché as the old saying goes, to give out love, a person has to first learn to love themselves.

Now, look at her:

korean plastic surgery addict
Even though she’s overweight and not considered to be a “conventional beauty”, she gives out an air of confidence. Are those gym clothes? Wow, someone’s been working hard!

Personality is just as attractive, if not more attractive than looks. I mean sure, people probably tease her from time to time. But she looks relaxed, as though she has acknowledged and accepted her flaws. More importantly, she knows that she has the power to change for the better. So, who cares what anyone else has to say?

Seoul to Limit Ads After Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong in Korea

Written by Chelsea Kim on . Posted in Korean Plastic Surgery

plastic surgery gone wrong in koreaIf you have ever stepped into the Gangnam district of Seoul, you will notice South Korea’s peculiarly beauty-driven culture; at the heart of the affluent district, hundreds of cosmetic surgery clinics can be found; half of all advertisements are promotions for various kinds of surgeries, nips and tucks.

A glance through plastic surgery statistics and it’ll tell you that South Korea is the most cosmetically-enhanced country in the world.

This can be a bit disconcerting for those who are not used to such an image-driven culture, one that has a narrow standard of beauty, but, beauty nonetheless.

Why is it beautiful nonetheless? Most people will tell you that they find larger, double-lidded eyes, fair skin and neotenous features to be desirable. We are hard-wired to coo and adore babies – why is it surprising that we find baby-looking faces attractive as well?

However, after tragic cases where surgery had gone wrong, the locals have urged Seoul to limit plastic surgery ads. Due to these growing complaints, Seoul has now set restrictions: only but 20% of all advertising placed in public transportation areas can be connected to cosmetic surgery.

“Many people complained these ads make people, including youngsters, believe that plastic surgery can be done so easily,” city council official Lee Chang-Min had said.

According to Channel News Asia, “Earlier this month a 34-year-old woman died of asphyxiation while having surgery on her nose and a man in his 30s died three days after undergoing a procedure on his jawbone.”

It is unfortunate that such matters happen, which makes it doubly important to find the best plastic surgeons in Korea – only those that are board-certified, professional and ethical.

With all that said, there are 3 lessons to be learn from extreme plastic surgery in Korea that went wrong:

  • Knowing your limits: The story of Hang Mioku is one fine example. The ex-model did not know her limits; she injected cooking oil into herself when she was not able to get a proper procedure done, which caused her fatal accident that had left her severely disfigured.
  • Risking it with a relatively new fad: Compared to other procedures that have been around for a much longer time, procedures like jawline surgery may still be risky business.
  • Cheap comes at a price: Any experienced and ethical professional won’t be charging insanely low rates.

Perhaps if more cases of plastic surgery gone wrong in Korea were to happen, Seoul may have to further limit its ads connected to plastic surgery. Who knows, really? Leave a comment below if you think this is bound to happen. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

How Much is Plastic Surgery in Korea for Wealthy Chinese?

Written by Chelsea Kim on . Posted in Korean Plastic Surgery

how much is plastic surgery in korea for the wealthy chineseSouth Korea is said to be the most cosmetically enhanced country, and its plastic surgeons are 17 times more experienced than that of China, according to plastic surgery statistics.

Now, according to South Korea medical tourism in 2012: more Chinese than Americans enter the country for beauty purposes, and the appeal is even higher by the fact that wealthy Chinese visitors are getting perks. How much is plastic surgery in Korea for the wealthy Chinese?

We’re not entirely sure, but as reported by The Korea Times, “Wealthy Chinese tourists coming to Korea will gain multiple-entry visas, exclusive immigration services at the airport, discounts for shopping and many other benefits, if they hold a debit card issued by Woori Bank, according to the bank and related ministries.”

How wealthy are we talking about?

“Chinese citizens eligible for the cards are those who have more than 50 million won deposited at Woori Bank’s local branches. Those who have purchased items worth over $30,000 in Korea over the last five years or other VIPs, such as high-ranking officials or celebrities, can have the card issued as well if approved by the justice ministry and Korea’s financial authorities.”

Here comes the highlight, “Discounts are also available at hospitals because a growing number of Chinese receive medical services in Korea, including plastic surgery.”

Last year, a total of 4.32 million Chinese visitors had entered Korea – an increase of 52.5 percent from the year before. The total number of Chinese visitors has exceeded the Japanese, as well as Americans. With the popularity of procedures like double eyelid surgery, and the strong K-POP fan-base that plays a part in South Korea’s cosmetic surgery industry, the rate of visitors will not be dying down anytime soon.

6 Before and After Korean Plastic Surgery Dramatic Shots

Written by Chelsea Kim on . Posted in Korean Plastic Surgery


In recent years, the rate of global poverty has fell and one country that has risen from tough times is South Korea, who now thrives in comparison to how it was a few decades ago. Our age of globalization has brought the nation’s kimchi to your local Korean grocery store, but that’s not all.

In the South Korean culture, cosmetic surgery is heavily promoted and there is a prevailing belief in empowerment through surgery. With films like 200 Pounds Beauty, a story about an overweight girl who undergoes extreme plastic surgery and becomes a pop sensation, many fans of Korean entertainment

Here are 6 before and after Korean Plastic Surgery dramatic shots, highlighting South Korea’s beauty standard.

Korean Plastic Surgery Dramatic  1

Korean Plastic Surgery Dramatic  2

Korean Plastic Surgery Dramatic 3

Korean Plastic Surgery Dramatic 4

Korean Plastic Surgery Dramatic 5

Korean Plastic Surgery Dramatic 6



Notice that for some, minor changes can make for a very dramatic transformation!

Though South Korea has earned a reputation for being “obsessed” with cosmetic surgery, this isn’t actually the case: according to plastic surgery statistics, most procedures that were performed in Korea back in 2011, were non-invasive skin and hair treatments.

Whether it be the 20-minute double eyelid surgery or the more invasive jaw-shaving surgery, this is a nation that cares a lot about image. There have been tragic times where people have been unable to look away from the mirror, as was in the case of a South Korean dating show contestant’s shock suicide.

Disclaimer: (The pictures above were derived from the blogosphere and are not associated with Seoul TouchUp).

One of the Only Celebrities to Not Have Gotten Surgery in Korea

Written by Chelsea Kim on . Posted in Korean Plastic Surgery

surgery in Korea none for Yuna KimWorld-renowned champion figure skater Yuna Kim is loved by many; her South Korean fans adore her so much so that they have dubbed her as “Queen Yuna” – showing how much respect they have for the celebrity athlete. It’s not just her skills, but the fact that she is one of the only celebrities to have never gotten plastic surgery in Korea or elsewhere, ever. It is old news that many Korean celebrities and plastic surgery have had a long-standing secret affair going on for a while now.

For a country with a rate of 13.264 per 1,000 population having gone under the knife, Miss Yuna Kim goes against the grain here.  This figure was derived from global plastic surgery statistics, as reported by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in 2011. That’s not to say that Yuna Kim isn’t blessed with good looks to begin with – she has the kind of eyes that many Asian girls would die for, or at least make them want to undergo the popular 20-minute double eyelid surgery.

While some cringe at the thought of cosmetic surgery, it seems that plastic surgery makes people happy, or at least some people.

In a study by Dr Jurgen Margraf, a Alexander von Humboldt Professor for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, the psychological effects of cosmetic surgery was investigated in 550 patients. The results: To begin with. most did not have unrealistic expectations, and there were long-term improvements in their psychological health; they felt less anxious, felt healthier and had developed better self-esteem. They felt attractive.

What does unrealistic expectations mean? Something that goes along the lines of “All my problems will be gone.” Or “I’ll be a completely different, new person!” This is unrealistic because cosmetic surgery has its limitations, and is not the solution to all of our problems. However, we can safely say that cosmetic surgery can help us with feeling more physically attractive.

Disclaimer: (The picture above was derived from the blogosphere and is not associated with Seoul TouchUp).