Koreans and Plastic Surgery: Empowerment through Surgery
After recovering from the currency crisis from a decade ago, the rising living standards in South Korea has enabled a number of men and women to pursue various pleasures and luxuries in life; one of these luxuries is cosmetic surgery. A growing number of Japanese, Chinese, Asian Americans and others from South-east Asia have also flocked to Seoul.
Now, the South Korean economy is one of the largest in the world, ranking 13th. Despite this, only 61.2 percent of women with higher education degrees, aged 25 to 64, were employed in 2007 – as reported by the Korean Women’s Development Institute. Compared to other OECD Member countries, South Korea is at the bottom there.
By 2013, 72.7 percent of women aged between 25 and 29 were employed. For those aged between 35 and 49, the statistics are grim, with only 56.1 percent being employed. With such a deplorable female employment rate in Korea, it’s no wonder then that some women, if they have no plans to become homemakers, are empowering themselves -- to ensure job security.
Not just a matter of being trendy
The on-going beauty trend is that of having wider eyes, a fairer complexion and a higher nose bridge. There is the belief that by ‘enhancing’ looks, this provides an edge to the individual, as well as greater career prospects. This is often done through Korean eye surgery, rhinoplasty and laser skin treatments, to name a few.
It’s not just women, however, as elementary-aged children have also been seeking to achieve the ideal look; how is this done? Through, DIY cosmetic surgery in Korea: cheap but dubious – as in, how effective are these DIY tools, really? These cheap solutions are an alternative to popular procedures such as the 20-minute double eyelid surgery. Whatever methods used, the belief is the same – that by altering looks, you’ll be able to better navigate life’s challenges. This is the belief in empowerment through surgery that is prevalent in South Korea. There’s been so much buzz. It’s been hyped up by various news sources that now, South Koreans and plastic surgery could almost be said to be interchangeable.