Plastic Surgery is so Extreme in South Korea that People Need New IDs

Just how good are plastic surgeons in South Korea?

Well for starters, South Korean media outlets Onboa and Munhwa have reported that many people now need plastic surgery certificates to prove they actually are who they say they are.

The practice has been growing in popularity for a few years now, but a recent boom in plastic surgery tourism from nearby countries like China and Japan means many of these foreigners now need hard proof of their surgeries to get past customs in their homeland.

One of the most common procedures is blepharoplasty, which gives the eye a more rounded, western look, and it’s made it making it harder for authorities to identify people based on their pre-op photos on their passports and other forms of ID.

With such unbelievable transformations, it’s hard to blame them.

Though people are more discrete about sharing their plastic surgery in America, it’s a totally normal topic of discussion in South Korea, not unlike you’d converse about someone’s outfit or hairstyle.

South Korea boasts the highest rates of plastic surgery of any country in the world, so it’s a much less taboo trend.

A recent survey found that one in five women between the ages of 19 and 49 there undergo some sort of cosmetic surgery, though it is growing increasingly common among men too.

Sadly, it looks like what’s driving this trend is East Asia’s pop culture, which tends to idolize western looks and music in particular.

But that’s no excuse. When you need a certificate to prove who you are, maybe it’s time to consider pumping the brakes on the plastic surgery.

While South Koreans may need to take a good hard look at the mirror when it comes to it’s growing obsession with plastic surgery, there are places where it can do some good beyond the superficial. Operation Smile is an international children’s medical charity that help’s provide safe surgical care for cleft palate treatment, helping heal children’s smiles forever.


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  1. I think it a crying shame that Korean people feel the need to look like America models. Be proud of the faces that you are born with!!!!

  2. Isn't it a bit narcissistic to think S Koreans are getting plastic surgery to look more 'white'? Ask any South Korean why they got eye surgery and they'll tell you it's to help themselves to look more awake, not white. Nose jobs are common in the US, but nobody accuses them of trying to look like a particular race.

    Admittedly, South Korea has always been a country that valued good looks, as ancient records shows that the military scouted smart, good looking men to fill certain roles in the royal army. Even hearing this, Westerners judge them for being different and weird and 'gay'. There is such a thing as different cultural mind-sets.

    It's hypocritical and insecure to judge another race for wanting to feel their best while it's the norm for Americans to get braces, a drastic (far more invasive procedure than putting a crease in your eyelid) that alters bone structure and costs several thousands of $$$. Ask an American why they straightened their teeth, is it to feel their best? Or are they trying to look like another race?

    Again, in SK, the most numerous procedures are eye-crease surgeries which takes about half an hour to get done and is cheap, so it's not a big deal there, and it's not like 100% of all Asians are chopping off facial bones so they can look like an American hollywood stars like this article suggests. They want to feel their best as South Koreans, not to look like white Americans. Source? I'm someone who's been to both the US and S Korea. Whenever S Koreans judge Americans and being fat, ugly and lazy, I have to explain that people of white-European ancestry normally have a body type that are much thicker than Asians. So, there is misunderstanding that goes from all angles.



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