Chinese teenagers are among the many people in the world who have innate beauty affinity. The face in most cases being the icon of recognition and self-identity among million other faces, many aspire to have it outstanding and unique thus the need to undergo surgery to alter the size of the nose, cheekbones or even lips. With the thirst for beauty, most Asian girls have heard about a kind of beauty tool called double eyelid tape' which is used to create the illusion of creased or double' eyelids (Hua, p.89). It is a narrow and transparent tape which is applied on one's eyelids for facial improvement in the sense that a person's eyes tend to be larger. An interview with Dr. Leo Kah Woon who runs Dr. Leo Aesthetic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery reveals that the number of teenagers in demand for cosmetic surgery has increased from 10% to 15% with gender ratio being close to parity in that girls predominate by 9:1.
At least five years ago, people usually thought that only the celebrities or famous people needed plastic surgery because their occupations relied on their appearances. However, with the social media as a fueling factor on the issue of beauty through the increased photo postings and selfies on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, teenagers develop immense pressure to look as outstanding as ever in their posts too. With this case, teens opt for rhinoplasty, eyelid operation or even breast augmentation depending on the part that needs alteration. In cases of teens with a single eyelid or preferably referred to as monolids, Dr. Li Binbin of Beijing Anzhen Hospital says that the procedure to alter the eyelids in most cases involve removing the excessive fats and skin in the upper part of the eyelids to make the eyes appear round and beautiful (Zane, p.357). Factually, many parents in China are in support of their children getting the best looks, and thus most of them are willing to support them financially. According to Chinese doctors, many parents in the past years were against their children undergoing cosmetic operations until the western culture began positively influencing the perception. The growing social acceptance, in this case, has led to parents spending several yuan just to ensure their girls and boys get the attractive look. For instance, during the interview session, Dr. Chua reveals an anecdote regarding a teen who was to have breast augmentation to a certain size she had chosen. However, the parents pushed for a far bigger size claiming that the size the girl had chosen was not big enough. He concludes the interview by saying that, "parents are no longer shy about the issue of cosmetic surgery."
Notably, it is essential or rather advisable when teens who want surgery to do it after they are past the age of 18 in a sense they will be through with the puberty stage and thus, a complete facial skeletal growth. The factor is more concrete in the sense that the patients above this age are mature enough to understand both the benefits and risks associated with the cosmetic procedures. For instance, Dr. Carol Balhetchet at the Singapore Children's Society reveals that the negative impact of cosmetic surgery is that, "a person's outside package is made better but not the inside." To her, confidence is a virtue felt from the inside and thus, a person does not have to look good to gain confidence. The fact that most teens in China feel that their looks are attached to both their self-esteem as well as confidence leads to the case of egocentrism with a perspective that the whole world has eyes on them (Lindridge et al., p.496). In this case, cosmetic plastic surgery is both beneficial and damaging in that it makes a person addictive or in most cases as argued by Dr. Leo who says that revision sessions are highly required to maintain the new look given the aging factor.
However, it is saddening that the massive demand for teenagers causes the thriving of the illegal clinic. Without the legal qualification, those clinics sold medical injection or other plastic surgery medicine. Botox and hyaluronic acid are the most popular. One of my friends, who had injected botox three times for a better shape of her body, told me that, in the qualified hospital, one dose of imported botox cost about 700 dollars and a local one might cost 300 dollars. However, the clinic advertisement posted on the roadside may tell you a dose of botox only cost you 50 dollars. Sina News reported that "underground cosmetic surgery" is quickly spreading throughout China, with clinics' also selling counterfeit fillers through social chatting media. The customer has no idea about what material the "doctors" will inject into their body (Zane, p.359). However, the teenagers are easily deceived by those attractive advertisements with an attractive price on them. Those "crazy" teenagers, who can afford a competitive lower price, are willing to take a huge risk for beautiful faces they dream about. Those ignorant consumers instigate the flourishing of the underground plastic surgery. With the growing demand and rampant range, the control of government is inefficient. The result is unpredictable after the irrational chasing of beauty.
Hua, W. E. N. "Being Good-Looking Is Capital: Cosmetic Surgery in China Today." Asian Anthropology 8.1 (2009): 89-107.
Lindridge, Andrew M., and Congying Wang. "Saving face in China: Modernization, parental pressure, and plastic surgery." Journal of Consumer Behaviour 7.6 (2008): 496-508.
Zane, Kathleen. "Reflections on a yellow eye: Asian I (/eye\) cons and cosmetic surgery." The
Feminist and Visual Culture Reader, New York: Routledge (2003): 354-363.
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