My, what big eyes you have: Young Chinese drive Korea's plastic surgery boom
As incomes rise in China, young people are more focused on beauty, and more of them are coming to South Korea on beauty tours in search of that 'get ahead' look.
Jean-Paul Pelissier / Reuters
Seoul, South Korea
On the streets of Apgujeong, the Seoul neighborhood that is ground zero for plastic surgery in Asia, there are new faces looking to get lifted. The latest boost to South Korea’s booming beauty industry? China's wealthy.
“As incomes rise in China, people are more focused on beauty, and more and more of them are coming to Korea” in search of it, says Sung Min-yun, head of a consulting firm that specializes in the cosmetic surgery industry here. In 2010, he adds, the number of Chinese clients leapt nearly fivefold from the year before.
It is too square, she worries, and she is ready to spend more than $4,500 to have it smoothed out. A more oval face, she says, will get her “a better job, a nicer boyfriend, and a reflection in the mirror that I will like more.”
Her mother, she explains, will pay for the operation. “I inherited my jaw from my mum, and she hates hers, too,” says Ms. Su. “She is happy to help me.”