20% of South Korean Women Have Plastic Surgery

K-Pop fuels the obsession
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2013 6:22 AM CDT
20% of South Korean Women Have Plastic Surgery
The K-Pop group "Girls Generation" performs. "They have double eyelid and a small face; a round forehead — from an implant," one fan says. "They say they didn't do any surgery, but I know they did."   (Wikimedia/the.angrycamel)

Just how popular is cosmetic surgery in South Korea? So popular that one in five women there have had it, compared to one in 20 in America, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. The statistic comes courtesy of the Atlantic, which mentions it in a broader look at the country's burgeoning obsession with going under the knife. Writer Zara Stone believes it's partially a product of the rise of K-pop, a music movement that has radically altered the country's standards of beauty.

These music stars tend to have small faces, big eyes, tiny noses, and pointed chins. Perhaps the most disturbing trend is the procedure required to create those pointed chins. It's called "V-line surgery," and it involves breaking and shaving the jaw, then wiring it in place for six weeks to produce—once the swelling has died down half a year later—a v-shaped face. And the obsession is catching on with Korean-Americans as well; Stone talked to one California teen who's already had eye and nose procedures, and has her heart set on v-line. "My cousin had her nose and eyes done, my mom had her eyes done, and my aunts had noses and eyes done, all in Korea," she explains. "I just want to better myself." Click for the full story. (More South Korea stories.)

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