South Korean Parents Are Making Their Kids Get Plastic Surgery
As I’m sure you’ll know by now, plastic surgery is a pretty big deal in South Korea. Remember last week when those photos popped up of all the South Korean beauty-pageant contestants who looked exactly the same? Everyone was all, “Hey, those guys sure do love their surgery,” with a brief chuckle, before moving on to autotuned Charles Ramsey videos and forgetting about the whole thing. Then, of course, the internet lost itsshit in a monsoon of moral outrage and started to scrutinize why Korean girls are trying to look more Western and how awful that all is.
I decided to call up my girl Sparkles (not her real name), who recently returned to live in her home city of Seoul, to find out what the reaction there was like to all this commotion. Turns out the plastic surgery trend has already become a running joke, with girls laughing about the fact they probably all have the same doctor and teasing each other about not having their eyelids torn apart enough.
She also told me something else slightly worrying. Parents are pressuring their daughters into having cosmetic procedures. It all starts to get a little dark when weapons-grade stage moms are guilt-tripping their daughters into splicing up their faces. Anyway, here’s that chat.
VICE: What’s the surgery scene like nowadays?
Sparkles: We have trends, like to tear the inner corner of the eye so it’s more almond shaped. Or, for a while, it was liposuction and putting that fat into your forehead. It’s hard to say if they’re conforming to a Western ideal of beauty, though—no one will take a photo of a caucasian celebrity to the surgeon and ask for that. That idea may have started off only because white people generally have taller noses and larger eyes, so it’s easy to describe it as a Western look, but no one in Korea will say they want to look Western. In Korea, we call doing your eyes and nose the “basics.” They’re the standard procedures.
That sounds like you’re ordering a burger; “I’ll just get the basics, thanks.”
Yeah. Like, “Oh, you haven’t even gotten plastic surgery yet? You should get the basics!” That’s nothing. So many people do it that it’s got to the point where people say things like, “But you only got your eyes and your nose done, it’s not a big deal.”