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trueHUE® Water cooler stories
The pressure to look good is enormous in South Korea. Improving ones looks is expected, especially in the cities. Many now opt for the “petit seonghyeong,” or “minor procedures,” like Botox injections and fillers to shape their faces.
Koreans regularly head to the beauty clinic to improve their chances at job interviews, for example, because attractiveness is so important on the labor market. “This also reflects the attitude of Koreans toward their own bodies: This might be beneficial to me so I might as well do it,” says Joanna Elfving-Hwang of the University of Western Australia, who has produced several studies on the issue.
In Seoul, by contrast, some clinics offer lip injections during the lunch break, with 30 minutes of preparation, 10 minutes of injections, and that’s it.
More cosmetic procedures are performed per capita in South Korea than anywhere else in the world. The country has 2,330 practicing plastic surgeons, giving it the most cosmetic surgeons per capita of any country in the world.
The annual number of foreign visitors who travel to South Korea for cosmetic surgery saw a year-on-year increase of 37 percent in 2018.
Most operations in South Korea are performed on noses and on eyelids – so-called “double eyelid surgery.”
According to clinics, 80 percent of their clients are women.