Plastic surgery and Culture

8:29 PM

Knowledge on plastic surgery

Today, I would like to think about our culture regarding plastic surgery and share about it.
I have not been to all the different countries around the world, but I have been to a few and met many foreigners. There is an interest on plastic surgery all over the world.

KIES-U Plastic surgery Korea


Then, which country is most interested in plastic surgery?
Korea could be that one, but I think that Brazil is one of the top countries.

Girls in Brazil are treated as adults at the age of 18. They can borrow money from financial institutes at that age. The money borrowed is used for breast and hip augmentation. This is really something.

I don’t think any other teenagers in other countries can do this. Brazil is famous for its advanced technology in plastic surgery and I think it is due to such interest from its people.

US is another country known for plastic surgery. People are interested about their looks. Then which are is popular? Breast augmentation is the most popular surgery followed by fat transplant. Midface lifting is also popular.




How about in Korea?
It starts right after College Scholastic Ability Test. The teenage girls visit the plastic surgeons with their moms. The most popular plastic surgery would be the double eyelid surgery. Some also prefer nose jobs.

There are a lot of differences in the plastic surgery items, timing, age, etc according to different countries. Plastic surgery in Korea has become generalized and so its culture is also important. I think that it is important for someone to talk about it as well.

First, let’s talk about the culture roots of westerners and easterners (referring to Korea). Westerners (Americans for example) are individualistic. There is a reason for everything. Other people are other people. Everything is centered around “me”. Although they act as a group, the core is the individual. This is American culture.
This is why the Americans respect different personalities, and do not pay too much attention to what others are thinking.
American ladies enjoy wearing bikinis in beaches no matter how their body is. Even the aged ladies enjoy the bikini.

How about the ladies in Korea?
The women do not wear bikinis unless they are confident about their bodies.
I have never seen an aged woman with a bikini in my 46 years of life in Korea.

Group is more important in our country. Group has a priority over an individual and this is why we tend to focus on how and what other people are thinking about. This is where the concept “nunchi” comes in. (Nunchi is a Korean word for senseless, no tact, clueless)
Westerners do not understand what “nunchi” refers to.
Some people say that young people these day do not have “nunchi” and they are individualistic. But, there is a little difference here.
If a young person think that he/she is more outstanding than others in a particular area, he/she will have no “nunchi” regarding that particular area. It’s the opposite if he/she is inferior to others.

Let’s say you bought a nice car. You would want to expose it as much as possible. You will put up a picture of it on the sns. Let’s say you bought a small sized car. You will not want to show it to others.

If you are pretty and have a good body, you would want to show off. But if you are a little fat or not pretty, then you might lose confidence. People today, still have that “nunchi”.

There was an announcer in KBS, who appeared in a program in another channel (not news). She gained a little weight. People criticized her by saying “doesn’t she have “nunchi”? Why is she on TV?”  This is something not right. Gaining weight is a personal problem, and not one that other people should point out.

Of course, priority in a group over an individual is not always the right thing. But, I think that people at our country should consider what the westerners are doing regarding plastic surgery. In Korea, it is easy to standardize what beauty is.



There is a web toon called “Portrait of Kangnam Beauty”. Someone drew a portrait that became really famous. If people do not understand that outer looks are “different”, then they will think ‘superior = pretty’, and ‘inferior = ugly’. If they want to have plastic surgery according to this, then we would have standardized form of beauty.

Is high nose pretty and low one not?
Are big eyes pretty and small ones not?
Is an angular face, an ugly one?

This is a perspective based on a group and this is derived from our culture. We cannot define beauty in such a way but people do.

There is a variety in beauty and there is a multi-aspect to it as well.

A person might think something is beautiful but others might not.
A person might think someone is ugly, but other might not.

We need to approach beauty be defining it through our personality and value. This is what I feel all the time when I talk to my patients.

This is all for today. Thank you for reading.

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