2:56 pm - 07/14/2009

30 Percent of South Korean College Students Seeking Cosmetic Surgery

Kim Yoo-mi, a 20-year-old student at a local junior college, is busier during her summer break than she was when school was in session. Part-timing at a convenience store in the morning and at a department store in the afternoon, she's working every minute of her vacation toward her very first nose job.

"It's hard sucks to work 12 hours a day, but getting my nose lifted is going to be completely worth it," said Kim, who blames her low nose bridge for low self-esteem.

With 700,000 won in savings, she has less than one month to make 1.5 million won to help pay for the surgical procedure that's expected to total about 2.5 million won.

If money allows, Kim says she even plans to have double eyelid surgery.

The college sophomore's open attitude toward cosmetic surgery isn't uncommon as it reflects the perspective of today's early 20-somethings.

In fact, more than 30 percent of 921 male and female university students said in a survey Tuesday that they plan to seek some kind of plastic surgery during their summer vacation.

More women (40 percent) were up for cosmetic enhancement than men (19 percent), according to the poll done by online job portal Career, but an overwhelming majority of respondents said there was no shame in getting a little nip and tuck for a boost in confidence.

Almost 80 percent of those who were willing to undergo a surgery said they hoped to get rid of their physical inferiority complex, while others named better looks and job hunting as their top reasons for turning to a cosmetic surgeon.

Eyes, nose and teeth, in that order, were the areas that respondents wanted the most work done, with both men and women putting the popular double eyelid surgery as No. 1 on their wish list.

Lee Dong-jin, a plastic surgeon at BSL Clinic, said people's overall perception toward cosmetic surgery has drastically changed in recent years, as more celebrities are openly accepting facial enhancements.

"Such openness is fanning the plastic surgery trend more, so young students should especially give it thorough thought on why they're wanting to undergo the procedure," he said.

According to the poll, more than 41 percent of respondents up for a surgery plan get money from their parents, while the remainder are working part-time jobs to shoulder the costs that typically range anywhere from 1.2 million won to 7 million won.

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(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
jorge_callas 14th-Jul-2009 12:54 pm (UTC)
I think 30% is a lot. I don't know anybody who has gone or even has plans to do it.
iman_tan 14th-Jul-2009 12:29 pm (UTC)
What's with Korea and plastic surgery? D:
jaded_skys 16th-Jul-2009 12:57 am (UTC)
there's actually a korean myth in which a bear wanted to be human so she could marry a god, and the god told her to only eat mugwort and garlic, and stay in a cave without light for 100 days. so there's a link between "suffering" to become beautiful, through both diet and surgery.
mylittlebambi 14th-Jul-2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
so beauty is indeed in the eyes of the beholder....

btw is being a plastic surgeon will make you one of the top richest people in SK?
shiddex 14th-Jul-2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
the sad truth...
sob sob.
treasurewindow 14th-Jul-2009 12:34 pm (UTC)

^What I imagine as a cosmetic surgeon as he/she operates on the patient.
czarny 14th-Jul-2009 12:40 pm (UTC)
Is that a doll to the right? lol
albeitalways 14th-Jul-2009 12:34 pm (UTC)
hmm.. interesting. i know cosmetic surgery is quite the norm there, lol even kids as young as 12 undergo the knife, but only 30%?? thought it was a bit higher.
czarny 14th-Jul-2009 12:39 pm (UTC)
30% of people who admit to it, of the remaining 70% there will be those who probably wouldn't be so honest.
tsuyogari 14th-Jul-2009 12:34 pm (UTC)
parents, don't encourage that shit! D:
sehcee 14th-Jul-2009 12:36 pm (UTC)
whats so awesome about double eye lids?
czarny 14th-Jul-2009 12:38 pm (UTC)
I really haven't a clue and want to know what all the fuss is about lol.
czarny 14th-Jul-2009 12:38 pm (UTC)
My Korean friend mentioned she wanted it too recently =// I mean I want to change things about myself too but I'd rather spend the money on lots of ramyeon.
shuttist 14th-Jul-2009 12:40 pm (UTC)
and maybe more merchandises on fandoms..:x
aetheristic 14th-Jul-2009 12:41 pm (UTC)
Honestly, this is a world issue, not just Korean.

There's this TV show that started recently here: "10 Years Younger in 10 Days". They find these really run-down people who look a lot older than they should and give them a makeover.

Said makeovers ALWAYS include some sort of facial plastic surgery, whether it's botox or something a little more drastic.

We need a Carson show where people can be made to look good and feel good about themselves the way they are, not "oh hey we wanna make you look ten years younger *cuts face off*"
maisoui 14th-Jul-2009 12:45 pm (UTC)
We need a Carson show where people can be made to look good and feel good about themselves the way they are, not "oh hey we wanna make you look ten years younger *cuts face off*"

breathe_ai 14th-Jul-2009 12:43 pm (UTC)
Reminds me of an article I read where parents in Korea were giving their kids plastic surgery as graduation presents...I'm also surprised it's just 30%
maisoui 14th-Jul-2009 12:43 pm (UTC)
That's just a lot of money that would be better to save and/or put to use later in life on things that matter (marriage, house, kids, or even travel..I can think of a million things!).
walnuuut 14th-Jul-2009 12:50 pm (UTC)
umbrella_smile 14th-Jul-2009 12:53 pm (UTC)
Soon, no one will be able to imagine what their kids will look like with their significant other cause no one will have their DNA given parts...
sehcee 14th-Jul-2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
baeby_bloo_skys 14th-Jul-2009 12:54 pm (UTC)
who blames her low nose bridge for low self-esteem
...i don't think it's the nose bridge giving you the low self-esteem honey :/

if people wanna do cosmetic surgery, that's their choice. i just find it sad that so many people are turning to it because they don't feel good about themselves otherwise.
evil_zucchini 14th-Jul-2009 12:56 pm (UTC)
I read an article that parents were actually giving their kids cosmetic surgery as graduation presents or bribes to do better in school. Sucks even more when the parents themselves are encouraging this sort of thing.
bellaprincess9 14th-Jul-2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
I'm sure that is lots of places.
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