Plastic surgery is no stranger to the Asian community. In the past two months alone, a woman went under the knife in an effort to look like Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr, television personality Julie Chen received heat for having surgery to progress her career and a Korean photographer felt the need to shed light on Korea’s “beauty-obsessed culture” normalizing surgery.
As plastic surgery becomes more and more common within the Asian community, beauty standards rise accordingly. Under the heavy pressure to look beautiful and with easier access to procedures, many women turn to surgery without hesitation.
The debate over this issue continues among the members of our community. While we all don’t have the same opinion on plastic surgery, we can all acknowledge that undergoing any sort of surgery holds potentially dangerous results.
Unfortunately, Xiao Lian from Gansu Province had to learn the hard way. At the young age of 17, Xiao Lian made the decision to get work done to improve her facial features. She admits that she disliked her thin face and even her own boss would comment on its unappealing thinness. Pressured to have round and cute cheeks, Xiao Lian turned to plastic surgery.
Xiao Lian looked into various plastic surgery clinics, but always found the price for her procedure too steep for her budget. Finally, through a friend’s recommendation, she found a small clinic who had not yet obtained it operating license, but offered the procedure at a cost that she could afford. She was injected with a substance over 10 times within the span of one month to achieve the plump face she wanted.
Some years later, in 2009, Xiao Lian began to notice her face swelling. Soon, her eyes and nose seemed to change shape. By 2013, her swollen face and droopy eyes had become unrecognizable. She began losing hair and took on the appearance of an elderly woman instead of her 28-year-old self.
Traumatized by her altered-looks and unable to discover why, Xiao Lian allegedly considered suicide. After numerous trips to the doctor, it was finally revealed that her deteriorating face was a result of the procedure she did as a 17-year-old. Tests revealed that the substance injected into her face was hydrophilic polyacrylamide gel — a substance banned from cosmetic surgery due to its harmful effects on the human body.
Xiao Lian is currently going through corrective surgery in Guangzhou, but doctors have revealed that it will be difficult to reverse the deterioration with the substance in her body for so long.
“Even for a minor surgery you need to choose a clinic you can trust,” says one very wise Guangzhou doctor. Clearly, this is advice we must all take seriously.