The debate of the day is (once again) plastic surgery.
There are those who do not condone plastic surgery despite it’s all-time high rates in Asia and there are those who believe altering one’s appearance through surgery is the same as altering one’s appearance through make up.
Well this is finally a plastic surgery case that may gather the support of both parties. In fact, many people who disapprove of plastic surgery have admitted to understanding this particular case.
It was nearly impossible to correctly guess the age of 28-year-old Moon Young Sun. Going against the Asian stereotype which says Asian women are all blessed with eternally youthful looks, Sun Young has already been mistaken for as a grandma numerous times and has even gained the nickname “Grandma in her 20’s.”
Many have associated her old appearance to her difficult, poverty-stricken life. That certainly played a factor to her teeth which were noticeably rotting because she could never afford dentistry work.
Recently, Sun Young made an appearance on “Let’s Beauty.” You may remember this Korean television program as the show that made a pair of twins completely unrecognizable. The purpose of this show is to “help those with special circumstances or people who are too ugly to feel confident in their life.” The participant facing “special circumstances” will have their plastic surgery sponsored by the television program and audiences follow along during the transformation.
Sun Young went through a number of procedures to change her face and, most importantly, her teeth. The total amount of procedures were estimated to be around $100,000.
Since her appearance on the show, Sun Young’s story has been going viral. Many people seem to agree that the work she received was much more meaningful than someone simply wishing to look prettier.
“She certainly deserved the help she received, (especially) for her teeth, at the age of 29 she almost didn’t have any upper teeth left, that must have been really hard for her!” says an allkpop commenter.
In addition to a prettier appearance, many people are pointing out the various health hazards that come along with rotting teeth and how surgery is beneficial if used to tackle these health risks. Others have pointed out that this will help her issue of bullying which can very seriously affect someone’s emotional and mental state.
Xiahn, who has been studying in South Korea as a foreign exchange student, commented on the startling amount of surgery among Koreans and pointed out that his procedures are not all too different.
He pointed out that the desire for plastic surgery is quite similar to anyone’s desire to use make up. “Many people change their original look with make up and look completely different so I think it’s the same with surgery,” he explained.
So what sort of surgery did he get done? To alter his eyes, the skin around Xiahn’s eyes was injected with hyaluronic acid to make the eyes appear smaller. The acid in Xiahn’s eyes will only last a couple years. He told the Herald he is not sure yet if he will repeat the injections.
Xiahn’s growing popularity has given him both positive and negative reactions from readers. Despite criticism, it is clear that Xiahn has no regrets about his alterations.
“I think I look handsomer like this. Maybe some people think it’s not, but I think it is,” he said. “I’ve always been shy but now I’m more happy, more confident with myself.”
Most importantly, Xiahn has explained that he is still Brazilian despite the changed look. “I don’t see myself as an Asian. I see myself as something in between,” he said. “I just wanted my eyes to look that way. I don’t feel like I’ve become an Asian or a Korean person”
“There are many mixed Brazilian people,” he continued. “For me, a Korean person looks Brazilian as much as a German person or any other person that has born here.”
Cosmetic surgery seems to be the debate of the year. Half our readers believe that we should all just accept our physical appearance while the other half believe people should not be judged for their decisions.
Regardless of where you stand on this issue, plastic surgery rates are growing fast in Asia. After all, a double eyelid procedure is a common graduation gift given to high school girls. As you can imagine, we’ve seen quite a bit of instances where people alter their looks to better fit society’s standard of beauty, but some cases are more intense than others. The following are the top 5 most extreme cases of cosmetic surgery that we’ve come across.
1) Woman gets surgery to look like Miranda Kerr.
“On a recent episode of Martian X-Files, a Korean reality TV show that spotlights eccentric and unique non-celebrities, one of the guests was a woman who underwent plastic surgery to look like Australian model Miranda Kerr.” (Read the full story here)
2) Twins sisters look unrecognizable after appearing on plastic surgery show.
“The purpose of this show is to “help those with special circumstances or people who are too ugly to feel confident in their life.” The participant facing “special circumstances” will have their plastic surgery sponsored by the television program and audiences follow along during the transformation.” (Read the full story here)
3) “Hand lifts” for engagement ring selfies.
Note: We realize that this is invasive surgery and not plastic surgery, but it makes it onto the list since hand selfies qualify as an extreme justification for cosmetic alteration. (Read the full story here)
4) Television show reverses excessive surgery… with more surgery.
“Back to My Face features contestants who have had 10 or more procedures done and may have some regrets about their decisions.” (Read the full story here)
5) A Brazilian man gets plastic surgery to look Korean
“A 25-year-old model has had 10 surgical procedures on his eyes to achieve an Asian appearance. Originally blonde and blue-eyed, the man who goes by “Xiahn” became fascinated by plastic surgery while studying in South Korea as a foreign exchange student.” (Read the full story here)
A Brazilian man has undergone plastic surgery in order to look more Korean. The results are exactly the same as whenever an Asian person goes under the knife to look more white: weird and cringe-worthy.
Brazilian television station RBS TV reports that a 25-year-old model has had 10 surgical procedures on his eyes to achieve an Asian appearance. Originally blonde and blue-eyed, the man who goes by “Xiahn” became fascinated by plastic surgery while studying in South Korea as a foreign exchange student. “Koreans have many surgeries to modify the shape of their eyes and become more like Westerners,” he said. “It was easy to tell when one of them had done it, walking on the street wearing sunglasses and a surgical mask.” Cosmetic procedures are so prevalent in the country that some hospitals offer “plastic surgery certificates” to help patients get through immigration since they often look nothing like their passport photos.
Xiahn’s mother was concerned that the surgeries would cause vision problems but he assured her otherwise. “As much as the size of the eye has decreased somewhat, I can see normally,” he said. Apparently, he has no regrets about the procedures. “I believe I have only one life and if I cannot be who I want now, I will never be able to,” he explained.
As much as we think we’ve seen it all, we seem to constantly stumble upon new and shocking trends focused on altering one’s physical appearance. For instance, the new trend among bride-to-be’s: hand lifts.
Gone are the days when we would find out about our friends’ engagements through excited telephone calls or save-the-dates in the mail. Instead, we generally get this news through Facebook statuses and Instagram photos.
As you can expect, this has gotten some women quite insecure about the state of their hands while showing off their dazzling engagement ring. Hand-lifts have been becoming quite popular among bride-to-be’s.
According to Elle, a NYC dermatologist Dr. Ariel Ostad said he’s had a 40% increase in women seeking hand-lifts. He directly correlates this to social media and the rise of selfies.
“As we age, the skin on the hands can lose fat, becoming more thin and bony with prominent veins and wrinkles,” Ostad tells Elle. “Social media has certainly led people to be more concerned about their appearance and how they present themselves, so if women can receive a quick procedure to make themselves feel better and younger, it’s something that they are willing to do.”
The quick procedure, which onlt takes about 10 minutes, is done by injecting Juvéderm into the hand. This will instantly smooth out the wrinkles and give a plumper, younger-looking appearance. The results last about 10 months, but your wallet will have to cough up $1,200.
We will, however, admit that we were caught off guard with the new Korean show Back to My Face. The popular show does focus on plastic surgery, but it has a big twist: the show focused on “reverse makeovers” that allow contestants to go back to their original appearance.
Back to My Face features contestants who have had 10 or more procedures done and may have some regrets about their decisions. Contestants are encouraged to go back to their original appearance through a number of “therapy sessions” such as getting feedback from strangers about their pre-surgery photos.
After their sessions, the contestants decide if they want to have reconstructive surgery to remove implants or undo excessive plastic surgery that has been done.
Although the show has gathered quite a bit of attention for itself, netizens have mixed feelings towards the show. Some claim that Back to My Face has a good message and reminds people to embrace what they are born with. Others have complained that the show tries to be redeeming, but it is still about more surgery.
Watch the preview below and tell us what you think.
Here is a photo of one contestant who regretted the amount of surgery she had done:
Here is the contestant after her reconstructive surgery:
And here is an old photo of the contestant before excessive amounts of surgery. Were they able to match her original appearance? :
Check out more contestants who wanted to get their original appearance back:
Currently, South Korea has the world’s highest per capita rate of cosmetic plastic surgery. In fact, Miss Korea Kim Yumi had absolutely no problem discussing her multiple procedures. Then there’s the woman who was so obsessed with Miranda Kerr‘s looks that she decided to go under the knife in an effort to look like the Australian Victoria’s Secret model. This phenomenon has become so normalized that a television show called “Let’s Beauty” allows audiences to follow along with someone’s cosmetic transformation.
Among the various cosmetic surgeries, the double eyelid surgery is the most requested and popular procedure for East Asians. The double eyelid surgery is designed to create or enhance the eyelid crease. The procedure is known to be simple and quick. As a result, many women appear to be getting the procedure done even in their teenage years.
Despite the growing popularity of cosmetic procedures, some people refuse to go under the knife and have looked for other ways to enhance their physical features. For instance, some Asian women are turning to photoshop for that confidence boost.
Then, there are some who turn to make up. If you’re hoping to get the appearance of a double eyelid, but you’re not planning on getting surgery for it, we’ve got just the thing. Here’s a tutorial on how to achieve a double eyelid using just make up.
2013 was quite the year for Audrey Magazine. Not only did it mark our ten year anniversary, it was also the launch of our revamped website. While we’re more than excited to kick off this new year, let’s take a moment to look back on all the stories of style, beauty and inspiring Asian Americans of the previous year.
Ranked by which stories were the most popular of the year, we bring you Audrey’s Top Ten Stories of 2013!
1) Breaking The Asian Myth | Asian Hair “If there’s one Asian stereotype we’re all very familiar with, its Asian hair. No one knows when this actually happened, but at one point people began thinking that all Asian women had the same kind of hair…”
3) Korean Twin Sisters Unrecognizable After Plastic Surgery
“It’s no secret. In Asia, plastic surgery is becoming more and more common. In fact, double eyelid surgery is so typical that many girls have been known to receive the procedure as a graduation gift. Aside from these minor procedures, just how far has surgery entered Asian culture? According to some, surgery has become a very serious ordeal…”
5) Korean American K-Pop Star Embroiled in Nude Photos Scandal “Korean American singer Ailee has been receiving enormous attention from the Korean media after nude photos of the K-pop star surfaced on the Internet. Allkpop, a popular New York-based K-pop website, published censored versions of the photos last night, igniting a firestorm of controversy…”
6) The Ultimate Guide to EXO “EXO is separated into two subgroups, EXO K and EXO M, which promotes in Korea and China respectively. But together? This boy band totals to 12 members. Overwhelming? Just a bit. As much as we wanted to get to know the line-up for KCON, was learning all 12 members worth it? YES. The answer to that question is a very enthusiastic yes…”
7) False Rumor: Philippines Disqualified From Pageants For The Next Two Years “In the midst of all this good news for the Philippines, a strange rumor has begun to spread. According to The Adobo Chronicles, the Association of Beauty Pageant Franchise Holders (ABPFH) has disqualified the Philippines from international beauty pageants for the next two years claiming that Filipina candidates had an “enormous advantage” this year…”
10) Where I Went and What I Bought: Seoul “I took a dream vacation last month. Not to some tropical hideaway surrounded by crystal clear waters. Not to a romantic European capital overflowing with crumbling palaces and fine wine. No, I went on a shopping vacation. To Korea…”
While it is true that Asian Americans don’t receive enough time to shine on mainstream media, we are far from silent. In fact, there were quite a number of Asian stories that went viral this year.
Comedy duo, The Fung Brothers decided to highlight 25 Viral Asian stories of 2013. If you watch this video and don’t quite know what they’re talking about, have no fear! As it turns out, we’ve written about many of these viral stories. Watch the video then click the links below for a more in-depth look at the Viral Asian stories of 2013.
Kenichi Ebina won America’s Got Talent. Japanese Dancer Kenichi Ebina Wins America’s Got Talent (READ HERE) “Months ago, Kenichi Ebina’s audition performance for America’s Got Talent went viral. Ebina stunned the judges and viewers nationwide with his “dance-ish” performance that included the robot, some gasp-worthy matrix moves, and entertaining martial arts…”
K-pop got popular. KCON 2013 | Proof That Kpop Is Not Just For Koreans (READ HERE)
“The stage was covered with Caucasians, Latinos, African Americans, and various other non-Asian folk. Not only did East Asians show their presence, but Southeast Asians and South Asians did as well. Fans who clearly stated they were not Korean were singing every single word of their favorite songs and impressively showcasing the intricate dance moves to these songs. Yes, these fans took time out of their lives to memorize lyrics to Korean songs without actually knowing Korean. Now that’s dedication…”
Linsanity came out in theaters. Linsanity Coming To A Theater Near You (READ HERE) “Although many of us may have gone linsane back in 2012 when third-string guard, end of the bench player, Jeremy Lin became a new sensation, many fans and even sports professionals did not know much about him. Director Evan Jackson Leong and his crew began documenting Lin’s journey in basketball way before all the hype of Linsanity pushed him to stardom…”
Man sues wife for being ugly/ Family photo was fake. Horrible Reaction To ‘Man Sues Wife For Ugly Children’ Hoax (READ HERE) “According to multiple sources, a Chinese man named Jian Feng was “horrified” when his beautiful wife gave birth to an ugly child. He suspected his wife of an affair because he could not see how the two of them could create the child. After tests proved that it was in fact their child, the husband discovered that his wife had undergone surgery before they met…”
Indian woman won Miss America. Miss America Makes History with First Indian American Winner… But Not Without Racist Haters (READ HERE) Top Five Reasons Nina Davuluri is Awesome (READ HERE) “But not long after the coveted crown was placed on her head, Davuluri, who performed a Bollywood fusion dance routine for the talent portion of the competition, quickly became the focus of discriminatory and racist comments on various social media platforms. The 24-year-old aspiring doctor was referred to, among other things, as “Miss 7-11,” “Miss Al-Qaeda,” and as a “terrorist.” Some expressed their disappointment that an “Arab” who had performed “Egypt dancing” won Miss America, just days after the 9/11 anniversary. Some even retorted that a Miss America winner “should have to be American.””
City urges nearby Sriracha factory to shut down. Sriracha Factory Odor Causes Burning Eyes And Headaches (READ HERE) “Residents have filed several complaints about burning eyes and constant headaches due to the intense and painful odor emitted by the factory. One family in the area stated that they were forced to move a birthday party indoors due to the strong odor…”
It’s no secret. In Asia, plastic surgery is becoming more and more common. In fact, double eyelid surgery is so typical that many girls have been known to receive the procedure as a graduation gift.
Aside from these minor procedures, just how far has surgery entered Asian culture? According to some, surgery has become a very serious ordeal. Photographer Ji Yeo tried to call attention to the amount of plastic surgery occurring in South Korea, by showing the physical cost women endure in “Korea’s beauty-obsessed culture.”
Additionally, more women seem to be willing to go to extreme measures to live up to the high expectation of Asian beauty. As a result, some have faced the horrifying repercussions of a surgery gone wrong.
Regardless of all this, many remain undaunted by the possible negative side effects. Plastic surgery remains more popular than ever. There’s Miss Korea who completed in the Miss Universe Pageant 2013. Kim Yumi had absolutely no problem admitting her multiple procedures. Then there’s the woman who was so obsessed with Miranda Kerr‘s looks that she decided to go under the knife in an effort to look like the Australian Victoria’s Secret model.
Now, apparently, there’s a Korean television show called “Let’s Beauty.” Asiantown.net claims that the purpose of this show is to “help those with special circumstances or people who are too ugly to feel confident in their life.” The participant facing “special circumstances” will have their plastic surgery sponsored by the television program and audiences follow along during the transformation.
A pair of twin sisters caught much attention after participating in the show. After their surgery, both twins look completely unrecognizable from their original self. Check it out for yourself:
So tell us. Is this television show going too far or is it simply an entertaining topic? Watch an episode for below.
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.