The newly affluent Chinese are swiftly finding ways to buy into western luxury brands and lifestyles and the booming plastic surgery industry is no exception. South Korea's 1700 plastic surgeons are doing a roaring trade in changing the features of thousands of foreign visitors who are arriving for a new nose, cheekbones, jaw lift or any number of other beauty procedures. In fact numbers have almost trebled in a single year with 1657 operations in 2009, increasing to 4400 in 2010.
Patients arrive at the hundreds of surgeries clutching a picture of their desired feature - Kim Hee-Sun's chin, Song Hye-Gyo's nose or Han Ga-In's cheekbones. But the face that is most admired is Lee Young Ae's. A well known actress across the whole of the Far East, her features are regarded as the most desirable in China.
With operations averaging around $17,000, there is no end in sight to the queues of patients lining up to change their appearance a little. With the Chinese economy still on course for significant growth despite a modest downturn, don't be surprised if there seems to be a distinct similarity about the ladies that you meet when you get there!
|Value for money|