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Sunday, September 12, 2010

“Winter vacation, Plastic operation”

Due to the fierce competition to get jobs in this country, some korean parents actually encourage their children to have cosmetic work done in the same way they encourage them to study harder!  My friend Gill has a 4th grade student who is always absent for class on Tuesdays.  When asked why she's always absent, her young student replied, "I go to the hospital.  My mom makes me get injections to make me taller."  Parents are relentless here!

Another one of my girlfriends was shopping in the mall one day and noticed the most beautiful little korean girl. She walked over to say hello and told the little girls mom how beautiful she thought her daughter was, and was shocked at the mom's reply.  "No she's not!"  If little girls aren't tall and skinny with pointy noses, big eyes, and glistening white skin, they're not beautiful to their mothers.  Some mom's would never admit this openly, but I've even seen some of my co-workers make comments about the flaws in their child's appearance.   

Studies show that approximately 70% of korean women have had cosmetic surgery

What's even more shocking is that many of those patients are high school students!!  Some are given cosmetic surgery as a graduation present from their parents, while others are doing it without even consenting their parents!  As in the rest of Asia, South Korean's primary cosmetic obsession is with their eyes.  Having bigger eyes is every little girl's dream around here, and for only $800 for the operation (a small incision is made above their eyes to create an artificial double eyelid), teenagers as young as 14 are doing it! 

Cosmetic surgery clinics are busiest during winter vacations, when high school seniors are preparing themselves for college, or for entering the workplace. The majority come for the eyelids, but nose jobs are also becoming popular among teens!  ... and apparently liposuction is done so often, that even dermatologists and gynecologists are doing it as a ‘lunchtime’ procedure!  I knew koreans were skinny for a reason!

Korean people are nearly obsessed with superficial appearance. I read one article where a young girl stated, "It's becoming ingrained in people's minds that unless they look good, they can never amount to anything."

I still don't understand why, but Koreans will do anything to obtain pure white skin as well!   The whiter the better!  This is a before and after photo progression of a korean woman who underwent a chemical peel to obtain whiter skin!  This process is more common than you think and I'd bet a lot of money that a few of my fellow co-workers have done this!  

 I'll leave you with this...  I read this blog post from a fellow native English teacher working in a Korean public school who said:
"I walked into class earlier this week and asked one of my ten-year-old students why she had been absent the previous class.  She told me she had gone to the dentist, but her classmate quickly added, "She cut her tongue."  I asked her why and she told me it would help her speak English better, and insinuated that my Korean co-teacher had said it would help her pronounce 'S' better. This student has never had any noticeable problem pronouncing English words (it's her shyness that hampers her more than anything), so the fact her parents would do something so unnecessary left me shaking my head in disgust."

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