In the neighborhood I met an attractive young Laotian, an anthropologist, who teaches at a community college in Hong Kong and one of six students she brought here to study “the
consumer society in Seoul.” She had sent each of her students into a cosmetic surgery clinics the day before, asking for an evaluation. All were told they needed help, although the one male was said his appearance was okay “unless you want to be a celebrity.” All said they left frightened.
Korea is experiencing a flight of doctors and nurses to the United States; the association of Korean doctors in the United States has about 20,000 members already. But for this specialty, they’re staying in Korea or coming home. There are four hundred cosmetic clinics in Seoul.
I saw several women looking like this....
Round, open eyes apparently cost $1,500 to $2,000. A new, smaller nose costs$3-4,000.
Whether this is surgery to gain a more “Western” look is debated but it certainly imitates previous surgery and the look of movie stars.
Of the women I saw on my last night, the proportion of those with surgery would have to have been well above one in five because I was in a young, affluent area. It is a little sad to see so many fail to appreciate their features and natural beauty. Parents are often of a similar mind but Geoffrey Cain, writing in GlobalPost.com, quotes a young woman who said, "To be Korean is to get plastic surgery. You must do it or people will think you are weird."
again in homogenous Idaho. You can safely look at people sleeping or in repose. Such attractive people in the fullest sense. An 11 year old sitting next to me, on a church-related trip to NYC and Washington, could not have been smarter or more natural and enjoyable.
So I go back to an early question on this blog: why Korea? Perhaps a subconscious reason was to overcome my own history and become comfortable with one-third of the world's people I had not lived among and to become more comfortable with and excited for. Coming home, it very much feels like that happened. I greatly enjoyed the Korean people and cheer for them.