I was on the subway this morning and noticed an advertisement for the Migo Aesthetic Clinic. It looks innocuous enough. A sparkling, animated anorexic woman with a henna tattoo winking in my direction, urging me to strive to attain her unrealistic features.
Aesthetic surgery is quite common in Korea, especially in Seoul. It’s not frowned upon, but rather seen as luxurious because generally only rich people can afford to get it. The most common types are double-eyelid surgery and rhinoplasty.
The Migo Clinic website illustrates the basic procedure of both Eye / Nose. They also do facial contours (Chin implants, jawline carving, forehead implant(?!?!?), cheekbone modification) and calf shaping, or whatever your call it.
Double-eyelid surgery is by far the most common and was the least understood by me up until today. However, I came across many double-eyelid surgery adventure stories, several with photos. One in particular made it very clear what the surgery actually accomplishes. Here are the before and after shots from her post:
You can see that before the surgery she had virtually no eyelid, especially in the right eye, it’s a smooth, unbroken path to the top lashes.
A month after the surgery and her eyes have a slightly more open appearance with the definitive double lid and more prominent lashes. This second image is decidedly more beautiful amongst Koreans and, in this instance, I’m actually convinced that the after is more appealing. It would be obvious to many other Koreans that this woman had the surgery, which is nothing to be ashamed of, but it would be better of course if the double-eyelid had occurred naturally.
The whole progression is visible in the original post (scroll down a bit). You can see the sacrifice she has made for the sake of beauty. The surgery costs around $1,300.
Women who get Rhinoplasty (코 성형술) in Korea are usually in want of a more pointed, upturned nose. Going for what might be called the snooty look in the Occident. Rhinopasty costs about $3500.
Actress Han Ga-in, not at all attractive to my eyes, has something like the ideal Korean nose (though she claims she’s never had schnozz surgery):
but she claims that she’s never had surgery performed on her nose.
This woman’s nose was almost big enough, just pointing in the wrong direction:
I remember my first girlfriend wanted to get rhinoplasty to make her nose smaller, it was admittedly quite the centerpiece, but that would pose no problem over here. Her nose would be admired in this society!
Alas the most beautiful thing in Korea is the small face, but that’s another post altogether.