plastic surgery, K-Pop, G.NA
The Atlantic article also pointed to several K-pop artists (like G.Na shown here) endorsement deals with plastic surgeons as sending a dangerous message to young, impressionable fans.Teen plastic surgeries in South Korea are on the rise, and K-pop is to blame, according US magazine The Atlantic.
In an article published Friday, entitled "The K-Pop Plastic Surgery Obsession," author Zara Stone explores whether K-pop icons are responsible for South Korea leading the world in plastic surgery.
"The idea here [in Korea] is that you like the appearance of the idols and you should try and look like them," explained writer James Turnbull who lectures in Korea on issues of feminism and pop culture.
"K-pop is a package that's not confined to the music."
One in five South Korean women has had plastic surgery of some kind, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, in contrast to one in 20 American women.
According to Stone, that number is on the rise among the South Korean teens, due to the ever-increasing popularity of K-pop.
"I like Girls' Generation," said South Korean schoolgirl Kim RyeoGyeong from the rural town of Gumi, 115 miles south of Seoul.
"They have double eyelids and a small face, a round forehead from an implant. They say they didn't do any surgery, but I know they did."
Gumi High School student Chae Jeongwon, 16, points out that many of her peers get plastic surgery as a graduation gift.
"It's a present for senior schoolgirls," Chae wrote in an essay about her country's plastic surgery obsession.
"They say, 'Mommy, if you get my eyes or nose [done], my scores [will be] better than before. Please!'"
The Atlantic article also pointed to several K-pop artists' endorsement deals with plastic surgeons as sending a dangerous message to young, impressionable fans.
"This clinic is where Dr. Jong Phil is," singer G.Na says in a promotional video for Seoul's CINDERELLA Plastic Surgery and Dental Clinic.
"As you are aware he gives a really kind consultation. Come and become more beautiful."
The website for the CINDERELLA Clinic promises to "never suggest you unreasonable surgery."
"CINDERELLA will keep your self-beauty and also bring you suitable and harmonic beauty," reads the company's mission statement.
Yet Professor Hejiin Lee feels the idea of self-transformation is an easy jump for any pop music fan to make, particularly in a country with such a documented proclivity for cosmetic alteration.
"The ability for young generations of Asian Americans to have this dynamic relationship with Asia is on a much larger scale than it was before, due to the Internet," Hejiin said.
"It is pop culture that really introduces the idea of how transformation of your body can lead to success: maybe you too can become a pop star."
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