From The Los Angeles Times:
As a shorter guy (5'6"), I found this section particularly interesting/disturbing:
Reporting from Shanghai -- In this crummy job market, Stephanie Yang figures any little advantage will help. Even double eyelids.
So on a cold January morning, the 21-year-old college senior walked into one of dozens of plastic surgery clinics here and plopped down $730, the equivalent of one year's tuition. An hour later she came out with two big bandages over her eyes.When she removed the dressing the next day, Yang was aghast at her red, puffy eyelids. But now she looks out with her round eyes, a sharp crease across the upper lids, ready for the next interview.In the U.S., the recession has led to a steep drop in cosmetic surgeries, which generally aren't paid for by health insurers. Nose jobs aren't covered in China either, but that's not stopping consumers here. Job hunters know that a pleasing face helps to get a foot in the door.
"They may not say it openly, but during the process they will pick the prettier one," she says.
Judging by the boom in plastic surgeries lately, a lot of young Chinese would agree.
"I've been surprised how busy it is," says Dr. Liao Yuhua, president of Shanghai Time Plastic Surgery Hospital, one of the largest in the city. Business began to increase last November, she says, and in recent weeks has been running 40% higher than a year ago. At its busiest in January, Liao says, her team of 10 surgeons was doing as many as 100 procedures a day, raising noses, cutting eyelids and chiseling angular faces into the shape of smooth goose eggs.
No wonder some Chinese pay thousands of dollars to have doctors break their legs and have steel pins inserted in their bones; these surgeries typically add 3 inches to a person's height but are considered very dangerous.And this part is just insane:
Even for government jobs, applicants are graded for yibiao, or appearance. In one extreme example, Hunan province in central China required that its civil servants have "symmetrical breasts." The policy was scrapped after applicants protested a few years ago.As an American, I don't really have much room to criticize excessive plastic surgery. But I find it pretty unfortunate that China is going down this path.
The "double eyelid" surgery is an interesting procedure to me. As the owner of double eyelids, I don't exactly see what all of the fuss is about. Of course, I'm not a Chinese woman and am not held to Chinese standards of beauty, so it's not really fair for me to say it's silly.
Here are a couple before-and-after photos of double eyelids operations:
Photos from Drmeronk.com
Double eyelids, white skin, bigger breasts, height - all things that most Chinese woman are deficient of naturally - are the things that Chinese women are obsessing over. One could also say Chinese men are preoccupied over these things too, seeing that they ultimately have a lot to do with defining what beauty is.
It's true that during a down economy and a cut-throat job market, good looks will become more and more important. This is unfortunate. Having genetics, rather than achievement, being the determiner of one's job prospects is a pity. Such is life though and I'd be a fool to think that this will go away any time soon.
As I said earlier, I'm a short guy. So I'm, without a doubt, going to have my job prospects be affected by my appearance. Don't expect me to be commissioning a plastic surgeon to break my legs anytime soon though.