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Orient

In: Social Issues

Submitted By rkdskfl86
Words 338
Pages 2
3
Introduction
Cosmetic surgery is extremely popular among both women and men in South Korea. The kinds of procedures that are most popular are double eyelid surgery, removal of fat, nose jobs, and breast augmentation. Koreans favour bigger and wider eyes and they often undergo cosmetic surgery to achieve this. A slimmer body is seen as an important step in achieving beauty, which encourages women to use procedures such as liposuction to eliminate fat. Nose jobs are undertaken to construct a desirable and favourable ‘pointy’ tip to the nose, over a distinctive wide and flat nose.1 Breast augmentations are also common amongst women.
Various explanations have been offered for the popularity of cosmetic surgery but no single explanation is adequate. For example, explanations based on the role of traditional
Korean values go some way to confirming the high value traditionally placed on the colour white, but traditionalism does not explain the popularity of surgery for ‘Westernised’ eyes.
Colonialism and Americanisation are important in helping to explain the popularity of cosmetic surgery in South Korea, but these miss important traditional and gender dimensions.
Feminists’ analyses exclude men, and so fail to explain the popularity of surgery amongst
Korean men. In addition to explanations based on Traditionalism, Colonialism, Americanism and Feminism, this essay will argue that the dynamic and evolving nature of Korean national identity has brought us to the point where Korea is not simply a follower of cosmetic fashions, but is actually shaping the nature of cosmetic enhancements for both women and men. Following this introduction, the first part of the essay will explore the current popularity of cosmetic surgery within South Korea. It will then consider the influence of traditional Korean values, including the national and aspiration for...

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