New Book Addresses South Korea's Plastic Obsession

by Gregory S


Korean journalist Euny Hong (right) has come out with a new book called The Birth of Korean Cool, which partly documents the country’s fascination with plastic and cosmetic surgery.

We reported a staggering one in five women in Seoul (the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea) has had some type of cosmetic surgery procedure. Hong believes that it is underestimating the percentages. She claims a whopping one in three women receive some kind of plastic or cosmetic surgery or treatment.

Contrary to our earlier reports, Hong does not believe that the obsession over plastic surgery is one guided by Westernization. In her interview with CBC Radio, Hong claims: "None of these people actually look more Caucasian.” She goes on to explain that "It's true that they want bigger eyes, but this pre-dates significant contact with the west and it also pre-dates the prevalence of plastic surgery."

This overriding fascination with plastic surgery may explain “Back to My Face”, a program that treats excessive plastic surgery with more plastic surgery. As indicated from an earlier report:

The new show, entitled “Back to My Face”, solicits surgically enhanced contestants to undergo plastic and cosmetic surgery to return to their former pre-treatment and surgery bodies. According to the Netizen Buzz, as reported to, “You must have had a minimum of 10 cosmetic surgical operations to take part. In the wealthier parts of Seoul in South Korea such a number of operations is commonplace. For the citizens of South Korea are the most cosmetically enhanced people in the world, more per capita have had ‘enhancements’ than Americans, Italians, Greeks and Brazilians.”

“Back to the Face” endeavors to say that people are beautiful no matter what, and that plastic and cosmetic surgery, at least according to the Global Post. “Each episode features four or five young women who’ve undergone 10 or more surgical operations, along with a surgery-addicted man who appeared in the debut show. Contestants met up before walking on to the streets of Seoul, guided by South Korean comedian Park Myeong-su,” says

What contributes to this growing trend in plastic surgery? In South Korea, the pressure of ideals is a growing issue. The cultural emphasis is to maintain excellence intellectually as well as physically. For young people, plastic surgery options avail personal insecurities and improve perceptions of self-worth.

Plastic surgery is not for everyone, and nobody should feel they have to receive treatments. However, plastic surgery should also remain available for everybody without a person feeling embarrassed or ashamed about receiving consultation and treatment. The choice is up to you! Please contact our team if you are interested in starting the first steps to your own transformation.

Want to share your thoughts?

Post your comment