Youths go under knife to get ahead
Chinese seeking edge in careers, academics turn to plastic surgery
A growing number of young Chinese are undergoing plastic surgery during their summer vacations because they believe that improving their looks can give them an edge in applying for colleges or jobs.
Chen Rong got a facelift at a cost of 2,000 yuan ($326) after graduating from a Beijing university in early July.
“I believe appearance is an entry requirement for some jobs,” said Chen, who had more than 10 interviews before securing a job at a bank. “I want to make a good impression on my colleagues.”
Chen is one of many young people who are going under the knife for eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty and liposuction during their summer breaks.
At the Zhongda Hospital affiliated with Southeast University, the number of people visiting plastic surgery clinics has increased dramatically in recent weeks. The hospital’s plastic surgery clinic received about 200 facial surgery applicants within a week, of which about 70 percent were students.
“Nose jobs, eyelid surgery, liposuction and micro-plastic surgery are most popular with students,” said Xiong Meng, head of the clinic.
Ting Ting, a 20-year-old who started studying in Europe after finishing high school in China, had a nose job last week.
“The rhinoplasty makes me look more European. It will make my future work and life in Europe easier,” she said.
Chinese beauty standards have become increasingly influenced by Western standards. Wide and round eyes, white skin and high nose bridges are seen as ideal.
Gao Xue, a consultant at the Qizhi Plastic Surgery Hospital in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, said more students want plastic surgery to boost their self-confidence.
Li Guimei, head of the plastic surgery clinic at the Qinghai Red Cross Hospital in Qinghai province, said students have accounted for 50 percent of her clinic’s visitors so far this summer.
“A graduate visited my clinic for a nose job because he is about to start a job in South China, where people believe one’s nose shape correlates with one’s ability to gain wealth,” Li said.
Li said students should think carefully before getting plastic surgery and avoid taking unnecessary risks.
“Cosmetic surgery is not the only way to attain beauty. Young people shouldn’t pin their hopes on cosmetic surgery,” she said.