South Korea

Plastic Mania

In Seoul, beauty is an obsession and a scalpel the easiest way to obtain it. A business of over five billion U.S. dollars a year

South Korea’s face is changing. Literally. Seoul is the city with the highest per-capita number of cosmetic surgery clinics, and here one woman out of five has undergone plastic surgery at least once in her life. In Korea, beauty is an obsession, and a scalpel the easiest way to obtain it. So much so that it’s often the parents who induce their daughters to have “that little life-changing touch-up”. Inspired by Western standards or by TV stars, people in Gangnam have every part of the body reshaped: eyes, nose, jaw, cheekbones. They visit a surgeon as they would do with a dentist, at affordable prices and with a high-quality service. That’s why the Chinese, who once used to fly to Tokyo to have their eyes reshaped, now are coming to Seoul, pouring money into a business which, between small family-run clinics and giants with 600 employees, has a total turnaround of over five billion U.S. dollars a year.

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