Why China Loves Cosmetic Surgery

A new wave of cosmetic surgery clinics is opening up across the country.


Sabtu, 01 Feb 2014 16:40 WIB


Mark Godfrey

Why China Loves Cosmetic Surgery

China, cosmetic surgery, clinic, beauty, Mark Godfrey

Don Xin Yi is sitting in the waiting room of Evercare, a private hospital in downtown Beijing.

Evercare is experiencing a growing demand from wealthy and young professionals keen to look good.

Don Xin Yi had a procedure here to give herself double eyelids – considered a hallmark of modern Chinese female beauty.

“I came here because my friend told me about it. I had my eyes done, before they really didn’t look good. I had to come several times for the operation and today I’m here for a check-up, but I’m very satisfied.”

A double eyelid can cost up to 1,500 US dollar. There’s a similar fee for nose reconstructions.

Competition for jobs and marriage partners is sending many Chinese under the knife.

China spends 2.5 billion US dollar a year on cosmetic surgery – and the industry is growing at a staggering 20 per cent a year, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Ms Dong’s doctor is Lin You Qun, one of China’s leading cosmetic surgeons.

He sees dozens of patients every week.

“Evercare is seeing exceptional growth. We have 16 clinics around China and see about 300,000 women every year. We’re now the biggest cosmetic surgery clinic in China and our business is growing at 130% a year.”

Evercare’s patients range from ambitious students and young professionals like Ms Dong… to older female executives …. and a small but growing number of men.

“We see the younger women who come for eyelid and nose surgery mostly. Another category of client is the professional women over 35. They want to enhance their overall youth and slow the ageing process. We work on the forehead, nose and mouth. They come back regularly for procedures.”

According to an international group of plastic surgeons, China stands behind the US and Brazil for the number of plastic surgery operations performed each year.

The number has grown rapidly alongside China’s economic growth as a better educated workforce competes for jobs.

Anthropologist Wen Hua recently published a book called “Buying Beauty: Cosmetic Surgery in China”.

She says more and more women consider cosmetic surgery as an investment to improve their chances of social and career success.

“In the past few people wouldn’t admit they had undergone cosmetic surgery but nowadays more and more willing to accept and it depends on what kind of surgery you received. Like for the facial surgery, nose job and double eyelid they are okay. And in interviews it’s okay to say ‘yes, I did, so what, it’s no big deal’.”
But she’s worried that the growing demand has led to a wave of unqualified surgeons cashing in – at a huge risk to patients’ health.

“Government do have regulations to specify what kinds of surgery and which level of hospital can offer but unfortunately in the practice still there’s a lot of unqualified surgeons they still offer this illegal service but they charge a cheap price and attract a lot of women.”

At Evercare clinic, Dr Lin stresses the importance of service and safety for the clinic.

And he’s expecting a very busy year ahead… with an increasing number of male clients too.

“More and more men are embracing cosmetic surgery as a modern way of life. They usually come for nose and eyelid reconstruction. Sometimes they use laptops and smartphones a lot and want to improve the appearance of the eye area.”

For people like Dong Xin Yi, appearance matters…

And she has been showing off her new eyelids to her friends for a while now.

“I told all my friends and several of them have come here to have operations too.”


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