According to the reports in the popular social media glorifying cosmetic surgery in East Asia, it has come to attention that South Korea population has the highest number of people going through plastic surgery in pursuit of beauty ("The Plastic Surgery Craze In Korea", 1). This presumption that has generated everything from criticism to envy because of cultural stereotyping. Most recent survey shows that 80% of women in South Korea prefer cosmetic surgery in order to reshape their bodies and fix their faces. This trend is also similar to men ("The Plastic Surgery Craze In Korea",1). There are a number of reasons why people may opt to have plastic surgery; research has showed that the surgery has its effects on the body of the patient. This paper will therefore analyze the pros and cons of plastic surgery based on increased trend in South Korea.
One of the main reasons why most of the Koreans undergo through plastic surgery is to enhance their appearance. Cosmetic surgery is conformity to the patriarchal version of femininity to increase the chances of success in marriage as well as economy. In Korea, the desire for cosmetic surgery is a progress of pre- modern virtuous femininity required to adhere to the Neo-Confucian decorum (Lee, 16). Historically men were anticipated to transcend their bodies to be superior while the success of women depends on the ability to mimic differential ideal, which is defined, by maternity or virginity. This culture is still in application because most of the Korean women are ready to endure pain for their beauty (Lee,22).
Apart from enhancing an individuals appearance, plastic surgery also improves self-esteem and confidence. Womens participation in the society has progressively increased in South Korea and therefore, their bodies have increasingly be viewed as objects. In the past few decades, the bodies of women focused on the ability of having and raising children (Holliday and Hwang, 67). Currently, their bodies act as sites of increasing self-value and are symbols of position or lifestyle in the society. Regardless of the criticisms of plastic surgery, stating that it is an expensive option for people to pay for, the pressures in the labor market and changing trends in self-value cannot be done away with (Holliday and Hwang, 74) . The increased competition in the labor market is forcing women to go through the plastic surgery as a tenet of improving confidence during job interviews.
South Korean womens increased self sufficiency, skewed gender ratio gaps and reluctance to marry early is forcing most of them undergo plastic surgery in order to have the highest bargaining power especially when choosing their partners. There is anxiety about normative masculinity in Southern Korea which is not associated with the ideals of sexuality in the western countries (Lee,22).. As a result South Korean men in their thirties prefer cosmetic surgery because they equate beauty with success and because of the fact that feminization through plastic surgery does not have similar risks to sexual identity as in the west (Holliday and Hwang, 76).
From the above discussion, it is clear that there are more pros associated with plastic surgery in South Korea. These are improvement of self-esteem, confidence, enhancement of beauty and changing economic, social and cultural needs. South Korea is increasingly becoming a beauty-oriented society where the population is judged based on appearance. Even if plastic surgery promotes economic and social freedom it is important to establish, strict laws limiting illegal side effects and operations to protect the patients.
Holliday, R. and J. Elfving-Hwang. "Gender, Globalization And Aesthetic Surgery In South Korea".Body & Society 18.2 (2012): 58-81. Web.
Sharon Heijin Lee,. "Beauty Between Empires: Global Feminism, Plastic Surgery, And The Trouble With Self-Esteem". Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 37.1 (2016): 1. Web.
"The Plastic Surgery Craze In Korea". hansol0706. N.p., 2011. Web. 23 June 2016.
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