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A bizarre collection of plastic surgery

Updated January. 24, 2014 07:26

한국어

“Miss Korea,” a Korean drama during the time of the Asian financial crisis, has a scene of fond memories. It is a swimsuit competition with many beauty pageant candidates wearing thick makeup with a big hair like a “lion.” The lion hair was a symbol of Miss Korea as it made a face look smaller and slim. Beauty pageant winners reflect the changing standards of a beautiful woman. People used to think a round face like a full moon is beautiful, but now, they think a slim face like a westerner is beautiful.

A bizarre tower has been set up at a plastic surgery clinic in the affluent Gangnam district in Seoul. It created a 60-centimeter high structure containing 1,000 patients’ jawbone and placed it in the lobby. It proudly posted a picture on its website, advertising it as a “bone pillar.” As the picture was spread throughout social networking sites, Internet users criticized the exhibition of the “jawbone tower” and a citizen reported it to the Gangnam Ward Office. The office concluded that the clinic violated the medical waste management law and plans to fine it three million won (2,790 U.S. dollars).

Kate Moss, a British fashion model, is far from a Barbie doll in terms of her face and body shape. She is bow-legged, only 167 centimeter tall, high cheekbones, and a square jaw. She did not receive much attention on her debut in the 1990s, but she changed the model community with her strong personality and expression. What if the “living legend” loved by many fashion designers and photographers had been born in Korea? Would she have met a plastic surgeon to survive in the society with the stereotyped standards of beauty?

High cheekbones and squared jaws are more common among Koreans than westerners. It is regrettable that people think they should “correct” their face to have a V-shape like a western woman. When Korea was underdeveloped, a college was called a “cow bone tower” instead of an “ivory tower,” because parents in rural areas had to sell their cows to pay college tuition for their children. Then, do we have to call glamorous plastic surgery clinics in Gangnam a “jawbone tower”?