Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Ask Uncle Wang

Q: Dear Uncle Wang,
I read that a number of students in Shanghai get plastic surgery in summer holiday. Seriously?

A: Since summer holiday started, an increasing number of high school graduates have been going to hospitals for cosmetic surgery. Some students want to arrive at the first day of college looking their best. Others were pushed there by their overly ambitious parents, who think that good looks are the secret to success in China.

According to statistics from Shanghai Time Plastic Surgery Hospital, the majority of their clients over the summer holiday are recent gaokao grads, university students and overseas returnees. Girls make up 80 percent, but the hospital has also seen more boys asking for surgery in recent years.

June to August is the peak time for students undergoing plastic surgery, the longest break of the school year which gives them time to recover. But due to the high demand, appointments for plastic surgery at local hospitals fill up fast. Another big hospital, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital receives at least 60 consultations every day.

For students contemplating cosmetic enhancement, many opt for traditional plastic surgery instead of injections like Botox because they are more expensive. The most popular surgeries among students are double eye-lids, nose and lip work.

Going over to South Korea for plastic surgery used to be a common "summer holiday" among Chinese students. But after the recent scandals and medical complications that have plagued cosmetic surgery hospitals in Korea, Chinese are now staying in their motherland to get their nips and tucks.

Some young people are also "redoing" their faces after failed surgeries overseas. For example, one Chinese teen who got two plastic surgeries in just three days in Korea found that the sides of her face have started to droop unequally. Thus she will have to have her entire face redone in Shanghai.

Many graduates getting plastic surgery hope to increase their self-confidence after becoming more attractive. They believe this will help them obtain better jobs or find a good husband. Some will even have their faces replicated exactly like popular celebrities.

With the financial support of their parents and the rising influence of pop culture icons, Chinese students today see plastic surgery like just getting a haircut or manicure.

What most don't realize, however, and what doctors don't inform them, is that plastic surgery is not permanent. Patients will have to keep going back for maintenance and repairs the rest of their life.

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