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China's young lose face in the pursuit of beauty

(Xinhua)    17:22, March 19, 2015

BEIJING, March 19 -- Wang Jing is haunted by her reflection: the looking glass frames a crooked mouth and numb, motionless cheeks.

In the pursuit of perfection, last year the 31-year-old former office worker from Shanghai went under the knife in Seoul, Republic of Korea (ROK). She hoped bigger eyes and a V-shaped face would help her find a handsome boyfriend and improve her employment prospects.

Glancing through her old photos, many would struggle to find fault with the fair skin and small round face captured in the snapshots, but not Wang:"I wasn't beautiful enough for my ex-boyfriend, who left me for a younger, more attractive girl."

Wang is one of a growing number of Chinese women who travel to the ROK for cosmetic surgery but have been left with lasting physical -- and emotional -- scars after botched operations.

According to the ROK Ministry of Health and Welfare, approximately 210,000 medical tourists visited the reputed "kingdom of plastic surgery" in 2013. Chinese tourists made up 26.5 percent and topped the list.


When Wang decided to go to Seoul, she felt she was fully prepared and understood the procedure. She had watched adverts promoting "magical" Seoul face-lifts on the Internet, and had been impressed by the "before-and-after" images.

At Wonjin Beauty Medical Group, she asked for a procedure that would give her extra fold in her eyelids. She was persuaded, however, into accepting at least two other operations including one on her cheekbones to give her a V-shaped face, considered the height of feminine beauty in much of East Asia.

The operations cost her nearly 120,000 yuan (19,000 U.S. dollars).

"I was told there was no risk. After the operation, the doctor said I would recover in a few months. Obviously, I didn't."

When she returned to China, she sought help from several hospitals but was told the damage was permanent and irreversible.

Instead of boosting her confidence, the surgery ruined her life. She found it difficult to eat. She lost her job, faced an array of medical problems and slipped into a black depression.

In a fit of rage, Wang flew back to Seoul for retribution, but she was beaten up by the hospital's security guards, she said.

Wonjin Beauty Medical Group, however, refute Wang's accusations. In an email interview with Xinhua, it said the operations had been successful and Wang's crooked mouth was the result of something she had done deliberately.

In addition, it said that Wang had fabricated the assault story as there were no security guards stationed at the hospital.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Kong Defang,Yao Chun)

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