Millions of people in China -predominantly women - have had surgery in pursuit of beautiful looks. Feng Haiyong / For China Daily
When it comes to surgical procedures to enhance beauty, Chinese women are twice as generous than their global peers, according a report based on a survey by Insight Engineers, a market research consultancy in the United Kingdom.
The survey found that Chinese women spent the equivalent of about 581 yuan ($83.50) per month. That's more than twice the global average of about 254 yuan, and 145 yuan higher than the second group on the list－women from South Korea.
Wang Danru, a plastic surgeon from No 9 People's Hospital affiliated to the medical college at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said Chinese women are displaying an increasing interest in a range of surgical procedures, mainly to look prettier, rather than fighting aging, which may help explain why the population of plastic surgery patients in the country is much younger than in other places.
The report also said that 74 percent of Chinese respondents associate beauty directly with facial appearance, the highest of all surveyed countries. The biggest concern for Chinese women is flabby skin and crow's feet－the little wrinkles at the corners of the eyes.
The survey interviewed 7,700 "aesthetically aware" women from 16 countries, who were between 18 and 65 years of age.
Aesthetically aware women were defined as those who gave positive answers to at least two of the three questions, including: "It's important for me to look good for my age"; "I care about improving my facial appearance"; and "Spending money on improving my appearance is worthwhile".
Most of the women surveyed in China were from wealthy areas of Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.
"I would say Chinese patients are the most dramatic," said Woffles Wu, a prominent plastic surgeon in Singapore. His clinic receives 30 to 40 patients from China every month. A few years ago, the number was in single digits, he said.
"Some patients come with no financial limit and just want to achieve the best possible results they can. They are willing to fly back and forth again and again," he said.
Chinese women's fervor for seeking beauty pushed the country's aesthetic medicine market to 400 billion yuan in 2015. It is projected to soar by 20 percent annually, according to the Chinese Association of Plastics and Aesthetics. It is now the third-largest market, after the United States and Brazil.
Research for the report－The Changing Faces of Beauty: A Global Report－was conducted in March by pharmaceutical company Allergan Plc, based in Dublin, Ireland.