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Strong yen drawing Japanese women to S Korea for plastic surgery

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Han Myok was “the most sympathized-with woman in South Korea,” says Shukan Asahi (Feb 27). She owed her fame to insatiable media interest in her bloated face -- which in turn she owed to an astonishing addiction. Plastic surgery was her drug. She simply couldn’t get enough of it.

It’s not quite as odd as it sounds. So widespread is cosmetic surgery in South Korea, the magazine hears from a Seoul-based journalist, that “old women tell their grandchildren, ‘If you don’t have it done, you’ll never amount to anything.’”

The high yen and low South Korean won give the story a relevance to Japan. Japanese women, Shukan Asahi finds, are flocking to Seoul in droves, snapping at the perceived chance to remodel themselves at once-in-a-lifetime bargain prices. But bargains invariably carry hidden costs. This one is no exception.

Han, now in her late 40s, aspired as a young woman to be a singer. There’s only one hope for a singer with an unexceptional voice -- exceptional beauty. Han didn’t have that, but her first go at plastic surgery definitely made her prettier. Wouldn’t a second operation make her prettier still? Repeated silicon injections filled out her cheeks. If she’d known when to stop, she might have been all right. But she seemed to believe that beauty, real beauty, was just around the corner. Possibly the next injection would do it, or the next, or the one after. Alarmed, her friends urged her to stop. But the voice in her head sang a different song: “You want to be beautiful? Silicon, more silicon!”

Finally her doctors cut her off. Han took matters into her own hands. She began injecting herself at home with a silicon substitute -- a mixture of soybean oil and paraffin. The eventual result was a face so distorted as to be (if the photograph the magazine features is anything to go by) scarcely human. Psychiatric treatment followed, after which 15 restorative operations removed a total of 4 kg of granulated fat.

Everyone wants to be beautiful. Plastic surgeons thrive on that quirk of human nature. The yen, hyper-strong against the won, is an added inducement that many Japanese women are finding irresistible. Shukan Asahi, without citing numbers or prices, speaks of special “plastic surgery tours” whisking beauty-seekers to Seoul for treatments that may never be cheaper.

Beware of two dangers in particular. First, says one agent, you can make your reservations only to find the clinic you’re set up with so crowded you can’t get serviced in time. Secondly, and more ominously, some plastic surgeons have been known to put quick profit ahead of ethical practice, as Han’s case seems to prove. Some South Korean surgeons are reportedly not even properly licensed. Do a thorough background check before an operation, warns Shukan Asahi.

As for Han, “Even now, whenever I look into a mirror I feel a desire for cosmetic surgery. But, she adds, “I’m controlling myself.”

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

28 Comments
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What does a Korean woman self-injecting soybean oil in her face have to do with Japanese women going to SK for plastic surgery?

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It's supposed to be a warning to Japanese women about the problems which can arise....surely that's obvious?

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It's supposed to be a warning to Japanese women about the problems which can arise....surely that's obvious?

not at all. the girls will have their "dream" and will be totally focussed on the most ideal outcome, with next to no thought about how they will cope if things don't go exactly to plan

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So...the problems arise when they go against doctor's orders, and shoot that gunk in their own face, right? It's not the doctors' fault she took matters in her own hands. It seems had she left it alone after the first surgery, she would have been fine. She choose to inject herself; it has nothing to do with the quality or lack thereof of the Korean plastic surgeons. Chalk up yet another shoddy tabloid story.

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What Howardtheduck said.

Can't say I see the point in plastic surgery unless it's to deal with bad burn/accident scars etc., but a woman doing weird things to her own face is not any kind of comment on the skills or otherwise of professional plastic surgeons.

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This article confirms what we already knew. Plastic surgery, without overdoing it, will make women (physically) more attractive. That has to be a good thing. So all you average looking Japanese girls out there, what are you waiting for!!

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It's a feature, people, and features tend to thrive on the sensational and the biased, moreso than regular news, anyway.

The idea that 'all Korean women' get plastic surgery is a myth. There are just as many Japanese women who get it, the difference being in price -- and hence the article (Japanese women flocking over there for surgery).

Han, the one case in question here, is an example of the behaviour of an addict, and not at all reflective of the community as a whole.

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I do not want to sound like a male chauvanist pig, but if the J girls do get plastic surgery, I really hope it is to get their breasts bigger,rounder,around at least 90 cm max...150cm bust. I guess if they are going to do this they might as well work on the behinds because I think when god was passing out behinds he may have been a bit stingy to J girls.

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Before and after shots. Definitely took bad option.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3439638/Cosmetic-surgery-addict-injected-cooking-oil-into-her-own-face.html

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I do not want to sound like a male chauvanist pig

I'm afraid you failed miserably on that score. Better luck next time.

I can't see the relationship between someone attempting DIY cosmetic surgery and the rush for cheap cosmetic surgery....

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Wow, if M51T's link is correct, there's a lot more to this than what the JT article tells us. Repeated plastic surgery in Japan left her face 'enlarged and disfigured', and surgeons refused to do any more work on her. She returned to Korea, found a surgeon willing to give her silicone injections, and that surgeon gave her a syringe and supply of silicone for DIY. When the silicone ran out she turned to cooking oil. Somewhere along the way she was referred for psychiatric treatment, but couldn't afford it.

What a mess.

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There was a lady on NHK the other week who did something similar: she ordered some stuff on the internet and injected it into her face, with hideous results.

The Daily Telegraph article mentioned above says that the Korean lady had most of her cosmetic surgery in Japan, not Korea. The article should be warning about Japanese cosmetic surgeons too.

The vast majority of cosmetic surgery is unnecessary. Those who judge a person solely on their looks are only worthy of contempt. Be happy with who you are and shun those who would have you be otherwise.

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"The vast majority of cosmetic surgery is unnecessary. Those who judge a person solely on their looks are only worthy of contempt. Be happy with who you are and shun those who would have you be otherwise."

Agreed. Let's start the protest by asking those crappy Kawasaki Clinic adds to be taken off the air.

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For celebrities, having cosmetic surgery is understandable. They are selling their looks for millions of bucks. Eighty percent of Korean and Japanese movie stars transformed their looks with knives. Although they are looking better and more western, they are not natural. They look like more comic characters.

For some people, it will get the tragic consequence like Han Myok. She wanted to get the perfect face. In the reality, she was addicted for injecting cooking oil into her face. She was pretty thousand of times before that. It is a sad story of image obsessive Asians. I am proud of my Asian heritage and will never change my appreance with knives. It cause more harm than gain. Good look will not last long. It is just a moment of lifecycle.

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old women tell their grandchildren, ‘If you don’t have it done, you’ll never amount to anything.’”

That's a POOR excuse to live...and shame on them for deriving such nonsense... I heard pain= beauty but never Beauty = change your body and face for self worth!

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Men inject themselves with dangerous drugs and exercise so much that they actually do permanent damage to their muscles and must live with terrible pain for the rest of their lives because they sought to live to an unreasonable expectation of how a man should appear very much the same way many women resort to drastic plastic surgery to reach the female ideal as dictated by the public at large.Now teenagers in the US are embedding thing under there skin the for the same reasons they use to slash themselves, to fill a void in their lives. These people have a sickness and we should not judge them poorly for what they can't control but try to help them as best we can.

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It's supposed to be a warning to Japanese women about the problems which can arise

Having a Korean face in Japan? :) Not a good idea.

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Not the outer appearance, but rather the inner lack of self-esteem is what really needs to be altered. Until this is changed nothing is really solved.

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If not superficial/minor, either expensive aftercare or only short-term happy effect. Ladies, clear hurdles of balanced diet, exercise including facial, clean without abrading/corroding then flatter with sensible fashion.

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Cosmetic surgery should be banned, except for people who suffered in accidents.

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My girlfriend needs balloons !!!! But I love her the same. I like the natural imperfect look.

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I can only think of Mickey Rourke when I hear this. A nation of Mickey Rourkes. Or Mickey Mouses. Can you imagine having plastic surgery that would make you look like Mickey Mouse? Or Doraemon?

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Don't do it, I've heard horror stories like people being injected with industrial as opposed to medical grade silicon

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http://galleries.thelondonpaper.com/plastic_surgery/3

Here are some pictures of the woman in the story, scary stuff

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oh no! (I've taken a look into that website)...thanks for info! It's really scary.

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For some people, it will get the tragic consequence like Han Myok.

Or graver cases like Madonna and Gackt, where plastic surgery has allowed them to torment the public at large.

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I guess this means that alot of Japanese (and Korean) women think of themselves as rather ugly.

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The most famous plastic surgeon of all time, Maxwell Maltz, wrote in Psyco Cybernetics how all of the positive changes he witnesses in his patients came from the inside, regardless how the outside looked. This gives scientifically observed credence to old addage "Beauty is an inside Job."

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