For Some Men in South Korea, Plastic Surgery Becomes More and More Like a Haircut

by Intern Mimi

Have you ever brought a picture of your favorite celebrity to your stylist, and said, “Yes, this is what I want. Do you see how her hair hits her chin ever so slightly? Make my hair just like that.”  The stylist nods her head in approval and begins snipping away until you resemble Rachel McAdams, or Heidi Klum, or Rihanna.  At least from behind, anyway.

 A recent interview with South Korean plastic surgeons from The Wall Street Journal illuminates the increasingly popular trend of male clients bringing in pictures of celebrities they want to look like.  “His patients—mostly in their 20s—are very specific about how they want to change their faces. In most cases, patients bring a photo of a specific star they want to resemble.”


The article specifically zooms in on the rising popularity of plastic surgery among men. In fact, Kang Jang-seok’s practice is for men only.   The plastic surgeons make no mention of their male clients opting for surgery to become more attractive to women. The double-eyelid surgeries, or chin implants or nose jobs are all about landing a job. And keeping it. (Although landing a job can be attractive to women.) A 26-year-old client said, “A good look is indispensable for landing a job. Your look equals your competence.”


So how are South Korean women responding to this increasingly popular trend? In a recent poll of females, “73% said they didn’t think there was anything wrong with men having cosmetic surgery.” Will we see a rise in demand for plastic surgeons? Will plastic surgery offices pop up on every street corner like coffee shops and hair salons?   

Doctor Kim soo-Shin thinks not. He has faith that the trend will fade. “The shallow and superficial aspects of our society will ultimately go away as society matures. But it will take time,” he said.  Let’s hope so. After all, hair is the accumulation of dead skin cells. The skin covering the bridge of the nose is alive and well, and it is just trying to do its job. 

Images via,, and 

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