Double-Eyelid Surgery in South Korea

There was a time in history that Brazil was the plastic surgery capital of the entire world, where thousands of operations were performed daily. This was also around the time when beauty contests across the globe were dominated by Brazilian women—a time when “Beauty” meant being “Brazilian.” But in recent times, South Korea has already usurped Brazil as the country with the most number of plastic surgery procedures done with respect to its population. This feat was accomplished by means of the increasing population in South Korea, and a rising number of patients going to cosmetic clinics to get cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures. One of the most requested procedures is double-eyelid surgery.

Charlet Duboc, host of the Seoul Fashion Week, asked some prominent women about their concerns or thoughts regarding the increasing number of people having double-eyelid surgery, particularly the members of the K-Pop band, D-Unit. They said that, at least in their opinion, their ideal look for themselves would be that of “western people”—which included rounded eyes and sharp noses. Duboc also revealed that about 1 in every 5 women in South Korea have already undergone cosmetic surgery, and that receiving vouchers for use in clinics from parents as children’s birthday gifts were already run-of-the-mill there.

Double Eyelid Surgery Common Way to Help Models Look More "Westernized" (Photo Courtesy: Seoul Fashion Week and Korea Times)

Dr. Seo Jae Don, a plastic surgeon residing in South Korea, said that only a few days ago, he had a Japanese patient who wanted double-eyelid surgery. When he asked why, she said that she preferred larger eyes and that getting this look would greatly increase her confidence. Dr. Seo shared that the process of getting double-eyelid surgery involves cutting out a small section of the eyelid, primarily the laterally-situated creases of the eyes, which results to the elongation of the spaces and thus, making the eyes appear rounder and less hidden. He also said that along with the eyelid surgery, most of the time he also provides the rhinoplasty, making the noses of his patients appear sharper. If the patient’s forehead is slightly flat, adipose tissue coming from different areas of the body are extracted and injected into the forehead and the cheeks, allowing them to have more volume.

Dr. Seo also said that he is not only there to fix ill-figured body parts, but he is also there to cure discontentment with what these patients have. Many of his patients come to him not because they just want to change their eyelids or their noses, but they would just want a fresh new start.

Even though the Seoul Fashion Week is there to promote innovative ideas in the world of clothing and style, it also wants to say that looking more naturally Korean is way better than looking westernized. One of the models back stage was saying that it was okay for some people to hide some of their imperfections, if it means having greater self-esteem. But then again, she said that there should be a line drawn, where people who change their appearance to the point that they don’t even look like a shadow of themselves is too much. There should be a balance to everything, and this includes beauty.

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