One of the many benefits of watching Vice’s Fashion Week Internationale web series has been that our breadth of knowledge of international plastic surgery trends has widened tremendously. In Colombia, butt implants are all the rage; in Rio it’s gender reassignment (which of course is more than just a trend) and for some South Koreans, it seems no facial feature is safe from surgical enhancement–the primary goal of which seems to be to get a more western look. In fact, Korea has recently become the plastic surgery capital of the world with the highest number of surgeries per capita.
[Ed. note: As many commenters have pointed out, the goal of this common double eyelid surgery is not to attain a "western" beauty ideal--rather Jenelle points out that women have the procedure to "conform to the Asian aesthetic of beauty."]
In the latest episode of Fashion Week Internationale, which takes us to Seoul Fashion week, we learn that not everyone is on board with the idea of getting surgery to look more western. While members of a young K-Pop girl group are in favor of it, a North Korean-born fashion student and a fashion designer host Charlet Duboc meets at Seoul Fashion Week are not.
The real eye-opener–no pun intended–comes when Duboc visits a cosmetic surgery center in Seoul and is let in on consultations and sits in on an actual surgery. Bbefore they get started, one surgeon says that “having a more appealing face means there’s more chance to change that person’s destiny,” and, mid-surgery, another says, “Although she’s crying at the moment, because of anesthetics she won’t remember it later.”
Just to warn you, this is not for the faint of heart. Watch below. And watch all the episodes here.