Sailor Venus! Essay

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South korean Notes: Source: the 2.3 million won, or about $2,000, eye job is just the finishing touch in a program several months long to remake her face er jaw bones cut and repositioned, for 22 million won. Double-jaw surgery — which was originally developed to repair facial deformities, and involves cutting and rearranging the upper and lower jaws — has become a favorite procedure for South Korean women who are no longer satisfied with mere nose jobs or with paring down cheekbones to achieve a smoother facial line. That, in turn, has encouraged greater openness among ordinary South Koreans. Seoul’s “beauty belt,” a swarm of hundreds of plastic surgery clinics clustered around a string of subway stations in the upscale districts of southern Seoul. But in recent decades, cosmetic surgery has become a weapon in Koreans’ efforts to impress others, “like buying an expensive handbag,” said Whang Sang-min, a psychologist at Yonsei University. Cosmetic surgery is not covered by national health insurance, making it difficult to determine the exact size of the industry. A survey last year by the Seoul city government found that 31.5 percent of residents 15 or older were willing to undergo surgery to improve their looks. In 2007 the percentage was 21.5. In a 2009 survey by the market research firm Trend Monitor, one of every five women in Seoul between the ages of 19 and 49 said they had undergone plastic surgery. The number of doctors trained as plastic surgeons has almost doubled in the past decade to 1,500. But 4,000 clinics provide cosmetic surgery, most of them in Seoul’s beauty belt, because the law allows other doctors to switch to this lucrative field. As competition heats up, some clinics host “Cinderella events,” where
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