South Korean trends are once again proving popular in Taiwan, this time among female office workers in their 20s or early 30s who are opting for plastic microsurgery.
Apart from its pop music and TV dramas, which have swept across the world, South Korea is also known for cosmetic plastic surgery, which has become common among a high percentage of its population. In particular, plastic microsurgery is a fashion trend there.
According to media reports, one in every 77 South Korean citizens has undergone at least one such treatment. In 2011, about 20 percent of South Korean women aged from 19 to 49 said they had elective surgery for facial enhancements.
In Taiwan, many young female office workers, who are enamored with South Korean culture, are booking appointments with cosmetic surgeons in the hope of returning to work after the Lunar New Year with improved looks.
Although the Lunar New Year is still more than two months away, one cosmetic surgeon is already fully booked for procedures during the Jan. 30 to Feb. 4 holiday period.
“With the growing awareness of antiaging procedures, more young female office workers in Taiwan are willing to undergo some kind of plastic surgery during their holidays,” said a cosmetic surgeon surnamed Hsieh (謝), who works in Taipei and Taichung.
“This practice is no longer confined to elderly women,” he said.
“Now, many people use their free time or holidays to visit a doctor for beauty care, and 70 percent of them are seeking microsurgery to obtain a younger look in a short period of time,” he added.
According to Hsieh, young female office workers can spend about NT$6,000 per month on so-called petite cosmetic surgery.
A 28-year-old woman surnamed Lai (賴), who is an administrative assistant at a trade company, said she has been visiting plastic surgeons since she was 20.
“I’ve had hyaluronic acid treatment to modify my big, chubby face,” she said. “I also had a Thermacool facelift, but I was not satisfied with the results. I then had another more advanced procedure, and the improvement is obvious.”
Lai, who earns about NT$40,000 a month, said she and her colleagues visit cosmetic surgeons regularly for “small facial enhancements through laser and hyaluronic acid treatment.”