Target: Moon Hyung-pyo, South Korea’s Minister of Health and Welfare
Goal: Stop the spread of dangerous and risky do-it-yourself cosmetic enhancements
In South Korea’s hyper-competitive work environment, plastic surgery is seen as key to professional success. However, with popular operations like bone jaw cutting coming in at $10,000, Korean teens are turning toward more affordable, at-home contraptions to attain the pointed nose, larger eyes, slimmer jawline, and gentler smile considered beautiful.
Examples of such devices, easily ordered online by adolescents as young as 12 or 13, include glasses that promise the “Hollywood” double-lid look by forcing one’s eyelids to stay open and a $2 mechanism that lifts the bridge of the nose, inflicting bruises and pain after hours of use.
Cosmetic surgeons are justifiably alarmed at the dangers young people pose to themselves. Such treatment can wreak serious, irreparable harm on adolescents whose bodies are still maturing. Infections and minor facial injuries are all too common side effects of the practice. Yet, despite being aware of the dangers, teenagers continue with the improvised procedures, so anxious to perfect their appearances that they can become addicted to the products. In one horrific instance, after running out of silicone, a woman injected herself with cooking oil, engorging and permanently deforming her face.
Please sign the petition below and express your concern over this horrific fad. While we cannot change the culture overnight, we can register our alarm at the dangers it poses and pressure health officials to take the issue seriously. The cost of “beauty” has risen much too high. We must confront the ugly truth.
Dear Minister Moon Hyung-pyo,
I am writing to register my concerns about the do it yourself plastic surgery craze affecting South Korea’s youth. With expensive, popular procedures like bone jaw cutting priced at $10,000, adolescents and adults alike have taken to using devices purchased online that promise similar cosmetic enhancements.
Teenagers as young as 12 and 13 years of age are taking part in the trend, often coming into clinics with infections and facial injuries due to prolonged use of the devices. Despite being aware of the dangers, they continue with the improvised procedures, and can even become addicted to using the products.
In chasing this ideal of beauty, people run the risk of inflicting irrevocable damage on themselves. I urge you to address the do it yourself plastic surgery trend as the serious public health problem it is. Your leadership is essential in preventing further harm to the health of this community.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Steve Dennie via stevedennie.com