This study investigates the widely recognizable discourse that characterizes South Korea as a plastic surgery nation by tracing media coverage of plastic surgery as published in two major Korean newspapers from 1960 to 2009.This study attempts to enrich our understanding of plastic surgery in modern times within the Korean context by delineating three distinctive periods of plastic surgery: legitimization (1960–79), popularization (1980–99), and industrialization (2000s). I show how the discourse of South Korea as a plastic surgery nation is both a local and a global construction. This paper further aims to deepen our understanding of enhancement technology by showing how the plastic surgery discourse in South Korea demonstrates the permeability of the boundaries between therapy and enhancement, bodily and social enhancement, and the individual and collective body. While the discourse has reinforced these complementary and intertwined relationships, what enhancement means for whom has not been questioned. I argue that statistics have variously been used to proclaim the ubiquity of plastic surgery, which works to “make up people” without attending to the actual experiences and effects of plastic surgery, either for individuals or the nation. In this way, the characterization of South Korea as a plastic surgery nation is a dubious construction.

Introduction: Exploring a Plastic Surgery Nation

South Korea is a plastic surgery nation, if one listens to what the mass media says about plastic surgery in South Korea. American celebrity Oprah Winfrey, for example, during an episode of her show that aired on 6 October 2004, expressed concern that Korean women were the world's most prevalent plastic surgery consumers, seeking to change their bodies to resemble those of Western women. In 2007, BBC News gave substantial television coverage to the fact that at least 50 percent of Korean women in their twenties had had plastic surgery (Chung 2007). And most recently, in 2015, the New Yorker published a lengthy article about South Korea, calling it “the world's plastic-surgery capital” (Marx 2015: 50). Korean people seem well aware of their obsession with plastic surgery and physical beauty, too, as major Korean newspapers have published numerous stories about the expansion of the plastic surgery industry. Sample headlines include phrases such as “Plastic Surgery Trend with the Korean Wave,”1 “Plastic Surgery Powerhouse,”2 and “Plastic Surgery Kingdom.”3 Korean intellectuals have been self-conscious about South Korea's image as a nation of “false” beauty, and social scientists have severely criticized the plastic surgery industry and the prevailing ideologies of gendered appearance (Lim 2002, 2004; Chung 2007; Nah et al. 2009).

But if you take another look, the obsession with plastic surgery may be less a national and more a regional phenomenon. One district of Seoul called Gangnam, which literally means the southern part of the Han River in Seoul, is the center of the plastic surgery industry in South Korea. According to the National Tax Service of South Korea, in 2014 more than half of the nation's 671 plastic surgery clinics were located in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and 74.8 percent of those were located in Gangnam. Notably, Gangnam is also symbolic of the modernization, Westernization, and economic development of South Korea during the second half of the twentieth century. Long before the song “Gangnam Style” by Korean pop singer Psy became a huge hit around the world in 2012, Gangnam had a national reputation for plastic surgery as well as Western luxury shops and modern apartment complexes. Considering this localization of the plastic surgery industry, the characterization of South Korea as a plastic surgery nation is simply overblown. Yet given the national and historical significance of Gangnam in modern South Korea, the idea of a plastic surgery nation calls for further investigation.

The basic task of this article is to uncover the origin of the notion of South Korea as a plastic surgery nation and to place that story within the larger Korean context. To do so, the article follows plastic surgery discourses produced by the Korean media since the emergence of modern South Korea after the Korean War. This article is, in fact, only a partial history of Korean plastic surgery, but despite its partiality, it has value as the first attempt to create an overview of the field of plastic surgery in South Korea within a broader context and longer time frame.

Following the evolution of media discourse proves a good starting point for understanding how certain technologies are legitimated and popularized in certain societies, or, in other words, how science and technology become culture. The role of the mass media has been well documented in previous studies on science and technology, which show how the media actively engages with knowledge claims (Collins 1987; Gieryn 1992; Hagendijk and Meeus 1993). The media provides a forum for diverse voices about science, technology, and medicine, and reports on these topics using certain frames, words, and metaphors (Coveney, Nerlich, and Martin 2009; Nerlich and Clarke 2003). It has also been shown that media reports and opinions play as critical a role in legitimating new technologies and biomedical knowledge as scientists and medical experts do (Oudshroon 1999; Pitts 1999; Seale, Cavers, and Woods 2006). Finally, from a Latourian perspective, there is no such thing as a plastic surgery nation to study, because “there is no society to be explained” (Latour 2005: 239). The media is thus important as a research site—as a theater in which a panoramic view of the plastic surgery nation is projected.

This study aims to enrich our understanding of plastic surgery by attending to local context, including the specific historical, economic, and cultural factors at play, rather than the broader categories of gender and race. In this way it is distinct from a number of media studies concerning plastic surgery that have analyzed how female bodies are visualized and justified through visual narratives (Tait 2007; Jerslev 2008; Weber and Tice 2009). Other studies have focused on news reports about plastic surgery or stories in women's magazines (Adams 2009; Fraser 2003; Brooks 2004). For more than two decades, plastic surgery has been a research arena occupied by feminists. Ever since Canadian feminist Kathryn P. Morgan (1991) defined plastic surgery as a technology that colonizes women's bodies, many Western and Korean feminists have viewed plastic surgery as a tool of patriarchy and racism and a means to oppress women (Morgan 1991; Bordo 1993; Kaw 1993; Balsamo 1996; Brush 1998; Gagne and McGaughey 2002; Lim 2002; Negrin 2002; Frost 2005; Blum 2003; Lee 2006). A smaller group of feminists have distanced themselves from this reading, arguing that female plastic surgery patients are active and rational actors, not mere victims or cultural dupes, who make choices regarding plastic surgery to achieve their desired identities (Davis 1995, 1997; Gimlin 2006). This strain of so-called agency feminism views plastic surgery as empowering women by enabling them to rewrite their identities as they wish by altering their bodies. Although some feminist analyses of plastic surgery have shown that women have political awareness of plastic surgery practices, these studies are often limited to Western contexts or to nonwhite women's experiences in Western societies (Aizura 2009).4 More recently, local contexts have come into focus, mostly in relation to the development of the modern nation and the plastic surgery boom in non-Western societies, such as Brazil, China, and South Korea (Edmonds 2010; Kim 2003; Holliday and Elfving-Hwang 2012; Brownell 2005; Jarrin 2012). This article builds on that last set of studies by tracing how South Korea has become a plastic surgery nation over a long period of time, and by focusing on the changing meanings of plastic surgery within the Korean context.

Another important objective of this study is to deepen our understanding of the “enhancement technologies” that have emerged alongside the development of biomedicine (Clarke et al. 2003; Hogle 2005). Plastic surgery has long been associated with certain questions, such as whether its purposes are reconstructive or aesthetic (in other words, of necessity or vanity) and whether its transformations are physical or mental (in other words, whether they alter how one is seen by others or how one is seen by oneself), as well as whether women's choices regarding plastic surgery are motivated individually or socially. In the West, plastic surgery dates back to the First World War, when it was used to reconstruct war-wounded bodies to help veterans adapt to ordinary life both physically and psychologically (Gilman 2000). After the Second World War, plastic surgeons found a new, broader market in which physical appearances were changed to improve self-esteem and fulfill personal desires. For example, in the United States, non-Caucasian immigrants used plastic surgery as a tool to realize their American dreams (Haiken 1997). However, this article takes a different approach to plastic surgery and relates it to a new set of questions about enhancement technology. I argue that plastic surgery has implications for other, newer biomedical enhancement technologies, such as prosthetics, genetics, and cognitive science, based on its dubious biopolitics. These biopolitics are especially noticeable in three oppositions: therapy versus enhancement, bodily versus social motivations, and individual versus collective bodies.

I first suggest that the framework of therapy versus enhancement, instead of necessity versus vanity, is more helpful for understanding the evolution of plastic surgery in South Korea. Distinguished from modern medicine, which aims to cure diseases and correct abnormalities, enhancement is an aspect of contemporary medicine that focuses on upgrading and optimizing the body (Haraway 1991; Hogle 2005). Therapy and enhancement as goals of medical technology are rooted in different visions of the body: the former is based on pathology and deficiencies, while the latter views the body as a lifetime project to achieve one's true self (Hogle 2005). This neoliberal notion of the body and medicine is what makes enhancement different from therapy. However, it is not necessarily grounded on the distinction between reconstructive plastic surgery and aesthetic plastic surgery, or on the old debates about necessity versus vanity. The term enhancement is a more inclusive and less stigmatized lens through which to look at plastic surgery, as it includes multiple dimensions—functional, aesthetic, emotional, and social. This study intends to show how a long-term media discourse mobilizes therapy and enhancement rhetoric as a rationale for plastic surgery.

Second, related to the use of the inclusive term enhancement, there is a question as to whether enhancements enabled by medical technology are pursued due to social or bodily concerns. Whether plastic surgery is a matter of physical appearance or psychological cure becomes less meaningful, as enhancement deals with functions and forms of the body that are inseparable from the self and the mind. This study also takes a different approach to social justifications and biological reductionism, which are often found in previous studies on enhancement-related medical products. Many kinds of currently available medical enhancements, such as neurochemical products, psychiatric drugs, and plastic surgery, have been explained as an individual response—as Hogle (2005: 709) writes, “bear it or medicate it”—to social suffering (Rose 2006), such as racial discrimination in the United States (Haiken 1997), poverty in Brazil (Edmonds 2011), and economic crisis in Argentina (Lakoff 2004). This article is not limited by focusing on one aspect of enhancement technology as a biological fix for social problems. Instead, it considers multiple potential outcomes of socially motivated enhancement, such as improvement of one's socioeconomic status, working conditions, or interpersonal relations. However, both social conditions and individual desires motivate individuals to use enhancement technology. This study thus investigates the role of plastic surgery as an enhancement technology by dividing enhancement into categories of motivation: bodily and social.

Finally, this study is concerned with a dual status of the body: the individual body and the collective body—or, in other words, one's own body and a body that is identified by a collective identity as a particular gender, class, or nationality. This point is particularly relevant to this study as it explores South Korea's national identification with plastic surgery. Previous studies on plastic surgery in China and Brazil have shown that statistics play a critical role in making plastic surgery a nation-building tool as well as a “technology of the self” (Foucault 1988; Edmonds 2010; Brownell 2005). In a more general sense, statistics are used as a tool to turn qualitative, material, individual bodies into quantitative, numeric entities, such as a population or group, and the market-driven aspect of technological development is a main characteristic of biomedical and enhancement technologies (Conrad 2005; Fishman 2004; Thompson 2013). Due to its elective nature and lack of a measurable relationship to productivity, plastic surgery has been less affected by state regulations and national policies than by market forces, like most enhancement technologies. It is worth investigating how individual consumption of enhancement technologies is attributed to collective identities of gender, class, and nationality. In this context, this study reveals how different but interrelated collective identities are attached to individuals undergoing plastic surgery in South Korea by focusing on the mobilization of statistical tools.

Plastic surgery is a good research site to examine how medical technology makes and is made by the world beyond the clinic, how it creates meanings and networks, and finally how it becomes deeply embedded in society. After describing my methods and the data gathered for this study, I give a brief overview of three historical periods to sketch out the development of the field of plastic surgery in South Korea. I then present the results of a media discourse analysis, focusing on how plastic surgery and bodies (as both subjects and objects of plastic surgery) are represented. In the last section, I discuss how this analysis contributes to our understanding of enhancement technology, especially concerning the ambivalent and dubious dynamics between therapy and enhancement, bodily enhancement and social enhancement, and individual bodies and collective bodies.

Methods and Data

To take a close look at the evolution of media discourse on plastic surgery since the 1960s, the primary materials for this paper were 2,724 articles from two Korean daily newspapers, the Chosun Ilbo and the Dong-a Ilbo.5 Daily newspapers were chosen for this study because of the range of topics they cover as well as their wide readership. For this analysis, I preferred general newspapers to women's magazines because I am interested in plastic surgery as a sociotechnical network in South Korea, not as a technology for or against women. These articles were sourced via the search engines of the official websites of the two newspapers. Articles were included if they contained the word plastic (seong-hyeong 成形), the word most commonly used to express “plastic surgery” in Korean,6 in either their headline or body, regardless of the article type (newspaper story, editorial, column, opinion piece by an outside writer, letter to the editor, or advertisement) and regardless of the section of the paper in which the article was located (politics, economy, society, science, health, women, entertainment, etc.). After performing an iterative analysis, a total of 342 articles were selected—244 from the Chosun-Ilbo, and 98 from the Dong-a Ilbo—for the final in-depth examination. All quotations from these texts in this article are my translation.

Before continuing to the next section, one noteworthy quantitative detail in Fig. 1 must be explained. There has been a marked increase in the number of articles on plastic surgery since the late 1990s. The annual number of articles on plastic surgery in either newspaper has not dropped below 50 since 1999, and it recently reached a height of 145 in the Dong-a Ilbo. Considering that the total number of articles was never more than 50 prior to 1996, the quantity of media coverage related to plastic surgery since the late twentieth century appears to be increasing rapidly. The growth of media attention to plastic surgery at the turn of the twenty-first century is, in part, related to the growth of newspapers. According to the Korean Press Institute (1998), the Korean newspaper industry was unprecedentedly prosperous in the 1990s, and papers competed with each other by increasing the number of pages they published. In particular, more pages were allotted to issues regarding family, consumption, and health than to political, economic, and social matters. It is also related to the fact that the plastic surgery industry in South Korea began thriving in the 2000s; scholars have argued that this is because the medicalization of beauty has accelerated since the 1990s (Lim 2010; Tae 2011). The number of plastic surgery advertisements in one women's magazine reached 105 in 2001, which was four times higher than that reached in 1999 and almost ten times higher than in 1997 (Choi 2004). In the late 1990s, advertisements for plastic surgery clinics increased exponentially because Korean women were able to spend money on themselves, which meant that plastic surgeons were competing not only with each other but also with other beauty professionals (Lim 2002: 196–97). Figure 1 echoes existing research showing that plastic surgery has been highly visible in Korean society since the late 1990s.

Historical Overview: Plastic Surgery and South Korea

The media discourse on plastic surgery in South Korea can be roughly divided into three periods, 1960s and 1970s, the 1980s and 1990s, and the 2000s, which are defined by the changing medical, cultural, and social status of plastic surgery and run in parallel to South Korea's national development.7 The national economic situation is a major local context in which the preference for plastic surgery among Korean people can be understood. This section explains how the discipline, culture, and business of plastic surgery in South Korea have been legitimatized, popularized, and industrialized alongside national development. It intends to provide a brief historical background to the section that follows, which presents how the media has represented and continues to represent plastic surgery and patients, consumers, and the greater population.

The first period (1960–79) was characterized by the legal and social legitimization of plastic surgery in Korea. During this period, Korean plastic surgeons strived to domesticate plastic surgery as a new Western medicine and attempted to make it a necessary field of medicine. Concurrently, the Korean government struggled to reconstruct its national economy and modernize its society as quickly as possible. During the Korean War and the American military occupation in the early 1950s, American military surgeons, notably Dr. David Ralph Millard, performed reconstructive plastic surgery for war-wounded soldiers and patients with deformities such as cleft lip.8 In 1961, under a military dictatorship, the state began to implement strong policies to drive economic development. Coincidently, in the same year, Dr. Jae-Duck Yu, a Korean plastic surgeon who had been trained and certified in the United States, began to practice and teach the specialty at the Medical College of Yonsei University, which had the first department of plastic surgery in South Korea. In 1969, the Korean Medical Association admitted the Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (KSPRS), which Dr. Yu established in 1966, as a subsociety; however, the larger society still did not recognize plastic surgery as a legitimate medical field. Such terms as cosmetic orthopedic surgery (美容整形手術)9 or cosmetic surgery (美容手術)10 were often used to mean “plastic surgery” (成形手術). In 1974, the Supreme Court in South Korea finally approved plastic surgery for aesthetic purposes as a medical practice, which followed the same judgment by the Daegu district court one year earlier. A system of board certification for plastic surgeons was established in 1975.11

The second period (1980–99) was a period of growth, not only for the plastic surgery industry, but also for South Korea's economy, culture, and politics, as if all the efforts in the previous period were being rewarded. This was the period in which plastic surgery was popularized, emerging as a new commodity and “a form of ordinary shopping” (DiMoia 2013: 1). From the 1960s to 1981, the Korean government's five-year economic development plans were successful, with average yearly economic growth rates as high as 8 percent. After a democratic uprising in 1987 and the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988, the first half of the 1990s was a heyday for South Korea. In 1992, the military regime ended after thirty long years of domination, and a new civilian government assumed power. Given the economic development and political stability of this period, plastic surgery and other beauty treatments became part of middle-class culture, along with other new commodities (Nelson 2002). Plastic surgery was also part of the new medical culture that had emerged since the mid-1980s and could be described as highly specialized, with sophisticated practices, fewer state regulations, and private interests, because of the underdevelopment of the Korean health system (DiMoia 2013). Additionally, with the economic and political difficulties of the past behind them, South Korean citizens started to appreciate cultural products such as professional athletics and popular songs. However, economic hardship soon returned. South Korea experienced a currency crisis in 1997 and had to receive financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) until 2000.

The third period (the 2000s) is characterized by the industrialization of plastic surgery. In this period, plastic surgery became a national characteristic of South Korea. The national economy officially recovered in 2001, after which Korean society changed drastically from that of the 1990s. Because the nation's economic structures were vulnerable to global forces and South Korea still did not provide sufficient social welfare to its people, citizens were suddenly pitted against one another. Employment became unstable, and companies and markets were deregulated. Plastic surgery became a form of competition among both individuals and plastic surgeons, which fueled the rapid expansion of the industry in South Korea. While the industry has taken advantage of the increased demand for plastic surgery, plastic surgeons also have suffered from competition with other surgeons, especially in Gangnam, which has the highest density of private clinics in South Korea.12 During this period, Korean plastic surgery businesses discovered a market beyond the national border thanks to the Korean Wave, or Han-Ryu (韓流), a term signifying the import and popularization of South Korean cultural products such as TV dramas, popular songs, and films in other Asian countries, including China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines (Chua and Iwabuchi 2008). The plastic surgery industry was quickly recognized by the Korean government as a replacement for manufacturing industries, the earlier major source of national income that had been lost due to inexpensive Chinese labor.

Media Discourse: The Birth of a Plastic Surgery Nation

The Legitimization of Plastic Surgery (1960–79): Medicine and Pathological Bodies

In this period, the legal and social legitimization of plastic surgery as medicine was based on the pathological model of bodies. Plastic surgery patients were portrayed as suffering from psychological problems and abnormal concerns about their physical appearance. In 1969, when a group of plastic surgeons urged the government to approve plastic surgery as an official medical discipline, they wrote that plastic surgery would help “ill women,” as the following statement indicates: “How long will the government hide quacks in the field of orthopedics who take full charge of plastic surgery and avoid women's illness to want to look beautiful?”13 Although plastic surgery patients were usually intelligent and elegant women, they were portrayed as desperate and excessive as well. Plastic surgeons such as Sung-Chun Choi, Jae-Duk Yu, and Sea-il Lee often mentioned that their patients were educated women, specifically female college students, who had “surging desires to be beautiful.”14 The excessive desire for beauty that most of their plastic surgery patients shared was the raison d'être for the field of plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons at first described their patients positively: as “a beautiful lady in her thirties” with “a sophisticated manner and clothes,” who looked “more intelligent than anyone else”;15 a young woman in her twenties with “a pretty face in every respect and a slim figure”;16 or “a shy lady in Western style.”17 However, they often also found these women to be “whining”18 and “greedy.”19 Plastic surgery patients were seen as women with high levels of intellectual, cultural, and social status who were suffering from irrational desires for their bodies and had unreasonable expectations for medical interventions.

The purposes of plastic surgery were identified with physical reconstruction and therapy. Surgeons attempted to combat the severe criticisms of plastic surgery as a shallow aesthetic practice by advancing claims about the true identity of plastic surgery as therapeutic medicine. For instance, Jin-Hwan Kim, MD, a plastic surgeon at Seoul National University, explicitly wrote about the reconstructive purposes of plastic surgery: “Although there are certain procedures done for aesthetic purposes among plastic surgery practices, those procedures are just part of the overall field, which does not exist for only aesthetic purposes. Rather, as most cases of plastic surgery are for reconstruction, it may be more proper to call it ‘reconstructive surgery.’”20 The emphasis on the reconstructive purposes of plastic surgery was paired with doctors’ concerns about the public perception of plastic surgery as a magical solution. Plastic surgeons lamented laypeople's belief that plastic surgery could change a face without leaving any scars. Turning women's desires to be beautiful into serious problems to be cured and ascribing the superficial image of plastic surgery to lay misunderstanding were both effective in strengthening the medical status of plastic surgery. In this way, plastic surgery gained social legitimacy as medicine while still retaining its unique disciplinary identity based on the pathologization of beauty seekers.

The Popularization of Plastic Surgery (1980–99): Commodities and Affluent Bodies

During the economic development of Korean society in the 1980s, plastic surgery practices became a part of middle-class women's culture and a sign of a high quality of life in South Korea. Plastic surgery transitioned from a new Western medicine to become a commodity for affluent bodies, that is, a sign of material wealth. Young and middle-aged women still constituted the majority of plastic surgery patients; however, plastic surgeons no longer portrayed their patients as sick women who desperately needed “regenerative psychiatric therapies.”21 During the 1980s, the association between the popularization of plastic surgery and national economic development was reinforced by Chinese plastic surgeons when plastic surgery became popular among affluent Chinese women.22 Middle-class women were the likeliest potential candidates for plastic surgery in relation to their material well-being. Certain times of year such as holiday seasons, summer and winter vacations, and high school graduations were busy times for plastic surgeons.23 Around graduation, female high school graduates and college-goers visited clinics; so many people were seeking plastic surgery that some had to wait up to a year for an appointment.24 The association between plastic surgery and middle-class Korean women was confirmed by plastic surgeons’ testimonies and the statistical technology of this period. For instance, in 1987, the Pusan branch of the Korean Federation of Housewives’ Clubs, an active middle-class women's organization in the then-second-biggest city in South Korea, conducted a survey titled “Real Conditions of Women's Cosmetic Treatment and Management for Beauty” that included more than nine hundred women between ten and sixty years old. It was revealed that only 6 percent of women actually received plastic surgery. However, the questions are as significant as the answers in this case, as they imply a connection between plastic surgery and women's daily lives. This survey asked women about their everyday beauty practices, ranging from applying makeup, washing one's hair, and taking a bath to visiting a beauty shop; plastic surgery was explicitly categorized as a cosmetic treatment and beauty management.25

In the 1990s, plastic surgery further became one of the common commodities for a young generation of consumers called the “New Generation” or “X Generation.” The New Generation was defined as those “who pursue enjoyable lives, stand firm in their views, and value physical appearances and who have changed consumption patterns as well as popular culture . . . in the 1990s.”26 The New Generation greatly contrasted with the older generation, who could not afford such luxuries and valued humility over pretension. This new form of consumption was seen as rational and practical, as the young generation prioritized their own values and sensible satisfaction over patriotic or traditional values, which assumedly belonged to the old generation. The main actors in this period were marketing companies and their statistical tools. For instance, in 1995, Cheil Worldwide, one of South Korea's major advertising companies affiliated with the conglomerate Samsung, conducted a survey targeting twelve hundred people aged nineteen to twenty-nine from all over South Korea. This survey asked respondents whether plastic surgery was acceptable to them: 33.8 percent of men and 54.1 percent of women responded positively.27 In 1996, LG Ad Inc., a major advertising company belonging to the LG Group, reported that 49.4 percent of New Generation women in their teens and 48.6 percent in their twenties were optimistic about plastic surgery. The same survey indicated that 32.5 percent of male respondents accepted plastic surgery.28 During the mid-1990s, young female celebrities such as Nam-Ju Kim (a South Korean actress) and Seong-Hee Lee (a Korean American nude model) were open about their plastic surgery and talked freely about their jobs and relationships.29 These kinds of confessions reaffirmed the desires of the younger generation to be true to their own desires and use plastic surgery to express themselves. However, as young women underwent plastic surgery much more frequently than young men, the commodification of plastic surgery and women's bodies caught feminists’ attention. For instance, Su-Ja Lee, an academic feminist, strongly criticized plastic surgery, arguing that it turns women's bodies into sexual objects.30 Thus, the popularization of plastic surgery was viewed negatively, too.

The Industrialization of Plastic Surgery (2000s): National/Global Business and Flexible Bodies

In the third period, plastic surgery was industrialized, merging with other medical practices such as dermatology and dentistry for aesthetic or cosmetic purposes. While during the first period, most surgeons practiced at university hospitals and warned against the abuse of plastic surgery, surgeons now began to run private clinics and act as disinterested experts, providing medical necessities and aesthetic advice to any prospective patient. Plastic surgery became distinguished as a national industry due to its widespread popularity. The plastic surgery industry now considered nearly every Korean citizen a prospective patient. Plastic surgeons arrived on the main stage with a different role—to make every group of Koreans plastic surgery candidates—and newspaper coverage facilitated this. For instance, one newspaper reported that men in their forties and fifties were seeking plastic surgery to look younger because they believed that a youthful appearance would signify their ability to work as hard as young people do.31 In this report, many kinds of dermatological treatments and plastic surgeries available to middle-aged men were explained, and the names of surgeons and their private clinics were listed.

Bodies had become flexible entities in three ways. First, the body was considered one of the few resources available for individuals to manipulate, and it became a project to manage, develop, and invest in to improve individuals’ competitiveness, both in the job market and in their private lives (Shilling 1993; Martin 1994). Second, members of all groups in the Korean population—of any age, gender, class, and occupation—were ready to become plastic surgery consumers. All of the following “generations,” including men,32 were reported as participating in plastic surgery: teenagers,33 the “2030 Generation” (people in their 20s and 30s),34 the “3050 Generation” (people who are aged from 30s to 50s),35 the “4060 Generation” (people who are aged from 40s to 60s),36 and the elderly.37 Together these generations encompass nearly the entire population. These categories were also subdivided into specific groups: middle and high school girls,38 job hunters,39 housewives,40 brides-to-be,41 single men,42 middle-aged people of high social rank,43 and the upper class.44 Men are considered to be legitimate candidates for plastic surgery, as it is seen not as merely an act of pursuing beauty but as necessary for the tough competition of South Korea. Third, bodies were flexible in a geographical sense due to their mobility beyond national borders. Based on its success domestically, the plastic surgery industry in South Korea expanded into global markets and recruited foreign customers.

The globalization of Korean plastic surgery was closely related to transgressing national borders and fortifying national identities (Park, Jang, and Lee 2007). Korean plastic surgery became a global spectacle. When the popularity of plastic surgery turned into one of the country's national characteristics, three new global actors were introduced: Western visitors and residents, psychiatrists, and sociologists. For example, in 2002, it was reported that while discussing women's rights, a group of female Western South Korean residents from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and France argued that Korean women's enthusiasm for plastic surgery was a serious social problem.45 It was also reported that the world-renowned French philosopher Jean Baudrillard found South Korea “bizarre” because of its high rate of plastic surgery (which was quite misleading, because it was a Korean professor who specializes in French literature, June Suk, who actually used that expression, not Baudrillard himself).46 Psychiatrists also contributed to the popularity of plastic surgery by providing medical explanations for people's desire for beauty. In 2004, a team of psychiatrists at Seoul National University concluded from one survey that Koreans collectively suffer from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and thus tend to be addicted to plastic surgery.47 Korean feminists and sociologists further contributed to defining South Korea as a uniquely “appearance-oriented” society by offering sociological explanations (Lee 2006; Lim 2002, 2004). Korean sociologist In-Sook Lim argued that physical beauty had become very important in modern Korean society because in the modern age, which is characterized by speed, people use their bodies as an instant means of identification.48 In particular, psychiatric and sociological accounts of Korean people's social pressures and beauty ideologies served to justify the choice to pursue plastic surgery and provided a basis for plastic surgery marketing (Fraser 2003; Pitts-Taylor 2007; Tae 2011; Lakoff 2004).49

In this period, Korean plastic surgery became a global commodity. The recognition of the Korean plastic surgery industry as a new source of national income resulted in its emergence as a transnational brand. As part of the “Korean Wave” in Asia, the plastic surgery market expanded under the name “Han-Ryu plastic surgery” (韓流成形) or “Korean-style plastic surgery.”50 China became a major target for medical tourism.51 Noticeably, beginning in this period, journalists began urging the Korean government to promote Korean plastic surgery to the world. For instance, a newspaper editorial writer, Seong-Ho Huh, strongly urged the Korean government to more actively and directly advertise Korean plastic surgery.52 Another chief journalist, Min-Cheol Kim, argued that individual practitioners in the biomedical industry would bring money to Korea only if they were allowed to practice freely in the global market.53 Plastic surgery was certainly at the core of the neoliberal transformation of the Korean medical industry, which aimed to improve the national economy.54

Discussion: The Dubious Enhancement of Bodies and Nation

The media discourse surrounding plastic surgery in South Korea complicates our understanding of enhancement by revealing the interplay of therapy and enhancement, bodily and social enhancement, and individual and collective bodies. Although enhancement is differentiated from therapy—with the former based on the idea that the body is a project requiring self-care, management, and improvements, and the latter on pathology, abnormality, and deficiencies—therapy and enhancement are mutually beneficial to and necessary for each other. In the case of South Korea, enhancement, at first glance, seems to have replaced therapy. In the beginning, plastic surgery patients were seen as pathological bodies, while later, plastic surgery was turned into a form of self-expression and self-improvement. This change in the purpose of plastic surgery appears to echo the transformation of medicine from curing diseases and saving lives to enhancing quality of life (Elliott 2004; Conrad and Potter 2004).

However, enhancement does not exclude therapy. Indeed, enhancement must be seen as a form of therapy to justify it legally, socially, and morally. Therefore, suffering bodies that cry for therapy must be created. For instance, the sexual enhancement medical market is justified by the invention of new diseases such as “female sexual dysfunction” (Fishman 2004). In the 2000s, plastic surgery for aesthetic purposes served as therapy for people suffering from the burden of living in an appearance-oriented society and its endless competitions, as well as for those with physical malformations (Lim 2004). At a broader industrial level, however, therapy also requires enhancement, especially enhancement technologies that can be easily made into commodities and thus serve as a financial support for therapeutic plastic surgery. The development of new biomedicines for incurable diseases, such as patient-specific stem cell therapy, is sometimes accompanied by new cosmetic products, such as stem cell anti-aging facial cream, because the money required to invest in research and the development of new biomedicines can be raised in part by selling aesthetic enhancements to the general public (Thompson 2013). In twenty-first-century South Korea, the plastic surgery industry is considered a partial but powerful driving force in the development of the biomedical industry.

What is enhanced through medical technology is not only biological but also social; moreover, these two aspects of enhancement inform and affect each other. As the history of plastic surgery in South Korea shows, in its early days, medical intervention to change the form of the body was a symbol of economic and cultural enhancement; later, aesthetic enhancement came to be a means to improve one's social and economic status. A shift in plastic surgery trends and beauty ideals in Korean society illustrates this suspicious, circular relationship between bodily and social enhancement. Since the 1970s, plastic surgery has been associated with celebrity culture, affluence, and a modern lifestyle, and especially associated with American culture, the object of emulation for many ordinary Korean people. In this context, there has been little discussion about whether body modification to resemble white Americans is good or bad in terms of aesthetic values. When Helen Gurley Brown, editor of the women's magazine Cosmopolitan, made her face-lift surgery public in 1983, saying, “I'm afraid of losing my femininity more than dying,”55 her actions—both having surgery and talking about it proudly—were seen by the Korean public as a sign of self-confidence and modern femininity. In fact, whether double-eyelid surgery enhances the aesthetic value of a face has not been supported by evidence, nor has it been a matter for debate; rather, it is assumed to be self-evident that double eyelids constitute aesthetic enhancement.

In the 2000s, when globalization replaced Westernization as the aim of Korean society, a new ideal of beauty emerged that was focused on the whole face rather than on fragmented parts such as the eyes or the nose. Popular Korean stars were presented as icons of beauty, and their faces were numerically and geometrically analyzed to create a beauty standard: as a result, a slim face shape and jawline, such as the “V-Line jaw”56 and “proportional balance,”57 became targets of plastic surgery as much as the shape or size of eyes, noses, or lips. Moreover, the youthful, vibrant, and elegant impressions given by a face were deemed as important as the physical form of the face. With the globalization of Korean plastic surgery and cultural products, aesthetic enhancement became even more a matter of images and visual representation, able to travel beyond national borders. The Korean plastic surgeon Sang-Hoon Park, MD, even named this “the age of image plastic surgery.”58 In any case, what “enhancement” actually means has hardly been discussed, as the correlated desires for a good-looking body (aesthetic enhancement) and a successful social life (social enhancement) have been unquestioningly and mutually reinforced.

Finally, individual Koreans’ consumption of plastic surgery, obtained from statistics, have been categorized according to gender, class, and nationality. Whereas plastic surgery makes individual bodies flexible, statistics make collective bodies flexible: groups of bodies have been made into plastic surgery patients through the selection, categorization, and enumeration of those bodies. Individual bodies can be transformed into a national body through statistics, making them critical entities in the legitimization, commercialization, and globalization of any medical technology; therefore, the technology of “data collection” and “making up people” is an essential tool of biopolitics (Lock and Nguyen 2010; see also Anderson 1992). The power of statistics is based on how numbers function as pure descriptions or facts (Urla 1993). Statistics can be considered a modern technology used to understand self and society: they have the effect of constructing social reality and a social self, derived from dividing and categorizing societies into groups and elaborating and objectifying the behaviors and traits of those groups (Hacking 1982; Anderson 1992; Urla 1993; Sangaramoorthy and Benton 2012). Counting has the power to produce “subject effects,” key to understanding how biopower works (Foucault 1991; Curtis 2002). As the previous section explains, globalized gazes—whether by foreign people or Korean people with a global worldview—affect and are affected by statistical groupings. This is how globalization works with nationalism, and how statistics function as a technology of nation (Brownell 2005; Edmonds 2010).

In fact, the statement that South Korea is a plastic surgery nation has never been statistically proved true or false; the Korean government has not generated official statistical data, encompassing the entire Korean population, on how many Korean people have actually received plastic surgery. The previous section shows that statistics on plastic surgery have been produced by diverse actors, including advertising companies, economists, dating agencies, psychiatrists, cosmetic product companies, and newspapers, each of which have obtained different results. However, news reports reveal that counting the number of actual plastic surgery recipients among the Korean population is considered less critical than determining how many young Korean women are candidates for plastic surgery.59 In the 1990s, large-scale surveys on the younger generation's consumerism were often conducted by advertising companies for their own marketing use: in those surveys, questions about the acceptance of plastic surgery were always accompanied by questions about other consumer behaviors, such as how often respondents changed their clothes.60 In 2000, according to one dating agency's survey, almost 80 percent of single men said that they were comfortable with women who had “plastic beauty.”61 In 2004, a team of psychiatrists at Seoul National University concluded not only that Koreans were collectively suffering from BDD but that half of female Korean college students had already had plastic surgery, and 95.7 percent of those who had already had surgery wanted more in the future.62 In 2005, one of the biggest Korean cosmetic companies, Tae-Pyeong-Yang, reported that 55 percent of Koreans intended to have plastic surgery.63

These statistical surveys show clear disparities in their results, and in most of the surveys, respondents were asked to share their acceptance, comfort, and intentions regarding plastic surgery, not their actual surgical experiences. The role of statistics, therefore, is to create, maintain, and reinforce the speculative connections between plastic surgery and certain groups of Korean people. Thus, the claim that plastic surgery is highly popular in South Korea is made through the use of statistical tools that categorize individual plastic surgery recipients into collective bodies, such as women, the young generation, and Korean citizens, a process that seems very dubious.

Concluding Remarks: Behind a Plastic Surgery Nation

By following the media discourse of plastic surgery over the past half century, this study has shown how South Korea has been made into a plastic surgery nation. It offers an enriched historical understanding of plastic surgery in the local Korean context and discusses the complexities related to biomedical enhancement. Before plastic surgery was “Koreanized”—before plastic surgery became part of Korean culture and had commercial value in the global beauty market—it was seen as a new Western medicine for desperate women and a commodity for middle-class consumers. The history of the legitimization, population, and industrialization of plastic surgery in South Korea reveals the conflicting coexistence of therapy and enhancement, bodily and social enhancement, and individual and collective bodies. While the individual elements in these pairs may be ambiguous and constantly changing, they are dependent upon and indispensable to each other. First, plastic surgery is both therapy and enhancement: it not only improves the aesthetic value of a body but also cures social suffering and physical deficiencies. In broader social contexts, enhancement requires therapeutic justification, and therapy requires a market for enhancements. Second, bodily and social enhancements motivate each other: plastic surgery associates social enhancement with economic affluence and is a means by which people can invest in the body for social enhancement. Third, individual bodies are mobilized as collectivities in order to advance certain interests. While plastic surgery might be chosen to fulfill an individual's interest in looking beautiful, expressing him- or herself, or winning competitions, we should ask: Whose interests are fulfilled by making South Korea a nation of plastic surgery (Kohrman 2003)? Statistical tools play a critical role in collecting and categorizing the individual bodies of Korean people and representing them as candidate groups for plastic surgery; this then feeds the plastic surgery industry and enables it to market itself in multiple ways and to reach individual consumers beyond national borders.

Missing from all these mutually referential and reciprocal interplays among enhancement, body, and nation are the individual bodies that do not and cannot “make up” other people, particularly patients, who have only their own multiple (biological, representational, and social) bodies (Mol 2002; Taylor 2005). Even for those who have criticized the “bizarre” popularity of plastic surgery in South Korea, such as intellectuals and scholars in South Korea and abroad, actual patients’ lives—whether their lives are enhanced through plastic surgery or they suffer from health risks and side effects—have been less of a concern than quantifying who chooses enhancement technology and why. Individual patients’ experiences with enhancement technology, and especially how their multiple bodies live with it and its actual effects, may call into question the meaning of enhancement and the promises of medical technology. These personal stories can be used as bricks for the construction of a new discourse. South Korea as a plastic surgery nation is a dubious discursive construction, as it tells very little about the multiplicities, messiness, and contingencies of living bodies actually engaged with enhancement technologies as medical, cultural, and social practices. While the goal of this study is to show that South Korea as a plastic surgery nation is, locally and globally, a “leaky” (Ormrod 1995) construction, that is only the beginning of the story. Future studies should look behind the notion of the plastic surgery nation—beyond the media discourse and the numbers and the graphs—at the actual bodies, which may tell a different story.

Acknowledgments

I thank Eunjeong Ma, Chia-Ling Wu, and three anonymous reviewers for their extremely useful comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this article. This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2013S1A3A2054849).

Notes

 1

“Plastic Surgery Trend with the Korean Wave among Taiwanese Women,” Dong-a Ilbo, 21 August 2001. The “Korean Wave” as a translation of “Han-Ryu” refers to the increase in popularity of Korean cultural products and celebrities worldwide, mainly through Asian countries, since the late 1990s.

Notes

 2

“Plastic Surgery Powerhouse, Korea: Korean Plastic Surgery Is Popular in Asia. More Concerns Are Needed for Reconstructive Surgery,” Chosun Ilbo, 23 June 2007.

Notes

 3

“Kingdom of Fraud, Superficial Powerhouse: Concerns about Appearances Make a Plastic Surgery Kingdom That Lacks Fundamentals,” Chosun Ilbo, 19 September 2007.

Notes

 4

Like feminist studies of science and technology, feminist studies of plastic surgery oscillate between optimism and pessimism toward science and technology; Wajcman (2004) argues that this oscillation would be overcome if concrete practices and contexts were taken into consideration.

Notes

 5

These two newspapers are known for their high rates of circulation in Korean society. According to a survey by the Korean Advertisers Association in 2006, the Chosun Ilbo and the Dong-a Ilbo are the first (13.5 percent) and third (8.0 percent) largest newspapers, respectively, in terms of their subscription rates in Seoul.

Notes

 6

In Korean, the word plastic is used as a noun to mean “plastic surgery” and further implies plastic surgery for “aesthetic” or “cosmetic” purposes unless otherwise specified, such as in the case of plastic surgery for reconstructive or therapeutic purposes. I chose to use the word plastic (成形)—seong-hyeong in Korean—to sort articles for two reasons. First, I aimed to review a broad scope of media discourse on plastic surgery, so my search had to be as inclusive as possible. In Korean, the word plastic is used as a noun to mean “plastic surgery,” which can mean plastic surgery for both aesthetic or cosmetic and reconstructive or therapeutic purposes. While, to clarify further, the word plastic is also used as combined forms such as “reconstructive plastic surgery” or “plastic surgery for therapeutic purposes,” the term cosmetic surgery or aesthetic surgery without the word plastic is used much less often than cosmetic for aesthetic plastic surgery in South Korea. The keyword plastic, therefore, encompasses similar terms such as plastic surgery, aesthetic plastic surgery, cosmetic plastic surgery, and reconstructive plastic surgery. The term cosmetic surgery without the word plastic is used much less often than cosmetic plastic surgery in South Korea. Second, the preference for the inclusive word plastic among the Korean public is perhaps a strategic choice made to avoid immediate political and ethical criticism or debates. It is also my strategic choice, as one of the objectives of this study is to examine the ambivalent interplay between aesthetic enhancement and therapeutic medicine in media discourse of plastic surgery. I want to thank one of the anonymous reviewers for pointing out this terminological and methodological issue.

Notes

 7

A similar historical overview of plastic surgery has been given as part of a modern history of biomedicine in South Korea. For details, please see chapter 6 in John DiMoia's (2013) book.

Notes

 8

There was another type of plastic surgery operation in South Korea besides reconstructions by American military surgeons. After the war, pseudo–plastic surgery, such as paraffin injections, originally practiced in Japan, were popular among Korean women for cosmetic purposes. A brief history of plastic surgery in South Korea is available at the Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons’ (KSPRS) official website: http://www.plasticsurgery.or.kr/.

Notes

 9

“Increasing Cosmetic Orthopedic Surgeries for Men,” Chosun Ilbo, 18 June 1967. The word orthopedic implies Japanese influence on the early practice of plastic surgery for aesthetic purposes in South Korea.

Notes

10

“Commonsense on Cosmetic Surgery,” Dong-a Ilbo, 9 June 1960.

Notes

11

These early events in the history of plastic surgery in South Korea explain why the numbers of newspaper articles in both 1974 and 1975 were unusually high compared with those in the 1960s and 1970s generally, as shown in figure 1. During this period, a handful of plastic surgeons wrote many medical columns and essays in newspapers to educate the general public and achieve social legitimacy for a new medical field that had just emerged from illegality.

Notes

12

It can be argued that the high number of articles related to plastic surgery during the 2000s, as shown in figure 1, resulted from not only competition among newspapers but also the high level of domestic competition among plastic surgery providers in South Korea.

Notes

13

“Cosmetic Surgery Guided by the Field of Plastic Surgery,” Dong-a Ilbo, 3 April 1969.

Notes

14

“Seoul, Manufacturing Beautiful Women,” Chosun Ilbo, 18 November 1962; “Risks of Artificial Beauty,” Dong-a Ilbo, 16 March 1967.

Notes

15

“Medical Essay: Corrective Surgery in the Field of Plastic Surgery,” Dong-a Ilbo, 23 December 1974.

Notes

16

“Doctor's Corner: Plastic Surgery Ignorant of Facial Balance, Over-Packaged Beauty,” Chosun Ilbo, 12 June 1974.

Notes

17

Ibid.

Notes

18

“Medical Essay: High Rate of Side Effects in Breast Augmentation by Injection,” Dong-a Ilbo, 11 November 1974.

Notes

19

“Medical Essay: Rhinoplasty for Facial Balance,” Dong-a Ilbo, 20 November 1974.

Notes

20

“Plastic Surgery Is Not Just to Make Faces Beautiful,” Chosun Ilbo, 31 August 1975.

Notes

21

“Cosmetic Surgery Even Changes Personality,” Chosun Ilbo, 11 October 1981.

Notes

22

“Plastic Surgery Trends among Chinese Women,” Chosun Ilbo, 11 August 1983; “China, Plastic Surgery Boom after Economic Reform,” Dong-a Ilbo, 23 August 1985.

Notes

23

“Plastic Surgery Is Spreading,” Dong-a Ilbo, 18 March 1985.

Notes

24

“Graduation Season Plastic Surgery,” Chosun Ilbo, 13 February 1985.

Notes

25

“Real Conditions of Women's Cosmetic Treatment and Management for Beauty,” Dong-a Ilbo, 30 November 1987.

Notes

26

“Survey on Mindsets of New Generation: Work Hard to Enjoy 83%,” Chosun Ilbo, 4 January 1995.

Notes

27

Ibid.

Notes

28

“Survey on Office Workers: Fashion and Beauty,” Chosun Ilbo, 16 December 1996.

Notes

29

“Why Do I Have to Hide My First Kiss and Plastic Surgery?” Chosun Ilbo, 29 April 1997; “Nude Model: ‘I Love My Job,’” Chosun Ilbo, 12 May 1997.

Notes

30

“Pornographic Gaze,” Chosun Ilbo, 14 July 1997.

Notes

31

“I Might Not Be Fired If I Look Younger . . . ” Chosun Ilbo, 10 December 2003.

Notes

32

“Men Who Want to Be Beautiful,” Chosun Ilbo, 22 October 2003.

Notes

33

“Big Eyes, Sharp Nose: Teenagers’ Dream,” Dong-a Ilbo, 19 August 2002.

Notes

34

“Challenge of the 2030 Generation: Spend Money Freely on Luxuries to Find Personalities,” Chosun Ilbo, 20 March 2000.

Notes

35

“3050 Silver-Design: Make My 60s Beautiful,” Dong-a Ilbo, 4 April 2006.

Notes

36

“4060 Plastic Surgery Fever: From Remodeling to Restoring,” Chosun Ilbo, 30 March 2005.

Notes

37

“Age of 5 Million Old People: Plastic Surgery to Be Part of Society, Not to Look Young,” Chosun Ilbo, 31 October 2008.

Notes

38

“88% of High School Girls Not Happy with Their Bodies,” Dong-a Ilbo, 24 June 2004.

Notes

39

“Appearance Influences Job Interviews,” Dong-a Ilbo, 6 October 2004.

Notes

40

“Lifestyle Addictions for Housewives: Shopping, Gambling, Sex, Exercises, Plastic Surgery, and Internet,” Chosun Ilbo, 30 August 2006.

Notes

41

“Plastic Surgery before Wedding Day,” Chosun Ilbo, 27 September 2006.

Notes

42

“Late 30s Single Men with High Incomes: Regular Laser Treatments, Habitual Blind Date Syndrome,” Chosun Ilbo, 21 May 2008.

Notes

43

“Middle-Aged Men of High Rank: Plastic Surgery for Promotion and Employment,” Chosun Ilbo, 30 November 2009.

Notes

44

“Wealthy Class Has ‘Noble Plastic Surgery’ Fever,” Dong-a Ilbo, 7 March 2005.

Notes

45

“Informal Discussion by Female Foreign Residents in Korea,” Chosun Ilbo, 4 June 2002.

Notes

46

“Bizarre Views of Country by Baudrillard,” Chosun Ilbo, 17 October 2002.

Notes

47

“Society That Recommends Plastic Surgery,” Dong-a Ilbo, 30 April 2004.

Notes

48

“Why Body?” Chosun Ilbo, 10 March 2004.

Notes

49

“Let's Be a Leading Country of Medical Industries,” Dong-a Ilbo, 21 May 2008; “Foreign Doctors: ‘I Came to Learn from Korean Surgeons,’” Chosun Ilbo, 9 April 2007.

Notes

50

Han-Ryu (Korean-style) plastic surgery is, in fact, a very ambiguous term, as it does not indicate any specific kinds of surgery or products that are distinct from surgical practices elsewhere. Rather, it has strong connotations of naturalness of postoperative appearance, delicacy of surgical skills, and the achievement of resemblance to Korean celebrities, which is distant from simply mimicking a Caucasian ideal of beauty.

Notes

51

“Han-Ryu in China, Plastic Surgery,” Chosun Ilbo, 17 September 2005.

Notes

52

“Come to Korea. We Will Make Your Nose a ‘Dae-Jang-Gum Nose,’” Dong-a Ilbo, 10 December 2007.

Notes

53

“Medical Tourism for the Best Brains of Medical Schools,” Chosun Ilbo, 2 December 2009.

Notes

54

“Medical Laws, Barriers of Medical Tourism,” Chosun Ilbo, 2 June 2008. The exclusion of medicine and education from the free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and the United States in 2007 was considered a lost opportunity to increase the competitiveness of the Korean medical industry in the world market. See “The Age of Korean-American FTA Has Begun: Lost Opportunities to Strengthen Competitiveness of Medicine and Education,” Chosun Ilbo, 6 April 2007.

Notes

55

“I'm Afraid of Losing My Femininity More Than Dying,” Dong-a Ilbo, 2 July 1983.

Notes

56

“Research on Jaw Shape: Korean Women Prefer V-Line,” Chosun Ilbo, 16 May 2007.

Notes

57

“1:1:0.8+ Volumous Face, She Looked Young and She Was Pretty,” Dong-a Ilbo, 17 March 2008.

Notes

58

“The Age of Image Plastic Surgery,” Dong-a Ilbo, 20 September 2006.

Notes

59

“Challenge 2029 Generation: Frequent Visits to Plastic Surgery Clinics,” Chosun Ilbo, 29 May 2000; “A Society That Recommends Plastic Surgery,” Dong-a Ilbo, 30 April 2004.

Notes

60

“30% of Koreans Are Self-Conscious about Weight and Body Shape,” Chosun Ilbo, 26 June 1995; “Survey on the Mindsets of the New Generation: Work Hard to Enjoy 83%,” Chosun Ilbo, 14 January 1995.

Notes

61

“Challenge 2029 Generation: Frequent Visits to Plastic Surgery Clinics,” Chosun Ilbo, 29 May 2000.

Notes

62

“Society That Recommends Plastic Surgery,” Dong-a Ilbo, 30 April 2004.

Notes

63

“First Nationwide Survey on Beauty Index: 86% Think Appearance Is Competitiveness, 55% Intend Plastic Surgery,” Chosun Ilbo, 6 September 2005.

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