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Documentaries, society

Facing Beauty: China’s plastic surgery addiction

YEAR: 2022 | LENGTH: 1 part (45 minutes)  |  SOURCE: 4CORNERS

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“Up to now, my total spent is more than US$470,000. I feel to become someone I like; the price is worth it.” Beauty blogger

The plastic surgery industry in China is booming. Demand for cosmetic procedures is so widespread among the country’s young population it’s now estimated the industry will be worth $200 billion US by 2030.

“Because we are in a digital era now, we are in contact with the world more often. We hope to become more beautiful” Plastic surgeon

Four Corners examines the massive growth in China’s beauty obsession. The program meets the social media influencers and the ordinary young Chinese who are prepared to undergo extreme procedures to radically change their appearance.

“Everything you see is fake … I have done hair transplants, I have done cranial top procedure. I have done forehead fillers, operated on my eyebrow arch, my double eyelids have been injected with hyaluronic acid. My nose has undergone four surgeries and three types of fat fillers.” Social media influencer

The plastic surgery boom is being influenced by beauty apps which promote an ideal ratio in human facial features. Once faces are assessed users can have plans for surgeries drawn up and be connected to endorsed clinics.

“The app said that I can go for a nose job, because the bottom of the nose is really low, and inject facial fillers to improve the sunken cheeks, because I may have laugh lines, right? Overall, I feel that it is quite scientific.” 21-year-old student

The growth in the industry has led to an expansion of medical beauty institutions who employ staff without adequate medical qualifications. Whilst some extreme procedures have been banned the demand for cosmetic change continues.

“It is unlike 10 or 20 years ago where plastic surgery was something that was embarrassing, it’s not like that anymore. It is now popularised by the masses.” Medical consultant.

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