For some students, summer is a time to rest; for others, a time to work. But for a growing number of China's female youth, the summer break is a chance to go under the knife.
According to a report last week in China News, plastic surgery for Chinese women has begun to spread from the typical middle-aged women to recent high school graduates and university students.
Since June, major Chinese hospitals and cosmetic surgery clinics report having received about twice the normal number of patients consulting about plastic surgery. More than half of them are students.
Xiao Si is one of them. Entering a college specialized in performing arts, she isn't satisfied with her looks. China News reports that Xiao went through a "whole set" of cosmetic interventions including a double-fold eyelids operation, a nose job, and chin augmentation. She has the full support of her parents,
"I feel more confident now and, seeing my success, quite a few of my friends are now also finding out how to shape themselves up!" boasted Xiao, who had the operations done a month ago.
Yang Wenhua, a doctor specializing in cosmetic surgery, confirmed to China News that his clinic's business has accelerated during the last two summers, including plenty of girls who just walked out of their high schools and are looking forward to their "new life with a new image."
Yang said other girls seeking surgery blame a recent break-up on their looks. "Summer vacation is the best moment to do it since you need time to recover after surgery," noted the doctor.
Thanks to several South Korean TV series' popularity in China, many girls go to hospitals holding film star photos and ask to be transformed to look like their idols, the China News article said.
South Korea is reported to have the world's highest proportion of women resorting to the help of cosmetic operations. According to data published by South Korea's Health and Welfare Ministry, in 2013, Chinese people accounted for 26.5% of the total number of medical tourists in the country, of which the majority were there for plastic surgery.
Two weeks ago, the broadcast of the South Korean Beauty Contest was making news in neighboring Japan and China because so many of the contestants had unusually narrow noses and wide eyes. "This is more like a Plastic Surgery Fair!," Apple Daily, a Hong Kong newspaper quipped. "The 34 contenders all look identical!"