Over the past decade, there have been countless reports about the boom in cosmetic surgery in Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea. Names have even been given to particular facial features in vogue, including the term "red net face," taken from the "red net" young female internet celebrities making a mark in China's popular culture.
These online superstars, including live-streamers, self-published writers, bloggers and assorted digital-minded fashionistas, tend to share a particular set of facial features: high cheekbones, big eyes, double eyelids, a narrow nose bridge and a V-shaped jawline. The overexposed digital stars often cover each step and slice of their plastic surgery across their social media accounts. But now, China Newsweek has featured a cover story this week about the downside of such body transformations, including pain, scars and the risk that operations are being illegally carried out in beauty salons by uncertified surgeons.
The Chinese-language magazine reports the case of Yang Jinwei, a young woman from Shanghai who fell into the trap of what is referred to as "aesthetic black medicine": While getting a haircut in a beauty salon, an instant low-cost rhinoplasty was suggested by her stylist. Having never liked the shape of her nose, Yang accepted and the surgery was performed with a simple injection to reshape it and no anesthesia or "cutting" was involved. But one week later, Yang Jinwei's nose skin started to bleach and turned into a scab, along with the injection propagating into her nasal mucous membranes.
As more and more young women fall into such traps, China Newsweek writes that "heaven is the most impartial judge" of the way we look.