The Han River twists and turns, like the W word, divides Seoul into two. The Apgujeong in the Gangnam area is at the tip of this W-shaped center. Since the “Jiangnan Development” started in the 1970s, Apgujeong not only witnessed the rapid economic growth of South Korea, but also witnessed the changes in Korean fashion trends.
As the coordinates of Korean fashion, the most prominent of the Apgujeong street is the large-scale advertisements of the plastic surgery clinics of the inter-building plastic clinics. Under the billboards, the passers-by, the tight-fitting passers-by, the caps and sunglasses under the sunglasses covered most of the face with gauze.
The first plastic country
Speaking of the origins of the Korean plastics industry, Ralph Milad and Howard Lossk, two doctors, should have unexpectedly thought that the facial repair operation of the wounded in the Korean War in the 1950s led to South Korea. The rise and development of the plastic industry.
Whether it is the financial crisis or the change of the peninsula, it has not blocked people’s love for beauty. From the end of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century, the “revolution” of plastic surgery swept through Asia, and South Korea won the top spot in 2011 and became the “world’s largest plastic surgery country”.
As the understanding of plastic surgery tends to be rational and the status of women’s society is raised, the overall attitude towards plastics is becoming more and more tolerant. More and more young people agree and even encourage friends or partners around them to improve their appearance through plastic surgery.
According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), an average of 13.5 people per 1,000 people in Korea have undergone plastic surgery. This proportion is more prominent among Korean women, and one in every five Korean women has undergone plastic surgery.
But compared with women, men still have a sense of distance in the psychological aspect of plastic surgery. A recent survey of freshmen at the Gyeongbuk University School of Medicine in South Korea showed that among the 1086 freshmen, 28.9% of women received plastic surgery, and only 2.5% of men who had undergone plastic surgery.
On the other hand, some women’s excessive enthusiasm for cosmetic surgery, and even debt-related behaviors, have caused Korean society to have a lot of negative perceptions of women undergoing plastic surgery, and even treat them as equal to gold, materialization, and sorrow. The title was satirized by the title of “Jiangnan Beauty”.
If the previous enthusiasm for plastic surgery came from the pursuit of Western aesthetics, in recent years Koreans’ choice of plastic surgery projects is more in line with the aesthetic needs of Asians.
Compared with Westerners, the facial contours of Asians are flatter. There are no Westerners with high bones and sharp squats, and they prefer a round and full face. I think that a soft facial curve can give a gentle and kind impression. This aesthetic pursuit of projection in the plastic surgery industry, the performance of the traditional double eyelids, rhinoplasty, breast enhancement project, gradually give way to facial contour surgery. More people want to change the facial curve by surgery, filling or injection.
The popularity of smartphones and online social platforms has also accelerated the development of the plastics industry. You can use the network to understand the appropriate objects for various plastic surgery projects, preoperative and postoperative comparisons, and postoperative feedback. Although the main consumer of plastic surgery is still dominated by women between the ages of 20 and 40, the age composition of consumers is becoming more diverse, and the demand for plastic surgery for teenagers and the elderly is increasing. Adolescents are mostly influenced by the Korean Idol group. Plastic surgery projects are mostly concentrated on the eyes and nose; older people are mostly keen on wrinkles, filling, lifting and upper eyelid plastic surgery.
In addition, the plastic surgery needs of the new generation of job seekers have gradually increased. In order to change the recruitment method of “taking people by appearance”, the Korean government encourages employers to stop asking job seekers to attach photos to their resumes and promote blind elections. In this way, in the resume screening stage, the candidate’s academic qualifications, credits and work experience become more important.
Although the government’s policy is in good faith, for the new generation who first entered the society, each other’s academic credits are close, and this measure will undoubtedly increase the weight of the interview. In order to make a good impression on the recruiting companies, many job seekers choose to go to plastic surgery or dermatology to do some finishing. Most of them choose items that are short-lived and fast-acting, such as eye contour adjustment, eye-tail shaping, lip-fill surgery or Botox injection.
Overseas tourists’ favor
It is often said that the Japanese and Korean plastic styles are compared. In fact, they are difficult to distinguish in plastic surgery. Due to the different laws and regulations of the two countries, South Korea has a higher degree of flexibility in equipment development, and can develop customized plastic equipment according to customers’ needs. Japan’s regulations on the clinical use of new equipment are relatively conservative. To compensate for this disadvantage, Japanese plastic surgery institutions have placed more emphasis on services and try to preserve the appearance of customers.
Of course, due to the difference in price levels between the two countries, Japan’s plastic surgery costs will generally be higher than South Korea. In the case of embedding double eyelid surgery, the price in Korea is 80-1.5 million won (about 5,000-9000 yuan), and the price in Japan is 9-170,000 yen (about 5500-10500 yuan).
When it comes to comparison with Japanese counterparts, Korean plastic surgeons show enough confidence. The distribution of plastic surgery clinics in Korea is relatively concentrated, and the industry competition is fierce. Only in the field of technology and services can we continue to innovate in order to survive.
In addition, under the influence of the Korean Wave, many customers in China or Southeast Asia choose to come to Korea for plastic surgery, which not only enhances Korean physicians’ understanding of the needs of customers in these regions, but also makes Korean plastic surgery form a certain reputation in the above regions. Nearly 100,000 foreign tourists visit Korea each year due to plastic surgery and beauty, and the medical expenses paid are 270 billion won. A large plastic surgery clinic in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, began recruiting Vietnamese translators after English, Chinese, Japanese and Russian. The per capita plastic cost of overseas tourists has also increased year by year, with per capita consumption reaching 4.62 million won, a 39-fold increase over 2009.
The South Korean government is also concerned about the prospects of the plastics market and has turned its attention to tourists from overseas to actively promote the development of medical tourism. The policy has begun to allow plastic surgery institutions to post advertisements in public places such as duty-free shops, airport terminals, and subways to attract customers who travel to Korea for sightseeing. Since 2016, visitors who have been plasticized at a clinic designated by the Korean government enjoy tax rebates, which makes Korean plastic surgery more cost-effective than other regions.
According to the 2017 Korea Health and Welfare Committee, the number of plastic tourists from China is the highest, reaching 27,646, accounting for 57.7% of all foreign visitors to Korea, followed by Japan, the United States, Thailand, Russia, Singapore and Vietnam. Among them, tourists from Thailand and China have more facial contour adjustments, Vietnamese prefer rhinoplasty, and Indonesians adjust eye lines.
Exploring the Chinese plastic market
The prosperity of the beauty industry has become an indicator of the economic prosperity and decline of a country to some extent. With the rapid growth of China’s economy and the increasing national income, more and more people are paying attention to cosmetic surgery, and China has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world.
At present, the domestic customer group of plastic surgery is mainly young women aged 20 to 30. In recent years, the popularity of beauty videos and the popularity of various mobile phone beauty programs have made young women more and more valued in their appearance. They choose plastic surgery for various purposes such as social, employment or self-satisfaction. . The similarities between the appearances of China and South Korea and the influence of the Korean Wave have made South Korea’s aesthetics gradually become popular among Chinese people. Many Americans choose to go to Korea for plastic surgery.
There are some differences between Korean plastic surgery institutions and Chinese plastic surgery institutions. South Korea currently implements a medical legal person system, that is, a non-profit legal person, which has more requirements than for-profit legal persons in terms of restrictions on profit-making business and dividends, normative issues, and financial taxation policies. China’s plastic surgery institutions are for-profit legal entities, and private plastic surgery institutions are the main force, accounting for about 80% of the entire market.
China’s plastic surgery institutions are affected by this management system, forming a system of consultation and physician separation. The counselor is responsible for negotiating with the client, the choice of the surgical program, and the calculation of the cost of the surgery; the physician only participates in the treatment during the surgical phase. And this kind of consultant system can’t really meet the needs of customers.
Korean plastic surgery institutions have demonstrated certain advantages in one-on-one direct communication between plastic surgeons and customers. At the same time, they have certain advantages over Chinese plastic surgery institutions in terms of physician qualifications, clinic facilities and available treatment programs.
According to the estimates of the China Plastic Surgery Association, the size of China’s plastic surgery market is expanding at an annual rate of 40%, and it is estimated to reach 464 billion yuan in 2020. Korean plastic surgeons are aiming at the huge business opportunities in the Chinese market. Many plastic surgeons or clinics cooperate with Chinese plastic surgery hospitals and even go directly to China to set up plastic surgery institutions. Relevant medical equipment companies are not to be outdone. About 80% of the liposuction equipment, laser equipment, various fillers, and hyaluronic acid used by plastic surgery institutions in China rely on imports, mostly from South Korea, the United States, and Europe.
In the face of the expanding scale of emerging Asian cosmetic markets such as China, Korean manufacturers are determined to make progress. Take the botulinum toxins used by beauty agencies to remove wrinkles. In the past, it was the world of American products. Korean companies are interested in developing more cost-effective alternatives. Today, the export volume of botulinum toxin produced in Korea is rising, only in 2017. Exports in the Asian region have increased by 50% from the previous year, and there is a strong resistance to US companies.
The rapid growth of China’s plastics market has made Korean industry eager to try. In the face of China’s full opening of the service sector in 2019, South Korea’s well-known plastic surgery institutions have plans to open a wholly-owned clinic in China. When the time comes, Chinese customers do not have to travel to South Korea to experience the services of Korean plastic surgeons at their doorstep.