Foreigners in Shanghai share opinions about women who undergo plastic surgery
A nip and a tuck
Published: Nov 06, 2018 07:43 PM

Photo: VCG

Statistics from an August report released on show that over 6 percent of about 900 Chinese interviewees have undergone plastic surgery. Among the remaining interviewees, 30 percent of them expressed an intention to do so.

A new popular South Korean TV drama titled My ID is Gangnam Beauty tells a story about a female student who is made fun of by classmates because of her ugly appearance. The "ugly one" later undergoes major reconstructive surgery, and the tremendous alteration to her face changes her life - and popularity at school.

With this show in mind, the Global Times recently interviewed several foreigners in Shanghai about their opinions of women who receive plastic surgery in order to become more beautiful. Surprisingly, most of our interviewees, regardless of their gender, do not support this trend.

A British woman named Sophie told the Global Times that even if someone is unhappy with their face or body, every woman should appreciate what they were born with rather than having to change it.

Likewise, American couple Ana and Daniel would not encourage someone to undergo cosmetic surgery. Ana said that even though everyone has the freedom of choice, every woman is beautiful as they are.

"I think plastic surgery makes these people all look the same way, while there is really something to be celebrated in the differences of beauty."

Daniel told the Global Times he would never be the one to tell his friends what they should do, but "if women need it to have confidence to feel good about themselves, I would certainly support them in their decisions."

Beauty in personality

Jeff from the US said he understands that there is greater pressure from society misleading people to become as good-looking or as very thin as the pretty girls on TV shows. But he strongly insists that women should not attempt to make themselves look better by changing their faces.

Trevor, a young American man, added that he can accept girls repairing a few small defects on their face, but a total change is unacceptable. "Maybe it's not too bad of an idea for a small alteration. But for people to go through multiple processes, I don't think it is healthy," Trevor told the Global Times.

In terms of what type of girl is the most beautiful in the eyes of foreigners, we received many similar answers.

Sophie said "genuinely happy" girls are the most attractive. She added that all women should take good care of themselves, like exercising and eating a healthy diet, but she prefers girls who are natural and do not wear makeup.

Trevor also favors girls with minimal makeup. "Like ones who don't use a lot of cover up." As for Ana, she said the most beautiful woman must love herself no matter how she looks. "If you like how you look with a plastic surgery and that makes you feel good, you're just as beautiful."

Jeff said no one but his own girlfriend is the most beautiful girl in the world, explaining that "there's beauty not just in one's appearance but beauty in their personality and the energy they give off to others."

Achieving a wish

Sophie told the Global Times her best friend once had her lips re-done and also injected some cheek-fillers. Although she does not think women need to change their faces, Sophie supports her friends if plastic surgery makes them happier.

Ana said it depends on whether her friend completely changes her look or not. "But if she became happy, more confident and lived a life that she liked, I would be happy for her in the end. Everyone deserves to live the life they want," Ana said.

Jeff is strongly against this behavior and would "ask her why and tell her to reconsider" if his girlfriend said she wanted plastic surgery. As for Trevor, he is unsure how he would react. "I guess it would depend on what she would be getting."

Due to the proliferation of plastic surgery among South Korean celebrities, the trend is becoming increasingly popular among some ordinary Chinese women. They would rather suffer agonizing pain and pay exorbitant amounts of money to maintain their facial reconstructions than be viewed by others as unattractive.

Unsurprisingly, this trend is now affecting Chinese girls at a very young age. According to a September report by, a senior high school girl in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, surnamed Zeng, underwent a double eyelid operation over her summer vacation "just because almost all the single-eyelid girls in her class have done so."

After her surgery, Zeng told media that it felt like achieving a wish.

Ana from the US Photo: Chen Xia/GT

Daniel from the US Photo: Chen Xia/GT

Jeff from the US Photo: Chen Xia/GT

Sophie from the UK Photo: Chen Xia/GT

Trevor from the US Photo: Gu Zhiran