Beauty in East Asia: Introduction
Eun-Jeung Lee, Dr. Anett Dippner – 2018
"In recent years, reports about the new “beauty craze” in China and South Korea have been piling up in Western newspapers and media outlets. They reveal details about the Chinese high-school graduates who get a nose job first thing after graduation, about double eyelid surgery special offers for couples on Valentine’s Day, and about Korean girl bands who collectively have a makeover. They echo popular fake news stories in East Asian media, for instance the one about the husband who sued his wife over their ugly children after discovering she had cosmetic surgery, and gossip about bizarre incidences of medical tourism, like the one about two Chinese patients who were not allowed to pass border control when trying to reenter their native country because their facial features had changed so fundamentally after cosmetic surgery in South Korea that they could not be recognized from their passports. Of course, most of these stories are motivated by a sensationalist curiosity and do not dig deeper into these phenomena, how they could be interpreted from a sociological perspective, and what they might be able to tell us about current transformation processes occurring in relation to modernization, neoliberalization, and negotiations of gender relations, class affiliation, and individual subject positions in East Asian societies."