Here's Why 1 In 3 South Korean Women Say They've Had Plastic Surgery

    In South Korea, beauty isn't "something to be envied, but something to be attained." —Dr. Joo Kwon

    The United States performs the most cosmetic surgeries of any country in the world, accounting for almost 18% of the global total.

    However, South Korea performs the most cosmetic surgeries per capita, with approximately 20 plastic surgeries per 1,000 people, compared to the US's 13:1,000 ratio.

    In fact, about one-third of South Korean women between the ages of 19 and 29 said they have undergone cosmetic surgery before.

    And some parents even offer plastic surgery to high school students, sometimes as an encouragement to get better grades or as a graduation present.

    Double eyelid surgery is the most common procedure performed.

    Seoul's Gangnam district is the place to go if you want to get work done. There's a whole section of the street with tons of plastic surgery centers.

    We took a trip to JK Plastic Surgery Center, an award-winning surgery center in South Korea, to interview Dr. Joo Kwon about the current state of cosmetic surgery there.

    Here's what "Dr. JK" had to say about "SK" and the culture of beauty and cosmetic surgery.

    It's common practice to submit a headshot with your resume to companies. And some businesses have strict rules about workplace appearance.

    "In addition, Koreans have a special attitude toward beauty. To Koreans, beauty is something that is attainable through hard work, just like anything else. Koreans see plastic surgery, and becoming prettier, as a challenge. They see beauty not as something to be envied, but something to be attained," Dr. Joo Kwon said.

    "However, the assumption that all Koreans are undergoing a huge amount of cosmetic surgery is a misrepresentation by Western media. It’s really more of an urban social phenomenon, than one specific to South Korea."

    Dr. Joo Kwon went on to explain that procedures’ popularity changes depending on the country of the patient.

    In the US, liposuction and aging reversals are the most common procedures.

    While Koreans "are mostly interested in eye, nose, and facial bone-contouring surgery," he says.

    A South Korean friend described America as having a "you do you" culture, while South Korea has a "you do you, and we do you too" culture. She said it's not uncommon for people to approach you on the street and mention "you're getting overweight" or that they will "pray for your skin to clear up" if you're having an outbreak.

    The global K-pop media craze, part of “Hallyu” or "the Korean wave," also contributes to establishing rigid beauty standards.

    A K-pop girl group called Six Bomb even made a song titled "After (Getting Prettier After)," where they spent a collective $88,600 on cosmetic surgery for a music video.

    So is South Korea really "obsessed" with plastic surgery?

    Probably not, TBH. Think of it this way...

    So whether you're a fan of plastic surgery or the thought of it makes you cringe, one thing we can all agree on is…