Journalist from Denmark came to Seoul, South Korea to seek expert advice about Plastic Surgery to Dr. Chul Hwan Seul from Best plastic surgery clinic in Korea “JW Plastic Surgery Clinic Korea”
Dr. Chul Hwan, Seul is one of the best breast surgery specialist and body contour (liposuction) specialist in Korea.
Dr. Chul Hwan Seul
Plastic surgery specialist
Graduated Yonsei University College of Medicine
Completed graduate program at Yonsei University College of Medicine
Completed training in plastic surgery at Yonsei Severance Hospital
Clinical professor at Gangnam Severance Hospital
Received PhD from Department of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery,
A life member and Academician, The Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
A member, Japan Society for aesthetic plastic surgery
A member, Oriental Socieity of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery(OSAPS),
A member, Korean Society for aesthetic plastic surgery
Listen: Thoughts on plastic surgery in South Korea
This podcast is about plastic surgery in South Korea. South Korean Hanbi Kim shares her experience with plastic surgery and why she chose to change her nose. Doctor Chul Hwan Seul and employee Jay Han from JW Plastic Surgery Clinic talk about patients’ motivation for getting plastic surgery done, and offer their thoughts on the plastic surgery market.
Hanbi Kim, which English name is Robin, got plastic surgery when she was 20-years old. Privat photo.
During my stay in Seoul, South Korea, I realized that beauty is an important factor in the South Korean society. The term “Korean beauty” is becoming well known, Korean beauty products are gaining popularity in other parts of the world, and South Korea has in the recent years become famous for their many plastic surgery clinics.
This podcast is about plastic surgery in South Korea. South Korean Hanbi Kim, whose English name is Robin, met me in a rented study room in Gangnam to talk about her experience and thoughts on plastic surgery. For Robin, getting a “nose job” three years ago, when she was 20 years old, wasn’t a serious decision. Robin explains “I was generally fine with my face (…), but if you could fix one thing, I said it would be the tip of my nose, because it was kind of pointing downward instead of upward”. Even though she encourages others to stay happy with their natural look, for Robin beauty is an important factor related to getting a job. A constellation, Robin says, that the South Korean society needs to work on; accepting people for who they are. After ending the interview with Robin, we continued our conversation over dinner. Here, Robin and her friend explained that talking about plastic surgery among friends, is like talking about purses: giving each other advice on where to get plastic surgery and exchanging experiences. Also Robin explains that getting plastic surgery is a quite normal graduation gift among her circle of friends.
In this podcast, Doctor Chul Hwan Seul and employee Jay Han from JW Plastic Surgery Clinic in Seoul explain why clients are getting plastic surgery done and how the plastic surgery market is increasing. According to Doctor Chul Hwan Seul, plastic surgery clients explain that they wish to look more beautiful, look more like celebrities, or their husbands wish to have a more beautiful wife. He continues explaining that it is mostly women who get plastic surgery, but this does not mean it is not popular for men as well. Furthermore Doctor Chul Hwan Seul explains that the clinic has also seen an increase in the number of foreigners coming to South Korea to have plastic surgery.
The expansion of plastic surgery in South Korea has also been discussed among scholars. According to the text “The Beauty Complex and the Cosmetic Surgery Industry” (2004) by Professor Woo Keong Ja, the expansion of plastic surgery in South Korea is a consequence of patriarchal ideology and consumptive capitalism. In the text she says “In order to achieve higher and more profitable positions in the labour market, women have no choices but to adjust their bodies to the standard concept of femininity. This is where cosmetic surgery enters the picture” ( p. 58). Professor Woo Keong Ja states that patriarchal ideology influences womens lives in such a way that their values lie in their physical appearance. Furthermore, she points out that womens cosmetic surgery issue is caused by society, plastic surgery being an readily available solution to honor expectations to womens appearance created by patriarchal ideals.
It can be discussed, whether beauty has become a capital in the Korean society. In the podcast Robin explains that in order to get a job beauty is imperative. Furthermore through Doctor Chul Hwan Seuls knowledge on plastic surgery clients, we hear about cases where women get plastic surgery because of their spouses’ desire for their wife to be more attractive. Both explanations are consistent with “The Beauty Complex and the Cosmetic Surgery Industry”, coming to the conclusion that plastic surgery is a consequence of beauty as a social construction.
Text and interview by Ann-Sophie Møller. Sound by Simon Minke.