According to an article in The Atlantic, plastic surgery is gaining more acceptance in the Korean American community.
The article states the notion that plastic surgery is an attempt to look white seems to be fading, instead more see it as a way to look more like their favorite K-Pop star.
“They believe in K-pop culture and want to look like their favorite actresses,” said Sharon Hejiin Lee, an assistant professor in the department of social and cultural analysis at New York University.
“Often times when Asian American women opt to get surgery, people automatically assume it’s because they want to look white, but often you find the pressure to engage in these surgeries coming from their own families, from their connections abroad. When we think of it as just the desire to look white, we’re not really giving credit to the surgery industry that flourishes by reprinting people’s features.”
One Korean American woman featured in The Atlantic is actually delaying college so she can save up for more plastic surgery. She has already had two procedures: a nose job and double eyelid surgery. Next she wants to have V-line surgery. She hopes to reshape her jaw to have a more V-shaped face.
Dr. Eugenia Kaw sees this in what she calls the “self-racism subtext.”
“It boils down to physical traits being connected to negative characteristics,” she said. “Now it’s written as if one was trying to right racial ideology. It’s insidious — not like women who opt for surgery out of empowerment and choice.”