Back-to-school facelift growing trend in China

CHINA - While most college freshmen are busy buying books and stationery, a growing number of teens are opting for plastic surgery to get ahead when the new semester starts.

Following the end of college entrance exam on June 8, plastic surgeons report a staggering rise in the number of youngsters going under the knife, Wuhan based Changjiang Daily reported Thursday.

Tongji, Union, and Tianyou hospitals in Wuhan, Hubei province have received quadruple the number of patients for plastic surgery. Seventy per cent of them are senior high students.

Li Yun, a cosmetic surgeon at Tianyou Hospital, said on June 9 she did a nose reshaping job for a girl who had just participated in the college entrance exam.

Most of the procedures students opt for are facial reshaping, including double-eyelid surgery, nose jobs and spot removal.

And it is not just Wuhan where the summer recess is spent in hospital. Statistics from big cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other provincial capitals show plastic surgery tops the post-exam requests.

The average expenditure is 5,000 yuan (S$1,043) with a few exceeding 10,000 yuan, said Wu Yiping, a cosmetic surgeon with Tongji Hospital.

Eighty per cent of the students who have plastic surgeons are girls who want to improve their chances of marriage. Among 20 parents randomly interviewed whose children underwent surgery, thirteen said the surgery is not for future employment but to satisfy their demand for beauty.

Feng Guilin, a researcher with Hubei Academy of Social Science, said people all seek beauty and students taking cosmetic surgery should not be criticised´╝îbut any beauty without inner qualities is not true and excessive pursuit of beauty may lead to extreme personalities.