How Korea's plastic surgery craze is creating the same face for Miss Korea 2013

* Update: The pre-makeup and pre-Photoshopped pictures of the contestants have been revealed online - inidcating that the 'clone-like' appearance of the beauty queens may have been due to an overzealous Photoshop artist instead.

However, the large eyes and pale snow-white skin of the contestants still point to a uniform ideal of what's considered beautiful in Korea.

The growing Korean obsession with plastic surgery has come under the media spotlight recently after pictures of remarkably similar Miss Korea 2013 contestants went viral online.

Photos of the 20 Miss Korea 2013 finalists were posted online, and netizens have been commenting on how similar the contestants look - with the same eyes, nose and smiles.

They have prompted speculation that the pervasiveness of plastic surgery in Korea has resulted in the dilution of the unique features of Korean women and has instead resulted in clone-like women.

All the women vying for the crown this year have dark doe-like eyes, dark brown curled hair, pale skin, sharp noses and perfect smiles showing pearly white teeth.

According to the International Business Times, the original poster ShenTheWise captioned the photo as "Korea's plastic surgery mayhem is finally converging on the same face".

“I live in Korea, and older women complain how girls don't look Korean anymore because of all the plastic surgery. It's so common to the point if I meet a girl, I just assume she has had something done. Girls here consider eye surgery just like using makeup,” wrote one Reddit user under the username forevertraveling.

“Without the plastic surgery, Korean women are very diverse looking and easily can be told apart. The surgery takes away their individuality and uniqueness and it's sad,” another user HotBrownie wrote

"Most are beautiful without it but telling them that their Korean ethnic features are in fact lovely is as effective as screaming at a brick wall.

"They won't believe you because they've been brainwashed to think Westernisation of their features is superior, I don't think they want to look white, but a mix of white and Asian and definitely less Korean."

Photoshop, makeup or plastic?

Photoshop, makeup or plastic?

However, some netizens have come out in support of the contestants, blaming the makeup artist instead for making them look too similar. A second picture posted online shows Korean beauty pageant contestants posing sans makeup.

While the contestants in the picture look slightly more distinguishable from each other, it is unclear if it portrays the current batch of contestants or contestants from another similar pageant.

Other netizens said that it might be due to the overuse of Photoshop. 

According to reports, South Korea has the highest rate of plastic surgery per capital of anywhere in the world. 

Last year, 20 per cent of women aged 19 to 49 in the capital city of Seoul admitted to going under the knife.

This is not the first time the issue of how excessively plastic the pageant is. Last year, the beauty contest sparked controversy when its winner Kim Yu-Mi was revealed to have undergone plastic surgery when photos of her pre-plastic face went viral online.

View the pictures below to decide for yourself: