The pursuit of physical beauty has become big business in China, and plastic surgery is becoming more "socially acceptable," HSBC analysts said.
China's plastic surgery market is growing at a rate six times faster than the global average, according to a recently published report by a mobile app focusing on the industry.
More than 8 million people in China have undergone surgery. Students comprise the majority of patients under 30. These days, students in China take on loans for not only their studies, but also, increasingly, cosmetic surgery. About one in six of some 300 students who went under the knife at one of Guangzhou's largest cosmetic surgery providers over the summer had borrowed money to do so. Some students believe physical beauty is a core competency.
People's obsession with posting selfies on social media is seen as a main driver of plastic surgery, because they are putting their faces under a "microscope" every time they take a picture on their smart phones. The trend of taking your own portrait means that people are becoming increasingly narcissistic and want to go under the knife to improve their looks, said US surgeons.
Mobile selfie apps like Meitu invite users to touch up their photos so that they appear slimmer or with smoother faces or better cosmetics. The app has been popular in Asia for years and is now sweeping North America. In response to society's current obsession with enhancing selfies and social media, more people might resort to plastic surgery to fix imperfections and make the perfect selfie come true.