China Syndrome: cosmetic surgery obsession

A 24-year-old Chinese woman will undergo six months of gruelling plastic surgery to change her entire appearance in a widely publicised event that critics have branded a stunt.

    Hao Lulu's desire for a body beautiful goes beyond a simple nip and tuck

    Hao Lulu's surgical procedures will involve transforming her eyes, nose, chin, breasts, abdomen, bottom, legs and skin, the Beijing Weekend newspaper reported on Thursday.


    Lulu is a Beijing freelance fashion writer and self-employed jewellery dealer. Her surgery began on Monday and has immediately drawn concern from doctors and medical officials who feared it was an elaborate stunt by the hospital performing the operations to promote plastic surgery.


    High hopes


    Evercare, a Beijing cosmetic surgery hospital, has held press conferences to promote the "Beauty Dreamworks Project."


    An ethnic Manchu, Hao hopes to be made into an "outstanding beauty" which will lead to a career in films.


    Hao will begin by getting double eyelids and a more pointed nose tip. Plastic surgeons will then remove the wrinkles from her neck and make her face thinner. Other operations will realign her jawbone and work on her breasts, abdomen, bottom and legs.


    Hao, who has been dating a Chinese-American man for the past three years, said beauty was not the most important thing and that a noble character should be most highly prized in a person.


    "But nowadays it is technically possible for me to become more physically beautiful too," she was quoted as saying. "If I can become beautiful both inside and outside, why not?"


    She said her boyfriend was fully behind her decision to go under the knife, but she has not told her parents of her plans.


    Evercare has declined to reveal the cost of the project, which is being financed by an unnamed sponsor.


    "If I can become beautiful inside and outside, why not?"

    -- 24-year-old Hao Lulu

    Zhou Gang, a doctor who will lead the operating team at Evercare, said Hao's new appearance would only last for between three and five years.


    Plastic surgery has become increasingly popular as Chinese become wealthier and more appearance-conscious.


    Clients, mostly Chinese women, are also becoming influenced by Western standards of beauty and are seeking more Western looks, such as larger eyes and taller noses.


    The demand has spawned a large number of plastic surgery businesses, some of which are unlicensed and poorly trained, leading the government in recent years to launch a cleanup of the industry to weed out the dangerous operators.


    Safety standards, however, are either non-existent or rarely enforced. 


    SOURCE: Agencies


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