Some Chinese job seekers turn to plastic surgery as advantage

China 24

Many young job seekers in China are turning to cosmetic surgery, with the hopes that it will help them get hired. CGTN’s Grace Shao has the story.

Photoshopping resume pictures is no longer enough to grab a recruitment officer’s attention, or at least according to young job seekers going beyond touch-ups and makeup.

“Let me tell you the truth,” said young professional Laura Fan. “One of my HR [representatives] has told me that the capabilities of the applicants don’t vary much, but if they have the same backgrounds, they prefer the better looking one.”

The desire to be more attractive is universal, but in China the demographic seeking plastic surgery is slightly different from the West: High school graduates, college graduates looking for jobs, and successful professionals who want to erase the marks left behind by time.

This is in stark contrast to Western countries, where employers ask job applicants to remove pictures and details that may reveal gender and age.

Chinese consumers have a growing disposable income, giving a more people access to cosmetic procedures.

In 2017, 14 million Chinese people are expected to receive some form of cosmetic surgery. The global figure is 34 million, meaning Chinese patients account for around 41 percent of the total.

In a new survey released by SoYoung, a Chinese cosmetics data platform, China is currently the world’s third largest cosmetic surgery market, behind the U.S. and Brazil.

Among those seeking treatment in China, more than half are born after 1990, meaning they are under the young age of 25.

Procedures such as double eyelid operations, face lifts, and eye widening are the most common. These are categorized as low-risk surgeries, while jaw mutation, liposuction and breast implants have a much higher health risk.

Many also seek short-term gains with injections, but these carry the risk of infection or overdose.

For some, however, the pain of going under the scalpel is well worth it.

“I did double eyelid surgery. My mother urged me to do it, and after the surgery I got a new job and boyfriend,” Fan said. “All my friends and my boyfriend know about this. It’s really common among my friends. Most have done the same surgery.”

Dr. David Song discusses plastic surgery trends in China

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes talks with Dr. David Song of MedStar Health about plastic surgery trends in China.