K-Trend: Finished Korean college exam? Time for cosmetic ops



With Korea’s annual College Scholastic Ability Test for high school students and others wishing to go to universities set for this Thursday, many of those sitting tests are likely to have a common post-exam agenda ― getting their looks perked up with cosmetic surgery.

The seasonal trend has been popular for years. It is their way of rewarding themselves for having prepared hard for an exam that is considered to determine one’s future at large.

The time also coincides with them saying goodbye not just to high schools but the legal underage barrier, so they might feel entitled to use their grown-up freedom by having such surgery.

But the biggest reason many opt for surgery is that many beauty clinics roll out lavish discounts exclusively for those who have just sat the exam. Beauty aspirants can prove they sat the test with their exam By Ko Dong-hwanidentification slips.

Ads for local cosmetic clinics are already in full swing online. One Seoul clinic in Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, is offering discounts until Dec. 31 for high school third-graders (who make up most of the national exam sitting roster), exam repeaters and those who passed the exam in advance.

It offers 35-48 percent discounts on eye operations, while slashing the cost of nose surgery from 1 million won ($880) to 590,000 won and offering a 49 percent discount for acne treatment.

Another in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, is offerings a 20 percent discount on double eyelids surgery ― the most popular procedure among the young adults. The clinic also offers discounts on a wide range of facial fillers, botox and hair removal.

A Busan clinic’s website features a smiling girl in a school uniform next to a sign that reads: “790,000 won for eyelid incision-plus-eye shape treatment.” A single eyelid touch usually costs between 500,000 and 1 million won.

Amid the exam sitters looking to take advantage of the discounts happening nationwide, medical experts warn that the results may not necessarily be satisfactory.

“It is undoubtedly the best time to opt for cosmetic surgery because the students are given a long winter vacation lasting two to three months until their postsecondary education season begins,” said a surgeon cited by Seoul Economic News TV.

He said the vacation period was “enough for full recovery.” At the same time, however, he warned against making rash decisions because of affordable prices and recommended having a pre-operation consultation with doctors in person.

“What the beauty aspirants must consider ahead of comparing themselves to a certain celebrity are their own pupil sizes, eye-opening muscle, skin condition and fat tissue of eyelids, and width and length of their eyes,” he said.

By Ko Dong-hwan

(Korea Times)

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