What Brands Need To Know About Young China’s Surgery Boom
who epitomizes China’s “web celebrity face” culture — was asked if she had ever gone through any surgery by Chinese media, her then-husband Xiaoming Huang immediately denied she had altered her appearance, insisting her beauty is 100-percent natural.To get more news about 2020国产精品永久在线, you can visit our official website.
Back then, attempting to improve your looks through any surgical intervention was still widely considered a social taboo. As the Chinese proverb “everything given by your parents is sacred 身体发肤受之父母” states, any intent to alter your natural appearance is a breach of the Confucian filial piety because you shouldn’t see what your parents gave you as “not enough.”
But less than a decade later, plastic surgery has turned from a taboo to a collective craze among China’s younger generations. By 2019, China’s plastic surgery market had been growing at an annual average rate of 30 percent over the past four years — far above the global rate of 8.2 percent. Last year, 5,150 new medical aesthetics institutions opened in the country despite the pandemic, pushing China’s beauty surgery market size past $30.5 billion, which now accounts for 17 percent of the global share. According to the Medical Beauty Market Trends Insight Report, the market should exceed $46 billion by 2023.
Cosmetic surgery platforms have mushroomed over the past decade due to young China’s rising consciousness for looking their best. So-Young, a leading Chinese beauty surgery app, has seen its monthly active users grow from 1.4 million in 2018 to over 8.4 million today. Another app called Gengmei (“get more beautiful” in Chinese) saw its users surge from 1 million to 36 million since 2010.
Long gone is the traditional aversion toward body modification. Instead, “Pretty is Justice,” a Chinese web term that describes how society equates a good appearance with substance, keeps popping up in Chinese media today.
On Weibo, the hashtag #DoYouHaveAppearanceAnxiety, a topic that topped the site’s search bars in 2020, has more than 190 million views, with over 15,000 users posting about failing to catch up with societal beauty standards. In a survey by research firm CBNData, over 80 percent of post-1995-born youngsters expressed a “very high” level of anxiety over their appearance.
In many ways, China’s appearance anxiety is no different from the diffused notion of body image issues among younger generations globally. But China’s crisis is unique in the severity of its beauty standard and its methods of influence. To understand China’s rising young consumers, beauty and fashion brands must acknowledge how the Chinese conception of beauty differs drastically from the Western one.
Contrary to the Kim Kardashian aesthetic, the Chinese beauty standard demands that women have porcelain-white skin, a slender body, and a youthful face. Angelababy, the celebrity actress who set the standard for China’s “white, thin, teen-looking” movement, has inspired innumerable women to copy her “web-celebrity face,” which consists of white dewy skin, a small V-shaped face, big round eyes, a pointed nose, and a teenage aura of innocent cuteness.
This beauty ideal is so pervasive it has been internalized by many women who now use sophisticated apps to calculate every procedure they need to achieve that perfect look. For example, on the beauty surgery app So-Young, users can employ a feature called Magic Mirror to assess a facial score based on the mainstream beauty standards and get a detailed to-do list to improve their score. According to the app, the face that gets the most copy-surgery requests from Chinese women is the K-pop star Go Yoon Jung, who perfectly adheres to the preferred sweet, feminine standard.