Topic: K-pop, and the Culture of South Korean Plastic Surgery
Speaker: Dr. John P. DiMoia
Why do so many Korean pop stars and singers opt for plastic surgery? How did this culture of changing one's body for economic gain develop? Starting with the elite clinics of Kangnam-gu (SE) in Seoul, this talk will offer an alternative history for cosmetic surgery in Korea.Following the history of one specific practice, the double eyelid surgery, the talk will briefly trace the procedure from its origins in Meiji Japan, to the Korean War, and through the subsequent development of a South Korean biomedical and surgical culture after 1954. From the original goal of "round eyes," to the present-day goal of possessing "big eyes," South Korean clients have adopted plastic surgery as a means of self-fashioning, transforming themselves to fit their own desired self-image.The question remains as to what this culture means for these individuals, as well as others in the region now exposed to it through the medium of popular culture.