Love and noses: Here's looking at the new you
By Cao Li and Mark South (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-02-13 05:20
SHANGHAI: Traditionalists may be sticking to flowers and chocolates this
Valentine's day, but young lovers in Shanghai are taking a far more radical
Cosmetic surgery clinics in the city are reporting a boom around February 14,
with people paying for their partners to go under the knife or surprising their
loved ones with new features of their own.
Three couples, patients at the Shanghai Art Plastic Cosmetic & Esthetic
Surgery, have even asked for matching features: Two have chosen similar noses
and the third want identical eyes.
Liu Yan, 24, and her 28-year-old boyfriend had matching nose jobs on the same
day a fortnight before Valentine's Day. The two operations cost more than 10,000
"I suggested it as a way of celebrating our relationship and bringing us
closer together with a special kind of bond," said Liu. "My boyfriend loved the
idea and paid for the whole thing; we're very happy with the results."
Liu Chunlong, head of the surgery which performed the operations, said
business from 20-somethings had risen 30 per cent since February 4.
"A lot of our patients, especially the women, have been telling the doctors
their surgery was an early Valentine's present from their husband or boyfriend
they seem really pleased with their gifts," said Liu.
Elsewhere, the Shanghai ConBio Plastic and Laser Surgery Hospital is offering
a Valentine's Day surgery package featuring reduced prices.
The Shanghai Kinway Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery is seeing twice its usual
number of patients and is fully booked until mid-March.
Eyes and noses are the most popular for surgery, with prices ranging from
around 3,000 yuan (US$370) for a "double-eyelid" procedure to about 20,000 yuan
(US$2,500) for a nose job.
Breast augmentation, a favourite in the West, sets patients in Shanghai back
about 35,000 yuan (US$4,400).
Although illegal until the early 1980s, plastic surgery is now a
multi-billion dollar industry, spurred in part by TV shows such as "Lovely
Cinderella" which offer surgery as prizes.
According to Xinhua News Agency, the country is home to a million plastic
surgery clinics, employing 6 million people.
However, surgery is far from risk free. The China
Consumers Association has said there are an average of 20,000 complaints of
disfigurement as a result of cosmetic operations each year.