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Valentine's Day marked with matching nose, eye jobs
Updated: 2006-02-13 15:30

Nothing says I love you on Valentine's Day like a box of candy, a bouquet of roses _ and matching noses.

China's obsession with plastic surgery is finding fresh demand from couples who are going under the knife to get their noses and even their eyes done as a sign of their love for one another, the official newspaper China Daily reported.

"I suggested it as a way of celebrating our relationship and bringing us closer together with a special kind of bond," Liu Yan, 24, was quoted as saying of the matching nose jobs for her and her 28-year-old boyfriend .

Liu said her boyfriend "loved the idea" and readily paid the 10,000 yuan (US$1,200; euro1008) for the surgery.

"We're very happy with the results," Liu added.

Business at Shanghai's plastic surgery clinics has risen by up to 30 percent since the beginning of the month, fueled by Valentine's Day and the recently concluded lunar New Year, when young people typically receive job bonuses and cash gifts from older relatives.

Some clinics advertise special Valentine's Day packages. ConBio Plastic and Laser Surgery Hospital, a China-U.S. joint venture, is offering a 20 percent discount from February 14-17, said the clinic's manager, who identified himself only as Mr. Chen.

"You can also get some free roses," he said.

Unknown in China just a few years ago, plastic surgery is now a US$2 billion (euro1.6 billion) business as newly prosperous Chinese seek shapelier noses, fuller breasts and other features.

Shanghai, China's wealthiest and most image-conscious city, is a center for the business which is celebrated in plastic surgery inspired beauty contests and television shows.

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