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Plastic surgery side-effect: Chinese women stuck at airport, fail to prove identity

South Korea has an inexpensive and rapidly expanding plastic-surgery industry.

world Updated: Oct 10, 2017 18:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
South Korea,Plastic surgery,CHiinese women stranded
It is currently unclear whether or not the women have been allowed to return to China.(Weibo screenshot)

Three women returning to China from South Korea were reportedly stranded at the airport because their faces did not match their passport pictures after they underwent plastic surgery.

In a photo that has gone viral on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, the women can be seen clutching their passports, sporting swollen faces and bandages around their heads. The image was reportedly clicked at a South Korea airport during ‘Golden Week’, a seven-day holiday, according to Apple Daily.

The photograph was shared by Jian Huahua, a Chinese news anchor, on October 8 on Weibo. It has since been deleted. The caption allegedly read, “Received from frontline personnel at the airport during the holidays: These women made use of the long holidays to undergo plastic surgery in South Korea,” reported hk01.com. “On the way back, they were unable to leave the country and had to await proof of identification. Even your mother won’t recognise you.”

The photo generated a flurry of response from netizens, ranging from agreement to harsh criticism. It was liked over 51,000 times and shared more than 23,000 times.

“It’s true, even your mother won’t recognise you”, and “that’s the price you pay for beauty,” commented a user. “(Their faces are) swollen like a pig’s head”, commented another user. Some commented saying going under the knife was not a crime, according to a report on asiaone.com.

South Korea has an inexpensive and rapidly expanding plastic-surgery industry. It has the most plastic surgeries per capita on earth, with over 980,000 recorded operations in 2014. That is 20 procedures per 1,000 people, putting it ahead of the US’s 13 procedures per 1,000, reports Business Insider.

Korean websites Onboa and Munhwa report that hospitals issue ‘plastic surgery certificates’ at the request of overseas visitors. The certificates help make immigration smoother so officials don’t have to resort to calling hospitals to confirm identities. The certificates include the patient’s passport number, the duration of their stay, the co-ordinates of the hospital, certified by the hospital’s official seal.

According to a China News report from August this year, China Eastern Airline rules stipulate that passengers who have undergone plastic surgery are only allowed to fly 15 days after their procedure. Flyers must keep documentation provided by the clinic handy.

It is currently unclear whether or not the women have been allowed to return to China.

First Published: Oct 10, 2017 18:07 IST