Chinese youth take the 'plastic' route to beauty

China YouthDoctors feel students should avoid taking unnecessary risks. (AP)

A growing number of Chinese youth are undergoing plastic surgery during their summer vacations, believing that improved looks can give them an edge in education and jobs, official media reported today.

At the Zhongda Hospital at Southeast University, the number of people visiting plastic surgery clinics has increased dramatically in recent weeks.

The hospital's plastic surgery clinic received about 200 facial surgery applicants in the week ending on July 31, of which about 70 per cent were students, statistics from the hospital showed, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Beijing postgrad Chen Rong received a facelift at a cost of 2,000 yuan (USD 326) after graduating in early July.

"I have sensed that appearance is an entry requirement for some jobs," said Chen, who went on more than ten interviews before securing a job at a bank and believes that he can make a good impression on his new colleagues.

Chen is one of many young people who have sought out eyelid surgery, nose jobs and liposuction during summer break.

"Nose jobs, eyelid surgery, liposuction and micro-plastic surgery are most popular with students," Xiong Meng, head of the clinic, said.

Ting Ting, a 20-year-old who started studying in Europe after finishing high school in China, had a nose job last week. "The rhinoplasty makes me look more European. It will make my future work and life in Europe easier," she said.

Chinese beauty standards have become increasingly influenced by western standards. Wide and round eyes, white skin and high nose bridges are seen as ideal.

Gao Xue, a consultant at the Qizhi Plastic Surgery Hospital in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, said more students are seeking out plastic surgery, as they believe changing their looks can boost their self-confidence and bring them more opportunities in life.

Li Guimei, head of the plastic surgery clinic at the Qinghai Red Cross Hospital in east China's Qinghai Province, said students have accounted for 50 per cent of her clinic's visitors so far this summer, adding that more young men have been visiting than in previous years.

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