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Chinese, Aussies differ in their views of cosmetic procedures

Article-Chinese, Aussies differ in their views of cosmetic procedures

A fairly large percentage of young people in China say they’d consider going under the knife to improve their appearance. That’s not the case in Australia, where people say they consider plastic surgery more of a last resort for looking better.

A survey of students at 30 universities in China revealed that more than one-third of respondents are interested in undergoing elective plastic surgery. A marketing company distributed the survey to thousands of undergraduates via blogging sites; about 21,000 people responded. About 37 percent — men and women alike — said they have considered some form of plastic surgery to enhance their appearance. Many said medical and technological advances that minimize the risk of scarring were a significant factor for seriously considering cosmetic procedures.

Respondents named acne removal, laser eye surgery, skin whitening, breast augmentation and techniques used for creating double eyelids as the most desired procedures. The majority of those interested in cosmetic surgery said they believed better looks would help not only with self-esteem, but in finding more lucrative careers.

According to reports, the university survey reflects general trends all across China, a country that houses an estimated 10,000 cosmetic-surgery facilities and where some four million procedures are performed every year. Some Chinese citizens travel abroad for their procedures — in 2014, more than 200,000 went to South Korea for cosmetic work, a number that is expected to climb to one million annually over the next five years.

In Australia, the cosmetic-surgery business is also going strong, yet people there think of it as a lesser option for improving their appearance and wellbeing. A health fund’s survey of 1,500 Australians showed that most people say they’d prefer losing weight, eating better and exercising over a cosmetic procedure.

Though about 15,000 Australians travel overseas for breast enhancements and tummy tucks costing $300 million every year, respondents to this survey ranked cosmetic surgery as the least likely of 10 options they’d choose to improve their appearance in the next year.

According to Medibank, the health fund that conducted the survey, the responses show that many of the attributes that make a person attractive are the same as those that made them healthy. While the survey found that half of all young adults worry more about their body shape than a healthy lifestyle, it also found that as people age they care more about their health and less about appearance. Just 7 percent of older Australians ranked looking good higher than being active and eating well.

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