By Cynthia Zhou
Located in a Huimei mansion in Zhujiang New Town, the biggest central business district in South China, a cosmetic surgery hospital named the Best Women Medical Beauty Hospital covers half of the seven floor.
In the shadow of a crystal chandelier, the reception hall is covered in bright yellow. The walls of the corridor are carved in a European style.
“The medical beauty hospitals in mainland China are decorated beautifully to make women feel comfortable,” said Chen Lihan, a 24-year-old girl from Taiwan. She always accompanies her mother Wang Qiuxia to do cosmetic surgeries.
Currently, the cosmetic surgery industry, also called medical beauty industry is gradually becoming popular in China. According to a statistics, from the Chinese Association of Plastics and Aesthetics, about 700 million people have the cosmetic surgeries since 2014, including the micro-cosmetic surgeries. Although the new industry is still imperfect, numerous women of different ages prefer to have the cosmetic surgery.
In fact, the demand in China to stay young and ease the effects of aging for customers, especially middle-aged women, promote the development of the medical beauty industry. People’ s attitudes toward cosmetic surgery are also a factor in expanding this new industry.
Currently, the market competition is fierce. Lin has run the Best Women Medical Beauty Hospital in Zhujiang New Town for five years. She said that Guangzhou has many medical beauty hospitals, including regular hospitals and illegal cosmetic surgery studios.
Lin said that cosmetic surgery is gradually becoming common and popular in China. According to a statistics from CAPA, China will become the third medical beauty market in the world.
Wang Qiuxia, 54, runs a garment company in Guangzhou. She is a frequent customer of the Best Women Medical Beauty Hospital.
“Now the micro-cosmetic surgery is popular. It is an injection surgery without using a scalpel,” Wang said. “Today I plan to do a new laser surgery, which can seem to stimulate the activity of facial cells.”
Wang has done many cosmetic surgeries, such as Botox and a facelift. The reason why she wants to try the laser surgery is that she’ s never done it.
“Currently, people are more likely to accept the micro-cosmetic surgery,” said Wang. ” The micro-cosmetic surgeries would not cause disfigurement at least and have less risk.”
Chen, the daughter, thinks that people in China have begun to accept cosmetic surgery. According to a survey about cosmetic surgery from iResearch, 63 percent respondents thought that cosmetic surgery could improve their appearance to enhance confidence. Forty-four percent of the respondents believed that appearance could affect employment and personal life dramatically.
However, although numerous people prefer to improve their appearance, only a few of them would choose to do the cosmetic surgeries. One reason is that the current medical beauty industry market still cannot offer many famous brands that costumers trust. According to the survey, 73 percent people worried about the operation risk.
Wang has injected the Botox, a drug which can make the facial muscle tighter. However, Chen said that Botox could also make the muscle get stiff, meaning that it would be difficult to make facial expressions.
“My mother has injected the Botox at the age of 50. It made her facial muscles tighter for a short time. But later her facial muscles became flabbier, which means that she needs more Botox to maintain her muscles,” said Chen. “Doctors would not tell you that, but I think that they should tell their customers about the risk.”
The medical beauty industry is also booming in Taiwan. But compared with hospitals in mainland China, the cost is cheaper.
“Cosmetic surgery hospitals in mainland China generally would be decorated luxuriously, making women feel comfortable and increasing the cost,” Chen said. “But in Taiwan, cosmetic surgery hospitals are pretty common like dental clinics.”
Su Ying, a 22-year-old girl who has undergone cosmetic eye, nose and facial surgeries, said that doctors did not give her enough details. All these surgeries cost her about $2,985.
According to the survey from iResearch, 41 percent people consider the cost of surgery important. But in the current medical beauty market, the prices and quality of drugs remain uneven.
“Injection is more expensive than surgery because surgeries do not cost much,” Su said. “Customers don’t know whether the drugs are good or not.”
According to a report of Xinhua Net, the Second People’ s Hospital of Guangdong province received 18 patients in the first four months of this tear who suffered from the failure of cosmetic surgeries. With the development of micro-cosmetic surgery, many illegal studios have been launched without a certificate and certified doctors.
Song Dun is a micro cosmetic surgery doctor in the Best Women Medical Beauty Hospital. He graduated with a degree in clinical medicine.
“Those ‘doctors’ who work in the illegal micro-cosmetic surgery studios didn’t study in a certified college and did not have medical knowledge,” said Song. “Besides, their drugs are not safe because certified drugs are only offered to the certificated hospitals.”
The industry rules are still imperfect. “We need to have psychological counseling for customers before surgery. But our hospital, even all the cosmetic surgery hospitals in China, few have a professional psychologist,” Song said. “The hospital sin the West would emphasize this part.”
Although cosmetic surgery is still a controversial topic, many people are not afraid of cosmetic surgery and acknowledge they had the cosmetic surgeries.
“Everyone has different demands,” Song said. “Cosmetic surgeries can improve people’ s appearance and enhance their confidence. ”
Huang Yunfen, a 46-year-old woman who works in the records office of the government, has had cosmetic surgery to fix baggy eyelids.
“Pursuing beauty is human nature,” said Huang. “Now I felt more confident.”
Huang does not mind acknowledging that she had cosmetic surgery because fixing baggy eyelids is common. But she said she would not have some cosmetic surgery, such as breast enlargement,
“Breast enlargement adds some extra materials into the body which do not belong to people’ s body originally,” said Huang.
Wang also cannot accept bone reduction surgery, which removes facial bones to make the face smaller. “It is too terrible,” she said.
An increasing number of college students prefer to have the cosmetic surgeries.
Li Aifen, a college student, was injected with hyaluronic acid and a water laser needle to control acne and smooth facial skin.
“I feel more confident when my skin has become smooth,” said Li. “Appearance is pretty important for a person. Others will treat you differently because of your appearance.”
Chen said some college students in Taiwan are also keen on cosmetic surgery.
“In the past, the fashion of pursuing beauty for college students was to buy famous brands of clothes and bags, but now it has changed to having cosmetic surgeries,” Chen said.
As a doctor in a cosmetic surgery hospital, Song has met some people who are crazy about having cosmetic surgeries.
“Some girls improved her appearance after surgeries,” said Song. “But the more surgeries she did, the less satisfaction she had.”