From the China Daily:
Wang Jie, a researcher with Tianjin Academy of Social Sciences, believes these extreme phenomena in job-hunting are accidental in a transiting society. “In a fast developing society, it is normal for companies to give priority to efficiency with due consideration to fairness. But as China is a country in transition, in the short term many appearance-disadvantaged graduates will suffer setbacks in competition,” Wang was quoted as saying.
Contrary to what you think, this isn’t about plastic surgery — it’s about voice surgery. 4.1 million university graduates in 2006 are going to be looking for jobs, and with such steep competition, everything about your appearance counts.
Physicians say that at least half of the visitors are female college graduates who hope to get a sweet voice to attract their future employers. For this, many are willing to take the risk to go under the knife. Some girls even have gone so far as to demand a voice as articulate and attractive as that of Teresa Teng (a native Taiwan Province-based pop diva famed for singing love melodies), Doctor Yu said.
Uh, should we object to that because it’s pathetic or becauase it’s physically impossible? And Shanghaiist is willing to bet a couple of yuan that some of these women’s less than perfect voices are in fact husky, which can be quite sexy. Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Jodie Foster, and the goddess to whom Shanghaiist fervently prays each night before sleeping: Scarlett Johansson. But there’s a difference between the sexiness of a smoky and husky voice and just plain nails on chalkboard coarse you say — and this is true, but what this world needs, people, is more tolerance.
Onto the related topic of plastic surgery. Shanghaiist religiously reads the back of the passenger seat advertisements in the taxi cabs, and one of our favorites is from “Real Young” （上海瑞阳整形外科), which does plastic surgery of all kinds and has a nice, Super Voice Girls (超级女声） inspired slogan: “Let the new me PK the old me” (新我PK旧我 … or something like that, we’re writing from memory). They boast of a staff with Korean doctors, because everyone knows that the South Koreans have beauty down to an art, or science, depending on how you look at it. Increasing numbers of Chinese and Japanese women go to South Korea to get some form of enhancement, though the trend has been for Koreans to set up clinics in Shanghai. Who goes to these places? This report states:
A dermatology clinic in southern Seoul sees some 10 Chinese women a month for cosmetic treatment. More than 90 percent of the patients are professionals or family of staff with large Chinese corporation or high-ranking government officials.
(Surprise, surprise.) As the increasingly mobile Chinese elite get more integrated into the region, you may find more of them on plastic surgery tours around Asia, choosing the best nose that money can buy …