It may not be surprising to find out that university students struggle with issues of self-image. This is generally true of many 18-22 year-olds around the world. However, the extent to which Spring City students in this age group claim to be willing to go to change their outward appearances may be somewhat unexpected.
A recently conducted poll of students attending 30 Kunming universities showed that 37 percent of all respondents are interested in undergoing elective plastic surgery. The poll was distributed to thousands of undergraduates via micro-blogging platforms by local newspaper Spring City Evening News and Kunming-based marketing company Fengxun.
Questions generally covered material concerns, as might be expected when a poll is sponsored by an advertising firm. Respondents were encouraged not only to submit written answers, but also send in recordings and video. Roughly 21,000 people responded with what reporters characterized as "findings beyond imagination".
More than one-third of those polled — both men and women — said they have in the past or are currently considering getting some form of plastic surgery as a means of enhancing their appearance. Many said they were encouraged by technical advances in the field of body modification that no longer leave noticeable scars.
The most common procedures commented on by survey respondents were acne removal, laser eye surgery, skin whitening, breast augmentation and techniques used for creating double eyelids. The majority of those interested in cosmetic surgery said they believed better looks would help not only with self-esteem, but also eventually aid them in finding better, more lucrative careers after college.
The survey of Kunming university students reflects general trends across China. More and more people are lining up to have some form of cosmetic surgery, whether at home or abroad. China is home to an estimated 10,000 cosmetic surgery facilities that perform four million procedures a year. Many others head to foreign countries. In 2014, South Korea saw more than 200,000 Chinese 'medical tourists' arrive for elective procedures — a number that is expected to grow to one million annually over the next five years.
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