Sunday, November 22, 2009

December Chatterbox

Cast of Dreamgirls (Korean version)

Korean women battle for eternal youth

Hello readers! Before I begin , I’d like to thank you for your messages about my previous column, Simple girls just wait it out. When I wrote it I knew that it would speak to many young girls, and I promise that as long as I write, I will continue to write from the bottom of my heart. After all - words that come from the heart, enter the heart!

Now on to this months topic:

Over a recent dinner with my friend Kim, she smiled, turned her head to the side and in a dramatic fashion she said, "I got a plastic surgery!"

"You got WHAT now?" My mind was racing as to what kind of surgery she had done. She'd better not ask me to "Guess where?" because for the past 25 minutes, everything seemed to be in tact since the last time I'd seen her.

Kim covered her mouth as she giggled at my reaction.

"WHERE?!!!" I asked.

"Can you see it?" she probed.

I thought - Ohmygod, please don't be doing this to me! What if I say the wrong thing? Well, her nose seemed fine and I was scanning her face for any scars or unusual marks. But nothing!

"Please tell me... I can't see!"

Kim pointed to her eyes and explained to me that she had some 'fat' removed from under her eyes as they seemed to be a bit "heavy" and now her skin is "more smooth."

Apparently it was a simple procedure (just an hour). She used her 3-day holiday to have it done.

"It was so painful after," she said. She went on to tell me about blood and bandages and all that. I don't know about you, but when "blood" and "eyes" are in the same sentence, it freaks me out just a tad!

"You couldn't see it?" she asked me.

I didn't want to dampen her spirits and make her feel as though no one would notice, but I said to her in the best possible way, "Well, it means it was a job well done if it's not noticeable ...AND...as far as I'm concerned - you were beautiful before, and you're beautiful now!"

She put her hands together and dropped her head and said, "Thank you very much!"

I went on, "Can I ask why you did it?"

She sighed. Put her hands to her chest. Threw her head back and said, "I want to be young!"

Kim is in her mid-40s and for a single mum of three sons, the woman looks darn good. Her body, along with her spirit could easily pass for someone in their late-20s or early-30s. Two days before this, I'd heard of another teacher at my school that had the same procedure done.

Some Koreans I've met for the first time have almost always made some mention of my eyes.

"Wow! So beeeg!" My students have even said to me, "Teacher eyes very beeeg!" I tell them that they're big so that I can see everything in class - including students at the back of the classroom trying to play games on their cellphones under their desks!

When our current school principal arrived at the beginning of the year, she leaned in right to my face examining my eyes. She questioned me about all the eye make-up I use and was amazed to know that I don't use mascara and that my eyelashes were so long.

Korean women have a fascination with eyelids and long for "deep eyes" (like mine...apparently).

"You know...all Korean women want to be young!" Kim said.

Many of my Korean colleagues have flawless, milky skin with not a blemish to be seen. “They're SO lucky,” I always used to say. Until one day, a friend pointed out that many women have had "work done" which is WHY they have blemish-free skin.

My colleagues

I have colleagues who go for regular laser hair removal treatment (not that Koreans have that much body hair) as well as ladies who have eyebrow / eye liner / lip liner tattoos done. Of course, they don't make a big hoo-haa about the procedures they undergo, but are often the envy of many friends who also wish to look young for as long as possible!

Going under the knife is very common here in Korea.

Celebrities in their 40s, 50s and above do it as though it's the most natural thing ever. And the thing is, it looks so natural. Their skin looks supple and healthy and doesn't leave them looking like saggy and messed up like other procedures I've seen before.

Some of my Korean friends also tell me that they are envious of my "high nose". And... another thing most of my Korean lady friends tell me is that they wish they had more "zig zag action across their chests" – more on this later!

I say – if you’re going to do a procedure that will boost your confidence and enhance your looks, then by all means go ahead. What is your opinion on plastic / reconstructive surgery? I’d love to hear from you!

It’s time to wrap up the party of 2009 and gear up for the big one – 2010! Please be safe over the festive season and let’s remember those less fortunate than ourselves. See you next year!

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