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Women Fly Overseas For Plastic Surgery - Can't Come Home Because They Don't Look Like Passport Photo

A woman has blamed her plastic surgery for repeated travel delays during a trip to South Korea. According to the Daily Mail, the unnamed woman was detained at a South Korean airport because customs officials believed her passport photo didn’t match her surgically altered face. The woman, believed to be from Northern China, had travelled to South Korea – one of Asia’s most popular destinations for plastic surgery – to have several plastic surgery operations performed during a national holiday week.

Chinese media outlets have published several photos of the woman in question. The photos show the unnamed woman’s face wrapped up in bandages. There also appear to be signs of swelling around the woman’s cheeks. Two other unnamed women, who seem to have had similar plastic surgery operations, were also stuck at the airport. It is likely that the trio made the journey to South Korea together, with many media pundits theorizing that they met over an online forum.

A report from Apple Daily revealed that the photo of the three women was taken on China’s National Day – a holiday that celebrates the birth of the People’s Republic of China and the creation of the Central People’s Government. Consequently, tensions were high across east Asia and South Korean officials were careful not to cause a diplomatic incident.

In China, the National Day kickstarts a 7-day holiday period known as the ‘Golden Week’. Holidays are a rarity in mainland China and the three unnamed Chinese women likely took advantage of the break to vacation in South Korea, receive beauty treatments and undergo plastic surgery.

The photo of the three women originally surfaced when a well-known Chinese news reporter, Jian Huahua, uploaded a series of photos on her social media page. Shortly afterwards, a chain of prominent Chinese and Western media outlets picked up the story and began reporting on the women’s travel delays. Before the photos went viral, Ms. Huahua deleted the photos from her social media account to reduce her exposure to any legal issues.

By this time, the confronting photos were being reposted, reuploaded and retweeted across a dozen other social media websites. Another popular social media page, ‘The Beijing Things Beijingers Don't Know', received thousands of comments about the photos after it reuploaded them on Weibo (a Chinese social media site that is similar to Twitter). The repost received a significant amount of online traction, garnering more than 66,700 likes, 38,000 comments and approximately 28,00 shares.

According to the Daily Mail, Golden Week is one of the busiest times for South Korean plastic surgeons. The biggest source of customers during this period is from China, with thousands of women travelling to Seoul for cosmetic enhancements, facial reconstruction, skin care treatment and other surgeries. The Daily Mail reports that, in 2016 alone, more than 500,000 Chinese tourists travelled outside of China to undergo plastic surgery.

Online commenters remain divided over the incident in South Korea. While many social media users find the story hilarious, others are convinced that detaining the women was a breach of their human rights.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: AsiaWire, AFP

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