Thursday, April 2, 2009

In China, job seekers are resorting to plastic surgery

plastic surgery
All this for a stinkin job?

Source: LA Times

In this crummy job market, Stephanie Yang figures any little advantage will help. Even double eyelids.

So on a cold January morning, the 21-year-old college senior walked into one of dozens of plastic surgery clinics here and plopped down $730, the equivalent of one year's tuition. An hour later she came out with two big bandages over her eyes.
When she removed the dressing the next day, Yang was aghast at her red, puffy eyelids. But now she looks out with her round eyes, a sharp crease across the upper lids, ready for the next interview.

"They may not say it openly, but during the process they will pick the prettier one," she says.

Judging by the boom in plastic surgeries lately, a lot of young Chinese would agree.

Depends what kind of job you're looking for right? In China, where it's still extremely vain and shallow, for jobs like waitress, flight attendant, tour guide, hostess etc... , looks do matter. But since the article mentioned one years tuition and white-collar jobs I can't see how it can help. When you're hiring engineers, or IT or accountants are you really going to hire the prettier girl?

Beijing Modern Women's Hospital is looking for a nurse: Applicants must be taller than 5 feet, 2.5 inches and have "acceptable facial features," it says. Shanghai Jibei Electronics Co. has a similar height requirement for its assistant manager position, and it also wants someone who likes to smoke and drink wine -- apparently so the new hire will be able to get along better at business gatherings.

"I agree that there are lots of great people who are not tall, for example Napoleon," says Li Li, Shanghai Jibei's director of human resources. "It's just the social environment and cultural preference in China," he says. "People would feel that workers lower than a certain height aren't so healthy, too weak to stand in a gust of wind and can't take a heavy workload."

No wonder some Chinese pay thousands of dollars to have doctors break their legs and have steel pins inserted in their bones; these surgeries typically add 3 inches to a person's height but are considered very dangerous.

More commonly, young Chinese looking to boost their job prospects want double eyelids, higher or sharper noses, rounder cheekbones and other changes that will give a face smoother lines, softer curves and symmetrical features. The Chinese call it san ting wu yan, or three equal parts and five eyes. From the chin to the bottom of the nose to the top of the eyebrow should be equidistant, while the space from one temple to the other should be five equal parts, each the width of an eye.

That's fucking scary. I'm only 5'2" and there's absolutely no way I'm going anywhere near a surgeon.

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