Worldwide, the number of cosmetic surgery procedures is increasing. One of the countries experiencing the most rapid rise is China. As in the rest of the world, about 90% of people who undergo cosmetic surgery in China are women. However, China is unique because the majority of procedures are performed on women who are in high school or college. This is very different from most Western countries, where women who undergo cosmetic surgery are generally middle-aged or older.
Even though cosmetic surgery has become common in China, we know very little about what influences people’s attitudes toward it there. This is important to understand because cosmetic surgery can lead to negative consequences, including health complications and depression. There is also evidence that people may not feel better about their appearance after surgery, and may actually become more preoccupied with their looks.