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DIY Plastic Surgery?! (Those Words Should Never Go Together)

The summer between my senior year of high school and my freshman year of college, like four of my friends got nose jobs. I grew up in Los Angeles and it wasn’t uncommon at the time (late ’90s, not sure what the kids are doing nowadays) for girls to go under the knife in the months between their high school life ending and their collegiate one beginning.

It wasn’t just the convenient life transition that made that time “The Summer of Rhinoplasty” either. It was a sticking point for most plastic surgeons that you be 18 years old to undergo a procedure not because parental permission was an issue (it’s not like these recent high school graduates were footing the bill for their surgeries anyway), but rather that your face is still forming when you’re a teenager, and there’s no telling what outgrowing your new nose might look like when you’ve reach full-growth. Plus, besides that whole issue of your cartilage potentially collapsing, kids get drunk and walk into turn-of-the-century architecture (that’s how I ended up with my own new nose by the time I was 21) and altering your appearance is kind of a big decision to make before your brain has finished developing.

It’s common sense that like which makes the latest teen (and TWEEN!) trend out of Asia all that much more concerning.

According to a recent article in The Daily Beast, “As an alternative to plastic surgery, some people, primarily teens, are now turning to a low-tech solution: Torturous-looking products that claim to mold the users’ features into the “ideal” standard of beauty.” What’s the reasoning behind this new at-home DIY trend? Well, it’s much more cost-effective than the real thing, and there’s been an increasing trend of plastic surgery in several Asian cultures it’s less of an “if” and more of a “when.”

CNN recently reported on the skyrocketing rates of cosmetic surgery in many Asian countires — Korea leads the world in cosmetic enhancements with China and Japan not far behind. Patients as young as twelve are undergoing procedures like eye-fold surgery which involves slicing an additional crease into one’s eyelid to make eyes appear wider and more “Western.” In the case of one Seoul tween, the surgery wasn’t an idea she came up with on her own — her mother simply decided it was time. “I’m having her do it,” her Mother told CNN, “because I think it’ll help her. This is a society where you have to be pretty to get ahead. She’s my only daughter.”

Remember that time that your mom insisted you get a facelift at 13 so you’d have a leg up in life? Oh, you don’t because that’s totally psychotic? Hmmm, weird.

While the turn to at-home facial re-figurement may be a natural evolution in an over saturated market with rising costs, medical professionals are beginning to see more and more self-inflicted disfigurement. According to an NBC report —

“Cosmetic surgeons are concerned the DIY trend is “impairing” the underdeveloped bodies of adolescents, explains Dr. Hong Jung Gon, of the Metro Plastic Surgery Clinic in Seoul.

Teenagers sometimes show up at clinics complaining of infections and damage to their eyes, he said.

…[One teen we spoke to] admits she’s taken multiple bruises from yet another widget, sold for $2, that promises a raised nose bridge after a few hours of pressure each day. In East Asia, a pointed nose is sometimes perceived as an elegant Western trait.”

So just what do these DIY miracle face-changers look like and how do they (claim to) work? Below, a quick sampling of the medieval doohickies.

  • Face Bra 1 of 8
    article-2442445-187E228600000578-477_634x409

    I'm not even being facetious (see what I did there?). This product is actually called the face bra and claims to help you fight the good fight against those pesky nasolabial folds (a.k.a. laugh lines). Because smiling is for ugly people, amiright?

     

    Photo Credit: Japan Trend Shop

  • Han Tsun Nose Straightener 2 of 8
    hana-tsun-nose-straightener-1

    If you wear this for just 20 minutes a day, this comfortable looking device is guaranteed to ... oh who knows?! According to Dr. James Marotta, a Long Island, NY plastic surgeon, "At the very best, you end up completely wasting your money. At the very worst, you can injure yourself resulting in infections, permanent scars, or other irreversible facial deformities." So there's that. All for the low bargain price of $48!

     

    Photo Credit: Japan Trend Shop

  • Double Eye Fold Glasses 3 of 8
    Eyefold Glasses

    For just $16 and a few minutes of wear a day, you can allegedly increase the crease (pun intended!) above your eye. Ask about the Oedipus special.

    Photo Credit: Shop Naver

  • Face Slimmer Mouth Excerciser 4 of 8
    face-slimmer-mouth-exercise-japan-mouthpiece-4

    Think of this as a Thigh Master for your mouth. According to the manufacturer:

    "Fight wrinkles around your eyes and help shape the overall look of your face, whether in front of the mirror, in the bath or at any other convenient time every day. The movements are given extra load by the mold, forcing everything to work a bit harder and resulting in more youthful, vibrant faces."

    You may find that you're also fighting your gag reflex, but that's a small price to pay. (Plus the $63 that you'll have to dish out to buy it.)

    Photo Credit: Japan Trend Shop

  • Scalp Stretcher 5 of 8
    karakuri-ribbon-scalp-stretcher-2

    This $33 scalp stretcher is meant to be worn daily under your hair to fight signs of aging. It pulls your hair back like a tight ponytail. I'm cool with this one actually it doesn't appear to be marketed to teenagers, and if grown women want to give themselves a hair headache who am I to stop them?

    Photo Credit: Japan Trend Shop

  • Jaw Smoosher 6 of 8
    751bfe2a5

    NBC News reports on this particular contraption -- "Vendors claim it pushes the jaw line into a pleasing petite, oval form. The two teens spend hours rolling and molding the product along their jaw, trying to fit their faces into the perfect shape — and inflicting a good deal of pain in the process."

     

    Photo Credit: Naver.com

  • Hannibal Lecter Smile Lines Eraser 7 of 8
    kagao-smile-line-beauty-face-belt-2

    New from Japan! Two layers of unbreathable nylon claim to suffocate the smile lines right off your face. Also looks good for clogging pores and creating crater-like pimples for only $32 a pop!

    Photo Credit: Japan Trend Shop

  • Jowl Killer 8 of 8
    face-upper-mouthpiece-anti-aging-care-2

    Live in fear of one day inheriting your grandma's jowls? Well, we've got you covered. Stick this freak-y joker-esque mouthpiece in your pie hole for three minutes a day and watch as your cheeks probably just get sore.

     

    Photo Credit: Japan Trend Shop 

More from Morgan:

My Mom Had A Wardrobe Malfunction At My Bat Mitzvah

“Doc, Are You Telling Me This Sucker’s Nuclear?”

Social Media is a Warm Gun

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