Kpop or Korean pop is a music genre that includes a variety of dance music styles, electro-pop, hip-hop, and others. In recent years, it has gained tremendous popularity, not just in its country of origin- South Korea. There are tens of millions of teenagers and young people worldwide who are actively adding songs by South Korean artists to their playlists.
Moreover, the K pop style has developed into a whole subculture that is becoming increasingly popular. Korean pop is no longer just about music. There is a certain style of dress, slang, gestures and even facial features that are associated with this subculture. Kpop idols play a crucial role in setting new Korean beauty standards and making plastic surgery procedures popular not only in Korea but throughout Asia.
In Korea, cosmetic surgery has become as common as makeup. One of the procedures that people are obsessed with is double eyelid surgery. This is a surgery that gives the eyes a "more western" appearance, make them look bigger and brighter. Singapore also is rapidly becoming a "hotspot" for this procedure and more and more young people are going under the knife each year. Korean culture is a major factor behind double eyelid surgery popularity.
If you are curious to know more about this topic we encourage you to read this article. Here, we are going to provide a short introduction to how K pop has become so popular in the world, the history of double eyelid surgery as well as some famous Korean celebrities who have undergone the procedure.
Kpop culture: Where it comes from?
All of it started with the Kim Sisters, a group very different from today's popular Korean bands. The group was the first Korean band that broke into the music charts outside of Korea in 1962. The Kim Sisters were followed by several other bands.
The band Seo Taiji and Boys, popular in the 90s, is one of those who played a huge role in the modern "face" of the genre. "Nan arayo", or "I know", was the band's debut which was the first of its kind in Korean music. It can be said that this progressive song paved the way for K pop music to become whatever it is today. Seo Taiji and Boys changed the course of music in Korea, and they are considered to be the first successful Korean mainstream band due to their innovative hybridization of creatively blending genres such as punk, rap, rock, techno, etc. In Korea, the group is recognised for introducing verses with rapping and choruses in a pop style with energetic dance moves we are now familiar with in K-pop music.
The international spread of Korean pop culture known as Haiyu or the Korean Wave started in the late 1990s with the enormous popularity of Korean TV dramas in Japan and China. By the middle of the first decade of the 2000s Korean cultural products including film, music and fashion had become firmly established throughout east and southeast Asia and were receiving serious attention in other regions of the world.
One of K-pop's greatest moments actually came in 2012 from an unexpected source: South Korean rapper Psy. "Gangnam Style", the lead single off his sixth studio album, became the first video on YouTube that reached one billion views immediately after release.
Gradually, Korean artists became more popular and for the time being, they are idols. In addition to their strong vocal abilities, K-pop idols are known to have impeccable manners, beautiful and youthful appearances.
Double eyelid surgery in Korea: History
The first recorded double eyelid surgery was in Japan in 1896. It was performed by a physician called Mikamo. The goal of the doctor was to make a more pleasing eye. Japanese society was undergoing a big change at this time as everything became more modernized and westernized, which resulted in women being more interested in their physical appearance and looking prettier. Makamo saw this as an opportunity to offer cosmetic surgery to Japanese women that are looking for a more beautiful face. He used a technique in which he cut his target's eyelids with 68 millimetres and stitched them up with silk. Mikamo's procedure was minimally invasive and only focused on folds found in the Japanese eyelid.
The surgical techniques changed during the colonization of Korea by Japan in the 20s and 30s. The eyelid creases were brought much further up. In 1945, Korea had ended colonization, and the country was largely destitute. Korea had a lot of casualties during the Korean war, and those who survived usually had really bad injuries, so the American army sent its own plastic surgeon to fix their issues. His name was Dr Ralph Millard. After this, he became the first surgeon in Korea to perform double eyelid surgery. Furthermore, he popularized this cosmetic procedure in Korea.
Korea was experiencing a remarkable economic recovery in the 90s, so jobs were plentiful and disposable income increased, ultimately resulting in a rise in plastic surgery.
Today, double eyelid surgery has become almost expected among Korean idols who don't meet the physical requirements to be able to attract a large following. As a result, many K pop fans get their eyes done so that they can appear like their favourite singer or actor. Because of the social pressure to look a certain way in Korea, Asian blepharoplasty has become an increasingly common and very popular procedure.
The Kpop double eyelid surgery obsession
There are two things that everyone knows about Korea – the attractive Kpop stars and of course plastic surgery procedures. Most Kpop idols have undergone at least one cosmetic surgery procedure on their bodies ranging from rhinoplasty, breast implants surgery, chin implant, orthognathic surgery and eyelid correction. This of course influences their fans. More and more young people want to look like their favourite K pop idols. That is why they often go under the knife. One of the most commonly performed surgery is namely double eyelid surgery followed by jaw surgery. In a survey of 1000 patients run by the Korea consumer agency 70% said they had undergone double eyelid surgery.
The media is one of the main reasons why people care so much about their beauty. The influence of the Korean media, the Korean film industry and music is quite pervasive and very powerful. Furthermore, the practice of getting double eyelids is viewed as a gateway to better carriers and the key to a happier life. Singaporeans, for instance, consider big eyes to be a sign of beauty and success. The job market is highly competitive, so having an attractive face is a great weapon.
What is double eyelid surgery and why is it so popular in Asia?
As we said, double eyelid surgery is one of the most sought-after cosmetic procedures among Asians. It is often called Asian eyelid surgery or Asian blepharoplasty. The primary goal of the procedure is to create nicely defined creases on the upper eyelids. One of the biggest advantages of upper eyelid blepharoplasty is that it is relatively simple plastic surgery. There is no need for general anaesthesia or hospitalization. Healing is usually very rapid with most patients returning to their normal activities within a week. In addition, the procedure is not associated with any serious risks or complications.
The clinics in Singapore and Korea offer three main techniques of double eyelids creation – by making incisions or cuts on the upper eyelids (full incision method), through knotting small sutures under the upper eyelid skin (without incisions) and combination of both techniques (partial incision method). The cutting method is preferred by patients who wish to achieve permanent results and have overly thick eyelids with lots of excess fat and skin. Suture techniques are typically used on younger people without fatty eyelids who just want to achieve a visible eyelid crease. The partial incision method is where the double eyelid lines extend up to the last third of the eyes. It is recommended for young patients whose eyelid skin is partially sagging. The non-incision and partial incision methods usually produce more natural results. However, they may require revision over time. The full incision method produces more permanent results.
What is unique about the creation of double eyelids? What is the reason for the popularity of this plastic surgery in Asian countries? In some Asians, the double eyelid line is not visible - there is excess skin covering part of the eyelid. In others, the fold is absent, they are monolids. In both cases, the eyes appear smaller and less prominent. The result is a kind of “sleepy” appearance that cannot be changed even with makeup.
What does double eyelid surgery do? This makes the eyes more distinguishable, brighter, and bigger, thus more attractive. Furthermore, the procedure enhances eye shape and gives a more youthful appearance to the whole face. The fact that so many Kpop stars opt for Asian blepharoplasty to enhance their looks is not surprising.
Which Kpop stars had double eyelid surgery?
Korean celebrities rarely discuss the procedures they have undergone, but the changes to their appearance are evident. Here are some K-pop idols who haven't been shy of talking about their plastic surgeries.
Kim Heechul (Super Junior)
He is a singer and actor from South Korea. Kim Heechul is known as a member of the band Super Junior. Kim Heechul admitted getting his eyelids done on MBC's Radio Star in 2014. He also disclosed getting a nose job on an SBS radio program in 2013.
Kyuhyun (Super Junior)
The youngest member of Super Junior, Kyuhyun, has also been open about his double eyelid surgery. He even admitted to having a second operation once he started losing his double eyelids.
HYOLYN or Kim Hyo-Jung is a well-known Korean singer. She is a member of the girl group Sistar. She is one of the K-pop stars who has admitted that she had her eyelids done. Additionally, she says she is considering getting nose surgery in the future.
He is a popular actor, singer and TV personality in South Korea. He is known for being a member of the band ZE:A. In addition, he is another idol who is open with his corrections. Kwanghee has admitted to fixing up his nose, eyelids and forehead in several TV shows. He says this is something his mother recommended to him.
Lizzy (Park Soo-ah)
Lizzy or Park Soo-ah is another South Korean idol. She is a former member of the group After School. She has never been afraid to open up about her double eyelid surgery or other procedures she has had done.
UEE (former member of After Scool)
UEE is another former member of the girl band After School who underwent double eyelid surgery. According to her sister, that was the only plastic surgery UEE has ever had.
Other stars who have openly talked about their aesthetic procedures are Jun Jin (Shinhwa), Jessi (Jessica Ho), Seo In Young (former member of Jewelry), Narsha (Brown Eyed Girls), Kim Ye Won and so on.
South Korea is the nation with the most cosmetic procedures per capita in the world. It is no secret that many Korean idols undergo cosmetic surgery. Furthermore, most Asians desire to look like celebrities, which motivates them to get different procedures.
There are many reasons why beauty treatments are so popular in South Korea, but the high standard of beauty set by the K-pop industry definitely plays a big role. A plastic surgery procedure can help you achieve the look you want, whether you want your eyes to be bigger, your nose to be smaller, or your jaw to appear more defined. While idols are setting the beauty standards these days, fans are trying more and more to at least work towards looking like their k pop idols.