China's Most Outrageous Beauty Treatments

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 Traditional Chinese Beauty

There is an old Chinese saying; 'There are no ugly women in the world, only lazy women in the world.'

In a land of exotic elegance and cultural tradition, Chinese women have a strong history of beauty rituals and regimens. Although foot binding is now a thing of the past, new and equally controversial beauty measures have been springing up in its place. Take a look at the sought-after treatments available today for those in pursuit of the China's beauty ideal.

 Leg lengthening surgery

In china, where the average height for a woman is 5 feet 2 inches, there is often a minimum height requirement for personal advertisements and jobs. Seeing it as investing in their future, many young women have taken to a type of surgery which is growing in popularity - leg lengthening. Legs are first broken, and then the cartilage is implanted with a telescopic rod. The rod then pulls apart the cartilage gradually, a millimeter a day, and new bone grows in its place to fill the gap. The cost comes to around £60,00, takes 3 months, and requires gruelling rehabilitation afterwards.

 Skin lightening

Keeping skin light and white is also a huge beauty ideal in China. This is in part due to historical reasons. Long ago, women of the Han court were unearthly white, and it was seen as a sign of wealth and beauty. Today, 61% of China's dermatological market is made up of skin whiteners and remedies. Many popular skin lightening lotions contain extremely dangerous ingredients, and the long term results behind this beauty ritual are slowly being revealed. Mercury and hydroquinone are popular ingredients, and can cause rashes, discolouration, scarring of the skin. Kidney damage and psychosis are also common side effects.

Melon seed face shape

We're all familiar with different square, round, and oblong face shapes. For chinese women, the ideal face shape is a 'melon seed face'. This means an oval face with a pointed chin, or heart shaped face. This is such an important feature in overall attractiveness that Chinese dating sites list a persons face shape as well as their age and build. Some women take to having surgery, where parts of the jaw line are shaved off, in order to achieve this look. Liposuction is also common, which slims down the jaw.

Big eyes

Big eyes are a huge beauty staple in China. The idea behind it is to look innocent and timid, giving the appearance of needing to be looked after. Eyelid surgery is commonplace, with many young girls treating themselves to the surgery as a graduation present. This practice gives eyes a double eyelid, adding the impression of a wide-awake look. Chinese women also use makeup to achieve big eyes. With the huge presence of anime cartoons, women have also taken to emulating characters from various shows. Wide-eyed contact lenses can be purchased in many different colours for this very purpose. The lenses give the eyes a doll-like and doe-eyed appearance.

Slim figures

The beauty ideal of slim being beautiful is as true in China as it is in many western societies, if not more so. A woman measuring 5 feet 2 inches and weighing 100 pounds can be considered chubby in China by many. Some girls go as far as to skip dinner each day to keep the skinny ideal alive. There is a stigma in Western societies that girls from China are all naturally thin. Chinese girls living in Western societies with a slower metabolism feel even more pressure to diet, so that they won't stand out as being 'chubby', unlike their chinese counterparts. It's a shame that ideals such as this still exist, and unless society changes, the standards will stay the same.